Solar panels for homes - door solicitor at my house again!

bajabum

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Apr 14, 2003
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Bought property last year with 2 houses, a 40 ft 5th wheel, and 2 barns on it. Main house has 68 panels on it. We run AC all summer in all 3 residences, have 7 refrigerators and 2 freezers running all the time. No bills. Probably saving at least 800 per month.
 
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Yellowtail Dan

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  • Apr 10, 2006
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    I bought my solar system through Costco and got some money back from them when I did a little over a year ago. I would advise against leasing it though. Also go all in. And get the batteries so you won’t be impacted by blackouts
     
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  • Jan 3, 2017
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    I bought my solar system through Costco and got some money back from them when I did a little over a year ago. I would advise against leasing it though. Also go all in. And get the batteries so you won’t be impacted by blackouts
    How much was the full solar system at costco?
     
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  • Jan 3, 2017
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    It all depends on how many panels you get and where they’re installed in relation to your electrical panel. Mine was just over $20,000 without the batteries, th hose are quite a bit more
    How many years until you recoup the initial 20K? Are there any other maintance or service cost that you have to pay through out the years?
     
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    Mike_I

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    May 19, 2006
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    I built my own system with 1900ah battery backup 20+ years ago. Some of my panels were 120w Kyocera. Years later the company finds out some of those panels have a cold solder joint and eventually crap out. One of my panels crapped out , I contacted the company and even though only one panel had the issue they sent me three upgraded brand new 140w panels. After over 20 years they more than backed up their warranty.
    well what manufacturer has the best solar panels and additional equipment that last 15/20 years.... there could be a lot of junk out there too...
     
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    Yellowtail Dan

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  • Apr 10, 2006
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    How many years until you recoup the initial 20K? Are there any other maintance or service cost that you have to pay through out the years?
    Where I live with Summer temps in triple digits and my thermostat set at 76-77 probably 5 years. I’ll be made more than whole if/when I sell the house.

    Just the the peace I get from not having to deal with any of the rolling blackouts or Gov BS is priceless
     
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    Kman

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    Apr 7, 2003
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    On top of the solar rebate, Calif is paying us to get rid of natural gas devices. Last time I looked, there was a $2500 rebate to retire a gas furnace and replace it with a heat pump, similar with a water heater. You’ll probably need to up your service size and there’s a rebate for that too.

    Question on the solar rebate: is it a tax credit or a tax deduct from earned income tax? I’m retired, my wife soon will be, so while our total income is healthy (int/div/cap gains), the “earned” portion is not. If we pay cash for a 30K system, are we going to be able to take the full deduction, i.e., will the .gov write us a check?

    Elect bills are 100/mo most of the time, then 200-250/mo during AC season.
     
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    plj46

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    On top of the solar rebate, Calif is paying us to get rid of natural gas devices. Last time I looked, there was a $2500 rebate to retire a gas furnace and replace it with a heat pump, similar with a water heater. You’ll probably need to up your service size and there’s a rebate for that too.

    Question on the solar rebate: is it a tax rebate or a deduct from earned income tax? I’m retired, my wife soon will be, so while our total income is healthy (int/div/cap gains), the “earned” portion is not. If we pay cash for a 30K system, are we going to be able to take the full deduction, i.e., will the .gov write us a check?

    Elect bills are 100/mo most of the time, then 200-250/mo during AC season.
    I believe it's a tax credit.I do remember a large tax refund after installing the solar.I guess I paid enough in taxes to get a good credit.Any tax person should know the answer.
     
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    tunacraze

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  • Nov 27, 2006
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    That's a good question @Kman. The "rebate" is a Federal Tax credit of 30% which makes solar very attractive to most. Generally, if your tax liability is the amount of the tax credit or more, then you will qualify. Even if your tax liability is not equal or greater than the tax credit it still makes sense because you can "roll over" the tax credit for up to 3 years.

    I'm sure people will chime in here, but I would talk to a tax professional to be sure that you qualify. A lease is an option if you don't qualify. I know leases have a bad reputation, but they do make sense for some.
     
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    Kman

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    Apr 7, 2003
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    That's a good question @Kman. The "rebate" is a Federal Tax credit of 30% which makes solar very attractive to most. Generally, if your tax liability is the amount of the tax credit or more, then you will qualify. Even if your tax liability is not equal or greater than the tax credit it still makes sense because you can "roll over" the tax credit for up to 3 years.

    I'm sure people will chime in here, but I would talk to a tax professional to be sure that you qualify. A lease is an option if you don't qualify. I know leases have a bad reputation, but they do make sense for some.

    Thanks. The problem is our tax liability is nearly entirely on unearned (hate that term!) income. Rolling over doesn’t help as my wife will be retiring this year.

    From the sound of things, I should have done this back when I was working, but back then, electricity rates were half what they are now and it didn’t make sense.

    Just for shits, I’ve been reading about batteries. China is labeling ANYTHING as grade A. It’s a f’n joke.
     
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    Yellowtail Dan

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  • Apr 10, 2006
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    I believe it's a tax credit.I do remember a large tax refund after installing the solar.I guess I paid enough in taxes to get a good credit.Any tax person should know the answer.
    I believe you only get to use the tax credit once you own the system. If you lease or are making payments on it you can’t use it. Just an fyi
     
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    Jun 4, 2020
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    I installed solar about 4 years ago. Was great until my in-laws moved in with me. My trueup quadrupled at the end of the year. Having said that…. Imagine what my electric bill would be without solar…
    That prompted me to wanting to install 10 more panels and add batteries. The quote for the 10 panels and batteries was more than my initial system so that on hold for a bit.
    I live in the Central Valley and good ole PGnE love to rip off the customers up here. They’re horrible.
     
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    marlyn

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    On top of the solar rebate, Calif is paying us to get rid of natural gas devices. Last time I looked, there was a $2500 rebate to retire a gas furnace and replace it with a heat pump, similar with a water heater. You’ll probably need to up your service size and there’s a rebate for that too.

    Question on the solar rebate: is it a tax credit or a tax deduct from earned income tax? I’m retired, my wife soon will be, so while our total income is healthy (int/div/cap gains), the “earned” portion is not. If we pay cash for a 30K system, are we going to be able to take the full deduction, i.e., will the .gov write us a check?

    Elect bills are 100/mo most of the time, then 200-250/mo during AC season.
    There are 2 kinds of Tax credits,One is a refundable credit(will pay you cash),The other is a non refundable credit(reduces tax liability but doesnt pay cash).
    Solar is a non refundable credit so you need to have tax liability for it to work or you get nothing and it simply expires.Alot of people get pissed when they find this out after a salesman gets them to sign on the dotted line.
     
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    Kman

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    Apr 7, 2003
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    There are 2 kinds of Tax credits,One is a refundable credit(will pay you cash),The other is a non refundable credit(reduces tax liability but doesnt pay cash).
    Solar is a non refundable credit so you need to have tax liability for it to work or you get nothing and it simply expires.Alot of people get pissed when they find this out after a salesman gets them to sign on the dotted line.

    Ya, that’s what I remember reading—and the whole purpose for my post. MBA finance here. I’m kind of into details. I’ve set up our investments to where we are basically done paying federal taxes in any volume. Still getting hosed by Calif lol.

    If the deduction worked against unearned income, I could arrange to have a windfall year in the cap gains department, but I remember reading the credit only works against earned (working) income. That is worth another read as these f’n electric rates just keep going up.

    I guess I could go into last year’s Turbo Tax and do some pro forma playing around. Be easy enough to make up a big cap gain, add the solar, and see if it deducts from what is owed.

    Thanks for the help.
     
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