Solar - when replacing roof?

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dm200
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Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by dm200 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:04 am

We will very soon need to replace the roof on our house.

We see more and more installation of solar panels on roofs.

Anyone done the math on such solar on single family homes?

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LinusP
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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by LinusP » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:18 am

"The math" will depend on your electric rates, how you get credited for the power you generate, and your door exposure. You could add posts for mounting solar later, if you aren't ready to take the plunge yet.

jpelder
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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by jpelder » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:18 am

There are some websites (EnergySage is one that doesn't ask for email or phone number in the first step) that will give you a very general estimate of your house's solar potential (satellite photos to judge roof space, angle, and openness, plus electricity usage information). An actual solar installation company could give a more accurate quote. The typical payoff time here in NC (from estimates I've seen and anecdotal evidence from friends/neighbors) is between 6 and 10 years, with an installation cost of $8k-$20k

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:30 am

I’ve heard that Tesla’s roof tiles are finally available. They are expensive, but apparently not so bad if you’re going to replace your roof anyway. I saw some photos of an installation, and they looked good.

Give a call to Tesla Energy.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

Thegame14
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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by Thegame14 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:38 am

energy sage is a GREAT resource!!!
The math has many factors, but for us it was something like this. TOtal cost New Roof $10K, upgrade electric panel $2,500, solar panels installed $27,500 for a total of $40K, of that $40K was got $10K back as a tax credit from the govt.

That basically reduces our cost to $30K, we save avg $150 per month on energy costs, and we get about 10 SREC's Solar renewable energy credits, which sell for around $200 in NJ, so that is a savings/oncome of $3,800 per year. The new roof is maintenance and also improves the value of our house if we wanted to sell, so if we take that out, the cost of solar was really now only $20K and payback of $3,800 a month, SREC's continue for 15 years, solar should last 30 years we are told by then it will still be 80% of its production, so payback is around 5 years and a few months. To me that is a good payback, plus the whole saving the earth thing.

Another way I look at it, is this, since in NJ they cant raise our taxes on the increase value to the house, we also basically paid $30K but our house went up in value $40K so to me right there is a $10K gain, plus paying nothing for electric and the SREC income. Some can argue the value of the house didn't go up $40K, ok lets assume 75% return on home improvements, then it went up $30K and paid for itself and we have no electric bill and get SREC income.

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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by mervinj7 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:53 am

Lots of previous threads on this but the conclusion is that YMMV (your mileage may vary).
See my own experience here.
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=272558&hilit=solar#p4376583

Solar is working out well for us here in NorCal since there's a good combination of high electric rates during daytime hours, low electric rates during nighttime charging of our EV, a south-facing roof with no obstructions, and overall great weather.

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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:53 am

Completely state subsidy dependent. In Mass, solar installation is always free because of incentives and acceleration of 20 years expected electricity generation.

I looked into Tesla. I gather that if you're considering them instead of West Coast tiles or something, they might be similarly priced. I looked for my house and they're double what even the most expensive options would be.

I would think that coordinating the solar installer with the roofer and getting leak guarantees would be the way to go since any problems with the roof would have each of the contractors pointing fingers at the other one.
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wilked
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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by wilked » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:54 am

dm200 wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:04 am
We will very soon need to replace the roof on our house.

We see more and more installation of solar panels on roofs.

Anyone done the math on such solar on single family homes?
What is your Sun Number?
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TravelforFun
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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by TravelforFun » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:59 am

I did the math. It would take us 7 years to break even. Decided to hold off hoping costs will go down in the future.

TravelforFun

TravelforFun
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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by TravelforFun » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:59 am

I did the math. It would take us 7 years to break even. Decided to hold off hoping costs will go down in the future.

TravelforFun

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Ged
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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by Ged » Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:05 pm

The answer varies based on location, location and location. Presence of trees, orientation of house, climate, tax treatment, local property values in the future, unknowable technology futures, and electrical cost futures.

There are also a lot of scams out there so if you decide to do it be careful.

I've decided to leach off of the efforts of my neighbors to drive down electrical rates and not install solar panels myself. Partly because I'm 70 so a long payoff is uncertain to benefit me.

