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Interesting. I had a credit of around 1800$ last year from federal but still received the full tax credit for both of my kids (total credit of 8500$ or so after child credits). Does the solar credit work similarly? Just go on top of that even though I already have credit just from over payment, not including any credits?
I do not want to advise anyone on their taxes. My guess is a solar tax credit acts like the child tax credit, as they are both credits, but that is only a guess.
Overpayment has nothing to do with the calculation. Overpayment means you gave the tax man a free loan.

I think it is better if I stop talking about taxes now. I ain't no tax accountant and do not want to mislead anyone.
 
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I do not want to advise anyone on their taxes. My guess is a solar tax credit acts like the child tax credit, as they are both credits, but that is only a guess.
Overpayment has nothing to do with the calculation. Overpayment means you gave the tax man a free loan.

I think it is better if I stop talking about taxes now. I ain't no tax accountant and do not want to mislead anyone.
I am a CPA. Some tax credits are refundable credits, such as the child tax credit and earned income credit. Others come off your income tax, such as the solar credit. It is one of the reasons if you do not go to a tax professional (which does not include Liberty or Jackson Hewitt), you should definitely use income tax software.
 

mattd

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I am a CPA. Some tax credits are refundable credits, such as the child tax credit and earned income credit. Others come off your income tax, such as the solar credit. It is one of the reasons if you do not go to a tax professional (which does not include Liberty or Jackson Hewitt), you should definitely use income tax software.

If you don’t mind, from what I previously posted, would I benefit from the solar credit?
 
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I’ve been trying to follow this thread. I’m the person that friends and acquaintances come to for solar information as I educated myself and built my first system many years ago.

Yet I can hardly follow much of the discussion here.
Most of these systems are "grid-tie", they simply sell power to the utility company, when they are not using all that the panels provide. Generally at a very reduced rate. Look at Shannow's post.
And that is to set up panels, wire, charge controller, wire, and finally the battery bank. That’s it
That's a mostly complete off grid system. Add in an inverter for AC power.

What's really cool is that those of us who are multi-billionaires can easily afford the 20,000W worth of panels, 60-100KWh worth of "Tesla Powerwall" batteries and inverters. And multiple EV's that can partially charge directly from the battery banks. Oh, wait, who am I kidding. Kudo's if you can afford that, I can't.
 

mattd

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Last quote I received was a 6.6kW system for about $26,000 with a projected 83% cost offset for 103$/mo. It’s 60$ less per month with my current budget plan bill. Id still have have a small bill some Months (summer) and others have no bill other than 6$ customer charge. This is a microinverter based system.

It seems that the biggest limiter for system sizes/cost offset are the utility company. They only allow so much.
 

CleanSump

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I used the electric companies solar estimator today. They are pushing it locally. The electric co sold their plants years ago and are just a provider/line owner now.
It told me $25k to $35k upfront cost and I will recoup it in 16 years. Not much incentive to me.
 
Joined
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I used the electric companies solar estimator today. They are pushing it locally. The electric co sold their plants years ago and are just a provider/line owner now.
It told me $25k to $35k upfront cost and I will recoup it in 16 years. Not much incentive to me.
Sounds like you need a lotta solar equipment and/or there is little competition for your business.
My ROI was, at most, half of yours. In reality, with current energy prices, far shorter.
 

mattd

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To revive this thread, I ended up going forward with solar. 18 REC alpha 370 panels with 18 enphase IQ8 microinverters. Due to cardinal direction (south facing, high sun exposure), utility interconnection only allowed this size system. Downside is that utility company does not factor shading when sizing system or I would have had a larger system installed (which I do have some shading, especially in winter). Just under 90% annual cost offset, and it’s far less than what I was originally quoted, granted the system is smaller than what I was originally quoted by other companies. Included photo of projection for month to month cost. I feel that it may be slightly on conservative side for summer projection but we will see.

What I can say is that today with my 240V 3/4 hp pool pump on, 3 window acs, a electric 240V dryer, a refrigerator/freezer and basement stand up freezer all running the meter was still running backward, however it was slowly. This of course was when all panels were in full strong sun. My consumption from 8 am today to 730 PM was 5kWh, or 90 cents delivered to my house. This was a mix of clouds and sun today.
 

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Joined
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The math seems to work out, but pay careful attention to what you'll be paying just to be hooked to the grid. I'm with you though, electricity prices are going nowhere but up, I see this is a sound investment.

I'd love to do it one day, I have ideal conditions for rooftop solar, but are these things insured? What happens if you get an awful hail / wind storm that tears up the solar panels? I don't know enough about them, but that's what I'd fear most where I live.
Panels are designed to handle up to 150 mph wind and heavy hail. I forget the hail weight, but it is substantial.
 
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
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To revive this thread, I ended up going forward with solar. 18 REC alpha 370 panels with 18 enphase IQ8 microinverters. Due to cardinal direction (south facing, high sun exposure), utility interconnection only allowed this size system. Downside is that utility company does not factor shading when sizing system or I would have had a larger system installed (which I do have some shading, especially in winter). Just under 90% annual cost offset, and it’s far less than what I was originally quoted, granted the system is smaller than what I was originally quoted by other companies. Included photo of projection for month to month cost. I feel that it may be slightly on conservative side for summer projection but we will see.

