The solar panel salesman

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deikel
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by deikel »

catdude wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 2:05 am Thank you all for your responses. All very helpful. Earlier tonight I emailed the salesman and just said that I am unable to keep the appointment. I asked him to provide whatever info he has via email and that I would consider it.
RobLyons wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 1:19 am Total cost is $28,800
26% Federal tax credit next year
$1,000 state
Just curious... is that a refundable federal tax credit? Reason I ask -- my annual fed tax liability is usually around $3,000 (I have a nice nest egg but my pension income is relatively modest). I wouldn't get the full benefit of a non-refundable credit.

I took a look at this company's website. They have an example quote... it's based on an average monthly power bill of $315. They project that in 30 years the average monthly bill will be $764. Well, for starters, my average electric bill is $65 - $75 a month (it's just me and the cats here, we don't generate much electricity). It's gonna take a looooong time for me to recoup an investment in solar panels. The site indicates that you'll save a ton of money over 30 years. I'm 66... I don't have 30 years... I'll be due for my reward before then. Chances are good that in another 10 or 15 years I'll be ready for the Old Folks Home.
I bet you a dollar he will still show up at the previously agreed time....

If you have a monthly 75 dollar bill, then part of that is the connectivity itself and part is the actual consumption, say 15 and 60 or so. You don't want to go full independent, so the base connection cost will always stay with you and I don't see how a system makes any sense for you to offset 60 dollars - it would take forever

My own numbers are 25 base - 75 consumption and it makes little to no sense. Even from an environmental perspective only, that money is better spent to improve insulation, change all lights to LED, wash larger loads one time, air dry clothes, shut off electronics and not let them be on standby and so on.
Everything you read in this post is my personal opinion. If you disagree with this disclaimer, please un-read the text immediately and destroy any copy or remembrance of it.
michaelingp
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by michaelingp »

ClevrChico wrote: Wed May 04, 2022 7:03 am I've read solar panel sales is a high commission, high pressure game. Instead, I'd prefer to work with a local installer/family owned solar business. They seem much more chill to me, and it's likely you can work with the owner directly.
My son used to install panels for a big company. He was always complaining about the sales people talking people into getting solar even when it wasn't really a good option due to the location of their house.

As an alternative, our house is in the woods, so no way for solar to work. But we have a share in a community based organization that builds solar farms. They sell the power to the local power company (which does not generate themselves) and we get a portion of that off our electric bills. So far it has worked out really well for us financially (and presumably for the environment). It's called CNM (Community Net Metering), not sure how widely it's available.
Point
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by Point »

Look up his contractors license and status. Ask for referrals that you can verify yourself. Call two other contractors for estimates first. Breathe….
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catdude
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by catdude »

Thank you all again for your responses to my questions. Lots of very helpful info....

It's been 48 hours since I've heard anything from the salesman, or from his manager. Maybe they realize I'm not a good prospect...
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Nestegg_User
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by Nestegg_User »

personally, I'd make sure I was actually GONE from the premises, likely for about three hours, around the time that was initially (?) agreed for the salesman to be there...

When they do show up (yep, I agree with the above poster that they would....after all, it's a potential sale to them) and then WAIT, for up to the three hours, they may send the quizzical "why weren't you there for the meeting?" e-mail... while fully neglecting that they were emailed to NOT show up and that further contact should not be made.

OP, Based on what you showed above... I'd also agree that I can't see any reason/support for any solar installation on your house. (I also can't see it with my residence either, but I would have had an option for non-roof placement... but partially due to heavy trees/schrubs and various water features there isn't viable surface for any solar installation)

I wouldn't spend any more time investigating it
CC1E
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by CC1E »

Watch out for Purchase Power Agreements (PPA). The sales people make them sound good by saying their is $0 up front cost. And the initial rate per kWh looks good, but there is a 3-5% escalator in the contract and over the course of the contract (20-30 years) it’s very possible that you’ll end up spending more for the solar energy than your utility charges.

Leases and many of the bundled finance options aren’t great either. If you’re going to do it either pay cash or arrange your own financing.

