Going Solar: How To Edition

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Popeye_Card
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Re: Going Solar: How To Edition

Post by Popeye_Card »

mikechamp wrote:
December 17 20, 10:01 am
Popeye: With good solar orientation, even 500 s.f. of roof can generate a decent amount of power. Are you also in the STL area?

We also replaced our roofing at the same time, though I will tell you both contractors will advise you do the roofing before the solar panels. With all electric heat and water heater, I would think it would make even more sense for you to go solar.

You'd have to talk with your tax professional, but the fact that you own the rental house means you are the only eligible party to receive the tax credit. The renter would not be, and that's why solar is typically not as appealing to people who live in apartments or other rental properties. They can't take advantage of the tax credit, unless they subscribe to community solar, and even then, it gets tricky since they are not a part owner. They are usually a lessee.

Overall - because the sun doesn't charge for the power it generates, solar provides a bit of an insurance policy against future utility rate hikes. And like I say in some of the presentations I give, "Can I get a quick show of hands of the people who think, if we stay with the current model of power generation, their utility bills will go down in the future? Nobody? Maybe 1 or 2? Exactly."[/color]
Thanks Mike. I did some quick tax research, and it sounds like I cannot take the tax credit (though I could still write it off as a business expense).

I would expect electric utility bills to only go up going forward, even if we move towards more renewables. On the cost side for me, since my tenants pay for the utilities no matter what, I have to consider if I can up the rent by $75 or $100 with utilities paid by landlord. That would take me ~5-10 years to break even on the installation.

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Fat_Bulldog
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Re: Going Solar: How To Edition

Post by Fat_Bulldog »

mikechamp wrote:
December 17 20, 12:42 pm
Fat_Bulldog wrote:
December 17 20, 11:32 am
Thanks mikechamp.

I have a 3 story home that faces west with a huge roof. My electricity bills are through the roof..... with a pool, hot tub and west facing most of the time. Around $350 to $400/month. I think I would be a good candidate as all of one side of my roof faces west without any obstruction. I get a ton of sunlight.

I will be looking into Solar. I may ping you from time to time if that's okay.
Please do.

And it's interesting that you bring up pools. Their pumps use a lot of energy. Depending on the age of the pool pump, it may be interesting to look into a more efficient pump (Pentair is one brand that is usually at the top of the efficiency lists) prior to theoretically sizing your possible PV system.

Do you have a solar cover for your pool? That can also offset some of the heating-related energy demand, if your pump also supplies heat to your pool. On the topic of covers, it is important to note that automatic pool covers work much better than manual covers, because the pool owners actually use automatic pool covers. It will also save you on evaporation losses, too, which means a saving on your water bill.

Also, keep in mind a west-facing system will generate a lot of power... in the 2nd half of the day. It's certainly better than nothing, but this is where a solar professional can do some math and model how much a system on your roof, at your specific site, could generate.
mike,

I put a Pentair pump on it last year and that has helped quite a bit. I run my pool pump 24/7 when it's season. If I'm going to have a pool, I want the water to be nice all of the time. It is a variable pump and I have the pump programmed run at different speeds during the day.

I don't have a heater for the pool. But my hot tub has a pump and I keep it running and heated 24/7 - 365 as we use it daily.

How do I get ahold of a solar professional? What would we do.

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mikechamp
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Re: Going Solar: How To Edition

Post by mikechamp »

Fat Bulldog:

Glad you're enjoying the benefits of the new pool pump. They are legit.

Roughly where do you live? Meaning, where is drunk? Just kidding. I'm referring to state and county. You can PM me if you don't want to reveal too much.

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mikechamp
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Re: Going Solar: How To Edition

Post by mikechamp »

Popeye:

That's too bad about the tax credit, since that is a sizable carrot. Do you have a choice to take it as a business expense or get the tax credit? If so, what is the more lucrative decision?

On the tenant utility payment, here's something to consider: You can include them in the rent (like you're already thinking) but then that inclusion makes your rental more enticing to the market... or make it more enticing to keep renting from you. It'd be pretty easy to say, "Yeah, my rent is a little higher, but your utilities are included." Now, there's certainly a risk that cannot be overlooked, and that is when the utilities are covered, tenants tend to get less efficiency-minded. But you can also be creative in your lease! "We'll pay your electric bill up to $X." That way, you can still legitimately say you include utilities in your marketing, and you protect yourself against energy hogs.

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Jocephus
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Re: Going Solar: How To Edition

Post by Jocephus »

i can't help at all but solar is definitely a big thing out here in western CO, particularly since we get like, 300 days of sunshine here. my point though, i hear so many radio ads saying the solar credit has been reduced and may go away completely, etc, so install soon! if i owned a home here, and i may look into it in a few years, i'd definitely wanna look into solar.

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mikechamp
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Re: Going Solar: How To Edition

Post by mikechamp »

The renewable tax credit was originally designed to sunset in 2022, so next year is (as of now) the last year of it. And it has stepped down from 30% to 26% to 22% next year before going away. Not to turn anything political; I'll just say that with a change in administration, it is more likely that it gets either renewed or extended, since it has had some bi-partisan support in the past.

All that is certain is what's on the books now, which is that it will expire in 379 days.

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thrill
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Re: Going Solar: How To Edition

Post by thrill »

I work for a major solar builder and we work with developer and designers of all sizes and capacities. We work with one that has really cool app that allows you to put in your address, and other details and you can see what kind of production/savings/efficiencies you're eligible for with financing and everything considered.

I forget exactly which company that was, but I'll track it down and post it here if anyone wants to check them out.

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mikechamp
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Re: Going Solar: How To Edition

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That would be a cool resource to play around with, thrill. At the very least, it would allow people to understand the range of possibilities.

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GeddyWrox
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Re: Going Solar: How To Edition

Post by GeddyWrox »

Thanks for all the info!! A lot of new information to digest and look into. Much appreciated!

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mikechamp
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Re: Going Solar: How To Edition

Post by mikechamp »

Good news for all of you considering going solar next year! Congress just gave you an extra 4% incentive to do so. See below:
As a part of the Coronavirus Relief Package passed last week, the Federal Investment Tax Credit (FITC) will remain at 26% for the next two years, expiring at the end of 2022.

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