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Solar Panels on Our House - One Year In

Published on Oct 25, 2017 639,585 views










After one full year of having a solar panel system on the roof of my home, I share some insights into how it's been working. This is a grid-tied system, purchased through Vivint Solar, to generate up to 100% of the electricity we use each year. Now that I can run the numbers for a full year of use, I'll talk about it.

In the near future I'll explain how a new radon mitigation system in our home motivated me to contact Vivint Solar again to expand our system and generate even more electricity.

  • Doctor Who
    Doctor Who Год назад Kudos for using a proper microphone. Thank you!
  • John Walter
    John Walter 11 месяцев назад Sounds Great.
  • Ronald Meadows
    Ronald Meadows 9 месяцев назад VIZIO SB4451-C0 SmartCast 44" 5.1 Sound Bar System
    DEIRDRE SCOTT 8 месяцев назад Nlitawtillmse🔑
  • Matthew A
    Matthew A 8 месяцев назад
  • Scott Luther
    Scott Luther 18 часов назад No, this is not the proper microphone! It does sound good, but I would go with a lapel mic or something that you don't have to hold!
  • xVOLTx
    xVOLTx 11 месяцев назад (изменено) People don't mind forking out $40k for a new car only to be worth $15k in several years.
  • Kendall Svengalis
    Kendall Svengalis 9 месяцев назад Unless money is no option, buy a car that is 2-3 years old. Depreciation in the first year averages 21% and, in the second year, 17%. That's 38% over 2 years. People that buy new cars time after time are suckers.
  • J.R. Vasquez
    J.R. Vasquez 9 месяцев назад Excellent point xV!
  • phuc ewe
    phuc ewe 9 месяцев назад @Kendall Svengalis Bought my first truck new in 1978. Sold it in 2011 when I bought my 2nd new truck. This one should take me to the grave. Guess I'm a sucker.
  • papajohn fitbyfaith
    papajohn fitbyfaith 9 месяцев назад GOOD POINT!
  • Christopher
    Christopher 8 месяцев назад not an excellent point......yes a car depreciates and so does everything else that we buy, but if I dont use the car a much as I thought I would does the car company give me money back? No. Here in Toronto Canada...if you are generating your own power, whatever you do not use the power company pays you for.
  • William Blish
    William Blish 8 месяцев назад leasing Ev's are a better trade off.
  • 427 Corvette
    427 Corvette 7 месяцев назад Me too, New 2003 and drove it for 15 years, just upgraded to a 2019 that will be my grave truck. BTW, I only buy new trucks when the money is free, ie. 0% interest.
  • Mykel Hardin
    Mykel Hardin 6 месяцев назад @phuc ewe yup!
  • trwsandford
    trwsandford 6 месяцев назад @Freddy McIntire lol!
  • Stoney Island Ranch
    Stoney Island Ranch 5 месяцев назад Thank you I been saying that for ever.. I thought I was the only one who thought that ..people kill me with that .. it cost this and that..i generate my own electric so I don't have to deal with corporations
  • xVOLTx
    xVOLTx 5 месяцев назад Exactly. I have solar and ROI was never a concern of mine. It is worth it alone just to not pay the local monopoly of a power company all your money. @Stoney Island Ranch
  • Ron Sutherland
    Ron Sutherland 2 месяца назад @Christopher fyi, the rules in Toronto/Ontario have changed recently. I just had a new system installed in the past few months at my home in Toronto and the setup now is exactly the same as in Greg's video here. And whatever credit I have left over after a year rolls off.
  • Jordan Bronson
    Jordan Bronson 2 месяца назад LOL, spend $20K... Save $50 a Month = $600.00 a Year. $20,000 / $600= 33.3 Years.... LMFAO !!!
  • SlowHandMcQueeg
    SlowHandMcQueeg 2 месяца назад The most expensive car I’ve ever bout was $25k.... so these ‘people’ you’re speaking of, I don’t know.
  • SlowHandMcQueeg
    SlowHandMcQueeg 2 месяца назад Jordan Bronson that’s the real problem. The ROI isn’t there, and the cells deteriorate at such a rate, that it never will until the physics and chemistry of the cells change.
  • Jordan Bronson
    Jordan Bronson 2 месяца назад @SlowHandMcQueeg - I agree 100% - Although usually it's rated at 25 Years... But I don't see it last that long, well unless you are in space! But on earth, about 15 most.
  • noname
    noname 2 месяца назад This is the kinda thing poor people say.
  • SlowHandMcQueeg
    SlowHandMcQueeg 2 месяца назад noname I make $123951/year, before taxes and such...but I have been poor most of my life. Soooooo, yeah.