Finally, if Tesla sells in your state they likely have the best price per KW installed, but their hard to communicate with and will likely take a long time to install
jplee3
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by jplee3 »

catdude wrote: Mon May 02, 2022 9:24 pm Hi Bogleheads -

The other day a salesman was in my neighborhood and I talked to him for a few minutes. He was selling solar panels; his company is Infinity Solar. I asked him to send me whatever info he had via email. He said no, he really has to make his pitch in person. So I said OK, and he's gonna come back and see me tomorrow afternoon. Now I'm feeling a little anxiety about his visit. I sense that I'm gonna get a hard sell from this guy, and I hate hard sells. I get very stubborn when salesman refuse to take "No" for an answer.

Have any of you had solar panels installed on your house, and/or dealt with solar panel salesmen? How was your experience? Did things work out OK? How much did it cost, and how long did it take to recoup your investment? Any specific experience with Infinity Solar? I'd appreciate you sharing your story....

I'm thinking I'll email the dude and cancel the appointment. I can always get a quote via his company's website.
We are currently in the process of researching solar and collecting quotes here and there. A few of the quotes I've received they want to send someone out to look - most of it is just how they operate but some of it likely has to do with the delicate nature of our roof (Spanish clay tile).
I wouldn't say any of the in person meetings were high pressure. However, if you saw him walking your neighborhood then he probably will be somewhat high pressure. I dealt with an attic cleaning guy like this - after not respecting my time and pushing me to the very last few minutes that I had before an important work call, he resorted to the old "let me call my boss, turn up the volume so the customer can kind of hear what he's saying, and discuss this project live to create a sense of urgency. let's throw in a measly price discount while doing this even though we're knowingly up-charging 3-4x what our competitors are charging" trick - all that left a really bad taste in my mouth. The guy was super aggressive with his text/email/phone call follow-ups too. I pretty much ghosted him because he was so aggressive. But he kept this nonsense up for over a month. I don't imagine most solar guys to be this way though but I think it depends on who it is you're dealing with.
Best advice I can give is to look them up on Google, Yelp, EnergySage, word of mouth, and try to get reviews and research the heck out of the company. Ask the guy for references as well. If he isn't willing to give you any, that speaks for itself. Good luck! I know I'll need it too lol
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catdude
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by catdude »

Nestegg_User wrote: Thu May 05, 2022 5:06 pm personally, I'd make sure I was actually GONE from the premises, likely for about three hours, around the time that was initially (?) agreed for the salesman to be there...
At the appointed time a couple days ago, I was indeed gone from the premises. I had some errands to run that I'd been procrastinating about, so I figured that was a good time to get them done. I was gone for about two hours. It's possible the salesman or his manager, or both, showed up for the appointment, but there was no indication that they did so. And as I previously posted, there's been nary a word from either of them since then.
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Maverick3320
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by Maverick3320 »

We just stopped answering the door. We get solar sales people in our neighborhood all the time.

The funny part is we already have solar panels, and they are extremely visible as one walks up to the front door.
jharkin
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by jharkin »

lostcoast wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 12:02 am I used this website to get multiple quotes.
https://www.energysage.com/
+1000.

Run away screaming from the door to door guy. Probably selling overpriced solar leases.
mervinj7
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by mervinj7 »

Maverick3320 wrote: Fri May 06, 2022 9:38 am We just stopped answering the door. We get solar sales people in our neighborhood all the time.

The funny part is we already have solar panels, and they are extremely visible as one walks up to the front door.
+1 I also have solar panels that are beautifully visible from the street and folks still knock on the door asking if I'm interesting in saving money on my utility bill. I kindly send them away.
tunafish
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by tunafish »

michaelingp wrote: Thu May 05, 2022 1:04 pm
ClevrChico wrote: Wed May 04, 2022 7:03 am I've read solar panel sales is a high commission, high pressure game. Instead, I'd prefer to work with a local installer/family owned solar business. They seem much more chill to me, and it's likely you can work with the owner directly.
My son used to install panels for a big company. He was always complaining about the sales people talking people into getting solar even when it wasn't really a good option due to the location of their house.

