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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I consume $1500-$1800 electricity per year.

Live in full sun exposure all year long.

My power company charges me 0.12 cents per kW.
I believe they offer 0.02 cents per kW for me delivering to them.
The maximum solar size I can have is 8 kW.

Will solar save me money and how ?

How many years it takes to see the savings after the investment.

I know about Federal Tax CREDIT, but it is only credited if you owe taxes otherwise (I do not owe $7000 in Taxes). It is not a blank check issued by government, it is Tax forgiveness.
 

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You don't use the electricity. You sell it back to the POCO. I have a friend with a huge array on a barn and he said his ROI was going to be about 7 years. He basically doesn't have a power bill since his return to the POCO exceeds his usage, so it is a good deal for them.
 
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I consume $1500-$1800 electricity per year.

Live in full sun exposure all year long.

Will solar save me money and how ?
This massively depends on the rate plan the power company is giving you (how much they are willing to pay for generated power) and the financing scheme that the solar salesman managed to talk you into. This space is chock full of swindlers, and everybody wants to sell you a package rigged so you put up your capital or credit line, and they make all the money that is to be made.

I mean, dollar for dollar solar is a win even if the government didn't subsidize it, but the solar industry is so scary and scammy that I would be terrified to deal with any of them. You need to know more about the solar sales business than they do to watch out for all their tricks. Half of them will tack a lien on your house.

If I had the house to do it on, I think I'd rather do the heavy learning to figure out how to DIY it, and then forego the tax incentives, which I fail to see what the benefit of is. Since panels are well under $1/watt anymore.


The thing with your rate plan is your solar makes electricity all day, but the fact is your house uses very little energy during the day. Get a home energy monitor like the Sense - you'll see. Most of the day your house is using like less than 100 watts. Then for short periods during the day some big load will kick on, like water heater or A/C, and it will draw huge power for 5-10 minutes and shut off. But 80% if not 100% the solar will generate way more than you could possibly use. Solar doesn't store * ASTERISK HERE, so the only option is to sell it to the power company.




Only semi-useful asterisk: a tight well-insulated modern home can actually use itself as a thermal battery, like this guy did.


So I suppose you could set an A/C schedule that only runs when the sun is shining (which makes some sense because the 100 watts (341 BTU) per square foot of solar radiation IS THE REASON your house needs A/C) to make sure you are using your panels' electricity. And then ditto ditto a big tanked water heater.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You don't use the electricity. You sell it back to the POCO. I have a friend with a huge array on a barn and he said his ROI was going to be about 7 years. He basically doesn't have a power bill since his return to the POCO exceeds his usage, so it is a good deal for them.
I do now owe a barn, just a home with limited roof space for 8KW system. My POCO is only offering 0.02 cents per kW sold to them, if I can produce any.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This massively depends on the rate plan the power company is giving you (how much they are willing to pay for generated power) and the financing scheme that the solar salesman managed to talk you into. This space is chock full of swindlers, and everybody wants to sell you a package rigged so you put up your capital or credit line, and they make all the money that is to be made.

I mean, dollar for dollar solar is a win even if the government didn't subsidize it, but the solar industry is so scary and scammy that I would be terrified to deal with any of them. You need to know more about the solar sales business than they do to watch out for all their tricks. Half of them will tack a lien on your house.

If I had the house to do it on, I think I'd rather do the heavy learning to figure out how to DIY it, and then forego the tax incentives, which I fail to see what the benefit of is. Since panels are well under $1/watt anymore.


The thing with your rate plan is your solar makes electricity all day, but the fact is your house uses very little energy during the day. Get a home energy monitor like the Sense - you'll see. Most of the day your house is using like less than 100 watts. Then for short periods during the day some big load will kick on, like water heater or A/C, and it will draw huge power for 5-10 minutes and shut off. But 80% if not 100% the solar will generate way more than you could possibly use. Solar doesn't store * ASTERISK HERE, so the only option is to sell it to the power company.




Only semi-useful asterisk: a tight well-insulated modern home can actually use itself as a thermal battery, like this guy did.

So I suppose you could set an A/C schedule that only runs when the sun is shining (which makes some sense because the 100 watts (341 BTU) per square foot of solar radiation IS THE REASON your house needs A/C) to make sure you are using your panels' electricity. And then ditto ditto a big tanked water heater.
My power company charges me 0.12 cents per kW consumed, and would offer 0.02 cents for overproduction. My roof allows for 8kW solar system instal.
 

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I know about Federal Tax CREDIT, but it is only credited if you owe taxes otherwise (I do not owe $7000 in Taxes). It is not a blank check issued by government, it is Tax forgiveness.
The tax credit can be carried over year to year until it has been used up.

So if you have a $7000 credit and owe $1500 in taxes, then you will owe nothing and have $5500 left to claim for the following year(s).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The tax credit can be carried over year to year until it has been used up.