  • Rob B
    Rob B 2 месяца назад @427 Corvette it's never free as they wash into the sales price...
  • thebubba1
    thebubba1 2 месяца назад buying a car doesnt take 20 years to get a benefit from.
  • thebubba1
    thebubba1 2 месяца назад @phuc ewe pretty sure he means every few years not decades
  • Gary Mankiewicz
    Gary Mankiewicz 2 месяца назад @Christopher YOU must be a rich man by now guess you afford a doctor oh that's right, I am sorry you have socialized medicine you don't get a paycheck ,you get a TAX BILL !EH?
  • mscolli3
    mscolli3 2 месяца назад @William Blish I agree, but I drive too many miles for it.
  • jzmun
    jzmun 1 месяц назад @phuc ewe lol
  • John Lee
    John Lee 1 месяц назад @Kendall Svengalis I buy a new vehicle every time and then keep it over 20 years. I am saving money over that time even with maintenance from time to time to buy another brand new vehicle. People that don't this are fuckers.
  • steveeb
    steveeb 4 недели назад You're not buying the right car if it depreciates that fast. I have a $23k car that is worth $17K+ 10 years later.
  • Chris
    Chris 4 недели назад Trucks are expensive and often keep a great deal of value. If you spend $40k on a car.... that's your problem.
  • tripjet999
    tripjet999 3 недели назад That only applies to fools who treat their vehicle like a toaster. If you would try taking proper care of a vehicle or anything else, you would find that it is much more reliable, last longer and brings much more money when you sell it.
  • Dr. Guy Madison
    Dr. Guy Madison 3 недели назад Also remember that $40k will be $80k in a few years if invested.... always use the opportunity cost when determining the true cost of an investment that "returns an investment"
  • Janit Baldwin
    Janit Baldwin 3 дня назад Cars are not usually an investment like a house or solar. A house appreciates ( hopefully if you bought right and can make the payments.) Solar generates savings over time. Once it pays for itself - which it will - the key is to Not lease - which is basically no cost to you and has little no return on investment because you don't wager any cash. I guess you could say there really is no reason to do that except unless of course if you care about the environment. Oh BTW I make 10% a year off my investment and will have total investment returned in 5 years - then I will be saving - a lot. Where do you put your hard earned cash?
  • Dr. Guy Madison
    Dr. Guy Madison 3 дня назад @Janit Baldwin I buy rental properties.... you get income / appreciation / equity and a tax write off...
  • Marco Deo
    Marco Deo 3 дня назад @Dr. Guy Madison good point. I never heard him say 40k .My price was 25 K for a 14 room 2850 sq ft home.
  • Ron Sutherland
    Ron Sutherland 2 месяца назад Thanks for the great video Greg. I echo all your sentiments. Interesting parallels to my situation too. I'm in Toronto ON and just had a similar system installed and the deal with the utility is pretty much the same as yours ... though my fixed fee is higher, about $40 I believe ... maybe I'll get lucky and it will go down someday. I've also had an ASD System for Radon for about 7 years, similar to what you appear to have there ... works quite well.
  • Michael
    Michael 2 месяца назад Many thanks to share your experience of solar energy. On top of that you seem to be a great guy.
  • R Schinner
    R Schinner 1 месяц назад How much are you paying for the “loan” of the system? You left out the most important data.
  • rick james
    rick james 2 недели назад Done on purpose because all the labor and systems costs is very high.
  • indy5ivehundred
    indy5ivehundred Неделю назад it's like 30K. they put a lien against your home for the duration of the contract which is usually 20 years.
  • Costa, H.T.
    Costa, H.T. Неделю назад @indy5ivehundred omg, no way I'll install it
  • indy5ivehundred
    indy5ivehundred Неделю назад part of the cost is the new shingles they put on for the installation process. but yep... I believe mine were 23k
  • Atheist
    Atheist Неделю назад @Costa, H.T. this is why it is better to buy your panels, there is no lien on the house. try not lease your panels.., Now 30k might sound like a lot, but you are already paying much more than 30k to the utility companies, and you have a contract with your utility forever
  • David Campbell
    David Campbell Неделю назад @indy5ivehundred yeah so $150/mo for 20 years is $36k. .. If the system was only 25k with 3.99APR your payment would be $151.36/mo / 20yrs.. and you'd pay back a total of $36,327. If you paid cash and instead it saved you $10,000 over 20 years, that is $41.66/mo in savings (at a cost of 25k..). If you invested that 25k instead you'd only need to make a little over 2% per year in interest to make it better than paying cash for solar panels.
