CLICK HERE – Texas Solar incentives are back for a short time.
I just contracted with One Block Off The Grid for solar panels that will offset approximately 50% of my electricity usage and lock in a low rate of approximately 3.2¢/kWh for the next 20 years.
When I moved here in 2011, I contracted with TXU for 100% wind generated power. I’ve been very happy knowing that my electricity usage was not contributing to fracking sacrifice zones. But, at 11.7¢ kWh, I’ve been paying a bit of a premium for wind.
One Block Off The Grid has a number of ways you can structure a deal for solar panels. You can do a monthly rental agreement, a custom agreement or an initial payment agreement. I chose the initial payment and will achieve pay back in the 5th year or earlier if I cut my usage. (I plan to install a radiant heat barrier and, in the summer, I will shade my south facing windows from the sun. Right now, like last winter, we are enjoying the passive solar. )
As the photo shows, there will be 15 panels on the back of my house which faces due south. When the engineers come do an assessment, they may find that up to 18 panels will fit on my roof. In that case, my offset would be close to 60% of my energy use.
Going solar will not only take a strain off my pocket book, it will take a strain off our grid. Texas ranks dead last in electricity reliability.
Texas likes to be No. 1 at everything. But we are currently dead last when it comes to the reliability of our electrical system, according to a recent assessment by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation…
I spoke with Marcus Joo who really knows his stuff. He patiently walked me through everything, including the contract which I can cancel in the next two weeks with no obligation. Marcus is a big Bruce Lee fan so, since my oldest son has a black belt in Jeet Kune Do, we had more than the love of clean energy in common.
I tried to get solar last year but there weren’t any incentives available so the cost was way too high. There are only a limited number of incentives for Texans and those will all be gone in a few days. If you don’t get in on this round, you will have to wait until there are more incentives.
FACT: The clean energy sector creates 3 times as many jobs as fossil fuel sector. Learn the truth about clean energy
Good bye natural gas you dirty boy! It’s over between us is a series.
In self defense due to all the questions in my inbox, here is some additional information
- You pay nothing until the panels are installed which, due to the permitting process, takes about 4 months (permitting of an oil or gas well takes only 7 days). At installation you pay 1/2 and a few weeks later, after you are connected, you pay the other 1/2.
- In Texas we get the most exposure from the south. East=morning exposure. West=evening exposure. South=all day exposure.
- Studies show that each $1 saved in utility cost is $20 in added home value.
- According to a study published in The Appraisal Journal, a home’s value is increased by $20 for every $1 reduction in annual energy savings. So if you saved $1,000, you’d increase your home value by $20,000. And the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy says that a home with solar will sell twice as fast as a home without solar. A recent Business Week article reported that homes with solar panels sell faster than non-solar homes and at a higher price.
- If you move, the solar panels can transfer to the new homeowner or you can take them with you.
- The panels are warranted for 20 years. You don’t have to ever touch them.
I am not a solar panel expert. Marcus is. Clicking the link for additional information does not obligate you in any way. Even if you sign an agreement to lock in the incentives, you have 2 weeks to change your mind. If you don’t lock in the incentive, you may have years to wait before they are offered again.
Read the Goodbye natural gas series.
UPDATE: My solar panels are up. Lookie! My new solar panels are up!
And in 2019 I bought a Chevy Bolt EV.
About Sharon Wilson
Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.
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I meet with him today at 5:30 about it for my house. I can’t wait.
It was great going through the program with you and I am excited to read your blog post about your decision to go solar!
just wondering are the solar panels American made or imported from China?
We typically use solar panels that are manufactured abroad, but can use solar panels that are made right here in the USA!
(Thanks again Sharon for the compliment and making the switch).
Oh dang! I hate that. Make mine USA panels.
A very interesting video about solar reflective roller blinds.
This roller blind can reflect up to 82% of solar heat. The visibility is reduced by 10%.
And you can still enjoy the passive solar in the winter.
I’ve been looking at those blinds and will probably get some. What I was told is that keeping the sun from ever hitting the windows with some kind of shading is the best and most effective way. So I was thinking about some blinds that go on the outside of the window that let in light but reduce the heat. Or I might get a canopy sail for over the porch.
Your example of walking the talk is inspiring. It is a good way to fight back–stop using their product. If you get an electric car you can power it with your solar panels.
AmericanJoe is absolutely correct.
This technology is moving forward at a rapid race after recent Hurricane Sandy!
The Japanese have already implemented these solutions using the Nissan Leaf batteries tied with Solar.
The technology is available as the demand for this technology increases and awareness increase.
Imagine, if everyone realized how they could use their cars as emergency backup! What a world we could create.
We are working with multiple companies to set up these sustainable arrangements without busting the bank.
Khepry Quixote says
Plant bananas on your southern exposure. I have a dedicated computer room on my southern wall with several computers/printers in it. Needless to say, the room can damn near heat the house in the winter and obviously would be overwhelming in the summer. I planted bananas on my southern wall, covering both the wall and the window. As these are full size banana plants, they reach the roof by June or July. They drop the temperature in the computer room by 10 to 20 degrees in the summer and they die back in the winter, allowing the sun to heat the wall during the coolest part of the year. It’s a win-win all around.
Being from Europe we’re all over wind and solar energy and frustrated that Texas is being so naive about the subject. There are still two barriers. (1) The solar energy is pumped back into the grid at a low rate that makes it hard to see a quick ROI. (2) When the power goes out at night, which is happening more often in our part of Allen, there is no storage. We concur, we don’t want toxic batteries on site.
Not having a great south/east facing roof we’re exploring using a wood pellet burning stove that will heat water in a boiler. From that we’ll generate electricity via a steam engine. We’re going to try this out on a rural property hopefully this year. More cumbersome maybe, but to me it’s better than having a 20 year commitment hanging over your head each day. We’ve completely updated our windows and doors, topped up the attic insulation (we don’t have huge attic space) and this has been the warmest winter inside our house ever!
One block is doing the right thing, the process needs to be made more appealing.
Can you please contact me. I would like more information on the upgrades you made.