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(TreeHugger)   The only reason most Americans haven't jumped on the solar panel bandwagon is because most solar panels look like crap. So now Elon Musk is making designer solar panels   (treehugger.com) divider line 237
    More: Spiffy, Elon Musk, solar panels, SolarCity Corp  
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8998 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Jun 2014 at 11:05 AM (9 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-06-19 10:10:47 AM
Is there any evidence that "they look like crap" is the reason? As opposed to cost and hassle?
 
2014-06-19 10:24:43 AM

DamnYankees: Is there any evidence that "they look like crap" is the reason? As opposed to cost and hassle?


Cost was my major reason, they take about 20 years to recoup your investment (if you figure you could invest the $20,000 and you figure about $120-$150 a month electric bill)  So it's hard to justify.
 
2014-06-19 11:08:23 AM

DamnYankees: Is there any evidence that "they look like crap" is the reason? As opposed to cost and hassle?


If they actually and legitimately looked like a giant piece of shiat on my house, but had a lower cost I would be all about it.
 
2014-06-19 11:09:00 AM
I'd say cost and efficiency over looks.
 
2014-06-19 11:09:28 AM
Who the fark is this "Elon Musk" and what the hell kind of name is that anyway?!
 
2014-06-19 11:09:46 AM
Yeah. It's less the fact I don't want my house to look like the ISS and more the fact I can't afford the ISS
 
2014-06-19 11:09:56 AM
It's not about the looks - it's about the cost.  In most parts of the country, solar panels take 20 years or more to recoup the initial cost.

If you live somewhere like Florida, California or Arizona, you'd be stupid not to have solar installed.  Anywhere else?  You might break even over 20-25 years, if you're lucky.
 
2014-06-19 11:10:06 AM

MelGoesOnTour: Who the fark is this "Elon Musk" and what the hell kind of name is that anyway?!


it is the scent of smug.
 
2014-06-19 11:10:15 AM

EvilEgg: DamnYankees: Is there any evidence that "they look like crap" is the reason? As opposed to cost and hassle?

Cost was my major reason, they take about 20 years to recoup your investment (if you figure you could invest the $20,000 and you figure about $120-$150 a month electric bill)  So it's hard to justify.


I'm all about self sufficiency, as long as I can do it cheaper than the big corporation, or whatever.  Solar panels aren't even close to making financial sense yet for regular ol middle-class me.  I'd get a better rate of return damming the local creek and using hydroelectric.
 
2014-06-19 11:11:06 AM
Many areas are starting to offer to install panels for you as part of your regular electricity bill. If you have a southern facing roof with plenty of sun, they will install panels on your home and you just pay per KWh like you always do though at a few cents less per KWh.
 
2014-06-19 11:11:19 AM

MelGoesOnTour: Who the fark is this "Elon Musk" and what the hell kind of name is that anyway?!


He's the non-fantasy version of Tony Stark.
 
2014-06-19 11:11:28 AM

MelGoesOnTour: Who the fark is this "Elon Musk" and what the hell kind of name is that anyway?!


I'm sure anything he/she makes stinks.
 
2014-06-19 11:11:54 AM
Really? How about being expensive as all fark?
 
2014-06-19 11:12:28 AM
 
2014-06-19 11:12:41 AM
If I put them on my roof, no one else in the neighborhood would put them on their roof because that damn Freakstorm's got them damn things on his roof.
 
2014-06-19 11:12:43 AM

cgraves67: MelGoesOnTour: Who the fark is this "Elon Musk" and what the hell kind of name is that anyway?!

He's the non-fantasy version of Tony Stark.


All the alcoholism and none of the power suits?

\He's like a less-badass version of Richard Branson
 
2014-06-19 11:13:04 AM

EvilEgg: DamnYankees: Is there any evidence that "they look like crap" is the reason? As opposed to cost and hassle?

Cost was my major reason, they take about 20 years to recoup your investment (if you figure you could invest the $20,000 and you figure about $120-$150 a month electric bill)  So it's hard to justify.


And people wonder why the "SOLAR PANEL FREAKING HIGHWAY!!!!!!one11on11!!" shiat is finally getting called out as a scam.  More panels, more tech, less efficiency.  How is it even being considered feasible?  Are people this dumb?
 
2014-06-19 11:13:47 AM
If they're like his cars, they'll be priced so the super wealthy can smugly look down on the rest of us.
 