As an alternative, our house is in the woods, so no way for solar to work. But we have a share in a community based organization that builds solar farms. They sell the power to the local power company (which does not generate themselves) and we get a portion of that off our electric bills. So far it has worked out really well for us financially (and presumably for the environment). It's called CNM (Community Net Metering), not sure how widely it's available.
There are solar farms going in where I live. The companies are clear cutting forest and creating flooding problems for people who live nearby. It had given solar a really bad name here. Now if they were putting solar panels on the tops of parking garages, etc. it would be different.
Valuethinker
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by Valuethinker »

59Gibson wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 6:17 am
catdude wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 2:05 am Thank you all for your responses. All very helpful. Earlier tonight I emailed the salesman and just said that I am unable to keep the appointment. I asked him to provide whatever info he has via email and that I would consider it.
RobLyons wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 1:19 am Total cost is $28,800
26% Federal tax credit next year
$1,000 state
Well, for starters, my average electric bill is $65 - $75 a month
This is going to be very difficult to justify financially. I recvd a couple of quotes 5 years ago with an avg electric bill of around $80-100/mo. It would have taken me nearly 18 yrs to recoup..no thank you. Maybe the #s have changed since but I doubt that much.
Without knowing the Capacity (in peak Kw) and the location (to determine solar insolation) and your local tariff structure it's impossible to determine whether the system above is comparable, and what the payback was.

I am thinking Rob Lyons meant his electricity bill post installation?
Valuethinker
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by Valuethinker »

Ron wrote: Wed May 04, 2022 8:52 am
lostcoast wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 12:02 am I used this website to get multiple quotes.
https://www.energysage.com/
Interesting site, since it contains quotes on systems quoted/installed in my location, along with computed payback period (all at/around 10 years for our area of the country with less than perfect sun exposure).

Since I/wife are in our mid-70's, it means that on average the payback period to go solar (at today's rates) means that we would only see our initial "investment" making sense if we survive (or are still in our current home) until our mid-80's - or later.

It confirms my initial suspicion that it would make little sense to us. All we would be doing is pre-paying our electric bill with the cost of the panels/installation along with any roofing costs that may be required.

I read a promotion from one dealer/installer that said "do it for the sake of your children/grandchildren, even if it doesn't make financial sense for you".

No, I don't think so....

- Ron
That would seem sensible.

Whilst it might increase the sale value of your home, that's not certain. Better to be in a position where the payback is sure to benefit you.
Ted Striker
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by Ted Striker »

Late to the party here and I agree with all the advice about finding a reputable solar company (not a door-to-door). I installed solar panels 7 years ago from a reputable company. A few notes in case this helps anyone:
- Their financial model was incredibly accurate. 7 years later and it's within a reasonable margin from their original projections - I'm past break even as they said I would be. Something about that device they use to model the sun is amazing, and they're probably even better now.
- They spent a while in my house analyzing the roof structure (measuring beam sizes, distance between beams, etc) to ensure structural integrity and planning the installation, electrical, etc. all before I signed or gave them a dime. So no surprises during installation.
- These systems come with a long warranty. I've had a few optimizers replaced on the roof - the company monitors it and just shows up and fixes it free of charge. The cheapest or newest solar company may not be around in 5 years to monitor and service the warranty, so keep that in mind when choosing a solar company.
mrc
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by mrc »

Ted Striker wrote: Tue May 10, 2022 5:56 pm <snip>
The cheapest or newest solar company may not be around in 5 years to monitor and service the warranty, so keep that in mind when choosing a solar company.
This is an important point. My solar installer went out of business a year after installing my systems (photovoltaic and thermal for hot water), and took all my SRECs with them. :annoyed
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bmelikia
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by bmelikia »

RobLyons wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 1:19 am Will hopefully have no more electric bills, will also get paid via SREC program
2 questions:
1) How did you sign up for the SREC program?
2) Also, how much money do you anticipate you'll make through the SREC program?
"I would rather die with money, than live without it...." - Bogleheads member Ron | | A time to EVALUATE your jitters https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1139732#p1139732
RobLyons
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by RobLyons »

bmelikia wrote: Tue May 10, 2022 6:40 pm
RobLyons wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 1:19 am Will hopefully have no more electric bills, will also get paid via SREC program
2 questions:
1) How did you sign up for the SREC program?
2) Also, how much money do you anticipate you'll make through the SREC program?

