My Solar Progress

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Chi Meson
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This just in: My August electric bill. August was the first full month (Billing cycle month, that is) in which my solar hot water heater has been fully functional. Compared to August 2006, my consumption of electricity has gone from 27 kWh/day, to 15 kWh/day.

At $.16 per kWh, that's $2.43 per day, as opposed to $4.42 per day.

Realized savings for the first month: $61.69

Final cost of system: $3600 - 30%(Federal tax credit)= $2520

At this rate, payback will occur in 3 years, 5 months. But of course, this will not be the case since there will be less sun in the coming months.

It is my conjecture however, that even more will be saved during the temperate months since during the summer we tend to use the least amount of hot water. A lot of electric use was for the whole-house fan and the dehumidifiers (and refrigerator).

I'm gonna go burn some tires in celebration!
 

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  • #2
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Yikes 3 years minimum? Anything over 18 months is too high. Too much can change after that.
 
  • #3
Chi Meson
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Yikes 3 years minimum? Anything over 18 months is too high. Too much can change after that.
I'm sorry, but we can't be talking about the same thing. Up here, in the Northeast US, for a major solar hot water installation a payback sooner than 8 years is considered good. For a PV system, payback is considered excellent if it occurs within 10 years. If one is lucky enough to live in a non-freeze zone, where all is needed is little more than a black plastic bag, I suppose an 18 month payback is expected. What kind of system are you referring to?

"Too much can change after that"? The only thing that will significantly change in the next decade is the rates will double or triple.
 
  • #4
russ_watters
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3 years is better than I would have expected. That subsidy is a nice gift.
 
  • #5
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Plus you should be getting income tax and state rebates, here in MI, a system like yours would credit you almost 1000 dollars to your state taxes.
 
  • #6
chroot
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Plus you're actually saving energy. Let's not forget that! The fact that it also saves money is a bonus.

- Warren
 
  • #7
Chi Meson
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Plus you should be getting income tax and state rebates, here in MI, a system like yours would credit you almost 1000 dollars to your state taxes.
There is no state incentive in Connecticut for solar hot water.
 
  • #8
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I'm sorry, but we can't be talking about the same thing. Up here, in the Northeast US, for a major solar hot water installation a payback sooner than 8 years is considered good. For a PV system, payback is considered excellent if it occurs within 10 years. If one is lucky enough to live in a non-freeze zone, where all is needed is little more than a black plastic bag, I suppose an 18 month payback is expected. What kind of system are you referring to?

"Too much can change after that"? The only thing that will significantly change in the next decade is the rates will double or triple.
I mostly deal with IT & it's a faster field, but I can't help but think there are better investments to be made. Money right now is much more valuable than money over a period of time & a 10 year payback period is pretty much like throwing it away. Also are there any additional operation/maintenance costs? Any chance the tech will improve in ~2 years?

A bit of googling & it seems high payback periods are typical. Alternative energy has some ways to go before it's mainstream.
 
  • #9
Astronuc
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But of course, this will not be the case since there will be less sun in the coming months.
The true test will come in December/Jan around the Winter Solstice, and during Jan/Feb/March depending on the cloud cover and precipitation.
 
  • #10
George Jones
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Money right now is much more valuable than money over a period of time & a 10 year payback period is pretty much like throwing it away.
See Warren's post

croot said:
Plus you're actually saving energy. Let's not forget that! The fact that it also saves money is a bonus.
with which I heartily agree.

Chi Meson, this is cool! Or should I say hot!
 
  • #11
Chi Meson
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I mostly deal with IT & it's a faster field
Information Technology is a faster field than Active-Closed loop Glycol Solar Hot Water Heating? Are we even close to talking about the same thing?
 

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