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Why Should You Use Renewable Energy at Your Home - Page 2

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Posted by Curbie on May 23, 2010, 4:07 pm


You should also look at http://www.BuildItSolar.com  in their DIY
section, lots of good stuff there.

Good luck,


Posted by Josepi on May 23, 2010, 5:30 pm

A few items

- solar panel prices have come down a fair bit in the last year or so.

- some figure about 40 cents / kWh is the brea even point on the grid

- retail stores require about 50 points (%) markup to stay alive. That means
they buy a product at $00 and they have to sell it for $00 to pay their
rent and employees and make a small profit. Less store front or big volumes
= less mark up required.

- I suspect manufacturers have to make about the same.

I mostly lurk here, but this answer prompted a question that perhaps
this group can answer.  I'm retired and would love to install solar
panels, but the up front cost are prohibitive.  Here in Tennessee
solar is probably the way to go, since it's not windy and geothermal
is expensive in rock.  I can't help but feel the people who sell solar
panels are gouging their customers.  I would seriously consider
borrowing money to install solar but can't help feeling that I'm
getting taken for a ride.

Does anyone have any data on the profit margin that the people who
sell to the public make?  If it cost $00 to make a panel, but they
sell it to me for $00 I feel this is unfair.  If it costs $00 and
sold for $20 then the margin would be a bit more acceptable. Most
business (excluding energy) operates on margins that allow them to
stay in business and pay the stockholders a reasonable return.  I just
find it hard to believe that it costs so much to make a solar panel.
Do they figure into the cost the savings the consumer might realize?

Posted by z on May 23, 2010, 6:08 pm

How much (roughly) have you been quoted per watt? so if you wanted a 2kw
setup how much was that?  When I look for a panel to add to my system I'm
trying for $/watt (or less) but many times they can be as high as $/watt.

There are sweet deals that you find sometimes but keep in mind that
shipping these things is spendy



Posted by vaughn on May 23, 2010, 6:31 pm

If you are thinking grid tie, you will likely also pay for professional
installation.  You may also need more expensive "approved" components.  In my
area (hurricanes) I have no desire to perforate my roof or load it with stuff it
was never intended to support through a 100+ MPH storm, so IMO a large add on
roof-mounted solar system is a non-starter.  (I do have a modest solar system).

Also, won't believe how finicky insurance companies are down here.   Many are
making us pay for expensive "independent inspections" and then, based on the
results, either refusing to renew, or mandating expensive repairs or upgrades.


Posted by hebintn on May 23, 2010, 7:54 pm

I haven't gotten to the point of getting a quote.  As a retiree I have
to consider pay back over a shorter term than some young whipper-
snapper.  Currently, my electricity cost about 10 cents/KWH.  I
haven't convinced myself that an outlay of  maybe $0,000 to convert
to solar would be money wisely spent.  I suspect our power supplier,
TVA, given the negative press with coal, coal ash, and surface mining,
will slowly convert to alternatives, and with it will come higher
rates.  Guess I'll have to deal with it.  I need a way to spread the
cost out over the next 10+ years.

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