My solar installer did it for me and sent me the link. It is through the website srectrade.com

He estimated $200-$300 annually, which is better than the states “Smart” program which was estimated at $1,000 total for 10 years.
"Great parenting sets the foundation for a better world"
bmelikia
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by bmelikia »

RobLyons wrote: Tue May 10, 2022 11:42 pm
bmelikia wrote: Tue May 10, 2022 6:40 pm
RobLyons wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 1:19 am Will hopefully have no more electric bills, will also get paid via SREC program
2 questions:
1) How did you sign up for the SREC program?
2) Also, how much money do you anticipate you'll make through the SREC program?

My solar installer did it for me and sent me the link. It is through the website srectrade.com

He estimated $200-$300 annually, which is better than the states “Smart” program which was estimated at $1,000 total for 10 years.
What state are you in?
"I would rather die with money, than live without it...." - Bogleheads member Ron | | A time to EVALUATE your jitters https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1139732#p1139732
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catdude
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by catdude »

It's been over a week since I've heard from the salesman. Haven't heard at all from his manager. I think they've written me off... which is fine with me...
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MathWizard
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by MathWizard »

I installed solar last year and am quite happy with it.
I reached out to the company based on some recommendations by people I know.
I don't respond to cold calls.

The company did have to come out and check out the house, because that would
affect their install costs, and design. They needed to know the roof would support
the panels, how easy it was to access the attic, and what our existing electrical infrastructure was.
Since they would be modifying the electrical supply to the house, everything needed to be to code.


It cost $15K, grid-tied, no batteries, so it will not produce power when the grid is down
(by design, for safety of the repair personnel).
I asked for a special inverter which would allow for one 1500w circuit
that would run when the grid was down, but the city would not allow it.

They claimed a payback in 13 years, but I think it will be more like 25-30 years.
The company may have been assuming electric rate hikes, but neither estimate
includes time value of money.

I installed it for reasons other than saving money.
RobLyons
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by RobLyons »

bmelikia wrote: Wed May 11, 2022 12:58 pm
RobLyons wrote: Tue May 10, 2022 11:42 pm
bmelikia wrote: Tue May 10, 2022 6:40 pm
RobLyons wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 1:19 am Will hopefully have no more electric bills, will also get paid via SREC program
2 questions:
1) How did you sign up for the SREC program?
2) Also, how much money do you anticipate you'll make through the SREC program?

My solar installer did it for me and sent me the link. It is through the website srectrade.com

He estimated $200-$300 annually, which is better than the states “Smart” program which was estimated at $1,000 total for 10 years.
What state are you in?

Massachusetts
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02nz
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by 02nz »

catdude wrote: Mon May 02, 2022 10:27 pm
bradinsky wrote: Mon May 02, 2022 9:30 pm Betcha it’s a high pressure sales attempt. If their info isn’t available on line or offered as an alternative to a face to face meeting, then I would not grant them the time. Your call!
If you want solar, do your due diligence, educate yourself & find out what’s available. DON’T let someone pressure you.
Thanks. What I'm most concerned about is that this guy will be coming to my house. I may not be able to get rid of him.
Then don't let him in. "I'm busy putting together comparisons of various offers from solar companies, you'll need to email me the quote like everybody else is doing."
bluebolt
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by bluebolt »

RobLyons wrote: Wed May 11, 2022 9:02 pm
bmelikia wrote: Wed May 11, 2022 12:58 pm
RobLyons wrote: Tue May 10, 2022 11:42 pm
bmelikia wrote: Tue May 10, 2022 6:40 pm
RobLyons wrote: Tue May 03, 2022 1:19 am Will hopefully have no more electric bills, will also get paid via SREC program
2 questions:
1) How did you sign up for the SREC program?
2) Also, how much money do you anticipate you'll make through the SREC program?

