1. Yes, it's a whole new look! Have questions or need help? Please post your question in the New Forum Questions thread Click the X to the right to dismiss this notice
  2. Seeing tons of unread posts after the upgrade? See this thread for help. Click the X to the right to dismiss this notice

Thinking about solar?

Discussion in 'Homeowners Corner' started by OSimpson, Apr 26, 2017.

  1. OSimpson

    OSimpson Certified Master Naturalist

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    Messages:
    1,015
    Likes Received:
    21
    This is a government sponsored program and not a sales promotion. If you choose to consider it after the assessment, their pricing is very competitive. Register by this Sunday, April 30th. We got solar before this program was started, and if you have any question, let me know.

    SOLARIZE PIEDMONT

    During the spring of 2017, residents and businesses within PEC's 9-county service area can take advantage of Solarize Piedmont --a cooperative program with The Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC), Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP) and the Northern Virginia Regional Commission to bring solar power to more people in the Commonwealth.

    The benefits of solar power are multi-fold: providing peak power close to the demand, energy security, cost savings, local employment opportunities, and emissions reductions. If you live in PEC's service territory and have been thinking about putting solar power on your home or farm, this is your opportunity to find out if it will work for you and take advantage of some very competitive pricing.

    HOW IT WORKS - THE SIMPLE 5 STEP PROCESS
    1. GET A FREE ASSESSMENT TO DETERMINE IF YOUR HOME IS A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR SOLAR
    Do you live in Albemarle, Charlottesville, Clarke, Culpeper, Fauquier, Greene, Loudoun, Madison, Orange or Rappahannock? If yes, Solarize Piedmont is the campaign for you. The first step is to fill out the online sign-up form on our website >>

    After you fill out the form, a Solarize Piedmont Energy Consultant will perform a satellite assessment (via Google Earth) of your property to determine its suitability for a solar array. We’ll contact you with the results within 2-4 days. Primarily we’re looking for a good location for the solar panels. Most are installed on roofs, so a generally south-facing roof that isn’t shaded by adjacent trees is perfect. Ground-mounted systems are an option for fields or yards that get plenty of sun.

    If you have a good site, we’ll then forward your contact information to one of the participating 2017 Solarize Piedmont installers. That installer will schedule the free solar site assessment to create a proposal tailored for you, your budget, and your home’s energy needs.

    2. LEVERAGE THE SOLARIZE DISCOUNT AND LOCAL FINANCING
    Take advantage of the power of bulk purchasing and the 30% federal tax credit to purchase your solar system.

    Solarize Piedmont participants will also have access to innovative financing mechanisms designed specifically for solar energy systems. Through Admirals Bank, you can take advantage of Solar StepDown and Solar Plus Loans. These solar loans can be combined to finance up to 30% of your solar system at 0% over 18 months and the remaining 70% (capped at $25,000) can be financed with fixed interest rates between 4.95% – 9.95% over 20 years.

    3. INSTALL PANELS
    Through a comprehensive and competitive bidding process, we selected two qualified local solar contractors for the campaign - to be assigned randomly to participants. After a detailed review of your property and your goals, your contractor will provide a proposal for turnkey services including site visits, permits, materials, installation, and commissioning. From start to finish, the whole process usually takes a few months.

    4. GENERATE ELECTRICITY FOR USE OR SELL BACK TO UTILITY
    Once your system is up and running, you use electricity as it is generated and sell back any surplus electricity to the utility. Through “net energy metering,” you get a one-to-one, kilowatt hour-for-kilowatt hour credit on your bill for every unit of electricity produced and put back on the electric grid.

    Learn more at http://programs.dsireusa.org/system/program/detail/40. The electric utility will never pay you for the solar energy, they just credit your account. The credits are good for 12 months, so a sunny summer can be saving money for you in the winter.

    5. START SAVING ON UTILITY BILLS

    Photo by the Local Energy Alliance Program.
    Buying a solar PV system is an investment in the future. Although buying a solar PV system may require an upfront payment, it can deliver significant energy cost savings for years to come. A number of factors determine what a system will cost and how much you can save over time, including the future price of electricity and how long your system operates. By combining utility net metering credits for the power you generate, federal tax incentives and low-interest financing, you could realize long-term cost savings over the life of your solar PV system. The more electricity prices climb, the faster you’ll see savings.
     
  2. Zeratul

    Zeratul Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,714
    Likes Received:
    120
    Did anyone in Broadlands actually participate? What about the new Co-op program with the HOA... anyone actually installed yet or get price estimates? So far, from what I can see, the cost is still pretty high to install.
     
    PDILLM likes this.
  3. OSimpson

    OSimpson Certified Master Naturalist

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    Messages:
    1,015
    Likes Received:
    21
    We did it before the program. Our installation was part of the package of upgrading our HVAC system. With that said, $6500 cost of the panels was covered by our Federal tax incentive. Our neighbor did the same thing. We were able to get the most out of our investment by upgrading our system to most efficient HVAC along with the panels to maximize our savings. I would suggest to reach out to Solarize NOVA to get some cost examples. I hope this helps.
     