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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by mervinj7 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:59 pm

TravelforFun wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:59 am
I did the math. It would take us 7 years to break even. Decided to hold off hoping costs will go down in the future.

TravelforFun
7 years seems great when considering most residential solar systems are warrantied for 15-25 years...

Thegame14
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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by Thegame14 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:48 pm

mervinj7 wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:59 pm
TravelforFun wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:59 am
I did the math. It would take us 7 years to break even. Decided to hold off hoping costs will go down in the future.

TravelforFun
7 years seems great when considering most residential solar systems are warrantied for 15-25 years...
my system warrantied for 30 years and roof warranty for 50 years

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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by mervinj7 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:13 pm

Thegame14 wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:48 pm
mervinj7 wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:59 pm
TravelforFun wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:59 am
I did the math. It would take us 7 years to break even. Decided to hold off hoping costs will go down in the future.

TravelforFun
7 years seems great when considering most residential solar systems are warrantied for 15-25 years...
my system warrantied for 30 years and roof warranty for 50 years
Yes, I should have clarified that it was a minimum of 15-25 years with many newer, premium-tier systems hitting 25 years for panels, inverters, and product workmanship. My roof is also 50 years but my Panasonic panels with SolarEdge Inverter (12 year warranty extended) are warrantied for 25 years. 30 year panel warranties are rare, though (Silfab Solar, anybody else?).

https://news.energysage.com/shopping-so ... -warranty/

quantAndHold
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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by quantAndHold » Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:27 pm

If you’re going to do solar, right after you do the roof is the right time to do it. I think most reputable installers won’t even do a solar install unless the roof is less than 5 years old anyway. I know ours wouldn’t have.

Our solar system is ten years old now. I’m pretty sure the solar system is going to last longer than the roof. My understanding is the roofers will need to take the solar panels off, reroof, then put the panels back on. It’s probably still another 15 years until we will need that, so I don’t spend time worrying about it.

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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by Thegame14 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:45 pm

mervinj7 wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:13 pm
Thegame14 wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:48 pm
mervinj7 wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:59 pm
TravelforFun wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:59 am
I did the math. It would take us 7 years to break even. Decided to hold off hoping costs will go down in the future.

TravelforFun
7 years seems great when considering most residential solar systems are warrantied for 15-25 years...
my system warrantied for 30 years and roof warranty for 50 years
Yes, I should have clarified that it was a minimum of 15-25 years with many newer, premium-tier systems hitting 25 years for panels, inverters, and product workmanship. My roof is also 50 years but my Panasonic panels with SolarEdge Inverter (12 year warranty extended) are warrantied for 25 years. 30 year panel warranties are rare, though (Silfab Solar, anybody else?).

https://news.energysage.com/shopping-so ... -warranty/
we have 33 Hyundai Heavy Industries Green Energy Co. HiS-S280RG(BK) modules.
and a 1 SMA Solar Technology SB7.7-1SP-US-40 (240V) inverter

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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by mervinj7 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 5:22 pm

Thegame14 wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:45 pm
mervinj7 wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:13 pm
Yes, I should have clarified that it was a minimum of 15-25 years with many newer, premium-tier systems hitting 25 years for panels, inverters, and product workmanship. My roof is also 50 years but my Panasonic panels with SolarEdge Inverter (12 year warranty extended) are warrantied for 25 years. 30 year panel warranties are rare, though (Silfab Solar, anybody else?).

https://news.energysage.com/shopping-so ... -warranty/
we have 33 Hyundai Heavy Industries Green Energy Co. HiS-S280RG(BK) modules.
and a 1 SMA Solar Technology SB7.7-1SP-US-40 (240V) inverter
As far as I can tell from the datasheet, the HiS panels have standard 10-year product warranties, and 25 year performance warranties form the manufacturer. So called premium panels from Panasonic and LG come with both 25 year product and performance warranties.

http://www.solarsupply.com/customer/ini ... eet_RG.PDF

The SMA Sunny Boy inverters come with 10 year warranties with an option to extend another 5 years (15 years).
https://files.sma.de/dl/2580/COM-RES-GB-en-52.pdf

If you have a "30 Year" warranty with those products in your system, then it's most likely from the installer, not the manufacturer.