My solar installer did it for me and sent me the link. It is through the website srectrade.com

He estimated $200-$300 annually, which is better than the states “Smart” program which was estimated at $1,000 total for 10 years.
What state are you in?

Massachusetts
When was your system installed? My understanding was that in MA more recent systems don't have the SREC option, only SMART.
BradJ
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by BradJ »

I recommend everyone call their local utility before signing the deal for solar. There are times the salesman are using old tariff language/calculations or they municipality in your area may not be bound to the PUC rules of the state. Know before you buy!
cheezit
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by cheezit »

Door-to-door solar salesmen almost always are hocking PPAs or panel lease agreements that are:

1) terrible financial decisions
2) with huge (many kilodollars) commissions baked into the price
3) with super long terms (20 or 25 years most commonly)
4) that make it more difficult to sell your house if the buyer isn't blind or too foolish and ill-advised to read the contract
5) and cost a massive amount of money to get out of, even if you give up the panels - this is partly because the agreement is securitized and sold as a bond-like instrument to a third party very quickly after the ink is dry on your contract



Also, the solar companies are awful to deal with. They are cagey about the terms, often refusing to even give you a hard copy or PDF of the contract before [e-]signing the copy they'll skim through for you on a tablet. They have you over a barrel once you've signed and the legally-mandated walkaway period has gone by (three to ten days in most states), and they know it. Their customer support folks are rude and don't speak English well. They will drag their feet and try to screw you over if you need unrelated roof work done or if their roof penetrations start leaking. They will screw up your bill and demand you pay the excess immediately while they pinky-swear to fix the issue over the next two to three billing cycles, and threaten to report you as delinquent to credit bureaus if you don't comply immediately. They will sell your data, including financial data, to anyone they feel like without regard to any opt-out to prescreened credit offers that you may have done with the credit bureaus. You have no legal recourse to secure compensation for or relief from any of these shenanigans because there is a mandatory arbitration clause baked into the contract (and they are the ones paying the arbitrator).


I recently bought a house with a pre-existing solar PPA, having gotten pretty good price concessions even in the current housing market in part because of the awful deal the seller got tricked into by a door-to-door salesman. The rates are slightly worse than the electric company's rates (counting generation, distribution and all the ancillary fees) and are guaranteed to go up annually, and I effectively have a second power company that gets to host their equipment on my roof for free until 2039. If it hadn't been a fantastic property at a great price I would have pulled out of the deal due solely to the terrible solar contract. As it is, at least they installed half the panels facing a stupid direction so the system doesn't generate too much electricity that I have to buy from the solar company and then immediately resell to the power company for a cent or two less per kWh.


But don't take my word for it - there are articles on every solar website telling you not to buy from any of these clowns. There are posts on every forum or subreddit related to household solar talking about how bad these deals are and how scummy the companies offering them are. The FTC has a gazillion complaints about all of the leading companies in the industry.



PS - when I say the solar contracts that the door-to-door salesmen hock are financially terrible for the homeowner, I mean in comparison to all three of the following alternatives:
a) not having a solar system at all
b) buying a solar system with cash from a company *you* initiate contact with
c) taking out a loan to buy a solar system from a company *you* initiate contact with


PPS - the best thing to do is to cancel the 'meeting' with the solar salesman. Call or email and simply state that the meeting is cancelled; do not elaborate. The second-best thing to do is to have the meeting on your front lawn, bring a shotgun to it, have a friend sitting on a chair playing both parts of Duelling Banjos, and loudly rack said shotgun the moment the salesman opens his car door. These people are slimeballs, they are knowingly and willingly trying to get you to sign an agreement that is guaranteed to be against your interests and they are glad to lie to you to do it to secure a four-figure commission for at most a couple of hours of work on their part.
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catdude
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by catdude »

cheezit wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 3:17 pmPPS - the best thing to do is to cancel the 'meeting' with the solar salesman. Call or email and simply state that the meeting is cancelled; do not elaborate.
That's exactly what I did, and the guy has basically vanished, so it worked.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to write such a lengthy post. Sounds like it's a minefield out there for potential victims of solar panel salesmen. I'm really glad I consulted Bogleheads on this; I probably wouldn't have bought what this guy was peddling, but who knows, I've done dumb things before...
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RobLyons
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by RobLyons »

bluebolt wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 10:53 am
RobLyons wrote: Wed May 11, 2022 9:02 pm
bmelikia wrote: Wed May 11, 2022 12:58 pm
RobLyons wrote: Tue May 10, 2022 11:42 pm
bmelikia wrote: Tue May 10, 2022 6:40 pm

2 questions:
1) How did you sign up for the SREC program?
2) Also, how much money do you anticipate you'll make through the SREC program?

