Solar Panels on Our House - One Year In

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  • Published on:  Wednesday, October 25, 2017
  • 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.
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  • K Al

    K Al

     17 hours ago

    So if your not making extra solar energy then why do it , your system needs to be paying you monthly not you paying for it monthly for years👎come on you look like a disinformation agent stop the propaganda....

  • Matthew Inchley

    Matthew Inchley



  • David Robertson

    David Robertson

     2 days ago

    Sounds like being taken for a ride to me, paying the same amount for 25 years? Then what? When the solar panels need replacing do you start all over again paying the same? Sucks if you ask me, the extra headaches if something goes wrong aren't worth it unless you have a completely OFF THE GRID system and pay NOBODY NOTHING forever more (except when panels or batteries need replacing!) The initial cost can be absorbed by paying just that little extra over what you were paying and pay off the loan extra fast. Result = almost complete freedom. Adding a small battery charge generating wind turbine for wintery days = complete reliability when there's no sun and a cold windy day. I'm an electronics tech BTW and until panels go bottoms out in pricing I ain't playing ball with any con-artist power or solar panel supply companies. If they don't I'll go build my own with foil...

  • thomas oliver

    thomas oliver

     2 days ago

    So basically you took 20 fucking minutes too tell us that you are now paying the solar company the same amount you were paying the utility company for 20k worth of solar panels that will break by the time you get them paid off and have to replace them. You sir are going around your ass to get to your elbow. What you should be doing is taking that 20k and finding ways to REDUCE your electrical consumption like energy efficient appliances/electronics, house insulation, central unit, and led lights. Maybe a windmill if you live in a area that it would be effective but not 20 k on something that will be wear out by the time you pay it off if it doesn't get broken first. Buy it for life or don't buy it at all!

  • Rob Levesque

    Rob Levesque

     2 days ago

    Hi Is it difficult to keep the panels clean and free of snow in winter?

  • snaplash


     2 days ago

    Unfortunately, my roof surfaces face east and west, and tall trees on all sides except the east side. I'd get full sun maybe 3 hours a day at most.

  • Robrony Hoodlum

    Robrony Hoodlum

     3 days ago

    i think the solar panels look tacky on the roof unless it is conformed to the roof and less noticeable. Also, when you get snow on the roof it blocks the the suns rays and then you will have to use your reserve power and it will slowly go down until it melts. If you dont have a new roof, you gonna have to unplug and remove the solar panels before you put on your new roof. then you got to put them back on. Its best to put them outside on the ground where you can reach them easily.

  • Robert Bustamante

    Robert Bustamante

     3 days ago +1

    The 'device' he showed is a Mitigation System for clearing potentially harmful gases from forming / gathering in the home, as I understand it that is. Even though he said it's "adding to their electrical consumption", that system is or should be "adding" only enough to justify another panel or two. However, a Tesla Vehicle, whatever model (or any Elect Vehicle for that matter), would justify an additional PV "sub-system" (typical minimum PV sys size = 7 or 8 panels).
    However, he is in for a surprise, because it sounds like he's unaware. A PV Solar System can't just be "added to", for several reasons.
    1) His NEM agreement, or Net Metering Agreement, with the Utility (Utah's Rocky Mtn Power) is for the EXACT system size he currently has. Expect them to deny any addition.
    2) His Agreement w/ Vivint is for this EXACT system size as well. They won't allow to just add one or two panels either.
    SO, he is left having to add a minimum / build-able PV system size. Which brings me to...
    3) He will need to buy an EV or build a room addition, or otherwise, somehow consume more energy in his home than what he currently uses in order to justify an additional "sub-system", as I mentioned a minimum 7 to 8 panels, or around 2.6kW system size. Note: MOST Utilities also limit the amount of Solar you can build on your home, specifically because they do not want people blowing out their roofs / property with a small power plant & have to owe you energy credits (per NEM agreement) for what your system produces above what you consume in the home. From what I've learned about the Utah Utility, Rocky Mtn Power, they already seem pretty stingy. An example of which he explained in the video; every year around March or April they remove / cancel any saved credits he hasn't used. Pretty dirty policy if you ask me, they get free energy production from you, just to turn around & sell it to your neighbor. Even if its a single kW, that ain't right in my book. Solar is costly enough, why should the I give any of my energy production back to the Utility for free? When was the last time they gave me free energy? He also mentioned a change to their Net Metering program after Nov 15th. That change = a less than 1-to-1 credit for the energy you provide the grid. Again, dirty little policy all Utah people should be up in a roar about.

  • i asimov

    i asimov

     3 days ago

    You provided more technical information about the microphone than you did the solar system. I gather that you don't use the electricity you generate directly but send it to the grid. The power you actually use comes from the grid. Am I correct? in that case, what benefit is the system if the grid goes down?

  • GT C

    GT C

     4 days ago

    In theory and essentially - you are NOT saving anything considering the loan and the 20+ years loan - as you are still paying this every month. So why bother?

  • ReefBreakSD


     5 days ago +2

    Like Greg I used Vivint. The process started in August 2018. I paid cash for my system - so it is mine. It is December 3, 2019 now and I still don't have an official OK from the power company! I already had a bi-directional electric meter and by carefully observing the Vivint techs I knew how to turn the system on. It has been running successfully now for about 8 months. And when the various authorities come out I just play stupid. If they turn it off, I switch it back on when they leave. My bills reflect the additional power being generated. So far so good. I eventually plan to buy an electric car. After examining the specs of my inverter, it will handle additional panels (which are wired in series - simple) - So some day additional panels will appear on my roof to support the car. promise you won't tell.

