Install of the Month – April 2016
Wholesale Solar sales technician Leslie B said Craig W. had really done his homework and came to her extremely informed, knowing exactly what inverter system and size panel array he wanted which really streamlined the process. One of the few sticking points in an otherwise smooth process was getting his install approved by his HOA, but once that was accomplished the project moved very quickly, so if you are thinking of installing a PV System of your own and belong to an HOA, make sure you have that as part of your checklist!
- 5 yr. ROI
- Saved nearly $10k by going DIY!
- Total installed cost $17k to cover his entire energy usage
Components In Craig W’s System
A SolarEdge inverter is really the best option for large 72-cell panels like the SW320s. SolarEdge can work with high power modules and unlike a micro-inverter it won’t limit the power output from each panel. Large panels are popular because the cost is lower and there is less equipment to mount — fewer panels, less racking and fewer attachments to the roof top.
Interview with Craig W
He’s been interested in solar technology since 1981 when he solicited a bid for a solar system for his first home. The 23 year payback at the time was a no go. [editorial note: The cost of solar has fallen from nearly $30/watt in 1981 to less then 70 cents today! His current ROI will be around 5 yrs.]
How long was the full installation process from receiving your equipment to flipping the switch?
Four bids and 35 years later, with the help and advice from Wholesale Solar I finally have a system designed for Net Zero metering with a little extra for expansion (maybe an electric car charger, electric hot water on demand, or even second fridge in the garage?!) System specs: 7.8kW/ 24 Solar World Panels ,24 Optimizers and 1 Solar Edge 7600 Inverter.
How many people did it take?
Once I decided to go forward with the project as a D.I.Y., I hired a consultant who provided me with a total of two hours of answered questions, spread over a month, to learn about the equipment and the terminology. Then it was time to go shopping. When I discovered Wholesale Solar’s numerous packages, competitive pricing and a treasure trove of educational material, it was considerably easier to choose a Complete Grid-tied system that fit our electrical needs and our budget (investment.) The numbers: based on current electrical charges of approx. $2,400 a year ( PG&E ) and utilizing the Federal tax credit, the return on investment ( ROI ) will be 5 years or less. For a total cost of under $17,000.00 for the system (incl. labor, materials and permits) which was nearly $10,000 less than his lowest bid for purchasing elsewhere!! [editorial note: try our Solar Cost Calculator for yourself!] I put together a homeowner application for the required County permits and had no problems submitting my file. I got the job site permits that same day.
Did you have any previous construction experience?
I hired two referred, experienced installers who took on our home as a side job. My son Gavin, newly certified as an installer, joined in and myself with many years of construction experience, and together we made up a perfect team. We installed the system as designed over a three day weekend as planned, like any professional crew. It was an exciting and worthwhile endeavor in every respect!
I spent a few hundred getting some trees cut back, eliminating morning and afternoon shadows, maximizing the efficiency of the array by another 10% and I was ready to go…..
That left only a final submission of paperwork to the county and PG&E for final permits and permissions as well as an application to my HOA, for a thumbs up on a request for a variance.. (granted). After that it was only a week before PTO (permission to operate) was given, and I was at long last, a micro utility!
Finally thrilled to be part of the solution and most of my appreciation goes to Leslie Benton, with an added assist from Cheyenne and Geri. You all provided excellent customer care and support, displayed unlimited patience for a demanding customer and helped my wife and I complete our last big home improvement project. Thanks for everything Wholesale Solar!