Thegame14
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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by Thegame14 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 5:59 pm

so then maybe 25 year performance warranty and 30 year warranty in on installation.

alter
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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by alter » Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:14 pm

I'm in the process of getting solar right now....also just replaced my roof.

For me, I'm going with a solar lease, since I do not know how long I'll stay here, and I didn't want any out of pocket expense, and I'm not worried about someone not buying the house due to solar panels. Also, 2 more motivating factors to install solar now, vs waiting: 1. Federal tax credits are expiring. This is the last year of them at their highest. They will slowly get reduced and then eliminated altogether. 2. My states net metering program is almost completely allocated. Once that is gone, the state will no longer purchase peoples excess energy produced by their panels, ie, the people that get it now are grandfathered in, eventually grid-tied systems will be "donating" their energy to the utilities for free and getting nothing in return.

This is only probably going to save me around $30 a month on electricity, but I decided to do it anyway. Another cool aspect is that the panels block a lot of the heat from the sun from entering house, so house will stay cooler in summertime, possibly reducing the amount the AC is used.

Also I opted to upgrade the panels to LG Monocrystalline ones despite the extra cost, since they look more aesthetically pleasing to me.

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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by Nate79 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:50 pm

We recently moved to Delaware to a house with a newer roof (6years old). Our roof is positioned almost perfect for solar and the programs in Delaware are pretty good. Got 3 bids and signed last week. Total cost minus all tax rebates and credits was $11k (not including SRECs), will cover 100% or so of our electric, payback was ~5 years (including SRECs).

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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by Valuethinker » Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:40 am

dm200 wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:04 am
We will very soon need to replace the roof on our house.

We see more and more installation of solar panels on roofs.

Anyone done the math on such solar on single family homes?
I would *not* go for solar roof tiles but rather solar panels, which can be removed. Exception would be in an area where it was mandated e.g. historic building conservation area.

1. I don't think that product has been in place, anywhere, for 25 years. And that's the sort of lifetime of a roof renewal - the roof tiles have to last that long. I would not bet on the manufacturer being around in 10 years, say, if there is a problem, for a warranty claim. Things are moving too fast. Also the prices I have heard of are 2x-3x the cost of PV panels.

2. the technology will change. So far that's been about Chinese manufacturers driving the price down, particularly on the mono crystalline PV panels.

But there are significant increases in efficiency (per cent of solar energy converted to electricity, average is about 20% right now, I believe) coming out there.

So sometime in the next 25 years there is a likelihood that a re-paneling will pay off (my own view is that solar will eventually become essentially compulsory, whenever a south or west facing roof is re-roofed or on new build).

3. if someone hates the solar installation, they can always take the panels off.

As per everyone else, the financials of the system totally depend on tariff arrangements and subsidies. Living in Washington DC, you have enough of a summer AC load that it might really pay off (demand peaks c. 4.30 on summer afternoons).

(I know lease finance is the predominant form of solar installation in US domestic market. I would not, if I did not have the cash I would not do it. That is, however, my aversion to any form of debt at work).

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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by Nate79 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:08 am

Valuethinker wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:40 am
dm200 wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:04 am
We will very soon need to replace the roof on our house.

We see more and more installation of solar panels on roofs.

Anyone done the math on such solar on single family homes?
I would *not* go for solar roof tiles but rather solar panels, which can be removed. Exception would be in an area where it was mandated e.g. historic building conservation area.

1. I don't think that product has been in place, anywhere, for 25 years. And that's the sort of lifetime of a roof renewal - the roof tiles have to last that long. I would not bet on the manufacturer being around in 10 years, say, if there is a problem, for a warranty claim. Things are moving too fast. Also the prices I have heard of are 2x-3x the cost of PV panels.

2. the technology will change. So far that's been about Chinese manufacturers driving the price down, particularly on the mono crystalline PV panels.

But there are significant increases in efficiency (per cent of solar energy converted to electricity, average is about 20% right now, I believe) coming out there.

