Is Solar and the Clarity a match made in heaven?

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by The Gadgeteer, May 9, 2019.

  1. LegoZ

    LegoZ Active Member

  2. JulianClarity

    JulianClarity Active Member

    I think the 25 year prepaid plan is good too, don't know why a lot of people don't like it. You get covered for everything for 25 years, and in the end you can pay 2,3k to discard the whole system, at any point of time in the 25 years. You don't need to worry about the tax credit and the offered price plus the Costco rebate is roughly the same. For my case this guy wants me to install 17 panels for $13xxx for the 25 year plan, or 21k to own a system with 20 years of coverage, after the tax credit and costco rebate, they are the same. The technology is going to evolve, I don't think 20 years later anyone would want to keep using the system, then you pay others more than 3k to remove tje system and install a new one. It sounds to me the leased plan is better. This guy also told me that transfer of a leased plan is as easy as a single signature. If all he said is true, I don't see a reason for people not to take the leased plan, but I still believe that there is a reason, do any of you know?
  3. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    I strongly suggest you buy and read Solar Power Your Home For Dummies and other sources before you do anything. Spending $20 to $40 on these books will save you $1,000s and a lot of headaches and buyer’s remorse from ill conceived and uneducated decisions. Then you will understand enough to ask intelligent questions on the solar forums and greatly benefit from the collective wisdom of those who have gone before you. Or you can just overpay for a subpar or poorly designed and sized system. It’s your $, spend it wisely or throw it away with reckless abandon. It’s your choice.

    PS: Nothing wrong with SunPower panels, they’re just over priced for what you get.
  4. LegoZ

    LegoZ Active Member

    My realtor strongly cautioned against leases. They are an encumbrance when it comes to selling your house. Also I want to own my energy. If I lease the panels why even bother? I was already getting a good rate for power before 9.8 cents per kWh before solar and that was 100% wind. Also now I don’t have a bill monthly for power 9 out of 12 months a year.
    jdonalds and KentuckyKen like this.
  5. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Plus 1 x 10 to the sixth on what @LegoZ says. Leases can be a nightmare when you try to sell a house or have a problem like a roof leak. Just go on the solar forums for confirmation of this.
  6. JulianClarity

    JulianClarity Active Member

    The agent told me that it just requires a single signature, but I have to find out.
  7. JulianClarity

    JulianClarity Active Member

    For shingle roofing it is a big concern, but for us, we have tiles of very good quality, it wouldn't be a problem.
    And, thanks for your long post, that educated me quite a lot. I really don't have time for things other than my work and the family, but I will read the book you suggested for sure, for my own good.
  8. LegoZ

    LegoZ Active Member

    The large print (or speak) giveth and the small print taketh away... Quite a few leases and contracts, at least in housing and gym memberships, state the agent or management do not have the ability to modify the terms as outlined in the agreement verbally or in writing. Buyer extremely beware here.

    What do you gain by having someone else’s panels your roof?
  9. JulianClarity

    JulianClarity Active Member

    D…="LegoZ, post: 62319, member: 4610"]The large print (or speak) giveth and the small print taketh away... Quite a few leases and contracts, at least in housing and gym memberships, state the agent or management do not have the ability to modify the terms as outlined in the agreement verbally or in writing. Buyer extremely beware here.

    What do you gain by having someone else’s panels your roof?[/QUOTE]

    Thank you, I am going to take time before making any decisions!
  10. The Gadgeteer

    The Gadgeteer Active Member

    Is there anyone who has done solar and it didn’t work out to save them money?
  11. banshee2008

    banshee2008 New Member

    Well, it depends how you look at it.

    I am going to talk from the perspective of someone who owns their own home and purchases (rather than leases) solar panels. In this case, you are always going to save on your monthly electric bill. But when you take into account the up-front investment, there is typically about a 7 year payback period before you have recouped the up-front investment through the monthly savings.

