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  1. #1

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    Default Anybody using solar panels

    I had solar company out today to look into installing solar panels on the house. My electric bill this month was $450 dollars, which is over $200 more a month than June. The difference is a little over 2 weeks of using my new Pass Labs X600.5 amps. These suckers consume 5 amps each at idle, so that is 10 amps constantly going up in heat, which also increases the AC running time. My two channel system has gone from a daily utility to a once a week luxury, and I may as well get rid of it at that rate. Anyway, hopefully with solar panels, and a bit more conservative use of the amps (no more leaving them on 24 hours a day), I can get this under control.

  2. #2

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    Wow $450 a month. That's a lot. In Central Valley CA, the summer time gets pretty hot up to 110 degrees. For the past 2 weeks the temps have been between 100 to 108 degrees. Using my AC has been killing me. We rent, so solar panels aren't an option, but I soon as we buy our house we will look into solar panels.

    How much are they charging you for the installation?
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  3. #3

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    You might be onto something here, you could start a war about why solar powered energy improves the soundstage compared to regular power from the electrical company. I bet there would be a few guys rigging there whole house out with them after such a thread lol

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    Not personally. But I tried. I had the system installer come out and survey my two houses for Solar during the great california rebates a few years ago. I was going to get a 5000 watt system installed and it was only going to cost me $7800.00 out of pocket. I was 17th on the schedule when the rebate program ran out of money. When it re-started a year and a half later my share of the cost had gone up to $44,000.00
    So I don't have solar.

    But a friend of mine did get in under the wire. She has a 20 kw system on her Video editing studio/horse ranch in the San Fernando Valley. Her after install power bill is now only $475.00 It was right around $3100.00 per month. It had been absolutely trouble free. The only maintenance is washing the panels off.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by GFOviedo View Post
    How much are they charging you for the installation?
    I don't know yet, waiting for the quote. Probably around 15K, but you get a 30% federal tax credit, and excess electricty gets sold back to PG&E, plus home appreciation. So, they said to expect to break even after around 5 years.

  6. #6

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    1200w of usage + the ??? amount of BTUs you have to offset does cost quite a bit. I am thinking of the same - the panels are about $200 each for 240 watt panels. I could buy ten for the back yard and offset 2400 watts during the day...which is the only time I'd want it. Cheap to do? no..... takes a long time to recoup? yes... ECO friendly? Maybe... decisions decisions.
    I don't want lead acid batteries all over the place.
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  7. #7

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    A better solution would be to move on to Ice amps like a W4S or D-Sonic. Solar panels......I dunno if they will be able to handle that draw of current from those amps and if they do.....for how long ? I would research that a bit before jumping into that rabbit hole.

    Also....leaving them on all day is your problem, why would you do that ? Electric costs when buying gear is always something to consider especially when talking huge mono's. Plus we all know the price of electricity is only going to go north in the future.

  8. #8

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    Some of the audiophiles never turn their monoblocks off because it keeps them primed and in the best running condition.
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  9. #9

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    When I got them the dealer said to run them 24 hours a day for 5 days to break-in, then turn them on when needed. However, I followed the procedure I was using with my previous amps. I turned them on Thursday night, and left them on until late Sunday night. This has them sounding best for Friday and Saturday night. Other nights, I turn them on when I get home, around 7:30, and turn them off when I go to bed, around 12:30. Anyway, a little over 2 weeks of this added over $200 to the bill. So, now I will use the HT/surround sound system during the week, turn the two channel on when I get home Friday night, and turn if off when I go to bed early Sunday morning. That should put a big dent in the electric use.

  10. #10

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    And some turn off power amps due to heat and or power bill.

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  11. #11

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    Yes, I would turn them off as well. Just saying' :)

    I turne all my cable boxes, APC/UPS, lights, and the upstairs thermostat off during the day. I can track down to the watt what how much is being used with the smart meter online app. It's got me AR about energy usage now. If we're home and using it - we can go all out, but if we're not home I don't see the need to have everything on. The amount of electricity used by a DVR is almost as much as a fridge....insane.
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  12. #12

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    Window tint I'm a believer baby it could help you also.

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  13. #13

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    We've got 2.4 kW of PV panels on the new house in NH. Since the house was built on our lot, we were able to site it as optimally as the site allowed (panels are on the roof and facing essentially due south - about as good as it gets up in the Frozen White North that is New Hampshire!)

