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97% of Americans overestimate cost of installing solar

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Filed: Country: Philippines
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Ninety-seven percent American homeowners overestimate the cost of installing solar, according to a recent Harris interactive poll that illustrates public perception remains a major obstacle to adding more residential renewable energy to the grid. The online poll, conducted on behalf of residential solar power company SunRun, found folks want to go solar. Nearly eight out of 10 of those who don't already have solar panels say they would install a rooftop array if cost were not factor. But according to the survey, the perceived costs are wildly out of whack with the real expense of installing solar. (See new note below)

harris-survey-97-percent-homeowners-overestimates-cost-of-solar1.jpg

Forty percent of the 2,200 adults surveyed think installing solar requires $20,000 or more in upfront costs. Only three percent accurately understand that installing solar can cost less than $1,000 upfront, which is possible because companies like SunRun, SolarCity and Sungevity all offer solar financing that allows homeowners to lease the panels without putting any money down. SunRun's solar power service, also known as third-party-owned solar, is structured similarly to its rivals. The company owns, insures, monitors and maintains solar panels on the homeowner's roof. In return, the homeowner pays a monthly rate over a 20-year period.

Market share for third-party solar has grown, particularly in California where it reached 75 percent of the home solar market in February of this year. In Massachusetts, the share for third-party solar is more than 80 percent.

Note: Based on some comments, I thought I'd add more information about solar leases. A solar lease is essentially a power purchase agreement or PPA. Utilities often enter into PPAs to buy power generated from large-scale solar and wind farms.

How it works

Generally, homeowners sign a long-term agreement between 10 and 20 years. Customers agree to pay a monthly fee for the solar electricity. That fee should be at a lower rate (on average over a year) than what the customer is currently paying their utility. In return, the solar provider takes on the responsibility and cost of installation and maintenance of the panels.

Solar leasing experiment

Out of curiosity, I recently went through the process of getting a quote for a solar system. Here's what I found out:

The solar provider suggested I install a 6 kilowatt system (the average residential is 5 KW). If I skipped the lease option and bought the system outright it would cost roughly $38,000. State and local rebates and federal tax credit would cut $13,000 off the price. In the end, I would spend $25,000.

If signed up for the lease, those state, local and federal incentives would go to the solar provider and my fees would be lower as a result.

If I put $0 down, my lease payment would average $115 a month and my electricity bill would average $17, for a total cost of $132 a month. Without solar (this information is based on eight months of my utility bills), I would pay an average of $91 a month. So, under that scenario, I'm actually spending about $500 more a year. The lease payments would be subject to annual increase of 2.9 percent.

To be clear, since I've lived in my current house for less than a year, I'm missing the most important months (summer) of utility bills. With a full year of my own electricity consumption information, I'd expect those numbers to shake out a little differently. I wouldn't expect massive savings, but I would probably break even or see a small reduction in my energy bill.

Leasing would be a good option for folks who consume a lot of power, have high electricity bills (I'm an energy efficiency nut and thereby my bills are below average) and live in areas where there are local and state incentives.

So what happens if you move? According to the solar provider I checked out, you can assign the lease to the new homeowner, if they pass a credit check, you can prepay the remaining lease payments and assign the benefits and non-financial obligations to the new owner; purchase the system; or prepay the remaining lease payments and have the panels removed for no additional fee.

http://www.smartplan...ing-solar/15388

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Canada
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Steven, I know this logic is hard for your to comprehend, but if there's a huge tax credit involved, it doesn't change the COST of an item. It still has the exact same cost, except greedy mooches use their neighbors income to pay for it.


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I currently pay less than $115 a month on my electric bill. So, even if my electric bill would go down to zero (which it would not), I'd still pay more for solar than what I pay now. Not a good deal. When the equation changes and solar becomes cheaper than regular electric, then we might have a deal. That said, the relative independence from the utility would be a big plus. Only takes a major hurricane to lose power for a couple weeks around here. Then, that solar panel would come in handy, I suppose.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Ukraine
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Sounds like a need to TAX Americans to pay for our education so we are not so stupid. I wonder if anyone thought of that?

