Buying a house with solar.

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skywalker1

Trad climber
co
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 23, 2019 - 06:17pm PT
Just a quick question. As I go through all inspections is this a separate inspection? What should I look for? All I know is that it was installed in 2015 with a new roof. I live in SD. I don't know the size but they have said it runs the house. The panels take up both sides of the ranch house.

Any help would be appreciated. I know this is a climbing forum.

S...
WBraun

climber
Apr 23, 2019 - 06:27pm PT
What should I look for?

First, you need to describe the actual solar infrastructure that is installed there and all their major associated components.

None of which you even did yet.

Photos would be even better.
zBrown

Ice climber
Apr 23, 2019 - 06:31pm PT
Probably want to track down the installer and the purchase documents

Warrantees
Specs
Etc
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Apr 23, 2019 - 06:40pm PT
Yeah, remember a home inspector only inspects what they look at. They aren't running tests to validate how much power you get out of it ('didn't look at that'), unless you contract with them for that.
skywalker1

Trad climber
co
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 23, 2019 - 07:12pm PT
Seems there is a cost/ benefit but somewhat negative in the up keep. Battery disposal, venting etc. I have my homework the next couple days.

Thanks for the replies!

S.....
Contractor

Boulder climber
CA
Apr 23, 2019 - 07:13pm PT
Make sure a bullshit lease deal doesn't tranfer through title!

San Diego or South Dakota?
Contractor

Boulder climber
CA
Apr 23, 2019 - 07:14pm PT
Batteries...WTF?
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Apr 23, 2019 - 07:34pm PT
Lots to know, and need to know, to own one. Read up. Batteries generally only go in for off grid, otherwise the grid is your battery.
skywalker1

Trad climber
co
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 23, 2019 - 07:58pm PT
San Diego. Seems I need to really look at the system, take pictures of some code on the side of the panels, inverter, and call the company for details.

S...

Thanks For the ideas and responses. Just not sure if it's a negative.
Contractor

Boulder climber
CA
Apr 23, 2019 - 08:08pm PT
2015 should be a good system with micro inverters. When we first started putting medium sized systems on the houses we build in San Diego the payoff was about 20 years (the length of the warranty). By 2015 the payoff was down to 8 years. Tesla makes a battery pack the size of a suitcase but that's not quite a popular option yet. If it's a legit system, you're stoked!

Sempra utility may be able to give you some intel on the system- they're pretty helpful.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Apr 23, 2019 - 09:57pm PT
a home inspector only inspects what they look at.

Yeah, yer check.
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Apr 23, 2019 - 11:19pm PT
Go to the city and look at the permit file. Everything you need is there. Enough to run the house depends on who lives there and about a hundred of other variables. My consumption has varied considerably depending on who lives in the property.

You should also ask to see the daily production log and the current owners monthly bills to see how well the system has been working. Of course if the current owner has been frugal and not run the AC you might be disappointed wih how well the system works for that house. If nothing else going to the property at sunset and looking at the current day's production will clue you in on its effectiveness. Keeping in mind that daily production in the summer is generally more than double the daily production in the winter.
perswig

climber
Apr 24, 2019 - 03:31am PT
My pre-caffeine brain read this as:

Buying a house with sailor.

and although I recall our plt sgt clearly advising to stay away from red-heads and strippers, he said nothing about buying houses with sailors.

Carry on.
Dale
Curt

climber
Gold Canyon, AZ
Apr 24, 2019 - 11:04am PT
Go to the city and look at the permit file. Everything you need is there. Enough to run the house depends on who lives there and about a hundred of other variables. My consumption has varied considerably depending on who lives in the property.

You should also ask to see the daily production log and the current owners monthly bills to see how well the system has been working. Of course if the current owner has been frugal and not run the AC you might be disappointed wih how well the system works for that house. If nothing else going to the property at sunset and looking at the current day's production will clue you in on its effectiveness. Keeping in mind that daily production in the summer is generally more than double the daily production in the winter.

Good advice. You also need to make very sure that the title changing hands does not impact the net metering arrangement with the utility. Many utilities around the country have changed the way rooftop solar producers are compensated for the power that is pushed back to the utility. So, the current owner may be "grandfathered in" to one particular form of net metering and a new owner might be subject to something less economically favorable.

Curt
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Apr 24, 2019 - 11:17am PT
We put solar panels on our roof a year ago. Probably wonít pan out financially for someone my age but it felt great doing it.
Doing the right thing for the planet is worth a lot...things donít always have to pencil out.
I figure Itís a credit against all of the jet fuel consumed on my worldwide ramblings.
skywalker1

Trad climber
co
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 24, 2019 - 11:19am PT
Well I just went through inspection. The seller produced the contractor, receipt, and warranty. I will own not lease. 6.8 KW. Installed 2017 with new roof. No batteries. So I will input to the grid then draw at night.

Seemed legit. Will follow up with contractor.

Happy.

Curt good advice. They haven't changed peak times yet so maybe I will be grandfathered in.

Thanks for all the responses.

S....
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Apr 24, 2019 - 11:32am PT
this sounds like a standard modern system. It will sit up there and run your meter backwards when the sun is shinning. We have had one on our roof for 10 years now. 3.2KW system covers all our needs including charging our electric car (Leaf). However, our water heater and dryer are gas.

The inverter had a part go bad about 7 years ago. Still under warranty and was fixed for free. Only problem in the decade.

Use an old climbing rope to safely do a soft-brush cleaning every couple of years.
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Apr 24, 2019 - 05:38pm PT
Go directly to the source for information on your system. Get the part numbers, go to the manufacturer website and start there. Download everything and store it in a safe place for the years to come. That stuff is constantly changing and often doesnít stay around forever.

In the case where a contractor has access to information not provided to customers, pressure them to give you that as well - service and tech manuals, spec documents, etc. 10 years down the road you have no idea who will be working on the thing and it might be you.

The problem with a contractorís or permit documents or whatever nonsense from an inspector is that they they are often wrong and at best usually lacking in detail. Whatever you do get, great, but donít necessarily trust it beyond a point of reference.
StahlBro

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Apr 24, 2019 - 06:02pm PT
Make sure you get the original purchase agreement for the solar. It should tell you all you need to know.
Contractor

Boulder climber
CA
Apr 24, 2019 - 07:22pm PT
Glad the solar thing worked out. The original contractor should be able to set you up monitoring the system on your computer. You can read the output of each individual panel with micro inverter technology.

More importantly, I hope you're near Woodson.

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