2014-06-19 11:14:02 AM

GORDON: I'd get a better rate of return damming the local creek and using hydroelectric.



i182.photobucket.com
 
2014-06-19 11:16:30 AM
i1.ytimg.com
"Soa pans"?
 
2014-06-19 11:16:42 AM

Ty Webb: GORDON: I'd get a better rate of return damming the local creek and using hydroelectric.


[i182.photobucket.com image 527x338]


Wasn't sure if "damming" was the correct transitive verb, or whatever that figure of speech would be.  Someone queue up the "retard alert" image someone else gave me in another thread for not knowing that.
 
2014-06-19 11:17:48 AM

DamnYankees: Is there any evidence that "they look like crap" is the reason? As opposed to cost and hassle?


this
i couldn't care one bit less about their appearance...i can't afford the things right now!
 
2014-06-19 11:18:23 AM

DamnYankees: Is there any evidence that "they look like crap" is the reason? As opposed to cost and hassle?


I SO came here to say this.

I checked into getting on the solar grid.  My assumption was that it would save me money on my energy bills.  It turns out it would cost me MORE, because I have to buy the panels on a payment plan.  So, rather than giving my money to PSE&G, I'd be giving it to whomever installed the panels.  Granted, in 30 years, when they are paid off, I will be making money off of it.  But seriously...  30 years?!  Technology will change a LOT in that time.  So it's hardly worth the investment.

If someone wanted to own the panels themselves, and simply install them on my roof, I have no problem with that.  I couldn't care less how ugly they are.  But no one seems to be offering that anymore.

Bummer...
 
2014-06-19 11:19:26 AM

cgraves67: MelGoesOnTour: Who the fark is this "Elon Musk" and what the hell kind of name is that anyway?!

He's the non-fantasy version of Tony Stark.


No.
 
2014-06-19 11:19:38 AM

EvilEgg: DamnYankees: Is there any evidence that "they look like crap" is the reason? As opposed to cost and hassle?

Cost was my major reason, they take about 20 years to recoup your investment (if you figure you could invest the $20,000 and you figure about $120-$150 a month electric bill)  So it's hard to justify.


(SIGH). It's an upgrade. A farking UPGRADE, like a new roof or a new septic tank or a resodded lawn or a new paint job or new hardwood floors or a new pool.

Only THIS upgrade, unlike anything else you can do to your house, pays you back. A pool won't put money in your pocket, nor will new windows or a new gas heater. This will.

What is with you people?
 
2014-06-19 11:19:59 AM

EvilEgg: DamnYankees: Is there any evidence that "they look like crap" is the reason? As opposed to cost and hassle?

Cost was my major reason, they take about 20 years to recoup your investment (if you figure you could invest the $20,000 and you figure about $120-$150 a month electric bill)  So it's hard to justify.


SolarCity has a deal (at least in the Denver area) where you pay nothing for the panels, and you pay SolarCity for the electricity.  They are 30% less than Excel, and guarantee a lower increase every year compared to the local power companies.  Also, after 5 years you can buy them. A nice thing about this arrangement, if they break due to hail or weather, they get fixed for free, if they get covered with snow, it's in SolarCity interest to clear them off for you, since no sun on panels, no money for them.  Also, if you move, they will move them to your new house at no charge.
 
2014-06-19 11:20:00 AM
I'm waiting for them to become cheaper and more efficient.

Would love to travel someday in an RV that doesn't need a generator.
 
2014-06-19 11:20:09 AM
Is there really a Solar Bandwagon yet? It seems to me most people think it would be terrific once it's both significantly more effective and cheaper.

On the other hand, it needs more early adopters in order to drive development towards cheaper and more effective.
 
2014-06-19 11:20:26 AM
Look. Just make exterior roofing out of panels. and make them snap together like leggos, and make them affordable. How farking hard is that?
Oh, and put a mobius cylinder windmill along every farking ridge top of every man made structure and you won't need to put huge wind mills on mountain top ridges.

Put the power generator WHERE the demand is.
You don't need to fark up landscape to power landscape elsewhere.
 
2014-06-19 11:20:42 AM
There's also the possibility you'll need a re-roof or new roof after they've been installed for a while.  In that scenario the cost of the repair will at least double the price of the job as the panels will need to be removed before, and replaced after, the roofing is done.  And there goes all your 'savings'.
 
