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11
Owner's Issues / Re: New house + solar panel
« Last post by qwerty on Yesterday at 11:30:11 PM »
not to mention that a lot of solar installers will probably not be around in 5 years and their support/warranties/maintenance that you paid for as part of a purchased plan may not be there.
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Owner's Issues / Re: New house + solar panel
« Last post by ZeroLot on Yesterday at 11:27:13 PM »
Yaliu07 brings up a good point.  It would be interesting to know the life expectancy of solar panels after 20 years.  I know Solar City pretty much gives it to you for $500 after 20 years. So if I do take that bait, how long will it last after it's already 20 years old?

At least when it's leased, I do zero maintenance on the panels plus the transformer/converter. The transformer needs to be swapped out every 8~10 years.  If I lease, it's a free repair and replacement.

Yeah but some places such as SolarCity (which has the most installs in Irvine in the last year) offer maintenance/repairs on purchased systems too. From their website:

30-year protection plan–You own the solar panel system, but we’ll still take care of all repairs and insurance at no added cost.

Is that an extra price for the 30 year protection plan?  I'm weary of the protection plans because often times they take their time coming out to the house to repair. Also transformers tend to be excluded from the list of repairs because they KNOW those need to be replaced constantly.
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Owner's Issues / Re: New house + solar panel
« Last post by SubSolar on Yesterday at 11:23:19 PM »
Yaliu07 brings up a good point.  It would be interesting to know the life expectancy of solar panels after 20 years.  I know Solar City pretty much gives it to you for $500 after 20 years. So if I do take that bait, how long will it last after it's already 20 years old?

At least when it's leased, I do zero maintenance on the panels plus the transformer/converter. The transformer needs to be swapped out every 8~10 years.  If I lease, it's a free repair and replacement.

Yeah but some places such as SolarCity (which has the most installs in Irvine in the last year) offer maintenance/repairs on purchased systems too. From their website:

30-year protection plan–You own the solar panel system, but we’ll still take care of all repairs and insurance at no added cost.
14
Owner's Issues / Re: New house + solar panel
« Last post by ZeroLot on Yesterday at 11:21:45 PM »
the solar industry better hope the govt doesnt do away with the 30% tax credit, cause it doesnt make any sense to buy without it. and the lessors will raise there prices since they will no longer get the credit.

Exactly.  Unless by miracle the prices of solar panels drops suddenly to make it a wash.

However the tech for solar panels is much trickier than engineers think.  The efficiency rate is extremely low and no one is able to even make them 30% efficient.

The best solar panels are all made in the USA.  It's like a SSD drive, make sure it's made and manufactured in the USA.
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Owner's Issues / Re: New house + solar panel
« Last post by ZeroLot on Yesterday at 11:16:04 PM »
Yaliu07 brings up a good point.  It would be interesting to know the life expectancy of solar panels after 20 years.  I know Solar City pretty much gives it to you for $500 after 20 years. So if I do take that bait, how long will it last after it's already 20 years old?

At least when it's leased, I do zero maintenance on the panels plus the transformer/converter. The transformer needs to be swapped out every 8~10 years.  If I lease, it's a free repair and replacement.
16
Around Town / Re: Retail Openings and Closures
« Last post by USCTrojanCPA on Yesterday at 11:15:15 PM »
I'm thinking they are putting that Whole Foods in the area across from BK and 7-11.
May it'll go across the street between the current shopping center and the 405 freeway. 
17
Around Town / Re: Retail Openings and Closures
« Last post by USCTrojanCPA on Yesterday at 11:14:06 PM »
Rita's is an east coast chain. Love their water ice. Actually went down to the MV location to try the ice and custard when it first opened. Brings back memories of east coast summers.

Rita's is now open, anyone tried it yet?

http://www.yelp.com/biz/ritas-italian-ice-irvine
Thanks for the heads up...I'll drop by when I go to Albertsons. 
Needed to go to Albertsons to pick up some groceries and dropped by Ritas.  Got a Gelati (custard with shaved ice).   It was very good and refreshing....I'll definitely be going back.
18
Owner's Issues / Re: i HATE my cox bill
« Last post by ZeroLot on Yesterday at 11:09:30 PM »
So I know Cox services have been discussed in various other threads, but I didn't know which one to add to so I'm starting a new one.

