Are you sick and tired of Blackouts and huge electric bills?

Katrin - posted on 11/09/2011 ( 8 moms have responded )

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Are you tired of losing your electricity or just worrying about when it will go out next and for how long?
Do you ever worry about how dependent you are on your electric company?
I don't know how it goes in your state but here in MA, NH, NY, RI are tons of them and especially with the winter months approaching its no fun.
if you could build a solar panel or wind turbine kit for as little as 200$ and cut your cost by at least 65% would you do it?

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[deleted account]

I should also mention that my info might be a bit out dated--we did our workshop about 4 years ago, so they may have made a lot of progress as far as affordability since then.

[deleted account]

A lot of the homes around here have cisterns (I'm not sure if I'm spelling that properly). It is a big tank underground that collects water that runs off the home's roof and is funneled into the tank. They do require a pump and filtration system that uses a good bit of electricity. We have droughts here pretty often and want to preserve the lake, so they are a great option for us. We use them when we can, but switch to county water when they are empty. It makes a big difference in the water levels.

Our panel on the workshop is 3 x6 ft, I think. I think they would fit on most homes, we just have a really oddly shaped roof. If your husband is an electrical engineer, he can do the wiring for you. My husband is just not very handy and I didn't trust him to do it.

Katrin - posted on 11/09/2011

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interesting. i didn't think about the wiring thing as i read that you can just connect them outside to the ac unit. (whatever that mean but again, hub said it is correct lol)
you must have a tiny roof indeed if you can only fit 3 panels. maybe it depends on the size too? the panels i was reading about are not to big i think and it works on our roof anyway. i was thinking about a freshwater well as well but havent looked into that either. in a future home i would love to collect the rainwater as well. its so much more efficient and cheap and God for our earth. i love it.

[deleted account]

I don't know the wattage on the one on John's building, but it's enough to run lights along with his computer and either a heater/AC unit or a power tool, but he can't use the saw with the AC or heater. Most of his tools use rechargeable batteries, and the panels make enough to charge them up if left plugged in for most of the day. Overall, for a workshop, it's great, but for our house, not so much. According to the builders, the 3 panels on our roof would only provide enough power to supply lights OR one major appliance.
If I remember correctly, your hubby is right--the wattage multiplies when you put multiple panels together.

If we move, we will use solar panels, but having them installed on our current home is not economical. The reason we can only fit 3 is because of the multiple gables and pitch of our roof--we are in a renovated vacation home. To add more, we'd have to completely redesign the roof and rewire the house. When we have our next house built, we will use a more traditional roof line to accommodate the panels. Also, doing the wiring for solar during building is much less expensive than having to rewire once a house is already built.

If your hubby can build them, I would say go for it. We are very happy with the solar panels in John's workshop. We do not often have power outages here, but I like the environmentally friendly aspect of using solar panels and feel that even if it is a wash financially, they are a very good option.

Katrin - posted on 11/09/2011

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hey Kelly, i am considering making solarpanels for our house. my husband is a electrical eng. for our power company and is really good at calculating stuff for me. i am just starting to look into it and found that solar kits are way overpriced but if you build them you could spend around 100-200$ per panel which gives you 75watts. but if you connect multiple ones together you can get up to 1000+ watts. see this what i don't get but my hubby promised me to calculate it for me lol. for a normal size house 2500watts will do it. the information on the net are kind of overwhelming though but i found one side i would stick with. what would you consider using if you moved?
how many watts does a residential solar panel give you?

[deleted account]

The electric company here is asking for a 17% rate increase--I think the meeting is tonight. I hope they don't get it.

I would definitely consider alternative options for electricity, but I'm not sure where you got your numbers. Residential solar panels here cost about $5,000 each (installed) and one panel is only estimated to cut electric bills by about 10% per year. It could pay off if you are young, but our electric bill is only about $200/month, so it would take many years to balance out. We could only fit about 3 on our roof because of the size and shape of our house, but if the cost continues to drop, we will probably have them on the next house. We do have them on my husband's workshop because it is not on the power grid. They work really well!

Wind turbines would not work in our area, so I don't know about that.

Katrin - posted on 11/09/2011

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no i am very curious if more and more people in our days would actually consider it. our power companies here are driving so many people mad and now that we are having all that resource it brought up this question to me (=

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