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  Reply # 1510218 9-Mar-2016 23:30
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Dynamic:

 

I've just submitted an inquiry and will advise of progress.  It would have to be a very strong case for me to sign up.

 

 

Had a half hour phone call with the rep today including a short personalised powerpoint presentation via GoToMeeting.  The guy was knowledgable and helpful.  It did not feel like a pressured sales pitch, though the 'call to action' was immediate.

 

It's interesting that you are 'buying the power' that the system generates, and not buying the system itself (though that is an option).  This means all faulty equipment repair costs are theirs.  It looks like the little 'solar hub' appliance they want placed near the broadband router feeds information to them about the system's use and supplied pretty graphs for the consumer to view.

 

The small 10 panel system they have sized for us (based on minimal information supplied by me and an average $175 power bill) does not include a battery and projected savings (based on what appeared to be reasonably conservative figures including a 3.5% annual increase in grid power costs when the increases since deregulation of the power companies is over 5% IIRC) at face value are $30 per month averaged over the 2 years.  The 2kw output available from the inverters in this 10 panel system would initially be only a few $ per month, but the price we pay for that 2kw of capacity stays fixed at $80 per month for 20 years, whereas 2kw of power from the grid is going to go up significantly over that next 20 years.

 

I think its a good offer.  I can see no obvious misrepresentation.  I would like to see some real-world generation data.

 

The rep is due to call me back next week.  I'm about 30% interested at this point, and thinking the return of an average of $400 per year is not enough (for me, with the biggest savings coming later in the life of the agreement) for a 20 year commitment.





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  Reply # 1510300 10-Mar-2016 09:12
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Any reason why you didn't enquire about the Zero+ option with the battery?

 

And from what you're saying, your fixed cost is $80/month regardless of whether you use the power or not?  ( you can't pay more then that as the array can't generate more then 2kw/whatever)

 

Does their modeling predict what your overall power bill will be each month?


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  Reply # 1510319 10-Mar-2016 09:36
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gchiu: Any reason why you didn't enquire about the Zero+ option with the battery?

 

And from what you're saying, your fixed cost is $80/month regardless of whether you use the power or not?  ( you can't pay more then that as the array can't generate more then 2kw/whatever)

 

Does their modeling predict what your overall power bill will be each month?

 

The option with the battery was a larger 14 panel installation which (I think) gives up to a 4kw output.  The battery alone gives up to a 2kw output, from memory.  We don't have the roof space for this and our current power usage does not justify the spend.  The rep did not try and oversell me.  He did advise there was a $2500 cash contribution required with a battery installation, so it's not a $0 up front for the systems with a battery.  This cash may not be required for even larger installations.

 

Interestingly the projections were that Solar alone would cover about 40% of our electricity needs, and a system with a battery would boost that to around 60%.

 

As best I can see their modelling assumes your current power usage will remain the same going forward.  It also expects a little bit of help in terms of the consumer being smarter about using more power during the day to use up the solar energy you are generating instead of accepting the pittance paid back to you by the power company.

 

And yes, the payment to them would be the $80 per month even if you switch everything off and go on holiday for 6 months.  I also asked whether the payment was to them or whether a finance company was involved, and the rep indicated no finance company was involved (i.e. it's not like one of the Intagr8 deals for those who know that failed company name).





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  Reply # 1510323 10-Mar-2016 09:40
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I'm going to see my folks this weekend, I will ask Dad about the savings they are seeing.

 

They have the 2kW system (10 panels) on their roof, but they paid for it, so do not pay anything to SolarZero monthly I think. The 40% savings sound about right to me (actually, I think my parents are saving more than 40%, but I will find out - he has it all graphed!).


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  Reply # 1510355 10-Mar-2016 09:48
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https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/pv/public_systems/vVJN843120/overview is where you can see some data on what mine produces. Its on a 45 degree roof so not hitting what the panels could do yet.





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  Reply # 1510363 10-Mar-2016 10:04
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One advantage of solar power that people rarely factor into the benefits (value added) is the ability to have power when the grid fails. Several times in recent years the mains power has gone out for at least 5 hours and I would have been very happy to have had the backup of being able to generate / store (some of) my own power. 