    If you sell your home before the (typical) 7 years is up, then you won't have recouped the cost. Then the question is whether you can get more money for your house because it has solar panels. According to Zillow, houses sell on average for 4.1% more if they have solar panels.

    So let's take an example. if you install a $10K solar panel array (after tax benefits) on a $200,000 house and move 3.5 years after installing the panels, then for simplicity let's assume you've recouped 50% of your $10K investment. Then if you sell your $200,000 house for $200K + 4.1%, you get $208,400 for it, and you will be effectively $3400 to the good.

    All that said, on a single home sale, you'll never be able to "prove" that you really got more for your house because of the solar panels. So it up to you whether or not you believe you truly got more. :)

    Also, in that same example, if you move immediately after installing solar panels and get an extra 4.1% for your house, you will have spent $10K and only gotten $8400 extra for the house. In this case, you will have lost $1600. So yes, it is definitely possible to lose money on a solar purchase -- but I would argue it is the exception and not the rule. Also, it is important to make sure you get a good deal on the installation (i.e., shop around) or else your payback period is extended.
  12. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    IMHO, a properly sized and properly installed tier 1 solar PV system will always save you money in the long run. The question is how long will it take your ROI to break even. That can range any where between 4 and 12 years from what I’ve read in the solar forums and depends on a lot of variables, some of which you have to predict the future with.
    I suggest using sites such as and to begin with along with your particular latitude, orientation (compass/roof pitch), and local climate. Most solar installers use the Aurora software to calculate production and ROI which will can be programmed with all the above and specific info on your particular solar cells efficiency, degradation, thermal coefficient, etc.
    just be careful that the solar installer you use is inputting correct and real life vs. pie-in-the-sky numbers. Remember the old adage, garbage in-garbage out.

    The calculations can be fairly accurate as many posters on the solar forums have attested. The biggest WAG is how much your system will add to the value of your house after x number of years. That’s the one variable that is the hardest to predict (Zillow not withstanding) even in areas that have a decent amount of solar homes. What can be said with some certainty is that leasing is almost always a bad idea and often causes a lot of headaches when selling.

    So factor in all your particular site variables and all the tax credits, incentives, and rebates to get your final cost and then compare it to your last year’s electric bills with the prediction of your production and assume that utility rate increases will match historic rise in rates. Then you have to factor in such things as can you get net metering and how time of use and rate tiers affect your ROI. Then you can make an intelligent decision on cost vs. gain.
    BTW, it’s best to start with energy conservation measures before considering solar.

    Disclosure: I am 5 months into my 9.9 kW system and with net metering grandfathered in for 25 years, and no incentives here in coal county except for the 30% Fed tax credit. So far I am on track to zero out my electric bills but the lack of state, local and utility incentives, and cheap rates $0.10/kWh make it work out to a 9 to 10 year break even. That’s without figuring in any possible gain in house value since no solar homes have sold in my area yet which could shorten that ROI by several years. I’m keeping records of bills before and after going solar to try and convince a future buyer to pay some as yet unknown added value to the house price. I would not go solar without counting the cost and not if I thought I would be moving anytime soon. If I live for 24 more years, I’m on track to save ~$55,000 (plus whatever it may add to the house sales price when I’m long gone ans my son sells it

    However besides the dollars and cents, there are also the intangibles such as protecting the environment for my future grandkids and being able to tell my utility to KISS MY GRITS!!! You can’t put a price tag on those. YMMV.
    insightman likes this.
  13. Richard_arch74

    Richard_arch74 Active Member

    Depends where the money comes from to purchase your array.
    Many of us do not figure into our formulas:
    1. the cost of borrowing $ or
    2. the lost ROR by not investing that money in the stock market or other investment.
    If you include the cost of money or the lost ROR on your investment you may never reach the point where you are "saving" money.
    There are, however, many other good reasons to go solar other than saving $'s.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Inside EVs mobile app

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