I just couldn't take it anymore.
My energy bill was/is out of control. But I live in the part of the contiguous United States with the highest rates for electricity. It's part of what you accept when you live here.
But what I couldn't accept?
A $200+ electric bill for December in which I was gone for a full week, was gone for 10 to 12 hours a day during the week, didn't run AC/heat, and am a single person living in this house.
Where did all of that energy go? I had a few holiday lights up. But that was it.
And it's not just December... My electric bill has been consistently over $160 a month since I moved into the place.
So seriously... WTF?
Time for these..
I decided about a month ago to move forward with exploring solar panels. The only hold up was not wanting to deal with my HOA. There was a huge misconception in my neighborhood that we weren't allowed to install solar panels. Technically, the HOA owns our roofs. And no one in the neighborhood had installed them.
But through some research, and actually contacting my HOA management company, I found out that was incorrect. We were allowed to install them. I just needed to be willing to sign a waiver and take responsibility for the portion of the roof with my panels.
On a referral from a friend at work, I explored a solar company that I felt comfortable moving forward with for the project. They pushed me towards the latest panel technology (LG NeON 2 panels) as well as the latest inverter technology (Enphase micro inverters). Which means, yes... They were more expensive than other panel options and a string inverter. But I wanted what was the latest in tech... And the warranty on the panels and inverters pretty much covers any issues with them as well as the roof itself.
Yep. That's right. If something happens to the roof because of the install of the panels, for the next 25 years, the warranty covers it.
So all that was left for me to do was evaluate the cost and figure out how to pay for it.
I decided to buy them. Simply because the cost of energy is only going to increase, and in the event that I want to sell the house (which I don't ever plan to) I didn't want to have to worry about the new owner being able to pass the credit check to take over the leasing of them. I was in a position where I was able to pay cash for them without having to do financing, so I threw the install amount on a credit card to rack up the airline miles. And I'll pay that off in about a month.
LET'S GO SOME PLACE AWESOME ON SOUTHWEST!!!!
Anyway... Today was installation day. And they showed up bright and early and proceeded to work the next 11 hours installing 17 panels on one side of my roof, which collects unobstructed sunlight most of the day.
This is them at about 8am getting things started. It was a team of about six guys. They couldn't have been more professional and cool. I did worry about them though... No one asked to use my bathroom the whole day. WTF???
At lunch, I went for a walk, and noted their work from a distance...
Some pretty precise alignment on their part, making sure they stuck to my side of the roof and didn't infringe on either of my neighbors' roofs.
After lunch, more drilling and sawing. They not only had the panels to install, but grounding wires and electric boxes and running sourcing up the side of my house.
They even went out and grabbed a can of paint the same color as my house to make sure none of the grounding wires of sourcing wires stood out.
It's hard to see with the setting sun at 5:30pm, but here is their finished effort...
As one friend noted, they look "baller as shit!"
I couldn't agree more. I feared they would be an eyesore and stick out. But so far, they seem to blend in pretty well. And now that they are in place, I can see that they are completely unobstructed. They'll collect the full amount of Sun throughout the day.
They just need to pass another inspection in the next two weeks. Then they will be activated. And I can dream of a much lower (if any) electric bill by the time Summer hits and I want to turn on my AC.
Really happy with the install. Really happy with the recommendation from the co-worker. In case you're wondering who I used, here you go...