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[aprssig] Shack backup power

Bob Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Mon Sep 12 03:48:08 UTC 2011

>> 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.
> I rented half my life.  I never paid interest 
> on my [$325] rent did you?? 

No, But with that rent you also did not get back 25% of it on your taxes which you would have with the Mortgage..

> Contrast that to ... a mortgage of $364 a month, 
> [the] $4368 a year [was mostly] interest.  
> Renting is cheaper.  The only advantage to buying 
> is building equity and having an asset to your 
> name.  Other than that....

Well, that is the point.  After paying about the same as renting, at the end of the 20 years one owns say a $100,000 house compared to having nothing to show for the $78,000 spent in rent.

> I had three different national solar 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.  

In 10 years you will have sent $21,000 (more at future rates) to the electric company and have nothing to show for it but a remaining lifetime of more monthly electric bills...  If you spent the same amount now you'd have free electricity for life...   But, it does depend on how long one plans to live...

> 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 times, it would be outdated, need replacement, etc...

The thing about solar is that it should be pretty much maintenance free.  Panels are guaranteed to be producing 90% of what they were when new.  And in 10 years, effeciency gains in almost everything electrical will make up for that 10% loss.

> Even the experts in the industry don't dare call 
> it FREE electricity. Anything worth doing isn't free.

It is free after you have paid for it... plus maybe $10 per month for the grid tie...

> 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.  

Which is why I sound like a born-again conversion.  I too had always rejected solar for years and years.  But I was blind to the unbelievable reduction in costs and the unbelieveable government rebates and grants of the past few years.  When I finally looked at grid-tie fresh last year, I found out how wrong I had been.

And that is why I blather on so much.  Because I was shocked when I learned how much the industry had changed and how I had wrongly included battery storage in my thinking.  The reason to do it now is because the nearly 50% government incentives will not be around long.  Demand is now so high that it does not make sense for the government to keep incetivizing it so much.

> I don't invest in technology that takes so long 
> to pay me back that its obsolete by then.

No question that in 20 years the array is not the latest technology and newer systems will cost less.  But that doesnt matter, beacuse it is still producing power and meeting all my needs giving me zero electric bill for the rest of my life.  WHo cares if it is "obsolete"... it still produces all I need.

Sorry for the off-topic post.  But we ALL use electricity, so it is somewhat related..

Bob, Wb4APR

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