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 Post subject: Solar Electricity
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:50 am 
Malihini
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Location: Pensacola, FL
I am trying to do some research on the econimic feasability of converting to solar for primary while still connected to the grid. Did a search and found very little recent activity on this. I know it's expensive and there was at one time rebate incentives as well as tax breaks for this. I am just not sure if they still apply as of this time and as well as HELCO purchasing excess power that you generate. I have also heard about companies leasing all their equipment if you have good credit for next to nothing down....but even with maintenance costs verses lease or outright own systems, I still need some more input to decide what system, if any would be right for me. I believe my costs per kwh would be 3 times the amount there...yet of coarse there I don't think I would be using an A/C 24/7 in the summer or furnace in the winter, or much of the gadgets I take for granted here. I also am going to replace the old coil metal roof with the latest standing seam roof, as I prefer not to have a bunch of holes in the tin. It's like a floating roof that uses clips hidden in the seams. Was wondering also how these panels are attached to this kind of roof. I think the standard was 100sqft of roof for each Kw you plan on producing.


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 Post subject: Re: Solar Electricity
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:06 am 
Malihini
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Location: Discovery Harbour
We are in the process of putting solar panels on our roof through RevoluSun. A lot of people in our area have been making the switch, since the cost of electricity through HELCO just keeps going up and up. People who have gone to solar get a monthly bill of around $20 from HELCO (they still charge the standard "service" fee for carrying us along in case we need them :cry: ), but that's a lot better than $350 bill. Some of the houses here have asphalt shingle roofs and some have metal, and the installers are experienced with both. The number of panels they recommend is based on your historic KWh usage with HELCO, so we are looking at 16 panels.

You can either pay a monthly lease or pay for all up front. They still own the system for 20 years, which means they do any needed repairs. RevoluSun actually gets the rebate incentives, which keeps our costs down. My understanding is that HELCO does not purchase excess power, however they will "bank" any excess usage based on our normal yearly usage so that we have some to use when the sun doesn't produce. RevoluSun does guarantee a certain output based on our past performance.

I probably didn't totally explain this very well, and I suggest that you contact RevoluSun for more information specific to your needs. Our sales rep is Will Burdette at 808-938-7899. (BTW, if you contact them give them my name so that I can qualify for a small cash incentive). HELCO has said that no more than 15% of houses in certain delineated areas will be allowed make the switch, so if you are in a populated area you may want to check this out.



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 Post subject: Re: Solar Electricity
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:31 pm 
Malihini
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Location: Pensacola, FL
Babette, do you have A/C or other large appliances that draw a lot of current? I currently don't, but if I am going to shell out the $$$ for that system and be self sufficient, might as well be comfortable while doing it. Seems very enticing even with a 20 year "lease" the payback would definately be worth it, considering the HELCO bill will undoubtedly only rise in the future. Talked to your guy and he is going to give me more specifics during our next conversation. Shoot me a message or email as to who deserves credit for this referal, as I don't think he knows "Babette" :lol:

The amount upfront is a great deal when you can recoup your costs withing 4 years with 16 years left on a lease. Definately worth the investigation.
Mahalo a nui!


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 Post subject: Re: Solar Electricity
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:58 pm 
Malihini
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Location: Discovery Harbour
We do not have A/C, just windows to let the trade winds flow through. It was amazing how our electric bill skyrocketed at Christmas time and the only thing we did differently is that we hung a couple strands of lights. :cry:

I'll send you a message. Will should know my name by now, for crying out loud.



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 Post subject: Re: Solar Electricity
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:02 pm 
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It is not worth having too many panels and creating more power than you'll use. Because you are going to have to pay that $20 fee to HELCO no matter what. So the idea is install about what you use on average. They don't want people making money off of them.



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 Post subject: Re: Solar Electricity
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:00 pm 
Malihini
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Location: Pensacola, FL
Ha! $20 wont even get me to the airport and I live right behind it! $350, what the heck you burning over there? Santa wont mind if you just use candles this year.... :shock: Seriously though, thanks for the contact Babette. Wife is actually getting excited about it. **Reality sets in**...honey the house paid for, what else do you want? "A/C"...honey, we don't need it....ok, whatever, as long as you are happy...


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 Post subject: Re: Solar Electricity
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:50 am 
Malihini
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Location: Discovery Harbour
Yes, the cost of electricity is a real eye opener here. $.40 per kilowatt hour and rising. We use CF bulbs, propane for stove and clothes dryer, and are energy conscious.