So sometime in the next 25 years there is a likelihood that a re-paneling will pay off (my own view is that solar will eventually become essentially compulsory, whenever a south or west facing roof is re-roofed or on new build).

3. if someone hates the solar installation, they can always take the panels off.

As per everyone else, the financials of the system totally depend on tariff arrangements and subsidies. Living in Washington DC, you have enough of a summer AC load that it might really pay off (demand peaks c. 4.30 on summer afternoons).

(I know lease finance is the predominant form of solar installation in US domestic market. I would not, if I did not have the cash I would not do it. That is, however, my aversion to any form of debt at work).
Concerning your point on leasing panels I agree. When shopping for homes about 6 months ago we specifically would not visit homes that had solar leases. Under no circumstances would I buy a house with a solar lease. Based on what I heard it depresses the value of a home. A huge negative.

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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by alter » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:36 pm

Nate79 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:08 am

Concerning your point on leasing panels I agree. When shopping for homes about 6 months ago we specifically would not visit homes that had solar leases. Under no circumstances would I buy a house with a solar lease. Based on what I heard it depresses the value of a home. A huge negative.
This makes no sense, since if it truly was a sticking point, the lease could be bought out by the owner or the prospective buyer. That terminates the lease and then you own the system. I already know what my lease buyout is going to be after 5 years, and its not much of a premium over financing outright. So the argument that you would refuse to buy a house with a solar lease doesn't stand up to reason.

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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by wrongfunds » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:47 pm

30 year warranty from the installer? Really? Have you been able to find a skilled tradesman who has been in the business for more than 5 years without having gone through name changes?

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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by Nate79 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:47 pm

alter wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:36 pm
Nate79 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:08 am

Concerning your point on leasing panels I agree. When shopping for homes about 6 months ago we specifically would not visit homes that had solar leases. Under no circumstances would I buy a house with a solar lease. Based on what I heard it depresses the value of a home. A huge negative.
This makes no sense, since if it truly was a sticking point, the lease could be bought out by the owner or the prospective buyer. That terminates the lease and then you own the system. I already know what my lease buyout is going to be after 5 years, and its not much of a premium over financing outright. So the argument that you would refuse to buy a house with a solar lease doesn't stand up to reason.
Not sure what you mean it doesnt stand up to reason that I would do this. This is exactly what we did. Told the realtor when walking up to houses that when we saw they had a solar lease we walked away. No interest to look at them. I have zero interest to dig into the details on what the solar lease buyout was or if that is even an option. Realtor said that it was very common to scare away buyers. Solar installers told me they push strongly against leasing. At a minimum finance.

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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:01 pm

Nate79 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:47 pm
alter wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:36 pm
Nate79 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:08 am
Concerning your point on leasing panels I agree. When shopping for homes about 6 months ago we specifically would not visit homes that had solar leases. Under no circumstances would I buy a house with a solar lease. Based on what I heard it depresses the value of a home. A huge negative.
This makes no sense, since if it truly was a sticking point, the lease could be bought out by the owner or the prospective buyer. That terminates the lease and then you own the system. I already know what my lease buyout is going to be after 5 years, and its not much of a premium over financing outright. So the argument that you would refuse to buy a house with a solar lease doesn't stand up to reason.
Not sure what you mean it doesnt stand up to reason that I would do this. This is exactly what we did. Told the realtor when walking up to houses that when we saw they had a solar lease we walked away. No interest to look at them. I have zero interest to dig into the details on what the solar lease buyout was or if that is even an option. Realtor said that it was very common to scare away buyers. Solar installers told me they push strongly against leasing. At a minimum finance.
I don’t know that I’d exclude a lease, but I wouldn’t want to dig around. As it happens, the seller had installed the panels, but no way I’d get involved in the lease buyout. If seller has clear title and transferable warranty, I wouldn’t have minded. Fwiw, I wouldn’t take over lease payments an a car either.
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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by Thegame14 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:14 pm

alter wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:36 pm
Nate79 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:08 am

