When we went to the Home Builders Show this past Sunday Art made appointments with several Solar Photovoltaic companies. I am not good at understanding the minutiae of different electrical systems. My brain just short circuits.
Hawaii seems to be a great place to put up solar cells that would collect solar energy and convert it to electricity. The problem in all this is the initial outlay of cash. However, I've learned that you can get a 35% tax credit with the state of Hawaii and a 30% tax credit from your Federal (up to a certain amount).
Your savings each year in energy consumption would pay for the remainder of your outlay in about 5-7 years depending on what you currently use.
OK... so far, so good. I got that much.
The first consultant we heard from on Tuesday from Company #1 was Brian. (There's a whole lot of companies out here.) I really liked Brian. He really helped us understand the tax benefits and the configuration of the system. However, there was a problem with the angle of the back roof where we wanted to put it, and it would cost 30% more to put it on braces to tilt toward the sun. He felt it should go on the higher part of the roof and we could get a maintenance contract to clean the panels and maintain the wires for $600-$1,000 a year. Ummmm... We have a lot of pigeon poop around us because our neighbor feeds the pigeons every morning and the birds love to use our roof as a resting area and a convenient toilet. AND if you pay that much in maintenance of the system, where's the cost savings?
Today we heard from Company #2. I liked Shane and Julian, too. They had a lot more advanced technology where they were able to input the angle of the sun, tilt of the roof, angle of the rest of the house shading it, etc. to determine whether our back roof was viable or not. They said we didn't even need braces. It was sounding better and better. Their solar cells were also supposed to be a lot more efficient. However... of course there's a however. HOWEVER, they cost about $7,000.00 more. So it would take a couple more years for payback of the initial outlay. He says it should last 40 years and I'll want the money then in energy savings.
I told him in 40 years I highly doubt I'll be worrying about my electrical needs.
Tomorrow, we've got Company #3 coming and Art is even thinking of calling another company he read about. Aaack! This is making buying a bedroom set sound easy. Sheesh!