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metalandmeeples OP t1_iy7xez9 wrote

My 7.68kW solar array has now been active for 6 months and has produced just over 5800 kWh of electricity. Of that, I currently have just under 1500 kWh "banked" for future consumption. It did take a month for CMP to enable net metering on my account which is why I only have 5 minimum bills. The total cost before tax credit was just over $20,000.

No complaints.


imnotyourbrahh t1_iy88xyr wrote

I'm going to use about 50 kWh of banked generation for November. My first time dipping into the pot. On a sunny day I can still generate 20 kWh and we're three weeks from the solstice! I never thought I would produce so much this time of year.


metalandmeeples OP t1_iy89fdp wrote

Nice. I will probably dip in on my next bill as well. I've had 11 days in November above 27 kWh with the most recent being this past Saturday. It the clouds stay away today, I should come close to or break it today as well. I'm on track to produce just over 600 kWh for November, but I suspect December will dip to 500 kWh or slightly below. Snow cover is the wild card going forward.


hike_me t1_iy8e3wy wrote

November has been pretty terrible for me.

Produced 400kWh, consumed 1mWh (I do most of my heating with heat pumps)

I ran a deficit of 100kWh in October,

On track to offset around 88% of my electricity for the year. Need to thin out a few more trees and/or I think I can squeeze another row of panels using a horizontal (landscape) orientation at the top of my roof where they won’t have any issues with shading.

I run a surplus May-September. April is usually break even, and October can be break even depending on weather. November - March I run a pretty big deficit due to the heat pumps.


metalandmeeples OP t1_iy8esvp wrote

Our house is in the middle of an elevated field and the closest trees are about 125 feet north of us. We also live in Durham, so the minimum lot size is 90,000 sq ft which keeps the closest neighbors pretty far away. The only thing that shades our panels are clouds.


hike_me t1_iy8ggdt wrote

Tree line is only about 15-20 feet from the side of my house with panels. We selectively thinned some of them last fall, which helped, but we still get a lot of shading on the bottom half of the array in the fall and winter.


imnotyourbrahh t1_iy8bzcd wrote

Wow, I won't come close to 400 kWh. I'm impressed with how well your panels do with the flat angle. I guess Maine is just South enough to produce electricity year-round. I would think homes near the equator would only need 1/3 of the panels we need and be quite affordable.


metalandmeeples OP t1_iy8cid3 wrote

With regard to the angle, I am seeing peak production of just over 5 kW these days. Back in the summer, I could hit a peak of 6.8 kW.


Puff1012 t1_iyaav78 wrote

My husband watches this alaska show Called edge of alaska or something like that. The people that live in the city all use solar panels.


yupuhoh t1_iy7xyc7 wrote

How much of a credit are you going to get?


RatherNerdy t1_iy7ywkd wrote

You get a 1:1 kWh credit


yupuhoh t1_iy83oxy wrote

So 5800$? So you are still out 14k. At 150$ a month electric bill you are saving it will take about 8 years for you to break even on the cost. That's not too bad if you have the up front capital. Now do they (cmp) cut you checks still every month if you produce more than you use?


metalandmeeples OP t1_iy844dt wrote

The tax credit will bring the total cost down to ~$14,000. The payback period was projected to be 8-9 years when the tax credit was 26% and before the 50% supply side hike that was recently announced. The payback period should now be under 7 years.


yupuhoh t1_iy85g0l wrote

Not bad. So are the panels not producing enough for you to be off the grid all together? Why are you still paying cmp every month when you are producing your own power? Sorry for the ignorance but the last time I was around solar was a buddies house and cmp was cutting him checks for like 50$ a month


RatherNerdy t1_iy85zcj wrote

Your generated power goes back into the CMP grid (except for what you are using at that immediate point in time) and CMP delivers it back to you. So you pay for the connection costs (mine is about $14/mo). CMP does not cut checks, you only get a kWh credit that expires 12 months from when it was generated. So you end up producing more in summer due to longer days and higher more direct sun, and then rely more on your credits during the winter months.

Now, you can also get battery storage for your produced energy, but you'll still produce more than the battery can store and you'll still have to pay CMP for the line connection.