2014-06-19 11:21:05 AM
www.gifwave.com
 
2014-06-19 11:21:29 AM

durbnpoisn: DamnYankees: Is there any evidence that "they look like crap" is the reason? As opposed to cost and hassle?

I SO came here to say this.

I checked into getting on the solar grid.  My assumption was that it would save me money on my energy bills.  It turns out it would cost me MORE, because I have to buy the panels on a payment plan.  So, rather than giving my money to PSE&G, I'd be giving it to whomever installed the panels.  Granted, in 30 years, when they are paid off, I will be making money off of it.  But seriously...  30 years?!  Technology will change a LOT in that time.  So it's hardly worth the investment.

If someone wanted to own the panels themselves, and simply install them on my roof, I have no problem with that.  I couldn't care less how ugly they are.  But no one seems to be offering that anymore.

Bummer...


Solar City does just that.
 
2014-06-19 11:21:30 AM
I refuse to buy anything made by a guy with a stinky sounding name!
 
2014-06-19 11:21:33 AM
Northern Ohio is covered by cloud for a significant amount of time. I'd love solar if it seemed viable here. However, it's looking like wind will always be the better option up here. The other plus is that I'd still get production at night. Of course, wind is extremely variable. I think a good goal, maybe not realistic, would be to limit my outside power to only my major appliances.
 
2014-06-19 11:22:02 AM
If someone will send me twenty grand, I'll put twenty grand of solar on my roof. I don't care how it looks.

Seriously, it's all about the money. It's the "Spend money to make money" catch-22.
 
2014-06-19 11:22:09 AM
For those of you spouting the 20-25 year payoff, when was the last time you actually priced out solar power?  I remember hearing that exact same figure over a decade ago when solar was just really in it's infancy.  I'm pretty sure the technology has not only gotten cheaper, but more efficient since then.

Also, there are companies you can use that don't charge you a cent to install the panels.  You just pay them for your electric bill instead of the normal power company.  They pass on most of the cost savings to you, and they get a margin plus the green credits to auction off.
 
2014-06-19 11:22:14 AM

rewind2846: EvilEgg: DamnYankees: Is there any evidence that "they look like crap" is the reason? As opposed to cost and hassle?

Cost was my major reason, they take about 20 years to recoup your investment (if you figure you could invest the $20,000 and you figure about $120-$150 a month electric bill)  So it's hard to justify.

(SIGH). It's an upgrade. A farking UPGRADE, like a new roof or a new septic tank or a resodded lawn or a new paint job or new hardwood floors or a new pool.

Only THIS upgrade, unlike anything else you can do to your house, pays you back. A pool won't put money in your pocket, nor will new windows or a new gas heater. This will.

What is with you people?


Our problem is that we aren't rich and we have a basic understanding of finances.  Our bad.
 
2014-06-19 11:22:26 AM

Ika7734: durbnpoisn: DamnYankees: Is there any evidence that "they look like crap" is the reason? As opposed to cost and hassle?

I SO came here to say this.

I checked into getting on the solar grid.  My assumption was that it would save me money on my energy bills.  It turns out it would cost me MORE, because I have to buy the panels on a payment plan.  So, rather than giving my money to PSE&G, I'd be giving it to whomever installed the panels.  Granted, in 30 years, when they are paid off, I will be making money off of it.  But seriously...  30 years?!  Technology will change a LOT in that time.  So it's hardly worth the investment.

If someone wanted to own the panels themselves, and simply install them on my roof, I have no problem with that.  I couldn't care less how ugly they are.  But no one seems to be offering that anymore.

Bummer...

Solar City does just that.


So who takes them off when it comes time to replace your asphalt shingles?
 
2014-06-19 11:22:35 AM

DamnYankees: Is there any evidence that "they look like crap" is the reason? As opposed to cost and hassle?


I'm guessing that's not stopping anyone who wants them, but it may help with they neighborhood NIMBYs.
 
2014-06-19 11:22:57 AM

cgraves67: MelGoesOnTour: Who the fark is this "Elon Musk" and what the hell kind of name is that anyway?!

He's the non-fantasy version of Tony Stark.


And to prove they're not the same person:

www.wired.com
 
2014-06-19 11:23:08 AM
Cost.  FFS most people around here (New England) still use heating oil when a gas furnace would recoup their costs in way less time than solar panels save on the electricity bill.  AND there's a government credit for it.
 
2014-06-19 11:23:41 AM

DamnYankees: Is there any evidence that "they look like crap" is the reason? As opposed to cost and hassle?


