Solar Panels

Inspired by RNG’s innumeracy post.

So, someone from Costco’s partner solar company came by, said it would cost about $200/mo to pay off my panels and battery and installation over 10 years. I pay about $250/mo over the year (sometimes A LOT more, requiring far more power at certain times than the panels and battery can provide – I mean the A/C).
Wondering if it is a good deal.
I’d have to put these panels over Spanish tiles (JSM: “flex”), which are 40 years old, but last 80.

So, who has solar panels for electricity, and how are they working?


It’s going to depend on your electric company and how they pay you for your excess production.

My company (Lincoln Electric) buys back my electricity at the same cost that they charge me…except that if I produce more than I use in a month, they keep the excess, so my electric bill may go down to zero, but they’ll never cut me a check.

In summer months, I produce about 80% of what I need. In non-a/c-months, I produce 100-120% of what I need. The solar panel company helped me choose how many panels to install based on my past electric usage in order to maximize the value.

I paid for the whole thing up front instead of financing it. Based on my mad excel skills I projected a ~3% ROE. This assumed that rates won’t go up. Although rates have been lower, Mr. Buttlicker, there’s a really good chance that they’ll increase substantially because Texas in which case my return should improve.

I don’t have enough history to determine if my projections are coming true or if it was all a big façade. I’ll try to remember the check in eight or so months from now.

The company said 'this many is what you need." My Electric Company, Kennedy Electric, won’t give me money back if plaster my whole roof with panels that makes power I won’t ever use. I’d be getting only half the roof (it’s a very long SE-facing roof) plastered, 13 panels instead of 22 or so. I might ask for one or two more on the expectation that we buy an EV in the future. So, the formula, I think, is, “whatever you used in the past year, you can generate that much, but that’s it.” So, some months I’d have a credit and some months I’d pay. And the battery is the big deal, assuming I can figure out what I want to keep on (two fridges in different places, my office stuff, assuming i’ll have internet, TV).

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The front of my house faces the South :frowning:

If it faced the other direction, I’d definitely look into putting panels on the south side of the roof. I could put them on the North side but I’ve read they are less useful if not in full sun most of the day.

Maybe as the technology improves. :woman_shrugging:

Are you not allowed to put them up in the front?
Or do you think it will “look bad” relative to the neighborhood?
Or, just personal preference?
Would you install Tesla solar roof (provided they actually work) that looks like a regular roof?

Mine would be in the front. Most houses here have them wherever the south and/or west face (less fog in the afternoon vs morning) is.

I don’t think technology will improve the angle of the sun on your north-facing roof.

No way my HOA would go for that.

I wouldn’t mind at all the Tesla whole roof. But we just put on a new roof. Maybe after the next big hailstorm ….

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