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Discussion Starter #1
Several neighbors have Solar City here, has been in the plans for several years with our family. After looking at a year's worth of utility bills, they plan for the square footage of solar panels you'll need, install at no cost to you, then become your electric utility, charging you about the same or slightly less per month than you pay now. (In general, YMMV). They will allow extra panels for charging an EV if you so indicate. Anyone doing this now?

Looking at "charging stations" for the garage, researching the logistics of charging the Bolt with the sun, and wondering if anyone is currently doing this with their EV?
 

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Since the Chevy Bolt EV can charge up with any electricity through a SAE rated EVSE, anyone who already has solar energy can do it, not just with SolarCity. There is no discrimination among the "electrons" that carry the charge.
 

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Of course, yes, I realize. Regardless of brand, I'm unfamiliar with the equipment and/or logistics necessary to have the EVSE connect into the house's solar / battery system. That EVSE plug (assuming we get one we can move that plugs in) plugs into something on the converter equipment, I'm just wondering who's made these connections? We'll probably just go with SC because of their low upfront investment, their understanding of wanting to charge an EV, and good experiences in our neighborhood. I know I'll learn a lot when I talk with them, but others may have already been down this path.
 

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Of course, yes, I realize. Regardless of brand, I'm unfamiliar with the equipment and/or logistics necessary to have the EVSE connect into the house's solar / battery system. That EVSE plug (assuming we get one we can move that plugs in) plugs into something on the converter equipment, I'm just wondering who's made these connections? We'll probably just go with SC because of their low upfront investment, their understanding of wanting to charge an EV, and good experiences in our neighborhood. I know I'll learn a lot when I talk with them, but others may have already been down this path.
Solar City (and most other systems) will be a "grid-tie" system. This means that the solar energy is converted to AC and fed back into the power grid and your meter "spins backward". Solar City usually tries to design your system to meet about 85% of your needs. This will vary based on your desires and/or the amount of incentives available. Energy Trust of Oregon funds are released in blocks, and generally have a higher per kW rate in the beginning of the calendar year.
What this means to you is that you use all your electricity as "normal".
The EVSE (charging system) will plug into a standard 240 V circuit similar to a clothes dryer/oven/stove. It runs off the same breaker panel as the rest home and does not tie directly to the solar system.
Some are hardwired, but given the choice having a 240 V outlet installed is a better option. For the Bolt, you likely want a 40 A circuit to run a 32 A EVSE (it's considered "continuous duty" and can only be 80% of the breaker capacity).

I don't know who your utility provider is in Hood River, but PGE will not refund any excess energy you generate, at the end of the year, they will apply the balance into a fund to assist homeowners. Some utilities will cut you a check if you generate more than you use.
 

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I've never really thought about renting solar panels until I read your comment about SolarCity. It's sound like a great deal to have them do all the work and pay a locked in rate for a certain amount of years. And then I started reading reviews about them, best to double and triple check the contract before signing to make sure they can't raise your rate every year and that it's at the rate they promised you.

I'd probably just outright buy the panels if I could afford them.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
would definitely triple check. Even in their promo materials on their website, they pretty clearly indicate that the rate may go up as much as 3% / year. Maybe someone here has a better approach? Solar City is the best I've seen to maintain lower upfront costs. Our neighbors (multiple in the neighborhood) have had good experiences so far.
 

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If you live in a condo and they sign up for solar city then the rate might change or not apply at all. So that's something to keep in mind as not everyone lives in a house
 

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We have Sungevity, and our lease has a 2.9% increase every year. This sort of elevator is pretty standard among solar leases from what I can tell.

We've had a great experience with having solar on the roof. Cut our PG&E bill back to the mandatory bill minimums, and what we're paying Sungevity for the lease is less than half of what we were paying PG&E for electricity. In fact, I've had to walk away from bill credits because we didn't use enough electricity. Adding an EV to the house will erase those credits, and I may have to pay more than mandatory minimums on my bill, but I'll still be spending less money driving the Bolt than my 2012 Plug-in Prius, even with gas at $2.50.
 

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No matter what, the Bolt will cost less to charge than filling up a tank of gas. With or without solar panels, it's just a win-win situation to me.
@devbolt did you get any incentives from the gov't for the solar panels? I'm just doing a bit of research about it now.
 

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What helps too is looking at the overall gain vs what we could have went with or what we currently own/drive. That helps and it will help even more since apparently we'll start seeing a carbon tax and various things impacting the things we used to do now deemed bad for the environment.
 

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No matter what, the Bolt will cost less to charge than filling up a tank of gas. With or without solar panels, it's just a win-win situation to me.
@devbolt did you get any incentives from the gov't for the solar panels? I'm just doing a bit of research about it now.
We did a lease, so Sungevity (the leasing company) got the federal tax credit, and whatever utility rebates were still available (very little by that point). The federal tax credit is the only government incentive available in California.

If you have a large enough electricity bill, and you have sufficient roof space, a Solar PV system on roof can help, especially if you are about to add an EV to the house. I estimate by adding an EV, my daily usage is going to go up by 25 kWh or more per day, at least during the week. That will erase any excess credits I've been generating and couldn't use.
 
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What we might even start seeing once more EV's get on the road is fast food places installing charging stations because of course once they reel you in, the marketing gets to you, your emotions start kicking in, you get hungry and BUY.
 

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What we might even start seeing once more EV's get on the road is fast food places installing charging stations because of course once they reel you in, the marketing gets to you, your emotions start kicking in, you get hungry and BUY.
I believe that the Blink charging network is partnered with McDonalds. At least in the Dallas area, they have many charging stations at McDonalds locations. I also see a lot of charging stations at Walgreens and Cracker Barrel stores.
 

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We've been with Solar City for just over two years now and been extremely happy that we did it. We went with a zero down lease and so far we've saved about $600 in electricity bills.
The installers were very good and the panels look great on the house too!
I spoke with Solar City last week and they will install more panels free if our usage goes up enough to justify it. They need to see one years of new power usage first however

I have an electrician scheduled to install another 14-50 outlet and we'll go with a Juice Box unit next to our panel.
 

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I work for a bank and they have charging stations setup up for EV drivers. Then back at my condo they also have EV charging stations and yes while it's probably included in the amenities overall i'll be paying next to nothing out of pocket to charge. Coming from a few gas guzzlers that's a big difference.
 
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