  • Ready Temp
    Ready Temp 3 дня назад @David Campbell "invested"... that word is scarier than a choosing which panels to get.
  • Marco Deo
    Marco Deo 3 дня назад @Atheist 30 k to utilities maybe in 30 yrs ?
  • Atheist
    Atheist 3 дня назад @David Campbell couple things, average utility rates rise 5-8% each year, sometimes more. So the solar locks in your rates, and never increases, unlike the coal and gas utilities which will charge you double in 12 years. don't forget solar adds equity to your home, right away, most people move within 7 years. plus they get the federal tax credit, and helping the environment. After the solar is paid off you literally have an electric bill of maybe 10 bucks or less, for the remaining life of the system. Another benefit is if a battery is added to the solar, you have power for your family incase of an emergency while the rest of the grid is down.
  • Atheist
    Atheist 3 дня назад @Marco Deo dont forget the average utility company raises their rates 5-8% each year.
  • 2muchgear
    2muchgear Год назад Here in middle Tennessee the fixed fee is $36. Also the bastards are now in cahoots with the IRS and send me a 1099 for 100% of my production. When I get the plan finalized, I'm going to rewire so that I use as much of my solar production as possible before selling additional production to the grid. Fool me once.......
  • 2muchgear
    2muchgear Год назад Oh, and net metering is not an option here.
  • Henry Ostman
    Henry Ostman Год назад You can of course write off the depreciation of the system as an offsetting expense on your taxes, this would include any interest on the loan. you can avoid this by moving your house off the grid and store your electric in a battery bank.
  • Jerry Moody
    Jerry Moody Год назад Probably wont be too long before the tax appraisal district wants to tax production as well. They did it to our mineral leases here on Texas.
  • Henry Ostman
    Henry Ostman Год назад sending you the 1099 is consistent with IRS rules even if they never paid you any cash since payments in kind (i.e. free electric) is regarded as taxable by the IRS. Hey look, your bank pays you interest on your balance in your checking account (I bet it isn't very much) but they charge you a fee every month for the account and sometimes a per check fee, then at year's end they send you a 1099I for the interest, face it we can't win.
  • rj in IA
    rj in IA Год назад That's good. Otherwise your neighbors would be subsidizing you further than when you got your tax credit.
  • Erick Rikard
    Erick Rikard Год назад rj in IA solar isn't going anywhere. It will crush you or you will go solar. That simple.
  • Dave Price
    Dave Price 8 месяцев назад another good reason to have your solar on a closed system and never touch the " grid" with it. it would mean a battery and some extra wiring. for your hot water heater, laundry room and maybe part of your kitchen. I would not bother rewiring the whole house.
  • Anthony Perez
    Anthony Perez 7 месяцев назад Henry Ostman how are they paying him? The are simply returning what he produced before. So that should end up even.
  • robbytherob
    robbytherob 7 месяцев назад Henry Ostman if your bank charges you a monthly fee then you need to do some shopping. Last year I met a woman who had a checking and a saving account. She was being charged more in fees per month than she was generating in interest on her savings. How do people fall for this scam when there’s private banks out there that do zero monthly fees?
  • chas4702
    chas4702 6 месяцев назад @Jerry Moody If they tax production then you should be able to write off equipment costs and claim you are an independent business. I was wondering if this would work. Of course to have a write-off you have to have profits. I suppose you could just get a home improvement loan and write off the interest. I think they should only be able to tax profits. If they are not doing net metering then they dont know how much energy you produce!
  • chas4702
    chas4702 6 месяцев назад The power company is getting credits and kick backs from the Government. Why shouldn't you get the same???
  • Michael
    Michael 6 месяцев назад According to Section 136 of the IRS Code, energy conservation subsidies provided by public utilities, either directly or indirectly, are nontaxable:
  • Chris Conway
    Chris Conway 4 месяца назад What a racket.
  • The One
    The One 4 месяца назад @Henry Ostman yes we can.
  • Billblom
    Billblom 3 месяца назад Several areas have utilities doing nasty stuff.. Down in Florida, Florida Power and Light (east coast power company) got a law passed that if anyone disconnected from the grid, they would have the certificate of occupancy pulled, meaning you get thrown out of your house by the sheriff because it is not legal to occupy the house. Really. Other areas have stopped paying for solar production. They have 'enough" during the day (see duck curve) and thus want to have the ability to disconnect all excess from the grid. Throw in the no - battery systems that cannot be used for backup, and you have a real headache.
  • Harleykid58
    Harleykid58 2 месяца назад haha...Keep Voting Republican and the little GUYs always PAY!!!
