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adding solar panels
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Samuel Knowlton
Mueller Community

Posts: 7
Joined on January 8th, 2015
Getting Solar Panels (/Winter 2014)
by Samuel Knowlton on January 8th, 2015

We are just starting to build in Mueller and are interested in this as well. It looks like AE rebates are lower than before, along with the reduced VOS. Do the economics still work?

Our particular case is a little unusual - I work from home and run a small tech company so we eat up more juice than an ordinary house for 2 people. Current usage with PEC in SW Austin is between 975 kWh (December) and 1,475 kWh (August).

Also, is there any particular advantage to starting this process during construction rather than after? I can imagine a practical benefit from getting the work done while the house is being built, but it also seems like one more thing for a builder to find a way to mark up. Any advice one way or the other?

Thanks!
 
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ineoeni
Mueller Community

Posts: 103
Joined on May 18th, 2008
Getting Solar Panels (/Winter 2014)
by ineoeni on January 9th, 2015

Hey Samuel,

We will be organizing another round of solar installations in the next couple months, so look out for new on that, but in your case, you should definitely get a solar contractor involved NOW before your house is fully constructed. It will be easier for them to do their work and they may be able to optimize your roof for solar as well.

Good luck!

Aman
Mueller Megawatt Project
 
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Samuel Knowlton
Mueller Community

Posts: 7
Joined on January 8th, 2015
Getting Solar Panels (/Winter 2014)
by Samuel Knowlton on January 9th, 2015

Wonderful, thanks!
 
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danx111
Mueller Community

Posts: 1151
Joined on November 25th, 2008
Getting Solar Panels (/Winter 2014)
by danx111 on January 9th, 2015

Suggest getting multiple bids.
 
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Samuel Knowlton
Mueller Community

Posts: 7
Joined on January 8th, 2015
Getting Solar Panels (/Winter 2014)
by Samuel Knowlton on January 9th, 2015

Our builder (one of the new, smaller, local builders - hasn't built in Mueller before now) says they'll cooperate with anyone we choose for installation post-closing, which I assume means getting them whatever information they need about the roof and dimensions, but they say that they don't want anyone in their way while construction is going on and risk a delay in the final inspection.

Is this normal? How much advantage is there to an installer getting in during construction rather than after?
 
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ineoeni
Mueller Community

Posts: 103
Joined on May 18th, 2008
Getting Solar Panels (/Winter 2014)
by ineoeni on January 13th, 2015

The vast majority of installs in Mueller were retrofit, so I don't really know what's "normal" on new construction. That being said, you are buying a house from the builder and you should expect them to work with you.

Make it clear to the builder that it is fine if the installation doesn't take place until after the house is complete, but there are some things the builder will need to consider, that a solar installer can communicate in the planning/early building stages that will save you time in the future.

For example, a number of Mueller homes needed to have the electric box upgraded to make space for solar. This would a $25 cost if it was done at the beginning vs. several hundred dollars later. Also, it's possible that builder has a choice of where to put a roof vent - if so, there are going to be better vs. worse spots for the vents to go.

You'll get better information by calling a local solar installer and seeing what they recommend you do - it can't hurt to call. The vast majority of installs in Mueller have been completed by Lighthouse Solar, Texas Solar, Longhorn Solar and Circular Energy, but there are lots of good installers out there - here's the full Austin Energy list: http://bit.ly/1u20cRO

Good luck!
 
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Stewart Cochran
Mueller Community

Posts: 10
Joined on October 19th, 2013
Getting Solar Panels (/Winter 2014)
by Stewart Cochran on January 14th, 2015

Maybe this belongs in a new thread, but perhaps someone has info

I'm in a Mueller Affordable (meaning there's a yearly equity cap). Other than the obvious environmental benefit, is there a compelling financial benefit to getting solar panels installed, (since I wouldn't recoup very much of the investment if I ever decided to sell)?

I saw something this morning that got me thinking:
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/01/13/3611057/solar-dollars-and-sense/
 
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Stewart Cochran
Mueller Community

Posts: 10
Joined on October 19th, 2013
 
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