Side note - 7-8 years break even, as well as a house value bump is a great investment.


metalandmeeples OP t1_iy8705i wrote

Exactly. The net metering is what makes this economically viable.


yupuhoh t1_iy8kopk wrote

Yeah I know they don't cut checks anymore. That was 20 years ago. And thanks for the explanation. Makes sense


imnotyourbrahh t1_iy87wyb wrote

CMP is your "battery" until you can buy your own batteries and go off grid.


SyntheticCorners28 t1_iy7y6ra wrote

So what is your ROI?


metalandmeeples OP t1_iy80tqp wrote

The projected ROI was 8-9 years, but that was assuming a 26% tax credit and also doesn't include the 50% supply increase going into effect next year. Those two things should make it closer to 6-7 years.


Ultra86 t1_iy830z9 wrote

This is the way. I did Maine Solar also, but tacked on two batteries to insulate somewhat from power outages and give a little boost to net metering as well.


metalandmeeples OP t1_iy83syh wrote

Nice. I'd love batteries but am too cheap to pull the trigger at the moment. I might have a different opinion if we experience an extended power outage.


GraniteGeekNH t1_iy8kt81 wrote

This is the thinking of every rooftop solar person in New England I've ever talked to*: I'd love batteries but geeeez, the cost!

*including me


SyntheticCorners28 t1_iyasexy wrote

My 13k generator only cost about 5k. Cheaper than batteries but it also has drawbacks.


CopyAltruistic3307 t1_iydojq2 wrote

I didn't think you could do net metering and batteries AND keep power during an outage. I was told if the power goes out I would have to take the outage, unless I was completely off-grid.


SodaPop978 t1_iy897en wrote

What forms do you need to fill out. I filled out the 313 (?) And I'm just waiting to hear back from them. Is there anything else I need to do? Usually I guess the installing company takes care of this but I did it myself.


metalandmeeples OP t1_iy8afjg wrote

Interconnection Agreement, PUC Chapter 324, and Net Energy Billing Agreement. The installer walked me through all of it.


ChTakedown t1_iy8zdm7 wrote

What was the total after the tax credit?


archerseven t1_iy9fk40 wrote

Wow you use so much less power than I do :p

I installed a similarly sized system that I finally got Auburn's paperwork though on in like March. June was the only month I managed to bank though. (Don't have a bill in front of me for precise numbers.)

Grats on the solar, I love my system, and I love the battery backup attached to it.


slothscantswim t1_iyaq3j9 wrote

What’s the expected lifespan of the system?


metalandmeeples OP t1_iyat62h wrote

There's a 25 year production warranty of 86%. Basically, a 2% drop during the first year and a 0.5% drop each subsequent year. I expect the system to last as long as the roof which was about 1.5 years old when the panels were installed. The shingles are 30 year warranty.


membaberry18 t1_iyb7gvq wrote

How much was your monthly bill previously? Until the cost of panels comes below $10k it doesn’t seem worth it


metalandmeeples OP t1_iyco67o wrote

Average monthly bill would have been around $167/mo with recent rate increases that weren't in place during system design.


Tri2B t1_iyce40r wrote

Who did your system? I’m getting quotes ranging from $3.50 - $6 / watt installed, which seems high to me.


metalandmeeples OP t1_iycocpn wrote

Maine Solar Solutions. Anything over $3/watt pre-credit is a ripoff. Don't be afraid to negotiate.


hike_me t1_iy7xnby wrote

Versant minimum is $8.xx (going on 14 months with my array, no complaints)


metalandmeeples OP t1_iy7xqz8 wrote

Damn, I'm getting robbed! Does that also include the first 50 kWh?


hike_me t1_iy7yhia wrote

I just looked at my bill and it just says “distribution minimum charge”. For some reason last month’s bill was even less than usual- there was a minimum distribution charge for 7.48 and a minimum charge for “stranded costs” of -0.84 so my total bill was $6.64. It’s been over $8 every other month though.


metalandmeeples OP t1_iy80oif wrote

Ah. CMP lists that and also includes the first 50 kWh in the $13.73. If you factor the ~$5-6 dollar difference against the standard supply charge a kWh, CMP may actually be a better deal.


