How Much Does Solar Cost? Part I

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About This Video
David Lupberger is installing solar panels on his house. In part one of this two-part series, he answers questions on cost, tax breaks and the installation process.
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CommentsComments on "How Much Does Solar Cost? Part I"
Have you installed or thought about installing solar panels? Tell us about it below. 


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hector m. from Greenville , SC on 10/26/2009 at 06:23 AM MT
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Great video of the system. Very glad to see contractor using personal fall protection and other PPE - something overlooked often by even major retailers and contractors. One item I could not see was if the ladder was tied-off at the top to eliminate sliding. Other than that pretty good.
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Clark & Rachel C. from Chesapeake, VA on 04/27/2010 at 11:10 AM MT
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Solar window films is another great product that will help you conserve energy. Plus you get a 30% tax credit back because it's a green certified product!
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Michele V. from St thomas, VI on 07/18/2010 at 09:25 PM MT
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I have always been very interested in solar power. <br />I would like to have the installed when the project is completed. <br />Depending on the quotes or bid's for the project, I may need them installed on two other homes. <br />Very informative video.
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Susan J. from Greenville, SC on 10/15/2010 at 07:45 PM MT
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What are solar window films?
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patricia m. from Lexington, MA on 10/19/2010 at 10:35 AM MT
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Video omitted any comment about optimal orientation of roof for workable installation. Otherwise it encourages me to think further about possible installation. Price information helpful, but for which part of the country? For how long is assistance available? Does it vary from state to state? <br /> <br />Patricia M. Lexington, MA
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Bill F. from Mill valley, CA on 10/20/2010 at 11:13 PM MT
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I put in solar 6 years ago. On a flat roof, which is quite scary, penetration-wise. I basically added another whole roof's work of torchdown to be confident that water won't get in. Panels are on a tilt-rack, to increase effectiveness, but that means that they feel the effect of winds. So I make a point to keep an eye on seams. <br /> <br />California's rebate back then was roughly $7k off of a $19 k system. It still wasn't a no-brainer, investment-wise, but it's fair. The math gets better if your local utility buys your power at (the more expensive) daytime rates, and you use the cheaper nighttime power. <br /> <br />The big decision: panels are going to take a big drop in price - sometime in the next ten years - driven by technological breakthroughs plus competition between more and more manufacturers. Do you wait, or just get them now? But - unless you're in the woods, or perhaps the northern latitudes - you WILL eventually get panels.
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rebecca g. from Adairsville, GA on 01/25/2011 at 08:28 PM MT
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we have about it never know the price rebecca l gallman
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Nancy J. from South dartmouth, MA on 05/14/2011 at 08:22 PM MT
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I have thought about it.
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Nancy J. from South dartmouth, MA on 05/14/2011 at 08:22 PM MT
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yes
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Joyce M. from Bahama nc, NC on 07/30/2011 at 03:01 AM MT
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Il like the solar panels but , I don't think I have that kind of money ! <br /> <br /> Joyce M, 3113 Bahama rd Bahama NC 27503.
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carl a. from Princess anne, MD on 03/22/2012 at 11:54 AM MT
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could you explain the breakdownof the cost of the job that is the 20,000 6,000 andthe 14.ooo the 6.000i is easy to understand but i dont get the 14,000 for distribution over time in connection with taxes? will you please explaine it to me.
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Rita W. from St thomas, VI on 05/11/2012 at 10:53 AM MT
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I am thinking about Solar or wind .I live in the Virgin Island ,and at time the wind is very strong,especially in hurricane roof are stripped with these heavy winds,Therefore I m wondering if installing the panels on the roof would be wise orputting them on a platform on the ground will be bett
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Sandra D. from Manchester, CT on 08/11/2012 at 06:09 AM MT
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I live in Manchester CT; I'm having solar installed this month. With CT's incentives & the help of the solar company I hired, I'll have full solar power for a nominal amount of $ (minimum down is $500.00) So, for $24.00/month for the equipment lease (a 1/4 of my current electric bill!) it costs less to have solar installed than it did to have a generator installed. Too bad more people don't check into all of the advantages of having solar installed (I also have a locked in CL&P rate-& rates are going up!)
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km k. from North york, ON on 04/01/2013 at 06:49 PM MT
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Mohammad Yousaf my its great video i am very happy to see the installation.
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Cathy E. from Westbury, NY on 12/06/2013 at 07:13 AM MT
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I have thought about solar from some program or advertisement . COST less in The long run; Environmentally good; More efficient; Safer. COST???????????????????????????
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Cathy E. from Westbury, NY on 12/06/2013 at 07:17 AM MT
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I have thought about solar from some program or advertisement . COST less in The long run; Environmentally good; More efficient; Safer. COST??????????????????????????? Cathy E Ellison Ave., Westbury, LI.,New York
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Cathy E. from Westbury, NY on 12/06/2013 at 07:18 AM MT
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I have thought about solar from some program or advertisement . COST less in The long run; Environmentally good; More efficient; Safer. COST??????????????????????????? Cathy E Ellison Ave., Westbury, LI.,New York
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L. from , AK on 03/09/2015 at 07:30 PM MT
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Interesting
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name'' l. from Schenectady'"addr'">aads, NY on 03/10/2015 at 10:09 AM MT
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name'' l. from Schenectady'"addr'">aads, NY on 03/10/2015 at 10:09 AM MT
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name'' l. from Schenectady'"addr'">aads, NY on 03/10/2015 at 10:09 AM MT
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name'' l. from Schenectady'"addr'">aads, NY on 03/10/2015 at 10:09 AM MT
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name'' l. from Schenectady'"addr'">aads, NY on 03/10/2015 at 10:09 AM MT
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Video Transcript for "How Much Does Solar Cost? Part I"
David Lupberger on How Much Does Solar Cost? Part I: Hi, I'm David Lupberger with ServiceMagic.com. Capturing the power of the sun and using it as a source of clean energy is becoming increasingly popular in the United States and throughout the world. In local, state and federal jurisdictions, there are more and more homeowner incentives to put solar power to use in their homes. Today we're going to follow an installation process as it takes place on this home - my home - and we're going to answer some key questions along the way.