 

In scenarios like Christchurch and the earthquake, having every (surviving) home capable of keeping the lights on and perhaps boiling a little water, too, would enormously improve the civil defense capability of any town where most people could do this. 

 

In earthquake-prone, flood-prone NZ it almost seems negligent not to have a program to support / enable this for those time when the grid fails for some reason.....for a few hours or a few weeks or months.

 

I remember one flood near where then-Co-Leader of the Greens, Jeanette Fitzsimons and her husband lived. Their neighbours lost all power for days while the Fitzsimons were 100% self-sufficient and the trouble to them was virtually nil.   

 

 

 

 





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  Reply # 1510375 10-Mar-2016 10:11
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Thanks for the graph.

 

richms:

 

I just went for buying the panels outright since if they are offering things on finance like that, it is to make them money so buying outright will be cheaper.

 

 

The financial equation is usually different for buyer and seller so you shouldn't assume that you will be worse off under the finance option. If they are trying to gain economies of scale or market share/penetration then the finance option may be a better deal because it makes it easier for people to say Yes.

 

If the charge is set at $80 a month and there is no clause to increase the price then future price inflation could make this deal even more attractive. Over the next twenty years I would expect that to be quite likely despite the last 25 years being relatively low inflation.

 

 




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  Reply # 1510376 10-Mar-2016 10:12
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 Hmm.  Sounding worse.  You pay $2500 to get locked into a 20 year contract (hopefully at a lower rate then otherwise), and have nothing to show for it at the end of it.  SolarCity in the USA I think has an option to purchase at the end of the 20 year period, or after 8 years from memory.


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  Reply # 1510406 10-Mar-2016 10:39
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gchiu:

 

 Hmm.  Sounding worse.  You pay $2500 to get locked into a 20 year contract (hopefully at a lower rate then otherwise), and have nothing to show for it at the end of it.  SolarCity in the USA I think has an option to purchase at the end of the 20 year period, or after 8 years from memory.

 

 

After 20 years the panels would likely not be worth anything anyway. 





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  Reply # 1510407 10-Mar-2016 10:41
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Linuxluver:

 

gchiu:

 

 Hmm.  Sounding worse.  You pay $2500 to get locked into a 20 year contract (hopefully at a lower rate then otherwise), and have nothing to show for it at the end of it.  SolarCity in the USA I think has an option to purchase at the end of the 20 year period, or after 8 years from memory.

 

 

After 20 years the panels would likely not be worth anything anyway. 

 

 

Panel is worth whatever power it generates.

 

Its not the panels that you have to worry about, its the inverters, They have capacitors in them which as can be seen with old PC stuff are still giving a short life.





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  Reply # 1510505 10-Mar-2016 12:31
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 What's the life of the micro inverters you got?

 

As for PC capacitors, there were lots of bad ones for a few years as I recall from one manufacturer.


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  Reply # 1510512 10-Mar-2016 12:39
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They are enphase. Seem to have proven them selves as lasting ok for many people so far.

 

Any electrolytic capacitor will fail, they are a cheap way of getting the capacitance needed, plenty of better types but they cost signifigantly more.





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  Reply # 1510516 10-Mar-2016 12:40
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It's not unattractive that you don't own the equipment, and therefore any fault is at their expense.  I think the gear is warranted to perform to 80% of its rated capacity (which to be sounds reasonable) before they will repair/replace and the panels have (for example) a 0.5% efficiency decrease per year.





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  Reply # 1510585 10-Mar-2016 14:05
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 Can't capacitors that have not leaked onto the board be replaced though?


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  Reply # 1510588 10-Mar-2016 14:09
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gchiu:

 

 Can't capacitors that have not leaked onto the board be replaced though?

 

 

Yeah, if you want to pay someone to remove them, open them, replace them, close it up, retest it and reinstall it. Repeat that 10 times to do them all, since you will have to hire roof access equipment to get up there etc.

 

 

 

Its not easy on multilayer boards to do it either.





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