Longjumping_West_907 t1_iy7y900 wrote

My minimum for Versant is $6 and change but it doesn't include any power supply. We've had the system for a few years so maybe we are grandfathered into a lower minimum charge.


benduker7 t1_iy8d0v4 wrote

My parents in CT on the other hand regularly get back $100-$200 on each electric bill with Eversource, none of this silly minimum bill stuff. They cut them a check once a year


metalandmeeples OP t1_iy8dwa5 wrote

Heh, if Maine did that I suspect people would put as many panels as they could fit on their roofs just to cash in. I know I would. There's unfortunately no incentive at the moment to oversize in Maine.


Somehowsideways t1_iy91yjm wrote

I wonder if power distribution costs are factored in and amortized, then taken out of the check? Distribution charges are actually fairly important to charge everyone using power from the grid, because not doing so would put that cost onto people who don’t have access to solar, which includes almost everyone who struggles to pay their bills.


benduker7 t1_iy92h0g wrote

I'm sure that Eversource is taking their slice of the pie, but I've never actually looked at their itemized bill.


[deleted] t1_iy83eue wrote



metalandmeeples OP t1_iy84n7w wrote

That's awesome. We might add a heat pump or two once the IRA credits come into play. I'm eyeballing the Daikin Atmosphera model because it's the first US model that uses R-32 instead of R-410A. Only single zone at the moment, however.


ChiefJedi207 t1_iy7yayh wrote

Who did your install?


metalandmeeples OP t1_iy812mw wrote

Maine Solar Solutions


[deleted] t1_iy895c8 wrote



StoneIsDName t1_iy9q7gp wrote

I work for the company they get their panels/racking from. They are probably my favorite installer we work with too. I highly recommend them also


ptmtp26 t1_iy88e35 wrote

Too bad the government doesn’t force utilities to pay for product it gets to sell to its customers.


[deleted] t1_iy8nzrj wrote



ptmtp26 t1_iy8r9cg wrote

I’ve thought this for many years before the cmp hate train came to town.

Of course they don’t want it, they have to pay full price for it. They don’t get a deal or a reduced rate. They have to pay fair market value for something and a monopolistic corporation doesn’t make money doing so.

And why aren’t these solar arrays factored into their power calculations? The meter will be able to tell them on average the amount of power produced by every array.


[deleted] t1_iy8wndj wrote



ptmtp26 t1_iy94fea wrote

If I had an array that produces more power than in need I would consider a contract with the power company to keep my array up and running 🤷🏻‍♂️


GraniteGeekNH t1_iy8mfg0 wrote

There's a gamification benefit after a while - you start cheering on each month to try and beat the same month in previous years.

Frequently checking the SolarEdge app on my phone ("woo-hoo - 5 KW right now!") is much less stress-inducing that killing time on social media.


imnotyourbrahh t1_iy9lr22 wrote

Six months of happy ownership and I still check SolarEdge every night!


GraniteGeekNH t1_iycy2hi wrote

If I get 7 KWH today, this will be my best November ever! (but it's cloudy/rainy, so I'll probably fall short)


metalandmeeples OP t1_iy8mp7v wrote

Hah, you're not wrong there.


GraniteGeekNH t1_iy8zcu8 wrote

It also makes you sympathetic to that Simpsons meme: Old Man Yells at Cloud

"Dammit cloud, you lowered my output!!"


Baseboardheat t1_iy8d1k1 wrote

$13.73 gang! That's been our bill for a while now, too. We had close to 1mW/h banked on our end, and we've started dipping into that now that cold weather is here and we've turned on our heat pump. I also tend to calculate the amount of money saved in oil as part of the payback period as well. Since getting our heat pump and a hybrid water heater, we fill our tank maybe once or twice a year, if that. Significant savings in oil, for sure.


metalandmeeples OP t1_iy8e5yq wrote

Nice. We are on propane here which has had a more stable price, albeit historically has been more expensive per million BTUs than heating oil. Now, it's about 12.5% cheaper.


lantech t1_iy8bl5v wrote

Yep, mine went active in August. I've also been getting $13 CMP bills and have 2mw banked. Right now using electric space heaters to augment+offset the oil furnace for free.


metalandmeeples OP t1_iy8bz5w wrote

That's awesome. We would have had over 2MWh if I had correctly interpreted CMPs Energy Meter. It was showing we only used about 600 kWh in both July in August when we had ACs running 24/7 and the pool pump running constantly. It didn't occur to me that CMP wasn't metering the generated power that I was consuming which meant I consumed much more than 600 kWh those months. We put the pool pump on a timer and scheduled the ACs after that :)


In_betweener t1_iy81v0x wrote

Mine is on the books for next fall!


imnotyourbrahh t1_iy9md4p wrote

My neighbors and myself were installed months earlier than scheduled because we let them know anytime works!