David Lupberger: Since the dawn of existence, humans have relied on the power of our sun for just about everything. And while it provides one of the cleanest sources of natural energy and capturing its power for consumer consumption is not exactly new - harnessing solar energy on an individual level is becoming increasingly common.

David Lupberger: Homeowners typically look at two factors when considering adding solar panels to help power their homes.

Amanda Bybee/Namaste Solar: For most homeowners, I think they look at this from a number of perspectives. Certainly, the economics of a system are important. But they're also looking at this from an environmental perspective - a "we believe this is the right thing to do" perspective.

David Lupberger: Amanda Bybee works for Namaste Solar - the company I chose to install the panels for my home. Namaste, like most solar companies, is capable of organizing the entire project - helping homeowners get information on financing and incentives - all the way to installation, taking place today, and the inspections to follow.

Amanda Bybee/Namaste Solar: I think homeowners are often times surprised that there's so much help available to do solar PV.

David Lupberger: That includes me. Long before the installation crew began tying their safety lines into my roof, I made decisions on which incentives to take advantage of and financing options. Make no mistake - solar panels are an investment.

Amanda Bybee/Namaste Solar: For a lot of folks, the real crux of the question is what's going to happen to electricity prices. As the electricity prices go up, it makes the economics of a solar pv system more favorable.

David Lupberger: In my case, a $40,000 project was offset by a $20,000 rebate from my local utility company, and a $6,000 federal tax credit. Through a program offered through the county I live in, I financed the rest of it, with the balance being spread across my property tax payments for the next 15 years. Those extra payment amounts should mostly be offset by the fact that I will likely pay very little, or nothing, depending on my electrical consumption. But to correct one misconception - the meter will NOT run backwards.

Amanda Bybee/Namaste Solar: For many utility rebate programs - the design of it is to help offset your own usage, but not necessarily go beyond that and become a power plant.

David Lupberger: Incentive programs will vary, depending on where you live. But construction techniques are mostly the same. My roof is so steep, the crew is forced to tie in their safety lines as their first order of business. As a former contractor, I have to admit I don't love seeing holes drilled into my roof. But Namaste says with their combination of sealant and flashing I won't have to worry about roof leaks.

Gary Gantzer/Namaste Solar: We'll put two lags into this. And lag it right into the truss. And then we'll flash that.

Gary Gantzer/Namaste Solar: On your roof, we have 44 roof attachments. So, there are 88 holes we've put in your roof. But what we do is use a 50-year sealant on the holes themselves and on the lag themselves. So, whenever you drive the lag down, it draws that sealant down with it.

Gary Gantzer/Namaste Solar: We've never had any kind of leak. We take extra care to make sure everything's sealed up properly.

David Lupberger: So, mid- morning of Day One ... work begins in earnest. With the 44 attachments now firmly in place and - properly sealed - Gary Gantzer and his crew begin hoisting up and attaching the rails that will support the panels. Everything is laid out according to the design work that began weeks ago and customized specifically for my home. But by late afternoon, the sun has proven itself as much an adversary as an ally. The shingles on the roof are now melting with the heat of the afternoon sun, so the crew stops working to keep from damaging them.

David Lupberger: In Part Two of this series ... the panels go up, the system goes on ... but then off.
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