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cobran20

How much can you really save by going solar?

9 posts in this topic

A relative lives in a rural area outside of Melbourne. She gets better ROI from investing in tank water and wood heating rather than investing in solar panels.

But I guess technology is advancing and it depends where you live. As a renter it doesn't make much difference to me, I just need to turn off the lights!

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On 2/17/2017 at 0:37 AM, cobran20 said:

I might do the sums again after my next energy bill!

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$395 for the 3 months ending in mid-Feb, vs the average $250-270. But there was little choice on using the A/C given the weather.

Meanwhile, the new release of the Tesla powerball is about half the size and twice the storage of the previous model. It is beginning to resemble the early history of personal computing. If they hike gas prices and the price of the powerball drops in the future, I might be tempted to go 100% electricity in the future. Not sure how long I'll stay in the house. But it should add value to it as well.

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Just got a letter from the electricity supplier. A 12%+ in the peak charge!

Time to do the sums again.

1.JPG

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I think I saw a 70K install figure somewhere. The "compete with normal roofing" price was factoring in the electricity savings. Granted it has a life of the house guarantee. Cool if it worked.

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IMO the best thing that you can do is to think like a power company. They have their target revenue for the year, and then they figure out how they are going to get it given power usage, time of day usage patterns etc.

At the moment they are loading peak because that negates solar panels. Late afternoon the panels aren't producing (much), people come home from work, turn on the a/c, the tv and cook dinner so the power companies target that period.

If a significant number of people install solar panels and batteries to cover their peak usage, all that power companies will do is to load the supply charge to recover the lost revenue. This is exactly what happened to water in SE QLD after the last big drought. People installed water tanks, low flow taps and shower heads, water efficient appliances, boreholes/spear pumps etc. and average water consumption dropped markedly. All the water companies did was to hike the supply charge massively to compensate. I am a heavy water user because I frequently top up my pool and yet consumption is only 35-45% of my bill, depending on time of year.

I think that it only makes sense to install solar or a battery if you can get a payoff in a very short period e.g. 3 years or less and you are planning to stay in the same home until you are carried out of there. Any scheme with a long pay back is likely to fail because of the power companies shifting the goal posts.

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31 minutes ago, Turkey said:

I think that it only makes sense to install solar or a battery if you can get a payoff in a very short period e.g. 3 years or less and you are planning to stay in the same home until you are carried out of there. Any scheme with a long pay back is likely to fail because of the power companies shifting the goal posts.

I'd be happy with a payoff in 5-7 years. Prior to the last rise, I calculated 10 years, which would have made the proposition absurd. Presumably new solar panels are more efficient and when you spread your panels, you can capture more sunlight, especially in the late afternoon during a summer when you'd be heavily using the A/C.

I'd like to think that I'll stay another 10 years where I am. But I have never stayed that long in a place since I left my parents house!

Once the children leave the house, I'm most likely going to be tempted to downsize. Presumably solar panels would add value to the house you're selling, but it might be negligible.

I'll do the sums again when I get my next power bill and based on the new rates. I use gas for hot water and hot plates. So that reduces my incentive for solar.

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