Back in January of 2022 I started doing some research on replacing our roof and most likely getting solar installed on it. Replacing a roof is an investment and we wanted to make sure it was done right. I started doing some research on replacing the roof and found it was very expensive for our 1800 sq/ft house. I gave up on talking to roofers and started talking to solar folks instead.
Why solar instead of the roofers directly?
I got to thinking that getting a package deal from a solar company may help us with consolidating the loan for both projects, allow for the solar company to give us a good discount on the roof and know that it’s being done to accommodate a new solar setup on the roof. I talked to a bunch of friends that have had solar installed and only a few had their roof redone which stuck me as odd since I knew our roof needed to be redone and why wouldn’t you want to install a new roof with a solar system since they pretty much last the same timeframe. Maybe these folks got a new roof not long ago or they didn’t have a clue when it was replaced. For us, better safe than sorry.
I’ve talked to a couple companies and most of them have felt pretty slimy, a couple of them have too good to be true numbers and a few of them are not very professional.
With this being our first house and not having a bunch of disposable income to do this multiple times or to get screwed over I’m looking for a reputable company who isn’t going to rip off everything off the roof and then claim that they don’t have access to the materials needed to complete the job or some other nightmare scenario.
I’ve read a bunch of reviews and apparently the solar industry is ripe with absolute horror stories. Do a google search for solar nightmares and there are so many horrible ones out there.
It started with a Facebook Post
I talked to a bunch of solar companies and we landed on Sunrun for a bunch of reasons now to find a rep to talk to that I felt like I can trust. I called a few people that my friends have used and also talked to the rep over at Costco and ended up posting on Facebook mentioning I was looking for a rep and my online acquaintance Chris replied.
I wrote in my Facebook Post
Hey friends I’m curious how many of you have upgraded to solar and have also replaced your roof in the last year?
• What should I be looking out for?
• We upgraded to a 200A service last year.
• Tax credit? 26% or something like that. One solar company tells me they can lump the cost of the electric, solar and the roof into this for a tax credit.
Blah blah blah ask your tax person.. yup, will do that. What did you experience so far in your journey last year in getting solar and replacing your roof?January 26, 2022
We got a lot of responses but it was good to talk to Chris since he was someone that I have known for a while in the local Social Media marketing scene, we met a meetup a few times, hes a great guy.
Getting cold feet
We talked numbers and I got cold feet and we sat on it for a while. I talked with more friends and read more horror stories from people having solar installed on their roofs. my YouTube recommendations went from woodworking stuff to solar only content. We waiting until March to contact Chris again to move forward. This is a big commitment for a house we’ve only owned for 2 years now.
Saying yes to solar
We booked an appointment and went over all of the specs we wanted for the solar and then went over the roofing we needed to have done. We signed the paperwork and then waited for permits.
One of the things I was really interested in was having a Tesla Powerwall 2 installed. This allowed for us to work the system a bit and harvest energy from the sun and use part of that energy when the sun is going down and the energy is the most expensive from our power provider.
F&#^@#$ roofing permits
It’s April 5th and Sunrun got our permits submitted. Since I have pulled permits in the past I knew our city had an online way of tracking permits. I search and found the Plan Check, Permits, and Inspections page on their website and accessed the Online Permits and Inspections Portal which saved me from hitting up Chris every week asking for an update. We waiting for the roofing permits to finally clear and then the install.
April 20th and the roof is being installed. We went over how the roofing went over on this page New Roof in Preparation for Solar long story short the roof was installed and we even had an unwanted chimney removed from the flat roof of our den. The permit wait is real and it’s well worth the wait so don’t cut any corners. I’ve heard some nightmare stories from people that got a new roof not permitted and bad things can happen. On May 10th our inspection passed and we were ready for the next step, solar.
More F&#^@#$ Permits – solar edition
May 30th and were waiting on the solar permits to get approved. I kept watching this website where the permit would go from one step back to the previous and then forward again. Something isn’t right. Permits and approvals are the longest part of this process. but I knew we were having to wait to long. I contact Chris and the our Custom Success Specialist and found out the Customer Success Specialist got a new job and we were waiting for a new person to take on our project. A few days later and we were assigned a new person and my contact at the city was giving me updated on the permit being submitted correctly. Every county has their own way of doing thing and every city does as well.
August 5th we got word the solar was going to be installed and a few days earlier got our first $400 bill from SCE. This install is happening just as were in the hottest part of the year here in SoCal I can’t wait to be sending SCE barely nothing after doing some
Solar Install Day
August 8th at 7am the solar installers from Sunrun arrive and begin unloading their trucks and talking with me on placement on our garage backyard wall for some of the items that need to be installed there: Tesla Powerwall 2 and SolarEdge SE6000H-USSN inverter and a manual switch to turn it off.
On the other side of the backyard they were installing a new breaker box for circuits protected by the battery and Tesla Backup Gateway and a gutter box for routing the cables between
While the installers on the ground were installing we had a bunch of guys on the roof running conduit and rails and findally installing the solar panels on them.
Once our install was complete the installers informed me they were leaving the system on including the battery. We won’t receive any credits from SCE but this was to help protect the battery from getting overcharged without discharging. They added the devices to my network and I installed the Tesla app so I can monitor the system.
The next day
With the install finishing so late in the day we lost the time to see the solar generate at its fullest so at noon the next day the Tesla app showed me this awesome 6kW of generation and our house had the HVAC running using 5.2 kW and still sending 0.9kW back to SCE, unpaid.. for now.
Why the Tesla Powerwall 2?
I like having control specially with electronics and with Time of Use (TOU) I feel like it’s good to have a battery so you can hold back some for battery backup and keep some that we can use during the most expensive part of the TOU cycle. The first image is off-peak of 34.8kWh of energy and you can see the circle shows how much is from solar, powerwall or the grid. The second photo shows the peak time we sent 9.8 kWh and how some of it came from solar and the rest from the powerwall the last image is the solar to home usage and the energy offset. Once we get approval to get credit for the electricity we generate and send to the grid I’ll report back our findings.
Permission to Operate – PTO
This brings us to where were currently at, waiting on our permission to operate from SCE. Since we have a battery we’re “operating” currently but not getting credits from SCE. If you have SCE you can lean about PTO here – When to Expect Your Permission to Operate (PTO) – SCE