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Lots Of Panel Upgrades Soon To Come?

1138 Views 28 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  kb1jb1
Not usually the one to pay much attention to politics, however I couldn't just read this without posting. "A new electrical panel could save your family up to 30% on your monthly electrical use."

All that energy saved simply by replacing a panel? Hmmmm :ROFLMAO:

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Ready-Mix Electrician
3,931 Posts
Government needs to lend the money out. And somehow guarantee job is complete
The government needs to stay out of promoting one business over another. They have a job to do, and it isn't picking winners and losers in free market enterprise. If solar power is truly the It thing, let businesses risk their own capital, not a handout from the government.

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Industrial Electrician, Class A
3,833 Posts
Neighbor's solar horror story - Solar Panels - Solar Panels Forum

Neighbor's solar horror story
08-20-2015, 05:50 PM

My neighbor, 78 years old now, who lives across the street has a real solar horror story I though folks here would find interesting.

He bought the house across the street several years ago as a second home. He came up on weekends to relax, eventually wanting to retire. About 4 or 5 years ago, he decided to put solar on the house. It's about 3.3kWh system. Since he was rarely there, he didn't pay much attention to it. One day about 3 years ago, his son was caught without work and moved into the house to help save money. My neighbor got the electric bills and they were high; around $500 to $600 a month. He told the kid to take it easy and to conserve. But you know kids and especially kids with kids; there were 6 of them living in the house, son, wife and 4 kids. They moved out after about a year and a year later, my neighbor retired and moved up permanently. His bills jumped back up to $500/$600 a month. Two years goes by and I decided to get solar and talk to him about it. He's none too happy, saying his bill is actually higher with solar. I shrug and go forward with my install. After I install, I get a Rainforest Eagle. I show it to my neighbor and he gets one.

That's when he discovers that he is not getting the solar credited to his account. (He didn't realize he should not have been getting a monthly bill, just a true-up once a year) He calls PG&E and sure enough, they do NOT have him as a solar customer. They tell him to immediately disconnect his solar from their grid and that he is a criminal for having it connected in the first place. Neighbor calls the installer, who is subbed out from the company he hired to do the solar and he can't prove he submitted the paperwork to PG&E to get PTO. He said it was the company he bought the system from, not him the contractor subbing the labor.

So Neighbor files to have the PTO, but now it's 4+ years and the codes have changed. His plan is not up to standards. The installer contractor calls PG&E and over the phone they get it worked out and 2 days later he gets PTO.

Here's what happened with his bill;
All the energy, both from the grid and to the grid was billed as power used by him. He's on TOU and solar of course, generates heavy during peak rate time. He's paying 35 cents a kWh to put electricity on the grid!!! FOR FOUR PLUS YEARS THIS HAS BEEN GOING ON!!!

Neighbor has had a smart meter on the house for 2 years and that's 2 years AFTER the solar was installed. He spoke to the PG&E installer who assured him he's on the solar rate, so what doubts the neighbor had, are no longer on radar. PG&E refuses to make adjustment to his bill, although they do admit they can determine exactly how much power he would have been saving and banking. It totalled to a bit over $6,000. PG&E pretty much tells him to suck eggs, they aren't going to comp him energy, or repay the over charge he had for pushing watts to the their grid.

I suggested he contact the CPUC and if that doesn't get him anywhere, to contact the local News TV station and the local paper and give them a sob story about elder abuse; how the big, bad electric company stole over $6,000 from him after he asked them about the solar when the smart meter was installed.

I doubt he'll get a dime or a watt of credit back, but wow-o-wow!!

Neighbor figures he can't live long enough to re-coup his expenses now for having put solar on his house. BTW, he paid somewhat more than $30,000 for his solar all those years ago, on a loan and continues to make the loan payments on top of a $500/$600 monthly bill for those years. He'll still have to pay on the loan, but at least NOW he's offsetting it with his solar.
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· Registered
16,299 Posts
The local CoOp tech guy that comes out to check systems and install the bidirectional meter told me the smart meters would add both the usage and solar production as kWh used. And to be fair with the installer, most of the subbed out guys handle zero paperwork. The guys doing the system selling usually handle all paperwork.

I was working on a local fire department’s solar system. Some of the strings had been spliced with wire nuts and failed. The company that sold the system was monitoring it and saw the system drop off and called me to look. But the fire chief said they have never seen a difference before, during or after. I wasn’t hired to troubleshoot their connection so couldn’t spend any time on it. But the city owns the power production and the FD. I was trying to figure out how they sold them on a system in the first place. As a note the city library also had a system installed.

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Electrical contractor 37 years. Electrical inspector 2 years
4,140 Posts
I heard with the solar panels the United States government was pushing a couple years back and probably today... The problem is they gave you a big incentive but they wouldn't let you install them yourself 🤢🤢🤬
It is like a lot of incentive programs they put out.
You can get a big rebate if you install a high efficiency HVAC system but you have to use someone in the program who usually costs more money than a non registered installer. Or the home heating oil assistance program. They give out assistance vouchers but you have to buy oil from certain vendors who are higher than COD oil delivery men.
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