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Bumping this in hopes that the DR solar expert weighs in!

Does anyone have a basic, unbiased website that discusses solar?  Sort of the Consumer Reports of home solar installation?  I haven't looked at this stuff in a while, but the last time I did, it seemed that all the info was from solar companies (obviously very biased) and they simply pushed their product. 

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In VA, my understanding is the only subsidy is a 26% federal tax credit (for 2021).  So if you pay $10,000 for solar, you'll get a tax credit of $2,600 on your 2021 tax return.  You'll have to recover the $7,400 from energy savings.  My reading suggests that can take up to 10 years.  I would love to find a reputable solar installer to tell me the actual cost vs. energy savings.

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I signed up at https://solarizeva.org/

They referred me to https://www.solarenergyworld.com/

Based on their analysis, 16 panels on the back of my townhouse will reduce my electricity bill to almost 0 (I have gas heat).  Cost is $13k and I get 26% federal tax credit, and about $500/yr from Fairfax County and SRECs.  I will recoup my money in 7 years at the current energy price.

Solar Energy World quoted me a ridiculous cost before I said I was part of the Solarize program.  Not sure what that's about.

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14 hours ago, Ericandblueboy said:

I signed up at https://solarizeva.org/

They referred me to https://www.solarenergyworld.com/

Based on their analysis, 16 panels on the back of my townhouse will reduce my electricity bill to almost 0 (I have gas heat).  Cost is $13k and I get 26% federal tax credit, and about $500/yr from Fairfax County and SRECs.  I will recoup my money in 7 years at the current energy price.

Solar Energy World quoted me a ridiculous cost before I said I was part of the Solarize program.  Not sure what that's about.

This was essentially the math we faced when thinking about a solar system for our house.  Residential solar is just far less efficient than a commercial solar system. Plus our house was surrounded by trees that made it worse (for the solar panel system, better for our comfort) and were likely to fall and damage it.  In the end, I just figured better to invest the money and pay a bit more for solar/wind energy.  I ended up with more dollars in my pocket (based on my spreadsheets) and still felt like I was doing something for the environment.

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On 8/20/2021 at 5:09 AM, zgast said:

In the end, I just figured better to invest the money and pay a bit more for solar/wind energy.  I ended up with more dollars in my pocket (based on my spreadsheets) and still felt like I was doing something for the environment.

zgast - 

     I'm confused by these lines.  Did you invest in solar/wind or did you just opt out and just keep your current electricity?

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We actually are really well situated for solar panels, our townhouse has no big trees or buildings, we generally get 8-10 hours of sunlight on the flat roof, but the cost hasn't really made it worthwhile.  We were hoping our HOA might do something as a group to help make it a bit more affordable, but nothing on that as of yet. We keep it in the back of our mind. 

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16 hours ago, Bart said:

zgast - 

     I'm confused by these lines.  Did you invest in solar/wind or did you just opt out and just keep your current electricity?

We switched to a commercial energy provider that only uses wind/solar production. Cost about 25% more, but it looked like we’d still come out ahead vs investing in solar panels on our home. Someone in our neighborhood organized a group discount that made Year 1 much more competitive vs Pepco’s generation charges when we signed up but after it was about 25% higher. Everything continued to be billed  through Pepco, just a different rate for generation costs. 

Adding some information on how this is done in Maryland. That's a basic description of how the government structures the program.  Unsure if it's possible in Virginia or DC.

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I worked with a guy at the EPA who's an expert on the subject. If anyone has any specific questions, I'll try and ask him (my Facebook has been commandeered, so my primary means of communication with him has been removed).

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