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 Post subject: Re: Solar Electricity
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:10 pm 
Malihini
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Location: Pensacola, FL
Yes, that's a bit more than the $0.12 per Kwh I pay now and the reason for the inquiry. While trying to do a little reseach when I was there, I went to HELCO and asked to get a history on this place, but was denied because of privacy concerns. I mean I didn't want "who" lived there or anything, just what the average electric bill was in the past. Sounds like a bunch of hooey to me. I guess they want you to guess. Made me want to do it even more so I didn't have to purchase their precious power. Still need to have more discussion for my location as the weather I monitor on a daily basis suggests that it stays overcast there qiute a bit, but maybe this is not the norm. And yes my home is in Puna, even though I do prefer the company of the KonaForum, so don't hold that against me 8)

So your bill was $350 with cfls and propane stove and dryer? Just how many Christmas lights did you have? :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Solar Electricity
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:49 pm 
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big_island_bound wrote:
Yes, that's a bit more than the $0.12 per Kwh I pay now and the reason for the inquiry. While trying to do a little reseach when I was there, I went to HELCO and asked to get a history on this place, but was denied because of privacy concerns. I mean I didn't want "who" lived there or anything, just what the average electric bill was in the past. Sounds like a bunch of hooey to me. I guess they want you to guess. Made me want to do it even more so I didn't have to purchase their precious power. Still need to have more discussion for my location as the weather I monitor on a daily basis suggests that it stays overcast there qiute a bit, but maybe this is not the norm. And yes my home is in Puna, even though I do prefer the company of the KonaForum, so don't hold that against me 8)

So your bill was $350 with cfls and propane stove and dryer? Just how many Christmas lights did you have? :lol:

Just so you have something to compare to we lived in Mountain View (Puna) for almost 2 years (2008-2010) and our average bill was about $200 per month until we started BBQing every night. It averaged $175 a month after that. My wife was home all day every day and that was with CFL's. I'm guessing that if she worked every day it would have been $30-$40/month less. We did have an occasional bill of $220 but then we would have one the following month of $180-$190.

Most of our members still live on the mainland. You are always welcome here! :) :) :)



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Proudly Serving Both Oahu and the Big Island!!!
Kona Ka'u Realty
75-143 Hualalai Road, B-205
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

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 Post subject: Re: Solar Electricity
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 6:07 am 
Malihini
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Location: Pensacola, FL
Dave, how are your costs on Oahu verses the BI, just curious? I was wondering and thought the BI had more resourses for power than Oahu had...with goethermal, wind, and hydro.


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 Post subject: Re: Solar Electricity
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:08 am 
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big_island_bound wrote:
Dave, how are your costs on Oahu verses the BI, just curious? I was wondering and thought the BI had more resourses for power than Oahu had...with goethermal, wind, and hydro.

Actually, my cost is a little cheaper. I run around $160/month and that is without BBQing every day. I live in a larger house and most of my bulbs are still the old fashion filament type. As they burn out I replace them them with CFL's. Plus I leave my laptop plugged in 24/7 where before I would unplug it every night.



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Dave Brilliant
Proudly Serving Both Oahu and the Big Island!!!
Kona Ka'u Realty
75-143 Hualalai Road, B-205
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

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 Post subject: Re: Solar Electricity
PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:16 pm 
Malihini
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Location: Pensacola, FL
I just got my new bill in. The rates here have dropped even more that I stated earlier. Our new rate here is 10.8 cents per Kwh. That makes solar so much more attractive there to me!


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 Post subject: Re: Solar Electricity
PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:12 pm 
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I'm paying $0.343 per KW. I used 458 KW. At Babette's rate I would pay about $183 but here I pay $157.

There are a couple of things you can do to cut your bill. Get a timer for your water heater and take showers only at certain times of the day as well as wash dishes and you can save another $40-$50/month. CFL's are good as long as you pay a decent price for them.



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(808) 366-8714
Dave Brilliant
Proudly Serving Both Oahu and the Big Island!!!
Kona Ka'u Realty
75-143 Hualalai Road, B-205
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

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 Post subject: Re: Solar Electricity
PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:41 pm 
Malihini
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Location: Discovery Harbour
Dave, what do you mean "take showers only at certain times of the day"?

For our last electric bill, it was $.44 per KWh. That can vary by usage, because all of the overhead stuff remains the same no matter how much electricity is used.

BTW, big_island_bound (do you have a name?), we had something like three strands of Christmas lights. That seemed to jack our bill up by $100 from normal, since we didn't do anything else different. :cry:



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 Post subject: Re: Solar Electricity
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:56 am 
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Babette wrote:
Dave, what do you mean "take showers only at certain times of the day"?

Babette,

I wrote:
"There are a couple of things you can do to cut your bill. Get a timer for your water heater and take showers only at certain times of the day as well as wash dishes and you can save another $40-$50/month."

If you put your water heater on a timer then it only heats water during the period that you set the timer to turn on the water heater. It would then be advisable to take showers when the water heater is turned on and heating the water. When the timer turns off the water heater you can still take showers but the water may be too cold. But at least the water heater is not heating water when you are not using it. That is the idea behind putting a timer on your water heater.

As an example if you get up every morning at 6am and take a shower at that time then set your water heater timer to turn on the water heater at 4am and turn it off by say 10am. That way everyone in the house will have a chance to take a shower by 10am and you can run the dishwasher, clothes washer, etc. And the water heater will not be using electricity to heat water during the rest of the day when you don't need it.



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(808) 366-8714
Dave Brilliant
Proudly Serving Both Oahu and the Big Island!!!
Kona Ka'u Realty
75-143 Hualalai Road, B-205
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

Ka'u Web
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