Funny how we figured out other ways to heat our homes and water when they were economical. One wonders how we ever did things like build a Golden Gate Bridge, the Hoover Dam or go to the moon and back. Oh yeah...we did not have 99 weeks of unemployment compensation. Seems like our goals in other bad economic times were considerably loftier than "how to convince Americans to use solar energy"

How about re-implementing the space program? How about Obama standing on a platform and announcing we will go to Mars? I bet before we got to Mars we would have economical solar panels. Imagine the by products of a manned mission to Mars. Instead we get no goals, no plans, just subsidies for corporations that donate money to whichever politician wins.

The fact is that Obama does not have the leadership of former Presidents to inspire the country to excel, we have plenty of excuses for Secret Service Agents having sex with prostitutes, Federal agents giving machine guns to Mexican Narco Terrorists, phoney baloney, plastic banana numbers that the economy is improving. Trash really.

No doubt sex was rampant in the Kennedy era, but at least he had leadership and gave the country goals and something to work for. That we even give attention to sex scandals is an indicator that we are nothing but a reality show about what we USED TO BE.


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Gary And Alla

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Filed: Country: Netherlands
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Even though I'm pro solar, this article is total BS. It talks about leasing solar panels. No wonder the upfront costs are less than few thousand dollars. It better be less than that since you're not buying the equipment. It's like telling someone the upfront costs of renting a half a million dollar house is only a few hundred dollars. Sure it's not yours.

I'm sorry but most people won't experience a financial benefit from leasing them. Buying solar could potentially save you some money but that is not certain at this point. I expect solar prices to go down and energy prices to go up over the next 5 years. By that time solar might be an excellent replacement for current energy sources, financially speaking.


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I currently pay less than $115 a month on my electric bill. So, even if my electric bill would go down to zero (which it would not), I'd still pay more for solar than what I pay now. Not a good deal. When the equation changes and solar becomes cheaper than regular electric, then we might have a deal. That said, the relative independence from the utility would be a big plus. Only takes a major hurricane to lose power for a couple weeks around here. Then, that solar panel would come in handy, I suppose.

And instead of giving $500 million to a political contributor to WASTE on fancy cars for the owners...maybe a government program that would give us a goal and at the same time result in a flood of commerically viable by-products. Most of the electronics you enjoy today, even the solar cells we DO have, came from the space program and Obama shut it down so now we can hitchhike a ride from the Russians!

Most of this energy saving trash is just that at this point. Electric cars with piss-poor battery technology, Solar panels that cost 10 times more than current methods to generate electricity. The monthly payment of a Prius vs. a Yaris is more than the car could possibly save, even if it used NO gas and did not need coal to recharge it! Instead of trying to FORCE us to use it...make it economical and give the country a goal. Wouldn't that suck?

Fundamental lack of leadership. We elected a clown that was a Community Organizer. A strongarm bandit whose only tactics were to force businesses to give things to people that did not earn them. What should we expect?

People here invest a lot of money to burn TREES to save MONEY. It is much cheaper to heat with TREES than by oil or propane (not cheaper than natural gas so you see now TREE heaters in my neighborhood, but where I used to live...oh yeah!) People will buy solar panels when they save them money. They will save money when the technology improves. The technology will improve when there is a reason for it to improve. Subsidies are NOT a reason to improve, they are a reason to STAGNATE. Status Qou. Why improve when the government will GIVE you money for the primitive junk you have now?


VERMONT! I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: China
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And instead of giving $500 million to a political contributor to WASTE on fancy cars for the owners...maybe a government program that would give us a goal and at the same time result in a flood of commerically viable by-products. Most of the electronics you enjoy today, even the solar cells we DO have, came from the space program and Obama shut it down so now we can hitchhike a ride from the Russians!

