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Way Off Topic - Solar Panels
Jo C.
Posted: Thursday, January 13, 2022 3:51 PM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 13328


I shall remove this Thread fairly soon.  We live in Southern California.   My DH is wanting to put Solar Panels on our two story house.   However; we are aging, and due to my husband's condition, I do not see us staying in our big house any longer than three to six years . . . ten at the outside most and that length of time would be a bit iffy.

It is an expensive prospect and the panels are huge.  Do any of you have solar power and if so, how do you feel about having it both pluses and minuses, and are there things you would change?

Thank you in advance for any replies; I am not knowledgable about this whatsoever and am a bit uncomfortable due to the cost and the changes to the roof, etc.  Chicken Little me.



Posted: Thursday, January 13, 2022 3:56 PM
Joined: 9/21/2017
Posts: 1490

All I know is we went to a talk from a very successful eco-environment architect , started her own firm. She said she would *never* have solar on a roof that was not metal and designed for the load .

  Made sense to me, retrofitting heavy stuff with water in it on a structure not designed to handle it.... smart chicken you are in my book !

Posted: Thursday, January 13, 2022 6:36 PM
Joined: 6/14/2021
Posts: 594

I had a single solar panel on my house in Florida to heat the spa.

The way it was installed caused a water leak into the house and thru the ceiling of a closet.  Of course that was over 10 years ago.

First thing on any remodel... inside or to insure you have found the best and most honest contractor...hard to do.  Some will tell you that your house is perfectly positioned to have solar panels when in fact you will not get max sun and therefore not max energy.

Second, if your house has any age to it, you should have an independent roof specialist determine the load the existing structure can carry.  What you have may or may not be able to accommodate the load of the panels without extra support.

I would also want to check with the local building code regarding permits required and what their inspector will look for in order for the installation to pass.

Depending on your lot size and location you might be able to have them installed at ground level on a rack system.

The cost of electricity will continue to does everything else.  You may or may not recoup your investment before the need to sell.  You might also want to know if there will be added value to the home if/when you sell.

Lots to consider.

Posted: Friday, January 14, 2022 3:09 PM
Joined: 5/5/2021
Posts: 181

We were going to have solar panels (to generate electricity not just heat water) in view of our sadness anbout climate damage due to fossil fuels, it turned out that getting extra high levels of insulation, and weatherising, was the first step and is worth doing depending on the climate. Once that was done, an air source heat pump has been the next sensible step. Ground source is also worthwhile and preceded solar panels in terms of best practice. 

I’m not sure about Southern California though, we are in a cold wet temperate climate.  

It might enhance the sale appeal of your house when you sell to have more energy efficient features, attractive in saving money, more comfort, and hard to believe but a few people actually care about climate damage.  In the long run, you will be helping cut carbon emissions long after you leave the property x nice legacy!

All that said, not sure would I bother with the sheer hassle of any of it, if in intended to move in 6 years. But that’s me!  My better half is more optimistic and idealistic than me, I’m a doomer really- abandon hope as far as I’m concerned.

mommyandme (m&m)
Posted: Friday, January 14, 2022 3:14 PM
Joined: 2/16/2020
Posts: 758

It takes years and years to make your money back from solar panel installation.  Since you’re going to move sooner than years and years, my vote is don’t give it a second thought.
Jo C.
Posted: Friday, January 14, 2022 4:02 PM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 13328

Thank you so much - there is a lot to think about.   Anyone else, please keep the good information coming, it is very much appreciated.


Stuck in the middle
Posted: Friday, January 14, 2022 4:27 PM
Joined: 6/4/2017
Posts: 2031

A roof mounted solar electric panel has to be removed/replaced if any kind of roof work is needed, at a cost of several thousand dollars. The roofers can't do it, you have to have the electricians who installed it come out and do it over.  Hail and high winds are frequent occurrences where I live, so I am reluctant to consider a roof mount.  I have thought of having solar electric panels installed on posts in the back yard and planting shade friendly vegetables in raised beds under them, but my yard in Missouri is larger than most I have seen in So Cal outside Beverly Hills.  Either way, I wouldn't do it if I were thinking of moving in the next few years.

I do love my natural gas-powered generator.  When (not if) the wind blows a tree down across a power line, the generator starts itself and my house stays warm, cool, lighted, etc.

Unknown By Man
Posted: Friday, January 14, 2022 5:13 PM
Joined: 12/23/2021
Posts: 97

My wife and I own a small lake house, and we lucked out that the Land offered a nice height and level where we were able to put the panels and batteries in  their own self contained unit, it also doubles as my charging station for our ATV. 
It was in honor of my dad cause his dream was to have an off the grind style piece of land and place to stay so I am slowly working on that. I worked with the company if you bring up your concerns if they are worth their salt they will be able to answer all your questions. I had many concerns and they worked with me to find viable solutions.

Michael Ellenbogen
Posted: Saturday, January 15, 2022 7:48 AM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 4345

I have them an love them. We pay nothing for electric and they pay us. But if you are moving in 6-7 years you would not benefit as that is the time it takes to break even. It also depends on what you pay for them. I would also not get a battery system with it as they require to much maintenance.


I can tell you all about them but we would need to talk. And I have one of the best.