My solar installer did it for me and sent me the link. It is through the website srectrade.com

He estimated $200-$300 annually, which is better than the states “Smart” program which was estimated at $1,000 total for 10 years.
What state are you in?

Massachusetts
When was your system installed? My understanding was that in MA more recent systems don't have the SREC option, only SMART.

March. I also thought SMART was my only option until I was given the SREC option by my installer. If you go to the website SRECTrade dot com, you will see owners in DC, MA, MD, NJ, OH, and PA are able to use the platform.
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BrandonBogle
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by BrandonBogle »

psteinx wrote: Wed May 04, 2022 11:43 am For any rapidly improving, but long lasting (years/decades) technology, the buy/no buy decision must be based not only on what's available today, but also what might be available in 5+ years.

If solar only pencils out for you to a minor extent today, perhaps it might be more compelling in a few years.
This was the case for me. I posted here in 2016 I believe about a solar proposal and it just didn’t seem compelling. Fast forward to 2020 and we are singing an different tune. I’m very happy with my, after rebates and incentives, 10 kW system for $9k.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by TomatoTomahto »

BrandonBogle wrote: Sat May 14, 2022 11:37 am
psteinx wrote: Wed May 04, 2022 11:43 am For any rapidly improving, but long lasting (years/decades) technology, the buy/no buy decision must be based not only on what's available today, but also what might be available in 5+ years.

If solar only pencils out for you to a minor extent today, perhaps it might be more compelling in a few years.
This was the case for me. I posted here in 2016 I believe about a solar proposal and it just didn’t seem compelling. Fast forward to 2020 and we are singing an different tune. I’m very happy with my, after rebates and incentives, 10 kW system for $9k.
And, as I sit this noon reading about TX power grid problems, my solar and batteries are priceless. I never bothered to justify them via a spreadsheet; some things are just worth it.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by BrandonBogle »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Sat May 14, 2022 11:49 am
BrandonBogle wrote: Sat May 14, 2022 11:37 am
psteinx wrote: Wed May 04, 2022 11:43 am For any rapidly improving, but long lasting (years/decades) technology, the buy/no buy decision must be based not only on what's available today, but also what might be available in 5+ years.

If solar only pencils out for you to a minor extent today, perhaps it might be more compelling in a few years.
This was the case for me. I posted here in 2016 I believe about a solar proposal and it just didn’t seem compelling. Fast forward to 2020 and we are singing an different tune. I’m very happy with my, after rebates and incentives, 10 kW system for $9k.
And, as I sit this noon reading about TX power grid problems, my solar and batteries are priceless. I never bothered to justify them via a spreadsheet; some things are just worth it.
Im glad I didn’t move forward with it then. The production estimates were FAR too generous. My 10 kW system produces within 10% of what they estimated the 6.5 kWh system would produce. Using realistic numbers, it would have taken 20 years or so for break even. Now at about 10 years, it was close enough for the spreadsheet not to be the deciding factor and proceed because it was something I wanted to do for “my small part”. I didn’t get batteries though as they were going to be around $16k (so more than the solar system itself) and in 11 years of living here, I’ve had a grand total of two hours of outages + two 4 hour outages, both of which were during the night and one of which I wasn’t even in the country for. My grid is too stable to pursue batteries at todays costs. But I have thought of DIY and using my Tesla’s used battery pack if I don’t sell it when the time comes for another car (it’s a 2013).