Concerning your point on leasing panels I agree. When shopping for homes about 6 months ago we specifically would not visit homes that had solar leases. Under no circumstances would I buy a house with a solar lease. Based on what I heard it depresses the value of a home. A huge negative.
This makes no sense, since if it truly was a sticking point, the lease could be bought out by the owner or the prospective buyer. That terminates the lease and then you own the system. I already know what my lease buyout is going to be after 5 years, and its not much of a premium over financing outright. So the argument that you would refuse to buy a house with a solar lease doesn't stand up to reason.
it is just like Oil tanks, they can be removed, but most homeowners dont want to deal wiht the extra hassle, MOST people I know wouldnt want a solar LEASE, my parents neightbor is trying to sell his house with a solar lease and is getting that exact feedback.... plus financially leasing panels makes no sense the payback is in the 30% govt credit and selling SREC, so leasing is just dumb, if you dont plan to stay in the house to make buying make sense then do nothing, dont lease.

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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by alter » Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:19 pm

Leasing is not much different than buying, just a different amount paid up front and contract which you can buy out at any time. If you would have no problem buying a house with used panels, then it makes zero sense to not buy a house with leased panels. You just tell the buyer to buy out the lease and you get to own the panels if it is that big of a deal to you. It does not degrade the house one bit vs financing the panels. The difference is if the buyer pays up front or buys out lease later. The premium is very low. I'm willing to bet if you buy a house with owner-financed panels, then the panels are older and less efficient than one under a lease, otherwise the owner probably made a mistake buying them, since they either have to eat that cost themselves before the ROI, or they pass it on to you. As a house buyer I'd rather have newer panels under a lease than ancient, ugly ones owned outright. With a lease I have the option to own or lease. with buying ugly, old, inefficient ones, there is only the option to replace them. The real issue is you do not understand leases, but that is your loss.

If you are not sure you are going to stay in your house more than the x years it takes to fully get ROI on the panels, leasing is a great choice vs not getting any panels at all. You have the OPTION to buy, for the 5% of people looking to buy a house who don't like the idea of paying less on their monthly electrical bill, and for the other 95% you just put your electrical bill that shows a monthly savings out during the house showing, and most sane people would prefer paying less. The point is solar lease is better than not having solar. Financing solar is great if you are sure you want to stay in your house 7+ years and you'd rather invest in solar panels than the s&p500.

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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by financeperchance » Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:07 pm

TravelforFun wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:59 am
I did the math. It would take us 7 years to break even. Decided to hold off hoping costs will go down in the future.

TravelforFun
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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by curmudgeon » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:32 pm

Count me in the group that wouldn't touch buying a house with a leased solar system. I've read of too many instances (and personally known a couple) where it was a financial headache and very expensive to get out from under the lease. I suspect (don't know) that if you try to buy out a solar lease you are paying nearly the full price of the system, but don't get the ability to take the tax credits.

Roof replacement time is definitely a good point to consider solar, but anytime you have a complex environment of rates and subsidies you attract unscrupulous sales techniques (in large or small scale). Too many of the solar pitches I've seen remind me of Edward Jones or the like on the financial side.

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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by Nate79 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:38 pm

alter wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:19 pm
Leasing is not much different than buying, just a different amount paid up front and contract which you can buy out at any time. If you would have no problem buying a house with used panels, then it makes zero sense to not buy a house with leased panels. You just tell the buyer to buy out the lease and you get to own the panels if it is that big of a deal to you. It does not degrade the house one bit vs financing the panels. The difference is if the buyer pays up front or buys out lease later. The premium is very low. I'm willing to bet if you buy a house with owner-financed panels, then the panels are older and less efficient than one under a lease, otherwise the owner probably made a mistake buying them, since they either have to eat that cost themselves before the ROI, or they pass it on to you. As a house buyer I'd rather have newer panels under a lease than ancient, ugly ones owned outright. With a lease I have the option to own or lease. with buying ugly, old, inefficient ones, there is only the option to replace them. The real issue is you do not understand leases, but that is your loss.

