Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Solar Updates

A question I received from someone today reminded me that I needed to update the "Solar Happenings" post that I wrote way back in May.

We decided not to proceed with solar panel rental at this time. We were poised to sign the papers until we received the contract and saw how much it was going to cost cumulatively over the 25 year rental period. The monthly solar panel rental fee from this particular company increased at a 3% annual rate which doesn't seem like much initially, but of course by the 25th year increases to what I believe to be too much money.

Not only would we be paying the monthly rental fee, but also a variable rate of money to APS for electricity each month. This is because during the hot summer months of high demand the solar panels do not work as efficiently, and one generally does not have enough panels to cover all the electricity required during these months.

The outcome of all this was that we would be paying an uncertain, but possibly large amount each month, (even taking inflation and the rising cost of electricity into account), and the whole thing made me personally too nervous to proceed.

The idea of signing a rental agreement for that long made me nervous too even with the "buy out" option. I think it has something to do with the fact that I have no intention of living here in Phoenix for that long and it made me feel tied down somehow, anchored to a place I don't really want to be.

Anyway, we will go solar I have no doubt, just not now, not on those terms.   


56dustbunny said...

Thanks for posting :) My concern was also that they only appear to offer a 25 year contract :/ That's like a mortgage ! Ouch ! I think programs like these would be more popular if they were more regulated and without having to commit your whole future to. It still bothers me after living here all this time, that solar energy isn't more utilized than it is. This make no sense to me. Thanks for the update, valuable 1st person info :)

Mo said...

Yes, I know what you mean. It seemed a huge commitment to me too. You can buy it out if you move but that means paying off what is left on the total cost of the system which could be a lot. I have heard some other places just require a few thousand up front and then a few thousand more after installation and that is it but we haven't looked into that yet. I always feel guilty living here and not utilizing the sun. One day! :)

Rohrerbot said...

Hello there stranger!!!! What a nice surprise! You did the right thing.....this having to rent for a billion years is a risk and not worth it. This is helpful info to keep in mind. That's why I don't own a cell phone...don't like these stupid plans. I think waiting is the best plan for now. Hope you're keeping cool in Phoenix. Your yard looks so beautiful!

Mo said...

Thank you Rohrerbot, you are so kind. Hope all is well down in your neck of the woods. x

leaner said...

As soon as we finish making our home beautiful inside we are looking at wind turbines. It is super windy here and those might be the perfect way to get as far off the grid as we can. Our neighbor has one as well as huge water catchment barrels. She is a pretty cool, old retired Army lady.