Here were my notes:
Where putting solar panels on your house makes sense - the financing options and technical details prevent people from installing them
We increasingly hear that we need green energy and that green energy is the future. Upfront I will say - no energy production is truly green, and solar in particular is pretty filthy.
At scale (like a solar farm) several problems occur:
What you should and we do know is that the status quo cannot has a finite life. We need to do 4 things simultaneously:
Personal Problem Story
Energy prices are going up. The summer in Colorado brings 2 things - peak energy pricing 3x that of the off peak and hot hot days. We need to run the AC a lot.
This has lead me to look into putting solar panels on my house several times.
Every time I engage my neighbors they say they:
But here’s the truth - no 2 neighbors are equal. Our roofs are shaped differently, angled differently and face different directions.
Lots of research and calculation (including losses)leads me conclude that with a 6.98kW system on my roof will create 11,785 kWh of energy annually (ignoring 1% yoy degradation of panels).
With peak/off-peak pricing this comes out as $1,670 of energy a year.
Okay so how much does a system cost - most systems are installed by companies that add 100% to the cost. There are newer companies that are much cheaper - so if I use them this system will cost $11,819 (with incentives).
This investment thus has a 14% return.
It actually has a higher return when you factor in income taxes from a comparable investment.
$1670 / ( 100% - 35%) = $2570
$2570 / $11819 = 21%
(N.B. We can get these costs even lower)
Fundamentally putting solar on my house is a no brainer. It has a high ROI and will achieve all 4 of the 4 future things we need to do.
So what are my options?
To get this system I can:
Let’s take a step back
As normie user - to have gotten this far I have had to:
So far this is mostly personal problems and insight. I got out of the building and asked both my neighborhood & some FIRE (early retirement communities):
If you have a south facing roof with no tree cover - what is stopping you from going solar?
I got hundreds of responses
Here are some highlights:
Honest, a simple transparent solution
Enter stage left - a current thinking on my solution
What if there were a company - Honest, that came, installed a system on your house and sold you all of the energy at your normal price. They own the panels, the liability, the system and the permits and you get resilient, clean energy.
If you want to sell your house they will either come take the system away or you can get the new owners to agree to take on the Honest deal (you get $100 to say thanks).
The only terms are - if you move within a year you pay a penalty, and if the panels are stolen you pay half the cost.
Future option - If you love the system so much we can sell it to you and you can finance it out of your energy costs.
There are a series of nuances to this problem and solution not covered here that people have raised as objections so I will list them here:
Continually in progress
If you've failed, and you want to talk about it but no one "gets it" or want's to talk to you about it. I'm here.
If not, take 10 seconds for yourself, breathe deep, watch the water - and let's jump in.
Either way I would fully recommend reading "When Smart People Fail".
This page follows on from this post.