And the fact that for most people in the US its a 20 year payback, assuming that:
The utility companies don't pay off regulators and cut into your net-metering rate.
The cells provide equal power across all 20 years of life.
You never move.

Otherwise you're just paying your electric bill for the next 20 years all upfront.  Why would you ever commit that much capital at one time?

Also, every time Elon Musk farts it is not newsworthy.   I think reporters just like writing his name.... Musk.   Minky Musky Stoaty Stoat.
 
2014-06-19 11:23:57 AM
Adding cost w/o material gains just for appearances. Oh yes, that will help not.
There is no artsy fartsy in Solar Power!

You are all just yankin' pud until you get Coal and Oil on a leash.
 
2014-06-19 11:24:15 AM

EvilEgg: DamnYankees: Is there any evidence that "they look like crap" is the reason? As opposed to cost and hassle?

Cost was my major reason, they take about 20 years to recoup your investment (if you figure you could invest the $20,000 and you figure about $120-$150 a month electric bill)  So it's hard to justify.


Damaniel: It's not about the looks - it's about the cost.  In most parts of the country, solar panels take 20 years or more to recoup the initial cost.

If you live somewhere like Florida, California or Arizona, you'd be stupid not to have solar installed.  Anywhere else?  You might break even over 20-25 years, if you're lucky.


this is very understandable
any idea how long it would take to get a decent roi from a solar powered water heater? i saw an episode of how it's made where they were making these...seems like a great idea, and probably a great way to dip your toes into the world of solar power...and MUCH cheaper than trying to power your entire house with the sun
 
2014-06-19 11:24:24 AM
I'd love to have them, but I'm way, way too poor.
 
2014-06-19 11:25:05 AM

Damaniel: It's not about the looks - it's about the cost.  In most parts of the country, solar panels take 20 years or more to recoup the initial cost.

If you live somewhere like Florida, California or Arizona, you'd be stupid not to have solar installed.  Anywhere else?  You might break even over 20-25 years, if you're lucky.


Sorry, with the extra heat here in the Phoenix valley, the panels are much less efficient and their diminished lifespan generally doesn't allow for cost recovery.
 
2014-06-19 11:25:19 AM
I'll wait until they get the solar paint tech or solar window seal coverings available in my area. I'm hopeful they may be in my market within a decade.
 
2014-06-19 11:25:32 AM

rewind2846: EvilEgg: DamnYankees: Is there any evidence that "they look like crap" is the reason? As opposed to cost and hassle?

Cost was my major reason, they take about 20 years to recoup your investment (if you figure you could invest the $20,000 and you figure about $120-$150 a month electric bill)  So it's hard to justify.

(SIGH). It's an upgrade. A farking UPGRADE, like a new roof or a new septic tank or a resodded lawn or a new paint job or new hardwood floors or a new pool.

Only THIS upgrade, unlike anything else you can do to your house, pays you back. A pool won't put money in your pocket, nor will new windows or a new gas heater. This will.

What is with you people?


Most people will only get a new septic tank when their current one no longer functions.  A resodded lawn, a paint job, or hardwood floors are done for aesthetic reason and pay back in that sense immediately.  A new pool you get for enjoyment also an immediate return.

Solar panels are like adding more insulation to your attic.  You have to decide whether the heat loss makes it worth the expense.
 
2014-06-19 11:26:11 AM

rewind2846: EvilEgg: DamnYankees: Is there any evidence that "they look like crap" is the reason? As opposed to cost and hassle?

Cost was my major reason, they take about 20 years to recoup your investment (if you figure you could invest the $20,000 and you figure about $120-$150 a month electric bill)  So it's hard to justify.

(SIGH). It's an upgrade. A farking UPGRADE, like a new roof or a new septic tank or a resodded lawn or a new paint job or new hardwood floors or a new pool.

Only THIS upgrade, unlike anything else you can do to your house, pays you back. A pool won't put money in your pocket, nor will new windows or a new gas heater. This will.

What is with you people?


I hear from a reliable source that solar panels degrade over time, especially the ones made by our friends in China, and have a useful life of less than ten years.  Apparently, even the good ones made at his plant in the USA have a life expectancy of 15 years before they degrade to crapola.  But I'm sure people will bite because, you know, the global warming crisis.
 
2014-06-19 11:26:15 AM
No, solar doesn't have a 20 year payback period.
 
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