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[aprssig] Shack backup power

KBØNLY kb0nly at mchsi.com
Mon Sep 12 00:58:04 UTC 2011

>>[I have not seen this figure directly, but one of the email responses to 
>>this thread quoted his costs of 7.5 cents per KWH for a >>leased system. 
>>But I cnnot now find his email.]

Conveniently whenever I ask someone about such a low price on solar nobody 
can prove it.

>>The leasing companies are betting the cost of electricity goes up, and the 
>>amortized cost of the solar panels will be less than >>the increasing coal 
>>rates and since they keep the difference, it is a good business model.

I am sure they will, thankfully I am not totally coal driven here, nuclear 
and wind helps.

>>The problem is most people do not think about the time-value of money. 
>>And only think in terms of month-to-month bills.  >>Investing in a solar 
>>array is still a large upfront cost.  But it is like buying a house with a 
>>20 year mortgage.  You will pay less >>for the house overall than you 
>>would ever pay if you rented it for 20 years.

There is a good reason for that, families know what they need to get by on a 
monthly basis, a lot more of them are living paycheck to paycheck these 
days.  However I have to argue your rent vs buying...  I rented half my 
life.  I never paid interest on my rent did you??  If I paid $325 a month 
for rent, I did for one such house, a year would cost me $3900 and I knew 
that.  My escrow never went up and down due to shortages for insurance or 
increases in taxes, I never even had to pay property tax, I didn’t have to 
pay for repairs and upkeep, that was the landlords responsibility.  Contrast 
that to the house I bought with a mortgage of $364 a month, I didn't spend 
$4368 a year on the house... I spend only a percentage of that on the house, 
the rest was interest.  And few grand more of upkeep and repairs per year 
isn't too uncommon either.  Renting is cheaper.  The only advantage to 
buying is building equity and having an asset to your name.  Other than 

>>Investing in solar panels is the same thing as buyihg a house.  Staying 
>>with the utilities is like renting for life.

But in the end you still own the solar, therefore your responsible for 
upkeep and repairs.  I don't have to go repair the power lines when they 
fail.  Which makes it more of an investment than an asset.  And at current 
costs for solar it doesn't make it economically viable.  I had three 
different national installers do an estimate for me, the total was $16-$22k 
for a system that would do what I pay $2100 a year to the utility company to 
do for me.  That means in 7.5-10.5 years I would have the solar paid for in 
savings, by then they would have probably needed repair a half dozen times 
or more, technology would have changed three times, it would be outdated, 
need replacement, etc...

>>People who buy solar, will get free electricity for life which in seven 
>>years or so completely pays back the investment and then it is free for 
>>life..  A huge payback.

Even the experts in the industry don't dare call it FREE electricity. 
Anything worth doing isn't free.  Solar is worth doing, but at the current 
cost of a system, and the expensive cost of repairs if something fails, I 
hardly call it free.  Warranties run out, then its your money!

I have said enough on this subject.  Bob has chimed in on solar so many 
times I am sick of the subject.  I spent five years evaluating solar, every 
year turning it down due to cost vs benefit.  I don't invest in technology 
that takes so long to pay me back that its obsolete by then.  Not to mention 
the horror stories of repair cost when something fails.  I can't afford a 
sudden $1k inverter replacement when something fails, then I go back to the 
grid and that postpones the system payback another year or two.



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