So if you have a $7000 credit and owe $1500 in taxes, then you will owe nothing and have $5500 left to claim for the following year(s).
My tax returns are good, I do not owe more than $50 in taxes, so it will take me 140 Years.
 

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My tax returns are good, I do not owe more than $50 in taxes, so it will take me 140 Years.
Clearly, someone else does your taxes LOL.

Ask them. What's happening behind the curtain is IRS is actually withholding thousands of dollars of YOUR money, which is in fact your money. Your taxes are also thousands of dollars. Most of the time if everyone gets the math right, the withholding closely matches the actual tax owed, so when it's time to settle up in April, you only owe a little bit or get a small refund.

But your actual taxes are thousands. Doubt me? Pull your last 3 years' 1040s and actually look at them.

If the IRS withholds too much of YOUR money, then in April they have to give a "tax refund".

So if you take advantage of something like a solar credit, that means your actual taxes are MUCH lower and your tax refund is MUCH larger.
 

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I consume $1500-$1800 electricity per year.

Live in full sun exposure all year long.

My power company charges me 0.12 cents per kW.
I believe they offer 0.02 cents per kW for me delivering to them.
The maximum solar size I can have is 8 kW.

Will solar save me money and how ?

How many years it takes to see the savings after the investment.

I know about Federal Tax CREDIT, but it is only credited if you owe taxes otherwise (I do not owe $7000 in Taxes). It is not a blank check issued by government, it is Tax forgiveness.
Why is "The maximum solar size I can have is 8 kW."?

The figures which you quote are "interesting".
Your Power Company will pay you about 17% for that which you "export" to them, as compared to that which you pay to buy from them.
In Australia it is now at about 24% - and it has been quite reduced to that value over the last 10 years

My electricity costs are only around (AUD) $1000 per year.
I could install a 6 kW system for about (AUD) $8000 (with Governments "rebates"), and I might add a "battery" for another $5000 or so
However, there is this rather annoying "Service to Property Charge" of now about $1.00 per day which will go up to "$1.20 next month.
As it will cost me $438 annually just to be connected to the "grid" - even if I did not "use" any electricity - it would take about 16 years or more to "break even" on an $8000 investment, and I may not live so long (although I will try to do so.)
 

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My power company charges me 0.12 cents per kW consumed, and would offer 0.02 cents for overproduction.
Is that computed on a monthly basis or real-time? Because during the day you will be more than 90% over-producing, but hopefully, they will give you full credit when you use an equivalent amount of electricity in the morning and evening. This is a question that needs to be asked.

Like I say, most of the time when the solar is producing, it will be producing far more than your house's immediate needs.


My roof allows for 8kW solar system instal.
A roof sounds like a costly place to put panels. I mean the roof already has One Job, and you would need to put a bunch of holes in it to mount the panels, which can't be good for its One Job. And most roofs need to be replaced from time to time, and that'll be a nightmare with the solar panels in the way. It would be about my last choice as a site for panels, unless I was the contractor installing it lol.
 

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My tax returns are good, I do not owe more than $50 in taxes, so it will take me 140 Years.
If you have a 401k you can use the tax credit to off set the tax on converting an appropriate amount to a roth.
If you have investments particularly long term (1 yr of more) with a gain, you can sell that investment and immediately buy it back, and use the tax credit to offset the tax consequence on the gain. You can also do it with short term gains, but long term is more efficient.

This is what I did when I put in my geothermal system with a 30% tax incentive.
 
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If you have investments particularly long term (1 yr of more) with a gain, you can sell that investment and immediately buy it back, and use the tax credit to offset the tax consequence on the gain. You can also do it with short term gains, but long term is more efficient.
You are still paying the tax amount but at least you have something to show off, like your geothermal. You won't have to worry about that at retirement.
Smart. Too late for some of us...
Credit:
Product Font Rectangle Electric blue Automotive exterior
 

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You are still paying the tax amount but at least you have something to show off, like your geothermal. You won't have to worry about that at retirement.
Smart. Too late for some of us...
Credit:
View attachment 705145
You can still do it with 401k and capital gains.
It will reduce the amount of tax you pay in the future on investments. Selling and RMDs

Even though someone like the OP's situation of paying almost nothing in income tax, which I applaud.
 

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I consume $1500-$1800 electricity per year.

Live in full sun exposure all year long.

My power company charges me 0.12 cents per kW.
I believe they offer 0.02 cents per kW for me delivering to them.
The maximum solar size I can have is 8 kW.

Will solar save me money and how ?

How many years it takes to see the savings after the investment.

I know about Federal Tax CREDIT, but it is only credited if you owe taxes otherwise (I do not owe $7000 in Taxes). It is not a blank check issued by government, it is Tax forgiveness.
But can you take that tax deduction over several years so it better fits your situation.
 

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Clearly, someone else does your taxes LOL.

Ask them. What's happening behind the curtain is IRS is actually withholding thousands of dollars of YOUR money, which is in fact your money. Your taxes are also thousands of dollars. Most of the time if everyone gets the math right, the withholding closely matches the actual tax owed, so when it's time to settle up in April, you only owe a little bit or get a small refund.