  4. Zeratul

    Zeratul Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,714
    Likes Received:
    120
    Thanks. Yea, Solarize Nova seems to indicate a consistent price with what I have seen. My roof can fit a lot of panels... somewhere around 35-40. I can cover around 95% of my energy needs, but the up front investment seems to be around $25 - $30 grand before tax credit.
     
  5. TomH

    TomH New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    3
    We had our installation this past week; now waiting on Loudoun County inspection, then Dominion to install new meter. Yes, its still a hefty chunk of money, but the payback is there if you can look at it long term. And the price has dropped considerably. We looked at solar 10-12 years ago and the price has dropped about 50% (including fed tax break). We found out Loudoun reduces your tax assessed value equal to system cost for 10 years after installation which helps drop it down too. Ou return on investment break-even is a little over 10 years. We expect to zero out our electric bill (admittedly fairly low with just the two of us here) and with a 25 year warranty plus the increased sell price of the house, it will be well worth the investment. We put in a larger inverter than needed to allow for system expansion (if we need it, or for a family that buys the place when we sell). We have room for another entire row of panels if needed.

    I think MTV Solar has two or three other signed contracts and several other appointments pending to discuss a system.

    Any Broadlands resident seriously considering a system thats interested in seeing it in operation is welcome to contact us and come see it working; though you probably want to wait a week or so until it's fully activated and generating so you can see the website showing our production and see the meter running backwards!
     
  6. Zeratul

    Zeratul Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,714
    Likes Received:
    120
    Yea our system would be around $30k out of pocket up front. I think we will be in our house 15-16 years... just hard to shell out that much cash up front. I know we get most back and boost our sale price but I would rather spend or invest the cash on family or college etc. I felt bad when thinking about my investment sitting on the roof slowly get paid off.
     
  7. PDILLM

    PDILLM Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2009
    Messages:
    628
    Likes Received:
    43
    We are in a similar boat. We are only in this house for another 7-10 years, so not worth it from that perspective. A friend that has a system says his has a lot of maintenance, so another reason for me.
     
  8. Dawne

    Dawne HOA VP/Tech Comm

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2001
    Messages:
    592
    Likes Received:
    10
    We've been up and running for nearly a week - and the meter's been running backwards. We've generated about 135 kW in the week, despite all the rainy days.

    Keep in mind, you don't HAVE to install a system that covers ALL your electric needs. You could put in a smaller, more economical system that fits your budget. That's what the HOA did on the Nature Center. It covers a hefty chunk of the bill, but not everything.
     
  9. Dawne

    Dawne HOA VP/Tech Comm

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2001
    Messages:
    592
    Likes Received:
    10
    Our system has been up and running a little over a month now. Our 17 panels are generating about 25 Kw/day on average - more than enough to cover our usage. Even with the high temps the past couple weeks - and the AC keeping the house more than comfy - we're still running the meter backwards a bit. Right now, it's at 99850 - still ahead 150 Kw from when the Net Meter was installed on 6/12 and the system turned on. Our first Dominion Electric bill was for $17 - but included paying for Kw used between June 9 and June 12. Our average June-July electric bill over the last 5 years has been $94.75/mo. Going forward, our bills should be < $10 a month - for the basic admin fee and the Loudoun County utility tax.

    Our payback estimate is just under 10 years, including the 30% federal tax credit and the 10-year Loudoun County real estate tax exemption. Of course, if we decide to sell before that, there's also the value the system adds to the house.

    Not to mention, the monitoring website/app is pretty cool!

    Oh, and the Co-op price breaks are being extended to 9/30/19.

    Screen Shot 2019-07-27 at 9.56.17 AM.png
     
    OSimpson likes this.
  10. OSimpson

    OSimpson Certified Master Naturalist

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    Messages:
    1,015
    Likes Received:
    21
    That's great!
     
  11. Dawne

    Dawne HOA VP/Tech Comm

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2001
    Messages:
    592
    Likes Received:
    10
    First full billing cycle, July 10 to August 9:

    kW used =0
    Total bill: $7.21

    Meter at about 99830 (170 kW backwards)
     
    KTdid likes this.
  12. sri_n

    sri_n Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2003
    Messages:
    351
    Likes Received:
    17
    do you get any credit back from Dominion for net metering?
     
  13. Dawne

    Dawne HOA VP/Tech Comm

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2001
    Messages:
    592
    Likes Received:
    10
    You don’t get $$$ back from Dominion, but you “bank” the extra kW you produce. Then you will use the banked kW in months you use more than you produce.
     
    sri_n likes this.
  14. sri_n

    sri_n Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2003
    Messages:
    351
    Likes Received:
    17
    Thank you
     

Share This Page