If you are not sure you are going to stay in your house more than the x years it takes to fully get ROI on the panels, leasing is a great choice vs not getting any panels at all. You have the OPTION to buy, for the 5% of people looking to buy a house who don't like the idea of paying less on their monthly electrical bill, and for the other 95% you just put your electrical bill that shows a monthly savings out during the house showing, and most sane people would prefer paying less. The point is solar lease is better than not having solar. Financing solar is great if you are sure you want to stay in your house 7+ years and you'd rather invest in solar panels than the s&p500.
I consider leasing to be a horrible decision and wouldn't touch the house with a 10 foot pole as a buyer because when I'm buying I want nothing to do with reading the legal contract of whatever company they are leasing from. That info is never available upfront. If seller ahead of time buys it out then they own it and no problem. They should do it ahead of time to remove the negative stigma and lien against the home before putting it on the market.

Your comment about leasing have some wonderful beautiful efficient system vs the old crummy purchased ones is ridiculous. Around here the leasing companies are throwing up panels on any roof regardless of the design for efficiency, sun exposure, etc. Almost brain dead throw them up as fast as possible vs careful design. It's all over the place in my area (Solar World was the big one) and the installers laugh at the ignorant leasers who don't have a clue what they did to their house. I have a neighbor with such a system and they clean didn't have a clue. The leasing companies around here went around with high pressure sales tactics and pushed poorly designed systems.

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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by Nate79 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:58 am

curmudgeon wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:32 pm
Count me in the group that wouldn't touch buying a house with a leased solar system. I've read of too many instances (and personally known a couple) where it was a financial headache and very expensive to get out from under the lease. I suspect (don't know) that if you try to buy out a solar lease you are paying nearly the full price of the system, but don't get the ability to take the tax credits.

Roof replacement time is definitely a good point to consider solar, but anytime you have a complex environment of rates and subsidies you attract unscrupulous sales techniques (in large or small scale). Too many of the solar pitches I've seen remind me of Edward Jones or the like on the financial side.
Clark Howard, a big proponent of solar recently just railed against leasing for this exact reason on one of his recent podcasts.

chw
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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by chw » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:16 am

EnergySage was the best resource for me last year when I researched solar. The quotes were comprehensive and received by email within 24-72 hours, with no high pressure tactics (I requested no phone calls). The quotes were easy to compare with each other, and company info/reviews could be seen on EnergySage.

We did our install about 30 days from the initial quote. We live in a high rate area (23 cents kWh) which makes the payback quicker for us (about 5 years). Federal (35%) tax credits greatly improved the payback- this credit is shrinking to 25% in 2020. Check to see if your state provides tax credits, and also confirm if the local utility will pay you for your power generation. The EnergySage quotes will/should include all federal/state/utility credits and incentives, which will save you time searching for them.

Good luck!

wilked
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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by wilked » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:21 am

Agree w everyone else, I wouldn’t bother looking at a house with a solar lease. Not worth it to me

Valuethinker
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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:49 am

wrongfunds wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:47 pm
30 year warranty from the installer? Really? Have you been able to find a skilled tradesman who has been in the business for more than 5 years without having gone through name changes?
I agree an installer warranty probably is only good for 5 to 10 years, max.

Panel warranties. There's been so much turbulence in the PV sector that I am not sure the average solar panel manufacturer has been around 10 years. The actual silicon seems to have settled on a group of high volume Chinese manufacturers. The smart bet was South Korean or Japanese manufacture - they do have the historic track record. But I think they have been marginalized.

Panels are probably "bathtub curve" reliability. They fail early on, or are quite reliable over their useful lives.

Inverters definitely need warranties. They fail.

alter
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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by alter » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:58 am

Nate79 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:38 pm


Your comment about leasing have some wonderful beautiful efficient system vs the old crummy purchased ones is ridiculous. Around here the leasing companies are throwing up panels on any roof regardless of the design for efficiency, sun exposure, etc. Almost brain dead throw them up as fast as possible vs careful design. It's all over the place in my area (Solar World was the big one) and the installers laugh at the ignorant leasers who don't have a clue what they did to their house. I have a neighbor with such a system and they clean didn't have a clue. The leasing companies around here went around with high pressure sales tactics and pushed poorly designed systems.