    Proper insulation, high-effiency HVAC units help a lot, too.
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  14. #14

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    It would be nice to have windows that get darker with sun light!
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  15. #15

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    I work in the industry and plan to plan to install a system someday once I decide to buy. I relocated to Indiana last year as the company work for moved from MI to our new headquarters in Portage. I'm a Tech Support/Sales Applications specialist in the Solar Electronics Division at Fronius USA. Check out our IG plus inverters:

    www.fronius-usa.com

    http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...=fronius+solar

    Given the low cost of solar panels now is a good time to look at solar especially if your State offers rebates. Still, a $200 increase in your bill is crazy? I think electricity in the Bay Area is about 28.8 cents per kWh. The average home uses about 950 kWh per month (500 on the low, 1300 on the high) so at that rate the bill would be ~ $273.60. What was the usage difference between the months?

    Like tonyb stated, I would look at your usage over the last year and identify your major loads in the home. Then, consider what makes the most sense in terms of energy reduction, efficiency, insulation, etc. Once you do that, then consider how renewables can come into play.
    Last edited by WLDock; 07-29-2013 at 06:14 PM.
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  16. #16

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    I live in Oahu, Hawaii... Electricity here now costs about $0.35/kW (the electric company has to import oil from Asia to fuel the power plants, they are looking into localy produced biofuels and wind generation (the salt air has been corroding the wind farms pretty badly tho))... even more on the other islands. I live with my wife, no kids (they moved out). We do laundry once a week. Our electric bill hovered about $200-300/month. After putting on a solar water heater and 20-panels (250-watts each), our bill is now $20/month. We figure we will have the panels paid off in four years after installation (it's been three years now). When we had the panels installed, electricity was about $0.25/kW.

    My friend lives in the leeward (hot side) of the island. He has two kids. His bill is about $900/month with central a/c. i think the average bill for most people here is about $400-500/month. Hawaii is the #1 state with solar panels installations per capita. Basically, we figure we need 10 panels per person in Hawaii to break even. You guys will probably need more because of the different daylight hours.

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    What a great thread. Now when I buy a house just outside the city, I'll ensure I have a few acres so I can devote some dedicated space to power my home for a week if zombies invade.

  18. #18

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    You guys in Canada ever see the Sun ?

    You guys are too busy looking down......at hockey pucks.

  19. #19

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    My Dad has 36 Panels. They produce around 1,550,000 watts per month. He needs around 500,000 a month for his house. He sells the rest.

    He used to pay around $210 a month for electricity on a yearly plan.

    Now he pays nothing and he sells around $330 a month to the grid.

    But the install was around $31K

    He figures in 6.5 years he'll break even.
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  20. #20

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    So 1550 kWh, and he uses 500 kWh a month? That's pretty good.
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  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lasareath View Post
    My Dad has 36 Panels. They produce around 1,550,000 watts per month. He needs around 500,000 a month for his house. He sells the rest.

    He used to pay around $210 a month for electricity on a yearly plan.

    Now he pays nothing and he sells around $330 a month to the grid.

    But the install was around $31K

    He figures in 6.5 years he'll break even.
    My quote is for 29 panels at 23k. With a $7K tax credit, it is 16K. I was able to go to PG&E's web site and get my monthly usage back into 2009. Using this data, I expect to break even in 4 years, and then start turning a profit selling back. Actually, I expect to break even sooner since I am going to limit my two-channel system to only Friday and Saturday night. A side benefit is an approximate $50K increase in property value. All-in-all, this is a no brainier. By the time I retire I will be making beer money selling electricity back.

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueFox View Post
    My quote is for 29 panels at 23k. With a $7K tax credit, it is 16K. I was able to go to PG&E's web site and get my monthly usage back into 2009. Using this data, I expect to break even in 4 years, and then start turning a profit selling back. Actually, I expect to break even sooner since I am going to limit my two-channel system to only Friday and Saturday night. A side benefit is an approximate $50K increase in property value. All-in-all, this is a no brainier. By the time I retire I will be making beer money selling electricity back.
    Do you get a credit every year for being ECO as well?
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  23. #23

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    I don't think so, but I need to reread the proposal again before I make the final commit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jon s View Post
    ... Hawaii is the #1 state with solar panels installations per capita....
    For this reason we sent a co-worker to there for about a month and a half....to get on the ground and get in the face of our customers and to try and drum up new opportunities. Someone may even be going back soon to do this again.
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  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueFox View Post
    I don't think so, but I need to reread the proposal again before I make the final commit.
    Don't forget to get an idea of maintenance costs too. Plus what any damaged panels may cost to replace. Also look at your roof and make sure it will last another 20 years. You don't want to put panels on a roof that will need replacing soon.

    Also make sure the panels you buy are also made by someone else too in case the company goes under. Check how that also affects your homeowners insurance.

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