Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Fun with residential solar power

We just installed solar panels at the sprawling Redcloak family compound. This is something we would never have done without the stupidly generous subsidy that LADWP provides for this not-ready-for-prime-time technology. But, we saw this as a rare opportunity to get back some small portion of the moolah they've extracted from us over the years.

The company we dealt with, who shall remain nameless, but their name rhymes with sunflower, sold us on the project with the quality of their cells. While they're idiots, and their contractor is an asshat, the cells they make are beautiful. But, had we known what sort of semi-trained chimps would be sent to install the system, we would have walked away.

First off, it took 6 months from start to finish. This ain't rocket science! And, the city of L.A. does most of the work for you. Next, the chimps installed their gear in a spot where the building and safety inspector was bound to reject it. The job foreman even warned them that it was a bad location. That added 2 weeks as they tried to con me into additional, and unnecessary, work to relocate an air conditioning compressor. And by additional, I mean they wanted more money from me. The asshat contractor insisted that the inspector was fine with where he placed his gear, but that the A/C would have to move to get it away from the main electrical panel. Numbnuts finally caved when I spoke to the inspector myself and uncovered the lie. It then took the foreman (the one competent person in their entire operation!) intervening with the inspector to get the installation approved.

So now it's up and running. And last night, at about 10, my wife looks out the window and sees something funny in the yard. There are 2 signs out there. At first, I thought they were illegally placed campaign signs. It turns out that they were advertising signs placed by the idiot contractor! You'll be happy to know that I recycled them. I'm waiting for the call from them asking what happened to their signs. I'd love the opportunity to inform them that I wouldn't recommend them to someone I didn't like; let alone one of my neighbors.