This info is ridiculous and inaccurate. There are multiple options for leasing companies that cover virtually the whole US, including Delaware, with high quality panel options, so acting like your area only has bad ones is ridiculous. I'm getting high-end monocrystalline LG panels, over 20% efficient, and it is not in the leasing companies interest to design a system inefficiently, because if they did, they are contractually obligated to issue a refund of the difference between what the panels produced vs what they should. I've already calculated what the 5 year lease buyout would be, and leasing makes financial sense, and it would make financial sense for the buyer, the house would sell quickly and people who wouldn't buy a house due to a solar lease are a non-factor. The lease increases the house value, decreases my monthly bill, and pays me up front and is warrantied for parts and labor. To each his own though. Spreading generalizations and misinformation about solar leasing doesn't help people.

dsmil
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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by dsmil » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:39 am

EnergySage was a good resource, but they were estimating 5.4% annual increases in electricity costs, which really inflated their savings estimates. The savings were much more modest after using a more realistic estimate like 2.5%. In Maryland, we can switch to a clean energy supplier, so we'll go that route rather than installing the panels.

Cwise
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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by Cwise » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:42 am

I just installed a ground mount solar system. Do you homework on the panels and inverters? I went with premium LG panels (LG360Q1C-A5 LG) and Enphase microinverters (IQ7x). I am able to monitor each panels production so I will immediately know if there is an issue with my system. Don't underestimate the importance of being able to monitor system performance.

I decided to purchase outright as it has the best payback. I also used Energy Sage and selected a local installer. Much better pricing and service than the national providers (Sunrun, SolarCity, etc...)

https://www.consumerreports.org/energy- ... ar-panels/

wolf359
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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by wolf359 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:30 am

mervinj7 wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:59 pm
TravelforFun wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:59 am
I did the math. It would take us 7 years to break even. Decided to hold off hoping costs will go down in the future.

TravelforFun
7 years seems great when considering most residential solar systems are warrantied for 15-25 years...
If I'm using the Rule of 72 correctly to get an estimate -- Doesn't a 7 year break-even period imply approximately a 10% rate of return on the money invested?

That sounds good to me.

My solar installation would have a 7% rate of return (10 year break-even). I'm considering it, but currently have other expenses to deal with first.

Also, I'm not sure I trust the break-even numbers yet. They were calculated for me, and I don't know all the assumptions made.
Last edited by wolf359 on Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Leif
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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by Leif » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:46 am

I've had two roof leaks and my roof is about 30 years old (concrete roof). So, I've been thinking about a new roof and solar panels.

I don't use much electricity, even tho' I have an EV. I'm just barely in the 2nd pricing tier on non-summer months. So, I think the payback period for me is around 10 years for a 4KW system after rebates,

So I'm wondering if I should get a company that does both new roofs and solar, or is it just as well to have 2 separate companies, one for solar and one for the roof. I've looked at the Tesla solar roof, but it seems it has had a very slow roll-out, and is very expensive. So probably a standard roof or wait until a new problem then just do the whole roof rather than repair and no solar. Still thinking about it.

wilked
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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by wilked » Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:34 pm

Two companies

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Nate79
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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by Nate79 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:46 pm

alter wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:58 am
Nate79 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:38 pm


Your comment about leasing have some wonderful beautiful efficient system vs the old crummy purchased ones is ridiculous. Around here the leasing companies are throwing up panels on any roof regardless of the design for efficiency, sun exposure, etc. Almost brain dead throw them up as fast as possible vs careful design. It's all over the place in my area (Solar World was the big one) and the installers laugh at the ignorant leasers who don't have a clue what they did to their house. I have a neighbor with such a system and they clean didn't have a clue. The leasing companies around here went around with high pressure sales tactics and pushed poorly designed systems.