I just spent a mind-numbing 45 minutes with the Cox guy trying to "lower" my bill.  I hate how the cost of the services isn't transparent, newbies get all the discounts yet loyal customers get screwed with random price increases here and there.

I currently pay ~$180.  Here's the breakdown:
1. TV - Advanced TV $67.66
2. TV - HD Receiver $8.50
3. TV - Sports Pak $12.00
4. TV - DVR $11.99
5. TV - DVR Receiver $8.50
6. Internet - 50mbps $53.46
7. Telephone - Basic Service $19.99


So I guess here's the point of my thread:
1. What are you guys paying if you use Cox for all 3 services?  Is my bill "normal" or am I totally overpaying here?
2. Should I break up my internet (keep Cox) and go with a different provider for TV (Uverse? Dish?)?  I plan to look into Ooma for phone
3. Any other suggestions?


You are absolutely right. All newbies get great deals.  I pay $180 with Cox including tax BUT I got Ultimate for Internet, premium for Phone, and contour box + DVR + the sports pack and free HBO and Cinemax.

When I moved I signed myself up as a newbie.  It was the deal I made + I made sure I got the Contour box for free.

I told Cox I would switch to someone else unless I can sign on as a newbie, it worked. 

You could cancel everything, wait one week and sign on as a newbie and get all the perks. 

However that depends on what you value.

- I'm an Internet speed fanatic.  I'm sure that's a surprise.

- I have to have a landline for safety purposes (kids + babysitter). 

- TV is optional for me but Mr. Z loves sports so if paying $50/month keeps him from running to the bar to watch it, not like the bar is free either, I'm willing to sacrifice.

Once kids get older, I'll cut the landline (although it is nice to send a fax) and Cable.

19
Owner's Issues / Re: New house + solar panel
« Last post by yaliu07 on Yesterday at 11:07:56 PM »
From my limited research I'm not seeing the benefits of the leased system. Here's the disadvantages I see:

1. Harder to sell house. You'll have to either buyout the lease (which ends up costing more than if you purchased to begin with), convince the new buyers to take over the lease and/or offer a discount on your house to make up for it.

2. Your bill is always going to be at least $150-175 vs paying outright where after the break even period you will have low electric bills.

3. After 20 years you will need to lease another system or buy the system which will be more expensive.

4. Does not add value to home (may decrease, see #1) whereas a purchased system adds an average of $25k to the house.

The advantages to leased systems I see are that you don't have to put up the cash up front and some vendors maintain and warranty the leased ones longer than purchased ones.
1. this is Irvine.  If your house is garbage, there will still be buyer.
2.
3. After twenty year, you also have a choice to remove the solar panel.
4. Well, it will be used solar panel.  My guess is 50% off of original value?
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Owner's Issues / Re: New house + solar panel
« Last post by ZeroLot on Yesterday at 10:54:25 PM »
I thought a lease wasn't desirable because you don't get the rebates and selling the home becomes an issue in the future.

Some companies offer lease to own systems. After 20 years I pretty much own the system.  Should I sell my house in 10 years, I can still buy the system outright (~10k) and bake the cost into the price of the house.  Hopefully buyers will see value in a house whose monthly energy cost to Edison is $5/month.

The energy credit by the federal government, in my opinion is the only thing that's making the solar panels worth their while.  It is true that 5 years from now the panels will be more efficient but not by much.  The technology just isn't advancing as quickly as it should.

Should the panels ever drop in price and the government subsidy runs out, it's a wash out either way.

Solar is definitely NOT worth it for someone who is paying less than $125 / month.  The price is too much to recoup. 

But do be aware, San Onofre being decommissioned is going to cost ALL energy users dearly in the very near future.  Especially anyone in the Tier 2+ zone.
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