Sunday, May 24, 2015

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VIVINT SOLAR ENERGY


  


PREVIOUSLY
"... anyone know anything about VIVINT.SOLAR?"




: The deal with Vivant is, in our case, is they will sell us energy collected from "their panels" for 10.5 cents per kwh. Pur current cost is around 36 cents. If we use less than what is generated, the excess is sold back to BG&E and credited to us. There are ZERO costs involved for the installation; there are no battery devices involved. This all sounds pretty sweet. However, even while the sales guy was pitching us I Googled them. While there were just a few entries on the consumer page, all were negative. Yesterday the surveyor was here a 8AM and did a full roof sun collection survey on our roof and told us when he was finished that he's sure we will qualify and get panels. On the upside is the promise of reducing energy costs, and but also the positive effect it ought have when we sell. I sent the contract to our son who now living in Utah (Vivant's home). While going through the packet I noticed that the salesman did not leave his workup sheets. I feel uneasy which is why these queries.  - April 28th

Had many requests for updates on Vivint's offer of free solar panels .  Here's a brief summary of how this made sense for us after some due diligence.

The People's State of MD (some other states are also on board with this) are fining BGE about one million dollars a day until they show proper progress toward promoting renewable energy.  That right there is the incentive.  BGE not only pay agents like Solar City, Vivint, et. al., to find good candidates (lots of sun), they supply the panels.  They allow the agent (Vivint) to sell generated electricity to the homeowner at, in our case, 10.5¢ kWh (we currently pay about 35¢).  In effect then, Vivint is renting our roof for 20 years.  Vivint will also collect all federal and state rebates.  There are no batteries; nothing is saved locally. 

Our initial concerns were an abundance of bad Googled reviews from people who'd dealt with Vivint.  Most were about not getting response back about what was going on; probably people who failed the test (a guy comes out and surveys your sun footprint), and the sales person was not considerate enough to tell them.  One claimed that after a few months they were actually paying more for electricity than before.  That's only possible if the owner started using considerably more power, like buying room air conditioners for every room when they had none before.  Another claimed the installer damaged his roof.

Vivint is a Utah company with a good history, but  new to the solar game. Fortunately we have a son who's a big shot corporate lawyer, and who just bought a home in Utah.  Sent him the contract to check it out.  They passed muster. We said okay.

We were scheduled to have our install on June 30, but our salesman called Friday and said they had a crew available to install this Saturday.  Since you can opt out of the deal up to the point where they're climbing the ladder, I'm guessing someone did just that.  We said OK.  They showed up around noon, and less than three hours later had installed 34 panelsworth $44,000 according to the state permit and were gone.  Now we await BGE's installation of the collection meter. 

FWIW, the installer said his mom had the panels installed.  Her first month's bill was 6¢.  We'll see.  The pitch of our roof is such that we can't see the panels unless we go across the street, which is the view you see.