Most of this energy saving trash is just that at this point. Electric cars with piss-poor battery technology, Solar panels that cost 10 times more than current methods to generate electricity. The monthly payment of a Prius vs. a Yaris is more than the car could possibly save, even if it used NO gas and did not need coal to recharge it! Instead of trying to FORCE us to use it...make it economical and give the country a goal. Wouldn't that suck?

Fundamental lack of leadership. We elected a clown that was a Community Organizer. A strongarm bandit whose only tactics were to force businesses to give things to people that did not earn them. What should we expect?

People here invest a lot of money to burn TREES to save MONEY. It is much cheaper to heat with TREES than by oil or propane (not cheaper than natural gas so you see now TREE heaters in my neighborhood, but where I used to live...oh yeah!) People will buy solar panels when they save them money. They will save money when the technology improves. The technology will improve when there is a reason for it to improve. Subsidies are NOT a reason to improve, they are a reason to STAGNATE. Status Qou. Why improve when the government will GIVE you money for the primitive junk you have now?

i definitely have the same rational. i am sure there are even bigger conspiracy theory in some companies that try to control the market by sabotaging the resources - in general.


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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Thailand
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Fundamental lack of leadership. We elected a clown that was a Community Organizer. A strongarm bandit whose only tactics were to force businesses to give things to people that did not earn them. What should we expect?

What's wrong with you? He gives good speeches. He looks nice and has pretty family. That's all you need to get elected nowadays.


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You make it sound like sex was a bad thing! :rofl:

Unintended consequences. It happens.


VERMONT! I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla

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What's wrong with you? He gives good speeches. He looks nice and has pretty family. That's all you need to get elected nowadays.

And being a man helps. We could have had Hillary but Dems are too sexist for that.


VERMONT! I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla

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Sounds like a need to TAX Americans to pay for our education so we are not so stupid. I wonder if anyone thought of that?

Funny how we figured out other ways to heat our homes and water when they were economical. One wonders how we ever did things like build a Golden Gate Bridge, the Hoover Dam or go to the moon and back. Oh yeah...we did not have 99 weeks of unemployment compensation. Seems like our goals in other bad economic times were considerably loftier than "how to convince Americans to use solar energy"

How about re-implementing the space program? How about Obama standing on a platform and announcing we will go to Mars? I bet before we got to Mars we would have economical solar panels. Imagine the by products of a manned mission to Mars. Instead we get no goals, no plans, just subsidies for corporations that donate money to whichever politician wins.

The fact is that Obama does not have the leadership of former Presidents to inspire the country to excel, we have plenty of excuses for Secret Service Agents having sex with prostitutes, Federal agents giving machine guns to Mexican Narco Terrorists, phoney baloney, plastic banana numbers that the economy is improving. Trash really.

No doubt sex was rampant in the Kennedy era, but at least he had leadership and gave the country goals and something to work for. That we even give attention to sex scandals is an indicator that we are nothing but a reality show about what we USED TO BE.

Gary - I have a question for you. A serious question, not a baiting question.

You have told us you had a heart attack. I presume this was a serious attack, and I think you had surgery? I know it had to be bad because you were missing from VJ for a while.........

Anyway, I would just like to ask you where you come up with the stuff you come up with and more importantly - why? Usually, when people have a near-death experience, a little bit of nirvana comes into their lives. Yet you seem perpetually annoyed about a bunch of stuff you can do little about. You negatively label people and causes and ideals and you believe your ideas are the only ones that make sense.

You just don't seem like a very peaceful person to me. I think you are gonna have another heart attack if you keep winding yourself up.


Our journey together on this earth has come to an end.

I will see you one day again, my love.

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Here we go.

Please stop it.

You really don't have a grasp on why I asked the question. Let's just say it's not what you think.


Our journey together on this earth has come to an end.

I will see you one day again, my love.

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