But your actual taxes are thousands. Doubt me? Pull your last 3 years' 1040s and actually look at them.

If the IRS withholds too much of YOUR money, then in April they have to give a "tax refund".

So if you take advantage of something like a solar credit, that means your actual taxes are MUCH lower and your tax refund is MUCH larger.
Yes, you are correct, he can reduce his tax liability by $3000 per yr, which means he would be "owed" back the taxes on top of the $50ish he gets now.
 

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You mean "owed back the withholding".
The withholding is YOUR MONEY.
It doesn't become tax until you file your 1040 in April.

Look. Let's suppose I take a job that pays $3000/month, and I get $500 of tax withheld, so I'm taking home $2500. However I quit after 4 months, and don't work the rest of the year so my annual income is $12,000 and my withholding is $2000. The tax on $12,000 income is zero.

Now to you "cash accounting" guys, your wage was $2500 and life is unfair, and you assume the other $500 is lost to the IRS. But I think in "accrual accounting". That $500 is mine, and it's simply in an MY account at the IRS. IRS took it because they thought I would need it to pay my taxes in April, but they were wrong. It's still my money and I go get it back! And I get a $2000 refund that year.





However, there is this rather annoying "Service to Property Charge" of now about $1.00 per day which will go up to "$1.20 next month.
As it will cost me $438 annually just to be connected to the "grid" - even if I did not "use" any electricity - it would take about 16 years or more to "break even" on an $8000 investment, and I may not live so long (although I will try to do so.)
Yeah, that's where they getcha. Historically they just built distribution costs into the per-KWH costs and nobody worried about it.

But given how new technologies are reshaping the grid (solar, EVs, batteries) it is creating a lot of absurd insanities. Suppose you have a town where half the electricity cost is for maintenance of the distribution wires.

  • House #1 has net-zero solar. Generates $100 of power onto the grid, imports $100 of power from the grid, net cost is $0 ($0 to maintain wires).
  • House #2 has inefficient A/C and electric heat, pays $200/month ($100 to maintain wires).
  • House #3 is a passive solar vacation home that uses a miserly $20/month of power ($10 to maintain wires).
  • House #4 is built from the ground up to be battery/off-grid. It has no service drop, but the distribution is available at edge-of-property if he ever changes his mind.

Moving power doesn't actually cause wear or tear on the wires, the cost of maintaining wires is exactly the same no matter how much power you take. So how do we divide the cost of wire maintenance FAIRLY? Right now house #2 is paying for all of it. House #3 is leeching. House #4, I don't know what they're doing, how do you charge them for a service they Do Not Want? House #1 is a free rider, but a fair exchange since they fronted the money for the solar generation, which the town benefits from.

These are hard problems.

So more and more, towns and power companies are moving to "charge you for the service drop" and then "charge you (less) for the electricity". One town I know charges for the right to have a service drop, so they screw property #4 good and plenty. And if your property has 2 service drops, you pay twice.
 

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I decided against solar. Our power company used to pay 3 cents/kWh but then went to a sell meter and credit meter arrangement. If you produce extra, it is put to a deeply discounted credit toward future electric need by the kw. They no longer convert it to cash or dollars off, but if you still buy some it can work out the same. I don’t trust long term warranties, in 5 or 10 years if warranty claims explode, the company that gave you that 30 year warranty will change its name or vanish. In 5 or 20 or 30 years the toxic material in the panels will probably be expensive to dispose of when the DEC realizes that thousands of panels are aging out. I asked solar companies what they do if I need a new roof. They come over, remove the panels and store them, then put them back on my new roof. Of course, that is at their then current pricing. Lightning strikes, well, I don’t want to think about them or potential leaks at every roof penetration. And I am too old to go up there to clean them. I will buy my electricity for the foreseeable future. In commercial large consumption facilities, like the public school where I worked, the power company wanted almost as much money to be our backup as they charged us for electricity. After all, they still have to maintain generating facilities, etc. to pick up our load. We didn’t get solar even though we had acres of flat roofs. Same when I worked for the county, no solar there, either. It is only a matter of time until they charge everyone connected to their grid as a backup. It is true that wire lasts a long time. However, more customers means more/heavier wire, more transformers, etc. After a storm, a lot of that has to be replaced and doing it for solar customers who spend little on power will not last forever. How much does it cost to maintain generating facilities, wires, transformers, etc. for customers using mostly solar? I don’t know, but some engineer at the power company already thought of it for large consumers. What happens when solar is ubiquitous? Wait and see.
 
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The net-zero policies are an abuse of politicians, trying to take money away from the utility company that is heavily regulated and with profits set by law.
They act like Robin Hood, stealing from the "rich", just to get some votes.
The cost to maintain the service is not only the cost to maintain the wires, but also to maintain that spare generation capacity, ready to spring into action when your solar goes down.
That is investment and maintenance that has to be recouped.
 
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