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Ideas for solar power in home -- - Page 14

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Posted by Derek Broughton on February 9, 2006, 1:42 pm
ghostwriter wrote:

What happens is: you plan the conversion; you decide $5000 is too much; you
go on a serious energy conservation program; you get costs down to $0000
and decide it's worthwhile.

Of course, you've now got your monthly electricity bill down to about
$50/mo :-)

When you're currently connected to the grid, going off-grid will rarely make
sense.  Going to a grid-tie system, might.  otoh, when you don't have the
grid to begin with, bringing it in is often not a paying proposition.  You
don't have to be very far off-grid at all to get the cost of running poles
and lines above the cost of installing your own power.

Posted by Josh Hill on February 9, 2006, 1:07 am
On 8 Feb 2006 12:05:56 -0800, "ghostwriter"

That's the way it should work, anyway! I gather from what I've read
that the market isn't always that rational. Some people may look upon
solar power as a complicated albatross (and in some installations
they're right!), or find solar panels unsightly. In other cases,
something like a pleasant sunroom can add more to the value of the
property than its energy contribution would suggest.


"President Washington, President Lincoln, President Wilson, President Roosevelt
all authorized electronic surveillance on a far broader scale." - Alberto

Posted by daestrom on February 8, 2006, 10:40 pm

Your idea has some good points.  But a couple of issues.

For the power company to have a lien against some property, then it would
have to be recorded in the public record.  Now, try and sell your house.
Most prospective buyers would not be able to get financing because their
bank would not be able to be recorded as the first mortgage/lien holder.
(the 'first mortgage' is the oldest recorded outstanding claim against the
property.  Banks want this position because if the loan defaults, they are
first in line to receive the proceeds from any forced sale).  So you'd have
to pay off the lien before you sold the house.  Not a complete
'show-stopper', but a complication.

Considering that the 'average homeowner' moves every 5 to 7 years, the
utility loan would have to be set up to pay off somewhere in that time

Refinancing with a 'home improvement' loan is tough in this case because
banks/realtors can't put a good solid price on the value added.  It isn't
just the retail 'sticker price' of the system.  It's how much more the
average buyer would be willing to pay because your home has this extra
'feature'.  Kind of like how much more is your home worth if you have a
second bath, or a fireplace.  But those features are common enough that
realtors/appraisors can put a fairly reliable number on them.  And if the
appraisal doesn't justify the added 'value', the bank won't make the loan
for it.


Posted by Josh Hill on February 9, 2006, 1:27 am
 On Wed, 08 Feb 2006 22:40:31 GMT, "daestrom"

That reinforces my sense that the traditional approach isn't the most
effective one, and that the government would have to get involved, not
to write the loans, but to pass the enabling legislation that would
overcome these and similar obstacles.

Since the energy audit would be performed by a professional energy
assessor, the upgrades would be installed only if they yielded on
average a positive cash flow, and the loan would be part of the
utility bill whoever owned the house, I don't think the lien would
concern a bank writing a new mortgage; if the house were auctioned
off, the bank would receive all proceeds, and the new owner would
inherit the obligation for continued payments for items in the fixed
plant, assuming that the legislation required that.


"President Washington, President Lincoln, President Wilson, President Roosevelt
all authorized electronic surveillance on a far broader scale." - Alberto

Posted by dold on February 8, 2006, 9:00 pm
In one sense, payback of solar power could be achieved if payments on a
loan to install solar were exactly the amount that you would otherwise pay
for electricity.

That was offered to me by SunPowerGeo, but it has since been retracted to
applying only to commercial installations.

I think it is offered by Akeena Solar, as part of their "positive cash flow in
the first year".

Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley (Lake County) CA USA  38.8,-122.5

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