  • Will W

    Will W

     5 days ago +4

    That's sound advice @ Ron Butcher. I think this guy liked the dealer a bit to much, that's a pretty crazy deal he signed up for. Solar's ok if you own it outright from the beginning. I fear to many people get suckered in by all these celebrities and the like telling them they are destroying the world as they themselves travel around in Jets, and I'll even grant you the possibility that sometimes they may even drive up to the Jet in their Virtue signaling Prius. It's important to not be sucked into all the guilt people try to lay at your door, you are not killing the planet. Research In the 70's shows them telling us that the world climate was going to drive us into a new Ice Age, in the 80's and 90's it was Global warming, but the World started cooling down and that new projection was ditched as was the Global Warming name, they decided that they needed to call it Climate change because nobody could dispute that as the world has been in a constant state of Climate change since the World was the World. Everybody has conveniently forgotten the scandal that saw Scientist getting caught doctoring reports/numbers (one of those rare times media went silent on a matter really quick, couldn't have the narrative being open to real investigation) for the Rio earth summit I think it was, one of the summits at least. There's a lot of lying and dodgy dealing going on in this area and quiet frankly it has now obtained a cult like green religion status, and all cults sell a lie with a bit of truth thrown in for that 'spark' of believability! Back to this VLOG: Other than a mortgage why would you want to put yourself in debt for 20 years. I don't know how the US power system works, My countries (NZ) power supply is deregulated and allows a lot more players into the market, here you can change your supplier online in a matter of minutes and you can do it as often as suits you. There are a number of power customers with Solar collection system, they often own them, but not always but they sell there extra power to the National Grid, and they make money doing so, we have schools making extra money for themselves selling un-needed surplus power to the National Grid,, helps buy those extra books etc. This fellow breaks even if he's lucky but the power company has made sure they are never paying him money. You want to pay that loan of as quick as you can if able. Once you own the system you will have some real power (pun intended), I cannot believe the bad deal he allowed this power company gave him. I'd name the company and tell people to look elsewhere! I would hate to see other's getting caught up in rotten deals like his.

  • Cmore Butts

    Cmore Butts

     6 days ago

    seems only buy if u plan to retire there. 20 yr plan to pay off service? Even selling the house u would havta increase price to recoup the expense because u will havta pay off the principal balance. Lets see. 20yrs * 12months * 300.00+ 4% = 74,880.00
    Honestly i dont see being able to compete with a housing market when u havta add that cost to the selling price. U just made me think twice about panels. I plan on selling and parking a trailer on some land and living a meager existence once the kids are almost gone and i can get outta subdivisions forever. Then i prolly will erect a solar grid. Trailer will probably run nice on that.

  • Mike O

    Mike O

     6 days ago

    I thought you also needed batteries in a solar system.

  • kawika1kalina


     6 days ago

    My guess is You bought a power hungry Tesla. That's why you have to expand your system.

  • Ron Butcher

    Ron Butcher

     7 days ago +5

    I watched eight minutes of this before I decided to write. First...I'm a real estate agent in Las Vegas. When I show a house with solar, my first question is: is this system leased or owned?
    If it's owned, I ask how much is owed to the solar company. If it's leased, I want to know the monthly payment. To a prospective buyer, this can be a deal-breaker....many people (like me)
    think solar is a joke. Here's why: My best friend just bought a 30 year old home. His electric bill during the summer averaged around $450 per month. The local solar company told
    him they could add solar panels to his home for $28,000. (This friend was a certified electrical engineer) Rather than solar, he bought his own new air conditioning unit for $3000,installed it himself, and
    lowered his bill by THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS A MONTH. Most of us use electricity for lights, refrigerators and air conditioning in the summer. Lights, especially LED's use almost no
    electricity. A NEW refrigerator alone will drastically lower your electric bill. A NEW air conditioner, even if installed professionally, will cost around $10,000. So....if you spend around
    $13,000 (new refrigerator and new air conditioner with a high seer), you'll save $15,000.......your lights will cost almost nothing if you change to LED's and your electric bill will now most
    likely be reduced by sixty to seventy percent without the monthly purchase or lease payments to a solar company. You're welcome.

  • 1ST General

    1ST General

     7 days ago

    This is Greg Anderson reporting on location now back to your regular viewing enjoyment

  • James Foote

    James Foote

     7 days ago +1

    Looks like you had plenty of space on the ground, why not put the panels down there? Your roof must look like swiss cheese having all of those panels connected together in the attic? Any leaks after the rain or snow?

  • Bill Rundell

    Bill Rundell

     7 days ago +2

    He did not totally discloses some major facts.
    1) Storage Batteries, if used have a 5-8 years life and are expensive.
    2) Solar panels I have heard have a 12 year life, and decease in efficiency greatly.
    3) With system upgrade over 20 years the solar panel will hardly pay for them selves.
    4) Solar panel can cost over $15,000. My eccentric bill is about $100/ month

  • James Nasmith

    James Nasmith

     7 days ago +2

    The winter aerial photo reveals evidence of rooftop snow shovelling no doubt to clear buried panels. Ugh. That would seem like a huge issue in snowy regions.