Ceynar Solar Interview

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Last updated: 
November 10, 2011

Ceynar Solar Interview

Meet The Ceynar family of five, who live in an average style home in a suburb of Dallas, Texas.  They are an environmentally conscious family who hope by sharing their experience with solar energy to help dispel some of the mystery and apprehension you may have about solar energy.

Last January 2010 Alicia Ceynar received an ad in the mail that appealed to her very much concerning the low cost of either leasing solar electrical panels or purchasing them with the cost being offset with a large Federal rebate incentive.  Either way it sounded like something their family could afford to do to help the environment and save money on the families electrical bills.  She called that same day and got an appointment for an in home analysis.  After all was said and done the ROI made it a no brainer.  The Ceynar’s were finally going solar!

In December of 2010 they had a 9.46 kW grid tied solar system with 44 Kyocera panels with a 10kW inverter installed.

House Facts:  3342 sq. ft., 2 story, built in 1975, 4 bedrooms. 2 baths, with a large in ground pool, has 2 central heating & air conditioning systems, house is all electric.  Year round monthly average electric bill prior to installing solar panels was $325.  Average residential cost per kWh in Dallas, TX 9.5 cents.

HeatingCoolingSource Asks John & Alicia Ceynar the following Questions…..

Q: What was your main motivation in going solar?

A:  To cut our electric bill short term and better the environment long term.

Q: How did you decide to pay for it?

A:  Our installer, Solar City offered several options from full purchase to various lease options.  Rather than us buying the system and getting the homeowners Federal tax rebate, it worked out better to lease and Solar City got a corporate tax rebate.  We went with a leasing option; decided to pay a lease pay down upfront of $3,000 and have lower monthly lease payments of only $35.

Q: What factors did you look at to determine ROI?

A:  Estimated amount it would reduce our bill versus the lease payment.  Solar City guaranteed a minimal level of output, so we felt safe with the estimates.

Q: Was there any issues with your homeowners insurance or city code? (Do not live in a neighborhood w/ a homeowners association.)

A:  City Building Inspector had to review and approve plans and the final installation.  This was not a big deal, but it did slow down turning on the system.  Our lease started once it was officially turned on.

Q: How long did the actual installation of the equipment take?

A:  About a week.

Q: How big and what type of disruption was the installation process to your household?

A:  Pretty minor since most of the work was outside on the roof.  They needed several days’ access to our breaker panel, but the timing was flexible since the bulk of the time was spent on the roof.

Q: Did you have any previous experience with solar?

A:  No

Q: What type and where did you research solar power?

A:  We have been researching and keeping up with solar technology on and off for 23 years.  We looked online at other Solar Companies offerings and tried to understand and compare different types of solar electric technologies and systems.

Q: Big question everyone wants to know, what has your ROI been so far?

A:  We expect to recoup the upfront lease pay down option we did of $3,000 easily with the first two years.  After that, we should come out ahead depending on the season $100 to $200 per month on our electric bills.  ROI is as good as or better than Solar City described to us.  We have cut our monthly electric bill by 30 to 50%.  Plus we have gotten small quarterly checks for $100 to $200 for the utility buyback program for the excess power we generated.

Q: Any surprises?

A:  We thought with this system we would still have power even during power outages due to storms.  However, we later found out that a grid-tied system must have an auto cut off if it doesn’t sense power from the grid.  That is because if the grid power is out your solar/wind/etc. system was supplying power, anything your house wasn’t using will pass back to the grid.  That would not be good while a repair man is working on it!

Q: Any advice you want to offer?

A:  (No answer given)

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