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Home Improvement
Home Improvement ideas, help, DIYs, and show room. Got a home improvement project you need help with or want to share. Post your project now!

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Old 06-04-2013, 11:50 AM   #21
WerksM3
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Must be nice.

My total utilities bill averages $500 with a much much smaller house.
Wow that is substantial! What's your situation for energy? Is everything electric? I also imagine you are running AC all the time in FL.

The wife and I are always trying to be energy conscious though, it's already June (85-90 peak temps here this time of year) and we haven't turned on our AC. We have a nice crossflow window setup in our bedroom so we just run box fans one pointed in and the other pointed out. Drops the temp to a nice 65-70 during the night. When the nighttime lows get above 70 we have to turn on the AC.

She's an electrical engineer specializing in lighting design so she gets all the new LED bulbs from vendors and we have them all throughout the house now. It's amazing how the high-end LEDs now have the same great light quality as a typical A lamp. Problem is they are still $30/ea if you had to buy them.
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Old 06-04-2013, 11:57 AM   #22
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what numbers did you use? the most efficient gas ones are 2-3 times less efficient than hpwh. you can get them now at lowe's for like $700. how much was your gas water heater?

your goal should be to get off of natural gas. what is your monthly service charge for using gas? why not go with a heat pump for your heat? either air source or geo? average high in winter is in the 40's in CO.

a ford cmas or something similar would let you do mostly all electric with extended hybrid range.
Wow I never saw one for $700. I bought this one:

http://www.lowes.com/pd_333595-135-N...t=water+heater

The least expensive hpwh I see at lowes is $1,200.

I'll have to check it out for the next one though, the useful life on these things is terrible, and I'd love to get off nat gas as much as possible. Except for the gas range. I absolutely love cooking with gas.
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:01 PM   #23
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Wow that is substantial! What's your situation for energy? Is everything electric? I also imagine you are running AC all the time in FL.

The wife and I are always trying to be energy conscious though, it's already June (85-90 peak temps here this time of year) and we haven't turned on our AC. We have a nice crossflow window setup in our bedroom so we just run box fans one pointed in and the other pointed out. Drops the temp to a nice 65-70 during the night. When the nighttime lows get above 70 we have to turn on the AC.

She's an electrical engineer specializing in lighting design so she gets all the new LED bulbs from vendors and we have them all throughout the house now. It's amazing how the high-end LEDs now have the same great light quality as a typical A lamp. Problem is they are still $30/ea if you had to buy them.
A/C, hot tub, ton of electronics.
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Old 07-12-2013, 02:50 PM   #24
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Energy Production started on 6/13, I have made 1,100kWh in the first month. Equates to $0.0815/kWh for the first month (based on my monthly payment being $89.61).

My current utility is charging $0.1204/kWh so that equates to a first month savings of $42.79(!)

Remember folks, I had zero out of pocket expense, and I just received my first bill of $89.61 last week.

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Old 07-12-2013, 03:48 PM   #25
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Nice! Just paid my Electric bill yesterday...
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Old 07-12-2013, 04:12 PM   #26
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Nice!

If you don't mind me asking, what kind of incentives did you get from state/federal/power company?

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Old 07-12-2013, 05:38 PM   #27
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Nice!

If you don't mind me asking, what kind of incentives did you get from state/federal/power company?
With my setup I have a solar lease, so SolarCity gets all of the Federal tax incentives for installing the system. This is the main reason they always want to install the largest system they can get away with.

As far as the power company I had two options. 1. I could have received a check at the end of each 12 month period for the amount of power I produced. or 2. All excess power is rolled into credits and they are rolled over month to month, year to year, forever without any cap. Downside to #2 is it is never transferable.

I chose #2 because we have an unfinished 2,000sf basement that will be finished in 10 years, which will require more power overall. Also, as EVs are getting better and better I might pick one up in 10 years and drive it for free using banked energy.
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:40 PM   #28
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^ Doesn't Xcel offer straight cash rebates on a per KW basis for the installation of your system or does the company get that cash too? They offer those rebates around here...