In_betweener t1_iy9s4tl wrote

Yeah, I did the same...but they said its not ideal because I start paying the loan when they start if the system isnt on right away, Im double tapping electric and loan for a bit. Not sure where I will be financially at that point.


imnotyourbrahh t1_iyaa3qo wrote

It only took 2 days to install and the new meters start tracking your production immediately(although you won't see it on your bill until CMP flips the switch - about 2 weeks for me). I'm probably not understanding your point.


In_betweener t1_iyaag2p wrote

I just expect any 2 day project to take 2 weeks....


dancingkittensupreme t1_iy81ed7 wrote

What was your upfront cost


metalandmeeples OP t1_iy81igx wrote

It's in my first comment. Just over $20,000 before 30% federal tax credit. It will be ~$14,000 after.


dancingkittensupreme t1_iy82c21 wrote

Did you finance that at all or did you just pay out of pocket


metalandmeeples OP t1_iy831vj wrote

At this point I've financed about 70% of it through a HELOC, but that will drop to 40% with the tax credit. The interest rate at the time was 3.25% so it made sense. The rates are over 7% now so I wouldn't recommend it unless you're simply looking to stabilize your utility bill over a w 20+ year period.


dancingkittensupreme t1_iy842b7 wrote

Whay do you pay monthly compared to what your electric bill was


metalandmeeples OP t1_iy850lz wrote

I was averaging around $134. With the increase that is coming next year, that same average would be $167.


Blue_Eyed_ME t1_iy8knvd wrote

So that means you'll recover your costs in less than 7 years? Will you generate enough in longer days to fuel an EV? That would be my ideal... No gas or heating costs!


metalandmeeples OP t1_iy8kz76 wrote

With the assumption that utility costs will increase an average of 2% a year going forward, yes. I won't know what our excess will be, if any, until we get through a full 12 month cycle. If we do have excess, it's effectively gifted to CMP so I'll need to find a way to use it. I think a heat pump and/or heat pump water heater would be our first purchase but both of those add another initial cost to the equation.


Blue_Eyed_ME t1_iy8lmeo wrote

I haven't looked into what's coming in federal grants and rebates from recent green-friendly legislation, but your timing is excellent.


badhmorrigan t1_iy86znf wrote

Nice! When I build my dream house, I'm installing solar.


Baymavision t1_iy8alpy wrote

I dare you to try to search or log out of that page.


metalandmeeples OP t1_iy8ayp2 wrote

Hah, their website is pretty awful. Certain clicks prevent you from being able to get back to your "Account" homepage.


Angry-Inch t1_iya3api wrote

awesome! I was quoted 29500 for 10kw worth of panel, but a 7.6 inverter.


olive-team t1_iyaibar wrote

That’s a pretty solid price for an array. What brand panels did they quote you?


Puff1012 t1_iyab5mg wrote

How much are your payments to the solar company a month if you don’t mind me asking? And did you do solar panels, or solar shingle roof?


metalandmeeples OP t1_iyamdug wrote

I didn't finance it with the solar company but a portion of the install is currently on a HELOC which has a 3.25% fixed rate. Once the tax credit comes in I will have about $7800 of it financed. There are 16 480W panels for a total of 7.68kWh.


zfancy5 t1_iy90dz2 wrote

Definitely thinking about installing next year. Do they come out and give you an estimate? Also, can they test where you want to place the panels to see if it’ll be the best spot for them?


metalandmeeples OP t1_iy90ws1 wrote

Yes, they come out, get on the roof, and then draw up a proposal.


9wild9 t1_iy83hxe wrote

The technology is not quite ready. I’m waiting for the install to be significantly cheaper. Many reports are saying that will happen by 2027.


metalandmeeples OP t1_iy84dhe wrote

I'm of the opinion that it would never get there without the current subsidies that drive market adoption. It made sense for us now due to us having a near perfect location with no shade.


lantech t1_iy8bemp wrote

Time in the market beats timing the market