  • Billblom
    Billblom 2 месяца назад @Harleykid58 The folk here in NC were run by the Democrats for almost 100 years straight... Duke power followed their laws nicely.. including the state mandated coal ash ponding.. However, when they had a spill.. the democrats all exploded.. demanding that Duke rework all their ponds, and relocate all the coal ash.. and because that is part of the control they had over duke for 80 years or more.. Duke pointed out they would be assigning that to the rate payers.. because the dems were changing the rules after the fact.. Meanwhile, taxes are down all over.... and when it comes to 1099, they are REQUIRED if there is any goods or services exchanged with or without payments... So the utility is just doing what the feds demand. The really neat thing: in Florida, the east coast utility wants to throw you out of your house if you disconnect from the grid and stop taking their power.. No power = No Certificate of Occupancy. Gotta love the monopolies...
  • The One
    The One 2 месяца назад @Harleykid58 brain washed liberal.
  • driggs51
    driggs51 2 месяца назад @2muchgear our electrtic co. won't allow excess power to flow back into the grid, claiming dangerous for any workers in grid work...? I guess Battery Backup is my way to go in the upper Midwest.
  • BTC ain't crashing
    BTC ain't crashing 2 месяца назад (изменено) @Harleykid58 You stupid pos. You want Big Government?? The democrats will give you Big Government. You want your guns confiscated? The democrats are working on getting that done right now. We'll turn into a socialist country if the democrats take over. THINK A LITTLE! And NO, watching the news does not equal thinking.
  • Haris Inam
    Haris Inam 2 месяца назад I am thinking about installing a 10kwh system on Alabma Tn line. If you dont mund sharing your experience, it will be a great help
  • Don Mega
    Don Mega 2 месяца назад better if you could go off the grid entirely and just build up enough batteries to hold all the excess of your production.
  • JVMovies
    JVMovies 2 месяца назад over here in the netherlands they are also messing around with people being able to deliver energy back to the net............... its ridiculous. by 2020 they are changing the system so that people arent getting anymore money for the power they deliver back....
  • Don Mega
    Don Mega 2 месяца назад @JVMovies better have a system where any electricity is stored in batteries rather than send any of it to the crooked electric company
  • Webe Free
    Webe Free 2 месяца назад @Henry Ostman Lots of States won't let you go off the Grid, those Socialists need Every Penny!!!!
  • Webe Free
    Webe Free 2 месяца назад @Jerry Moody The Socialists in CT now TAX you on the Sale of your House, and then TAX you if you Leave their Failed Blue Socialist Shit Hole State with YOUR MONEY!!!!!
  • Haris Inam
    Haris Inam 2 месяца назад @JVMovies i believe energy companies, see a threat when they see households building systems that can provide power in day time.
  • bakedpagan
    bakedpagan 2 месяца назад @robbytherob there's cucks in everything friend ,think ofa used car salesman
  • More Haters? Really!
    More Haters? Really! 1 месяц назад 2muchgear if they give you a 1099 every year (you’re making a sale/income, so why shouldn’t you get a 1099????)...then you should be able to write off a prorated share of the fixed fee AND a prorated share of depreciation, interest expense, ho insurance, and repairs and maintenance, etc. on the system. The multiplier formula for the deductions would be: total kWh sold to the power company/total kWh generated.
  • Haris Inam
    Haris Inam 1 месяц назад @JVMovies think about systems that will take you off grid. But then again they can legislate actions to make it more expensive to provide your own energy needs. Its utility company mafia that hilds monopoly and is too used to doing its work inefficiently. Anything breaking that monoply is a threat to them.
  • M Detlef
    M Detlef 1 месяц назад 2muchgear Um... YOU using as much power that you generate WAS in the original plan, RIGHT???
  • M Detlef
    M Detlef 1 месяц назад Henry Ostman So I can write off the depreciation on my lawn mower too???
  • Tris Greaney
    Tris Greaney 1 месяц назад Webe Free and they keep trying to charge you vehicle tax after you leave. F@@k the state of CT
  • Flatcar Rider
    Flatcar Rider 3 недели назад @Henry Ostman That is why I refuse to have an interest-bearing checking account.
  • whirled peas
    whirled peas 2 недели назад We use a directional current transformers on the line between our grid-tie inverter and the grid. This gives us a current reading of how much we're importing and exporting, and allows us to control relays that turn things like a water heater or air source heat pump, to minimise any export.
  • Ready Temp
    Ready Temp 3 дня назад (изменено) Does the utility companies have to pay taxes on the surplus power the panels generate? They should.
  • hsn893
    hsn893 1 месяц назад Thank you for sharing your experience. Could you please share your spreadsheet as it shall have valuable information to see if it can be optimized.