What I can say is that today with my 240V 3/4 hp pool pump on, 3 window acs, a electric 240V dryer, a refrigerator/freezer and basement stand up freezer all running the meter was still running backward, however it was slowly. This of course was when all panels were in full strong sun. My consumption from 8 am today to 730 PM was 5kWh, or 90 cents delivered to my house. This was a mix of clouds and sun today.
You will love your solar. Rhode Island is not the perfect place that Silicon Valley is, with all our sun and uber high energy costs. But as time goes by and your electric bills are pretty much zero, it's all good.
 

mattd

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You will love your solar. Rhode Island is not the perfect place that Silicon Valley is, with all our sun and uber high energy costs. But as time goes by and your electric bills are pretty much zero, it's all good.

There is a 47% increase in electricity cost coming in October so it will certainly help.
 

Ws6

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Mar 7, 2008
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My bill this last month was $82.65. It was one of the hottest months I've lived here. I have an older 13 SEER HVAC and kept it 67*f in the house during the day. I am very happy with my solar. It's stabilized my costs. Currently, I am "losing" by about $1300/year compared to prior to solar, once you take into account the note, as well as that I spent the $10K in tax credits on other things than the loan, since it was such a good rate (2.99 fixed). FWIW, this is 12.95kW in Silfab SLG-M 370 panels with a Sunnyboy 6.0 and 5.0 inverters from SMA inverters.
https://www.solaris-shop.com/silfab-solar-slg370m-370w-mono-solar-panel/ x35=$8,8XX. That is TODAY's price, though. I am not sure what they cost back when I got them and they were newer tech.
https://www.solar-electric.com/sma-sunny-boy-5-0-1sp-us-41-grid-tie-inverter.html $1,300
+
$1,400

Plus the cable, utility switch (I know 6ga wire is $10 a foot, and they ran at least 120ft and it was WAY bigger than 6ga, so I am guessing probably close to $2500 for that, plus switching for the cut-off to the main utility and meter and so forth. Then the framework, etc. All in all, I bet it was around $15K in raw materials. Total cost was $36K installed by the time the power company cut the juice on. Total tax credit was $11K or so. I am pleased with it. I live in a net-metering state, so grid tie makes a lot of sense. If you want to install it all yourself, then yes, money to be saved, for sure!

Consider that the cost of electricity has done this:
1659617258415.png


My panels have a 30 year production guarantee, and a 25 year defect warranty. They are insured under my home owner's policy. Basically as close to 'guaranteed' as it gets. In the last 20 years, electricity average in this country has nearly doubled. My $83 bill would be $160 (presuming I keep my old 13 SEER HVAC alive for 20 years through dark arts and other forbidden ritual). However, people who paid $250 this month...will be paying $500. The solar array stabilizes things and prevents me from feeling nearly as much of this. As I replace the HVAC and other appliances, the home will become more efficient than the panels become inefficient (80% guarantee in 30 years production, I believe).

All in all, I am very very pleased.
20200415_100240.jpg

July 2022.jpg
 
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Joined
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Los Gatos, CA
@Ws6 why didn't you buy a bigger system? I was not going to incur the cost and still have to pay PG&E. I asked for more production than what was recommended because I was sure I would use more electricity in the future. Also, there are people who undersized their system to save initial cost only to have a (sometimes surprising) annual true up. As everyone knows, CA energy costs are some of the highest in our nation.

I am very happy with my solar. The numbers were compelling.
 

Ws6

Joined
Mar 7, 2008
Messages
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South Central US
@Ws6 why didn't you buy a bigger system? I was not going to incur the cost and still have to pay PG&E. I asked for more production than what was recommended because I was sure I would use more electricity in the future. Also, there are people who undersized their system to save initial cost only to have a (sometimes surprising) annual true up. As everyone knows, CA energy costs are some of the highest in our nation.

I am very happy with my solar. The numbers were compelling.
ROI. Look at my winter bills. I would need roughly 40kWh system to even hope to not have a bill in winter. So, I settled for eliminating my bill 50% of the months minus meter fee, and allowing a couple of winter months to suck, and the rest fall somewhere in between.

This year has been hot. This is a typical year:
1659654735494.png


Also, I now pay with CC. It's just smarter to get that 1.5% cash back, plus it provides a credit runway should I for whatever reason have a disruption of the checking account (hospitalized, balance transfer issue, whatever), it will autopilot for a great while on its own until I can tend it again, as I keep the card at a $0 balance 90% of the month (wait until monthly bills post, then pay it off near the 8th of every month.

Also understand I have a 13 SEER unit that was installed in 2005, then the outdoor unit replaced in 2014. It is FAR from peak efficiency. When I do end up replacing it, this will drastically lower demand, enough to offset probably 50% of my PEV (calculated to cost me $120/mo max, $80/mo min, depending on driving amount).

Point being, as you can see, I would need 3-500% larger system to cover winter, as it stands, so I went with a symmetrical layout that fit in the space I wanted and called it a day. Since I have net-metering/grid tie, it's not a big deal. If I did not, I would have sought other solutions.
 
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