Solar Panels on Our House – One Year In



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After one full year of having a solar panel system on the roof of my home, I share some insights into how it’s been working. This is a grid-tied system, purchased through Vivint Solar, to generate up to 100% of the electricity we use each year. Now that I can run the numbers for a full year of use, I’ll talk about it.

In the near future I’ll explain how a new radon mitigation system in our home motivated me to contact Vivint Solar again to expand our system and generate even more electricity.

47 thoughts on “Solar Panels on Our House – One Year In

  1. In many parts of the country solar is a great deal for solar contractors and the utilities but questionable for consumers. Also, listening to this man has convinced me I'm not willing to put that kind of work into the whole scene. Congratulations for those of you it works out for

  2. Hi . In Australia, I have seen solar panels that are set up on a structure mounted on the ground. There would , of course be under ground cable connection from there to the house. These structures are designed to follow the sun. So in your particular case, with your roof surfaces or your house not facing , in your case ,south ( north in Australia), have them on the ground . I noticed your yard area looks to be a large size to do this. As long as It's positioned in a spacious area, away from shade of trees or buildings etc.. ( clearly too late though). Some advantages of having it on ground level -Easy access for cleaning ; clearing off snow; you haven't got far to fall like off the roof. Our power bills come quarterly and ( approx 91 to 93 days ) and I get charged a " supply charge" of approx $2 /day, which is about $180 per bill times 4 for a yearly calculation is about $720 / year. To get rid of that cost component, I would have to go off grid " completely independent " I think the way I'd do this is get 6 kw system ( i don't have solar yet) / pay it off over 5 years/In that 5 year period , sell excess back to power company, thereby offset my power bills / After 5 years, the loan is paid off and my overall power costs are less ( only left with the power bill , not the loan ). When that's done , work on getting rid of the " supply charge" by either going off grid immediately. Problem is that I'd need to " invest" in battery storage straight away so I'd have power for night time. I could buy the batteries and the $720 per year that went to pay the supply charge, could go towards paying off the batteries. What was previously sold back to the grid, is now put into batteries for night time use. I'm a thinking work in progress

  3. thanks for posting this video, you are more informed than most solar purchasers, so kudos. Those two lonely panels on the west facing roof is the key to adding more power. if South produces 100%, East produces 85% and West produces 83% at a 30 degree slope.
    29 panels means the strings cannot be even, so more can be added. i look forward to seeing your update

  4. Great you made it real. We have it now for 2 months. Here in Europe we get a tax return to on buying it. Our rate of return is around 12% per year and we should use about 1/5 of what it used to be. Why a loan? Its better to save an pay directly then putting money on a bank.

  5. Net metering is starting to go away in many utilities and they are paying a low rate for the power you are sending to them. I have a totally off-grid system and screw the utility. I am using self consumption only….

  6. ok I don't understand this… If you produce 100% of what you use in a year, How do you have a hydro bill? even if its only 8$ or what ever and I may have missed it but can you shut the grid off to your house and power yourself only with the solar power?

  7. Your average energy usage of 10 MWh per year is the proverbial elephant in the room.

    How is that possible – do you heat electrically or is it the air con running at full tilt?

  8. 03:44 – Ok, if you're no longer getting a 1:1 credit on power generation, how much are you going to end up paying the power company? Your solar panels don't protect you from power company increase in rates if their credit system changes.

  9. Hi. Thank you for the information. How long did it take to get your bill to just the connection fee? In other words, was your bill $8 right away, the first month you used solar?

  10. Great deal, This is what is taking place in Germany, It does cut back on the Coal and Gas power plants, but in the long run, it will get more expensive after the tax cuts and subsidies are used up. The power company wants to make money and nothing is free…….what you really do save is the environment and the air you breathe is a bit cleaner- Figure that into your calculations and investment/return analysis…….

  11. it's quiet cool to have that kind of "back up battery", way cheaper as a power wall etc., 20 year lone is a bit long and the interest rate adds up – to me, if that rate just covers the usual monthly bill. That said we pay almost 30 Euro-Cent per Kwh and it often takes only 5 years to get the investment back, if you have the roof/space for the installation.

  12. What an incredibly ugly roof line due to the panels, and the electrical panels and connections are horrible to view. Would any of this make sense for my home in upstate NY where snow covers the roof for literally MONTHS a year. I missed the loan and attendant costs; how does that impact your financial score? How much of your touted installation am I personally paying for, where you have received rebates and many other incentives direct to your pocket, or indirectly through reduced direct costs while the manufacturer and installer got their rebates and incentives which I paid for in higher taxes and utility charges. in short, you dipped into my pockets to pay for your reduced electric bill. All this is FORCED on me, yet you never once thanked us for our largess.

    The bottom line is that vast sums of money are being coerced from the public, who, by and large cannot take advantage of this political SCAM. I am talking about renters, the poor, condominium owners, people who live in the northern parts of the country, those with tall trees about their property, those living in the shade of taller adjacent properties, and on and on.

  13. The Grid exists to interconnect local generating plants so they can buy excess power when they have an outage ( Interruption in power generation ). You don't sit in the dark when your utility goes down .

  14. Too long an explanation. You have a big yard. Why not put you panels on a structure in your yard and run the line to your meter. Then you do not need as many panels.By having panels near the ground, it is easy to hose off the accumulated dust which makes you panels more efficient. Also less chance of cracking tiles when servicing.

  15. I think that before selling the excess energy back to an electric company, people should be getting themselves a modern and capacious TRUE backup battery. I think that's what is missing from this gentelman's setup.
    Those packs look like some oversized fridges. They need to be large enough so they could store electricity sufficient to supply an average house during a "rainy week" sort of speak. Or at least enough energy stored for a "rainy day" better yet two or three such days.

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