This info is ridiculous and inaccurate. There are multiple options for leasing companies that cover virtually the whole US, including Delaware, with high quality panel options, so acting like your area only has bad ones is ridiculous. I'm getting high-end monocrystalline LG panels, over 20% efficient, and it is not in the leasing companies interest to design a system inefficiently, because if they did, they are contractually obligated to issue a refund of the difference between what the panels produced vs what they should. I've already calculated what the 5 year lease buyout would be, and leasing makes financial sense, and it would make financial sense for the buyer, the house would sell quickly and people who wouldn't buy a house due to a solar lease are a non-factor. The lease increases the house value, decreases my monthly bill, and pays me up front and is warrantied for parts and labor. To each his own though. Spreading generalizations and misinformation about solar leasing doesn't help people.
What I posted was accurate info around here. The quality of the panels and inverters are the same whether you lease or buy. I was responding to your inaccurate post that leases use better products than buyers. That's humorous. Leasing companies around here are much less interested in quality of the panel layout and actual payback and instead are more like salesman pushing systems on ignorant consumers. Home buyers run from leased systems and rightly so.

Leasing panels is a poor value for your house and I put it in the same category as consumers who fleece/lease cars.

alter
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Location: Chicago

Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by alter » Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:55 pm

Nate79 wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:46 pm


What I posted was accurate info around here. The quality of the panels and inverters are the same whether you lease or buy. I was responding to your inaccurate post that leases use better products than buyers. That's humorous. Leasing companies around here are much less interested in quality of the panel layout and actual payback and instead are more like salesman pushing systems on ignorant consumers. Home buyers run from leased systems and rightly so.

Leasing panels is a poor value for your house and I put it in the same category as consumers who fleece/lease cars.


This is humorous, but again, totally false. It doesn't matter whether you buy or lease, you can pick the panels yourself either way.

You claim leasing companies push inferior products...the same thing can be done with companies that finance panels, they can also push inferior products. It has nothing to do with whether you rent it or buy it regarding "pushing things on ignorant consumers" so that claim is BS.

You claiming someone who financed panels always bought a good quality product is laughable.

And also your blanket claim about leasing cars always being a bad decision is ignorant again. Leasing cars has it's place and can be financially far beneficial to buying under the right circumstances, there are plenty of situations where it makes better financial sense to lease vs buy a car.

mervinj7
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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by mervinj7 » Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:36 am

wolf359 wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:30 am
Also, I'm not sure I trust the break-even numbers yet. They were calculated for me, and I don't know all the assumptions made.
I did not trust my solar installers numbers either. When I was comparing solar proposals, I calculated my own ROI based on:
  • Solar Generation Info from PVWatts: https://pvwatts.nrel.gov/
  • Electricity generation rates based on my current plan assuming no rise in rates over time.
With that, we calculated a 5.5 year breakeven point which made for a easy decision.

The installer made some assumptions that assumed higher efficiencies than PVWatts since we were using "premium" panels from Panasonic and that rates would increase over time. That said, they have been proven correct over the last year.

Afty
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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by Afty » Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:57 am

Google's Project Sunroof can estimate your house's power generation and break-even timeframe: https://www.google.com/get/sunroof

A few other considerations:
  • There is a federal tax credit for solar installs that will begin to phase out at the end of 2019: https://www.energy.gov/savings/resident ... tax-credit.
  • Some states have "net metering" laws which require utilities to buy back excess power generated at the same rate they sell it at. This can be hugely beneficial when combined with time-of-use metering and shifting your load away from peak hours (e.g. charging an EV at night).

TravelforFun
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Re: Solar - when replacing roof?

Post by TravelforFun » Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:35 pm

wolf359 wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:30 am
mervinj7 wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:59 pm
TravelforFun wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:59 am
I did the math. It would take us 7 years to break even. Decided to hold off hoping costs will go down in the future.

TravelforFun
7 years seems great when considering most residential solar systems are warrantied for 15-25 years...
If I'm using the Rule of 72 correctly to get an estimate -- Doesn't a 7 year break-even period imply approximately a 10% rate of return on the money invested?

That sounds good to me.

My solar installation would have a 7% rate of return (10 year break-even). I'm considering it, but currently have other expenses to deal with first.

Also, I'm not sure I trust the break-even numbers yet. They were calculated for me, and I don't know all the assumptions made.
The break-even number was based on the estimated monthly savings and future energy rates given to me by the solar panel company so it does look suspicious. If I'm serious about installing a system, I'd have to sharpen the pencil.

TravelforFun.

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