NY State is late. In 2017 they came up with a bunch of sweeping legislation which included a changeover on Jan 1, 2019 to switch to a ‘different rate’ for buying and selling electricity. By some divine act of providence, it turns out they are late coming up with that ruling, so there is still some time for me to get grandfathered in under the old system. It turns out that the net metering system on my current system is generating as much as it says it’s generating, but the problem is that I’m using a lot more than what the system is showing me. The problem is that when the power travels through my breaker box and gets used before it hits Nyseg, it never registers as power usage on the current flow clamps on the main lines. It’s not that big of a deal, it just means I’m going to need a lot more solar than I have right now. I’m not sure what I was thinking when I just got 24 panels 8.28kWand a 7kW inverter. I just signed a bid 5 minutes ago for another 9.66kW of panels and a 7.7kW inverter which should more than double my current capacity.
So I’m starting to think I might have a problem with impulse buying large solar arrays. I’m not sure what the standard turn around time for a solar approval, but it’s probably not usually less than 24 hours. Here’s the thing, there are only 2 things that I feel good about doing when it comes to the environment, one is planting trees (the ground is frozen), the other is adding solar to my crappy old house. By splitting my solar install essentially into 2 separate installations I’m essentially doubling up my rebates. When they installed the first set of panels they installed a large empty conduit for ‘future add ons’, Didn’t expect that by future it was going to be less than 6 months.
I might get slammed by NYS taxing authority by trying to double up on my state rebate, but it’s something of a non-issue because I’ll likely never be able to claim over $5000 in the next 5 years anyway. My state taxes just aren’t high enough. I know, someone complaining about their taxes not being high enough. Insane. When I ran the numbers to figure out if I could do this array, I ended up depreciating most of my farm expenses for much longer even when I could have deducted them 100% because I wanted my tax rate to be as high as I could get it (so I could get as much of the state tax credit as possible.
So I did a rough calculation in my head with solar. Let’s say that 75% of the power you generate you don’t use right away and Nyseg buys it from you at $.07 kWh and then sells it to you later at 11.5 cents \ kWh. That’s 4.5 cents a kWh you’re losing out on. My system should generate 471,614kWh in 25 years (the old and the new together). 471,616 * .045$ * .75 = $15,916 over 25 years if electricity doesn’t go up in price (fat chance). So think about all those late-night ginsu knife ads that say ‘call now or you miss out on this fancy $19.95 knife yours free!’. Imagine a solar power ad that says that you will miss out on $15,916 over the next 25 years if you don’t sign up for solar pretty much right now. This number does NOT count all the money you will save on solar power over the next 25 years which is $40,000 (solar power generated) – $10,000 for the system cost after rebates. We’re talking about a total of ~$46,000 dollars, for just getting solar over 25 years. That is INSANE. The craziest part is you can get loans for the whole thing. I mean AFCU gave me a loan and I’m flat broke and have nothing of value but a bunch of junked cars and a shed full of broken ebikes. If they will loan me money, they will loan you money.
I got the Mitsubishi heat pump installed by my friend Greg at Absolutely Specialized. I buggered up the installation good before I called him, but he came and bailed me out. He told me all the things I had done to screw up the installation and I watched him tear it all out and do it right. Although I was in the hole about $2300 for a 12000BTU heat pump, I have to say I’m happy with how it worked out. Pro-tip, if you want to buy a heat pump for this climate get the Hyper heat ones, not the crap one I bought that only goes down to -5F. The Hyper heat is more efficient at lower temps and it will run all the way down to -15F. The models he recommended were the MUZ-FH12NA or MUZ-FH12NAH. Greg also recommended using 14-4 THHM Stranded Comm wire for communications not single-strand 14-3 like I used. The silicone drainage hose has to go down 1/4″ for every foot and the lines were pressurized to 550PSI then blown out with nitrogen and vacuum pumped 3 different times tested with digital Micron gauge down to 330 microns. The instructions don’t say to do that and Greg said most installers don’t do that, but they should. I also bought the 3″ conduit to run the lines in, but they didn’t quite fit without a lot of forcing. You are better off going with the 4″ plastic conduit line covers. I also stripped one of the flare nuts and so he replaced the whole flare nut with a crazy $4000 copper splicing tool. Next time I’ll save myself the trouble and just hire Greg from the get-go. At least I didn’t dump the refrigerant, I’ll give myself a little bit of credit.
If you’re on the fence about solar, quit being a pansy and just do it. If you’ve never talked to Renovus before now, let me do a referral first and I’ll kick back $100 of the referral money back to you. Keith says that he knows I only want solar if we can squeeze it in before NYS figures out their laws for NYSEG. Even if they have to work in the snow and pay overtime the job is promised to get done before the deadline. Renovus has been good to their word on everything they have promised so far so I have no reason to doubt that they will get it done.