Solar Panel Discussion

Any thoughts about reputable (and less so) companies to work/not with in SLC for home solar? Tesla vs others.
I welcome all comments.

Can’t speak for the options you’ve got in SLC. Down here in AZ I’ve got Solar City, which is now Tesla. It’s worked great for me for about 5 years. No complaints.

I hope there’s a robust conversation on this topic. I’m interested but don’t really understand it like I should.


My BIL says “you can invest the same money and make so much more,” but I’m sick of depending on the grid to work and contributing to the crappy air quality.

Get some batteries if it’s affordable. I bought a system with no batteries and if the power goes out the power plant on my roof is rendered useless because it stores nothing. I do not generate power for my own use, it all goes back to the power company and in exchange they give me a credit.

Without batteries, you will remain dependent on the power company.

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Did you go with Tesla? If not them, whom?

I think one has to have a candid, honest thought with one’s self to decide on this topic. I am a member of the Utah Tesla Club, and recently Tesla offered its members a very good deal of getting 8kw worth of panels for just under $17k (gross), before any federal tax credit and state rebate. Though, I had already purchased my system before Tesla’s offer. Also, I believe, Rocky Mountain Power (if you are with it) will be dropping its net-metering rate down from about $0.09 kwh to $0.015 kwh.

Ok…here is my logic (I’m a finance/investment professional, FWIW). My system is 6.83 kwh and is currently generating approximately ~42 kwh per day. My net cost, after federal tax rebate and Utah state credit, is around $11k. I’m taking advantage of a low interest rate program for financing.


  1. You will not likely ever recover your investment – agree.
  2. If you sell your house, most appraisers won’t accord any incremental value to your solar panels – agree, for now.
  3. Solar panel efficiency and effective lifespan continue to improve – agree.
  4. Battery storage cost is high and storage density is also relatively low – agree.
  5. Environmental friendliness of using solar is negligible to negative – don’t disagree, for now.
  6. Even with solar panels, I still have to rely on the grid – true.

My rationale.

  1. I look it from a monthly spend vantage point. Assuming true, my estimated monthly savings is ~$20 or $240/yr; at this rate, it would take me 550 months to recoup my investment, not considering inflation. And, I don’t view this expenditure as an investment. I want to be as reasonably green as possible, and be relatively energy independent down the road. Still, I know I’m paying less on a monthly basis – arbitraging.
  2. I think this is changing. If I do decide to sell my house, I’ll will add my solar system cost my asking price. This incremental value isn’t explicit for now, but will make my house more attractive for sure. Plus, I’d surmise I can squeeze my cost into the asking price.
  3. True; however, based on my research, efficiency and lifespan of today’s solar panels will not likely improve that much more.
  4. This is why I have not purchased battery. For now, I think using a natural gas unit (e.g. Generac) probably makes more financial sense. I will re-visit this issue within three years. I think battery storage technology is moving pretty fast.
  5. This is debatable. Personally, I believe in renewable energy. Anyone who thinks using current renewable energy technology is carbon neutral is just being obtuse. There is still a lot of growing pain – but meaningful growth and evolution won’t take place if we aren’t behind the tech. Plus, personally, I want to be as reasonably green as possible, and want to throw my “weight” behind it.
  6. Yup…the RMP meter is in front of the system. So, for now, the system is asymmetric in that I still use power from RMP, but my system separately sends net generated power back onto the grid – the net delta is then settled annually between RMP and me. If the grid goes down, as do I. For now, it’s not ideal, but I’ll live with it until battery storage tech and cost are more mature.

Hopeful these quick thoughts provide some help.


I’ve kind of felt the investments people are making on solar power today are actually investments for better tech in the future. That is one thing I think should be invested in further as a country is expanding and making affordable renewable energy tech. It’s going to solve a lot of global and economic problems, not to mention environmental problems.

I would love to live in a time where an inversion in the SL Valley simply meant cold air was being trapped in the valley by warm air - and it not being a sentence of misery for me.

For me I’m interested in solar panels because we have some land in Mt Pleasant that we’ll likely build a cabin on some day in the future. The land is not improved so we’ll have to do some sort of solar solution there - although there is a small spring on the property and mini hydroelectric may be an option there too. We’ve got the flow and the elevation drop to make it possibly feasible (although that won’t help in the winter).

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Very nice presentation. Thank you for your thoughts.
Also though, without being wealthy, $11,000 isn’t such a lot over time - if one remains in their home - to enjoy unlimited power that’s just splashing off the roof every day anyway.


I think the one thing you have to consider when looking at solar is it’s a fixed cost.

Your power bill isn’t, usage and price increases make it fluctuate.

I love having my solar. I have a set payment for my panels which is what my old power bill averaged, but I don’t have to keep my AC at 78, I’ve run it more this summer than I did the last two years and I’m still making more power than I use. It’s been worth the cost.


I enjoy my solar panels, it produces enough electricity to cover my electric needs through the summer so I enjoy turning the AC way up. It cost roughly $15k and I figure I will get great use out of it for 15 years. So at $1000/year, I think it’s been very worth it to me. Some people pay an extra several thousand dollars a year just so they can drive around in a car with luxury options that make no difference in the car’s performance and very little difference in comfort. I’d rather spend less on a vehicle and have solar panels.


I think we’re going with a local company because Tesla is basically twice as much for the luxury of having battery and we have to replace the roof so we might be able to preserve our roof and have something a little bit less sexy, but super functional with net metering as a bonus.
Ending in October is a 26% tax rebate from the federal goverment Amanda $1,600 state rebate. So substantial savings can be gained if anyone’s interested in jumping.
After October next year will be a 22% federal tax rebate and $1,200 from the state.

Was that $15k before or after rebates?

Cool…if you need a recommendation, let me know. My guy, who was highly recommended to me, did a fantastic job.

Mine were $27K before and $17K after.

All depends on how much power you need what the cost will be.

The company we used has gone out of business, but the loan for our panels has the sane monthly payment as our average power bill was prior to panels.

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Thanks I appreciate that!
Feel free to BM me.

AU…I can’t BM you because your profile is hidden.

If you liked them just post it for all to see please.

Yeah, I don’t know how to adjust that I’m still kind of a newbie. I’ll try to figure it out

Ask for Drew, who is the owner. Feel free to reference me, Ken in Fruit Heights.