That's on top of what you get for putting power into the grid.
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:56 PM   #29
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^ Doesn't Xcel offer straight cash rebates on a per KW basis for the installation of your system or does the company get that cash too? They offer those rebates around here...

That's on top of what you get for putting power into the grid.
Yes they get that money as well. Believe it was $0.07/kw so they got $514 for installing my system. I pulled the permit records and it showed they paid $850 to pull the permit so the REC credit didn't even cover the permit cost.
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Old 08-02-2013, 02:51 PM   #30
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Awesome thread, WerksM3. Any updates on the system? Still making money?

Your costs are ONLY [$89.61/Month - $1,075.32/Year - $21,506.40/ 20 Year] ? Then, they offer you to renew the contract or take everything out of your house for free?

I live around too many trees for this to benefit me, but here are my costs.

Electric - 12,818kW/Year @ $0.07839/kWh + $12.96/Mo Svc charge = $1,160.32/Year
Gas - 2,065 Therm/Year @ $0.6017 + $12.50/Mo Svc charge = $1,392.51/Year



What's this about the hpwh? I pay $1299 for a new heater, get $300 in rebate. It uses electricity. Does anyone have one, what's the additional cost?
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Old 08-02-2013, 05:50 PM   #31
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Yes my total out of pocket expense over the course of 20 years is a grand total of $21,506 and they remove the system for free if you want. However in 20 years the solar industry will be insane and an equivalent system would cost probably $2k. The $20k-$30k system in 20 years will be much more impressive with better efficiency. They guarantee maintenance and performance so they also include an inverter replacement after 10 years into their pricing, which is about what their lifespan is.

Over the course of 20 years they guarantee I will get 182,000kWh out of the system (system efficiency drops over time so the average is 9,100kwh/yr). That equates to a guaranteed rate of $0.118/kWh for the 182,000kWh over the next 20 years. My rate is locked so my $89.61 will never increase.

You have very cheap energy in CHI, my rate including taxes and fees averages $0.125/kwh.

Overall I did not take the "try to make money" route that most people try to take when going solar. I just took the route that had ZERO out of pocket expense which means I pay close to the normal amount of standard electricity. However, assuming electricity rates go up, it could be looking like a sweet deal in 10 years. Either way I just wanted to "go green" and I have to say it was insanely easy. I didn't have to do a damn thing and I didn't give them any money including a monthly payment until the system was already up and running producing power for a month.

I am not sure on the water heater, my water heater costs me $15/mo to run so I didn't see any point on running a ROI calc on upgrading. I just installed the run of the mill Lowe's version when I moved in.
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Old 08-02-2013, 05:54 PM   #32
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Production for July. We have had a very cloudy July. Had a good streak of 40kwh days though.

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Old 08-02-2013, 08:22 PM   #33
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I hope it would cover your costs! So at $89.61, they installed enough panels to satisfy your average usage? If they installed more, you would be able to profit. I like this idea, it's interesting, but if there wasn't some benefit to me, I don't see the appeal.

If the panels didn't cover my cost, I would owe $ to the electric company.
If I broke even, It's like I wasted my time adding solar. Minus the benefit of no power outages any longer.
I would hope to sell energy back and be free from outages.

Thanks for going green
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Old 08-06-2013, 02:02 PM   #34
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I hope it would cover your costs! So at $89.61, they installed enough panels to satisfy your average usage? If they installed more, you would be able to profit. I like this idea, it's interesting, but if there wasn't some benefit to me, I don't see the appeal.

If the panels didn't cover my cost, I would owe $ to the electric company.
If I broke even, It's like I wasted my time adding solar. Minus the benefit of no power outages any longer.
I would hope to sell energy back and be free from outages.

