How much is your “friend” willing to pay for the use of the equipment usage?
Is your friend capable enough to do the install him/herself?
Has there been a recent increase in power usage?
What things that use electricity does your friend have?
What is the usage that your friend is seeing?
A bundle probably costs around $200. So lets look at what a rental company would charge for something like that.
So, if you need it for more than a week, it is probably cheaper to buy one. At the end of the time you need it, you can resell it. For something that is used, I typically expect to get it for half price or less. But that depends on condition and the item. There is not a big market for used IotaWatts, but I am sure it would be possible to sell one with a sufficient discount. I already have two, but I might be interested in another one (at the right price).
I would do the setup as a hobby project. I have an IotaWatt system, I am familiar with installation and using the software. His house has an mini-split air-source heat pump, 2 water heaters (one resistance, one ASHP), 6.5 kW of PV. The house is new-ish and well built.
He spent more than $4000 on electricity over the last year, which he finds painful and I find curious, given the PV. Either the heat pump is wildly less efficient than advertised or there is something else not working correctly.
He is thinking of adding more PV capacity ($25K). Probably wise to spend a few $100s on collecting data before springing for that.
Will let you know if/when we want to sell used stuff.
$4000 for electricity does seem excessive, but without knowing power cost/KWH and climate it is hard to say how excessive. An IotaWatt would be a good choice. But, since he has solar, I would say he should probably keep it to keep track of how well the solar system is doing over time. The cost of the IotaWatt (and even installation, if he were paying real money for it) is a very small percentage of the cost of the solar system. It really is a good idea to monitor a solar system to make sure output does not fall off over time due to dirt or other failures.
Once you get the system set up, let us know what you figure out is using all the power.
Hey chipb, just discovered IoTaWatt and was considering purchasing a kit myself - have PV and am gearing up for a switch from NG furnace to air source heat pump and also NG storage water heater to heat pump water heater.
If your friend planned to only use for a couple months I may be interested in purchasing the kit for 75-80% of retail. Seems like a pretty solid deal on both ends?