If anyone is interested, the thread with my specifics is here. I don’t want to sidetrack this thread, just add to the sentiment that it may make more sense down the road.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by TomatoTomahto »

BrandonBogle wrote: Sat May 14, 2022 11:58 am
TomatoTomahto wrote: Sat May 14, 2022 11:49 am
BrandonBogle wrote: Sat May 14, 2022 11:37 am
psteinx wrote: Wed May 04, 2022 11:43 am For any rapidly improving, but long lasting (years/decades) technology, the buy/no buy decision must be based not only on what's available today, but also what might be available in 5+ years.

If solar only pencils out for you to a minor extent today, perhaps it might be more compelling in a few years.
This was the case for me. I posted here in 2016 I believe about a solar proposal and it just didn’t seem compelling. Fast forward to 2020 and we are singing an different tune. I’m very happy with my, after rebates and incentives, 10 kW system for $9k.
And, as I sit this noon reading about TX power grid problems, my solar and batteries are priceless. I never bothered to justify them via a spreadsheet; some things are just worth it.
Im glad I didn’t move forward with it then. The production estimates were FAR too generous. My 10 kW system produces within 10% of what they estimated the 6.5 kWh system would produce. Using realistic numbers, it would have taken 20 years or so for break even. Now at about 10 years, it was close enough for the spreadsheet not to be the deciding factor and proceed because it was something I wanted to do for “my small part”. I didn’t get batteries though as they were going to be around $16k (so more than the solar system itself) and in 11 years of living here, I’ve had a grand total of two hours of outages + two 4 hour outages, both of which were during the night and one of which I wasn’t even in the country for. My grid is too stable to pursue batteries at todays costs. But I have thought of DIY and using my Tesla’s used battery pack if I don’t sell it when the time comes for another car (it’s a 2013).

If anyone is interested, the thread with my specifics is here. I don’t want to sidetrack this thread, just add to the sentiment that it may make more sense down the road.
Batteries are no longer just for outages.

It's early days, but the utility estimates that they’ll be paying me $5k annually to tap into my batteries at time of peak summer demand in the evening. In MA it’s called ConnectedSolutions.

You might want to give your spreadsheet one more look.

ETA: batteries don’t pencil out with net metering, but the utility pays exorbitantly for the opportunity to not have to build more peak hour capacity.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
Dyloot
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by Dyloot »

catdude wrote: Mon May 02, 2022 9:24 pm Hi Bogleheads -

The other day a salesman was in my neighborhood and I talked to him for a few minutes. He was selling solar panels; his company is Infinity Solar. I asked him to send me whatever info he had via email. He said no, he really has to make his pitch in person. So I said OK, and he's gonna come back and see me tomorrow afternoon. Now I'm feeling a little anxiety about his visit. I sense that I'm gonna get a hard sell from this guy, and I hate hard sells. I get very stubborn when salesman refuse to take "No" for an answer.

Have any of you had solar panels installed on your house, and/or dealt with solar panel salesmen? How was your experience? Did things work out OK? How much did it cost, and how long did it take to recoup your investment? Any specific experience with Infinity Solar? I'd appreciate you sharing your story....

I'm thinking I'll email the dude and cancel the appointment. I can always get a quote via his company's website.
Some weeks I’ll get 3 or 4 of these guys at my door. Then nothing for months. My assumption is they blanket my neighborhood when they have an install scheduled close by.
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BrandonBogle
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Re: The solar panel salesman

Post by BrandonBogle »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Sat May 14, 2022 12:14 pm Batteries are no longer just for outages.

It's early days, but the utility estimates that they’ll be paying me $5k annually to tap into my batteries at time of peak summer demand in the evening. In MA it’s called ConnectedSolutions.

You might want to give your spreadsheet one more look.

ETA: batteries don’t pencil out with net metering, but the utility pays exorbitantly for the opportunity to not have to build more peak hour capacity.
Duke Energy in NC doesn’t participate. My only option is feed back into the grid at $0 as every May they reset any rollovers without a payout. If a plan like ConnectedSolutions was around here (or started up in the past year), I would get batteries. Right now, the best option is to buy more solar because I only cover 90% of my usage without charging my car, or 50% of my usage with charging my car. The local incentive was capped at 10 kW.
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