Thanks for going green
you don't get any satisfaction knowing where your energy came from? that you didn't burn unsustainable natural resources to create energy? that a dangerous and radioactive waste producing process wasn't used? not to mention using solar energy is inflation proof! when natural gas opens as a world market, look the **** out!
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:34 PM   #35
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The numbers come out the same and even at times, profitable. It's an outstanding investment to know I'm self-sufficient. I am more prepared to live off the land and leave a smaller footprint. We agree on that.
I am renting right now, but I do love this plan.
-Solar electricity
-hpwh - http://www.geappliances.com/heat-pump-hot-water-heater/
-A/c - http://www.lennox.com/products/air-conditioners/XC21/
Induction cooktop

This method will become very popular with more efficient panels and the promise of 100% solar reliability.

I am one straw in the stack of billions and this is new to me.
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:01 PM   #36
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As soon as SCTY offers this in CO I am going to try to get in on it.

https://www.solarcity.com/residentia...y-storage.aspx
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Old 08-07-2013, 02:25 PM   #37
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The numbers come out the same and even at times, profitable. It's an outstanding investment to know I'm self-sufficient. I am more prepared to live off the land and leave a smaller footprint. We agree on that.
I am renting right now, but I do love this plan.
-Solar electricity
-hpwh - http://www.geappliances.com/heat-pump-hot-water-heater/
-A/c - http://www.lennox.com/products/air-conditioners/XC21/
Induction cooktop

This method will become very popular with more efficient panels and the promise of 100% solar reliability.

I am one straw in the stack of billions and this is new to me.
fun fact. did you know that by switching from an electric water heater to a hpwh it will save enough electricity to power an EV for 3-4k miles!!! and switching to heat pump dryers which will enter the US in probably 2015, you will save that much again. that means by buying two manufactured products that create jobs you will save enough energy to drive an EV 8,000 miles so without adding a single new power plant we can power electric vehicles enough to satisfy 75% of america's driving habits! mind = blown!! **** you oil!
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Old 08-07-2013, 04:07 PM   #38
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Re: How about Solar Energy?

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fun fact. did you know that by switching from an electric water heater to a hpwh it will save enough electricity to power an EV for 3-4k miles!!! and switching to heat pump dryers which will enter the US in probably 2015, you will save that much again. that means by buying two manufactured products that create jobs you will save enough energy to drive an EV 8,000 miles so without adding a single new power plant we can power electric vehicles enough to satisfy 75% of america's driving habits! mind = blown!! **** you oil!
They'll create jobs alright....just not here.

Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:10 PM   #39
WerksM3
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fun fact. did you know that by switching from an electric water heater to a hpwh it will save enough electricity to power an EV for 3-4k miles!!! and switching to heat pump dryers which will enter the US in probably 2015, you will save that much again. that means by buying two manufactured products that create jobs you will save enough energy to drive an EV 8,000 miles so without adding a single new power plant we can power electric vehicles enough to satisfy 75% of america's driving habits! mind = blown!! **** you oil!
Is this per year, meaning they save enough energy to drive 8,000 miles per year or just over the lifetime of the unit?
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:06 AM   #40
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fun fact. did you know that by switching from an electric water heater to a hpwh it will save enough electricity to power an EV for 3-4k miles!!! and switching to heat pump dryers which will enter the US in probably 2015, you will save that much again. that means by buying two manufactured products that create jobs you will save enough energy to drive an EV 8,000 miles so without adding a single new power plant we can power electric vehicles enough to satisfy 75% of america's driving habits! mind = blown!! **** you oil!
how much more money is a hp water heater going to cost over a standard wh at home depot that sells for 500 dollars installed ? and what is the payback ?

ditto for washing machines ......... a standard washer is 400-500 bucks and a hp washer will be in excess of 1k .......more than the new HE washers....saving energy is great, but so is saving money.

EV's are much more than a civic or corolla as well.


but..........i am all for creating jobs in america. I like the idea of energy efficient devices, but it has to be cost competitive as well.
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