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Topic: Does anyone have a Solar home?

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Subject: Does anyone have a Solar home?
Date Posted: 12/16/2008 11:20 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2008
Posts: 21
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Does anyone have a solar home?

I'm thinking about doing this to my Boomer parents home down in FL.

I think we priced the system around 20k...   Here is my thinking..  Even if  we financed 20k for 5 years and just paid that instead of the electricity bill.
After 5 years you don't have an electricity bill any longer.  Then it's even easier to live on a fixed retirement income.
-also took into consideration the tax benefits
-as well as if they take a vacation they can sell the power back to the electric company.

Any experiences?


Date Posted: 12/16/2008 11:27 AM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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We don't but we have friends in Santa Fe who put solar panels on their house. To be honest, I don't think I have asked about it since they did it though! I'll try to remember to do that and post back. I'd LOVE to be "off the grid" even if it was only for a few hours a day.
Date Posted: 12/16/2008 12:03 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Last Edited on: 1/13/14 1:03 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/16/2008 12:05 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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CJR, my concern would first be all those storms FL gets.  Can the solar pannels survive long enough to be a benifit?  If so I think they are a great idea and know several homes in my county that sell the wattage back even when they are in the home. Plus if the power goes out in your area you'd still have power..LOL

Date Posted: 12/16/2008 12:12 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2008
Posts: 21
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Thanks! ...didn't think about the batteries...

That seems pretty whacked to have to spend that much for batteries every 5 years... don't you think?
-guess that's why they say the technology isn't quite there yet.

So do you have to replace the batteries in a Prius every five years as well? Probably cost's 15k if you do.



Date Posted: 12/16/2008 3:35 PM ET
Member Since: 3/10/2006
Posts: 2,819
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Solar panels are rapidly getting more efficient.  I heard on NPR the other day that current panels have something like 46% efficiency (in terms of capturing sunlight to energy), and scientists have just improved that to 96%. 

Look into any state energy organizations that might give you either a lower interest rate for the loan, or a rebate after it's installed.   Here in NY, the energy org. is NYSERDA, and they give you at least half your money back! 

Last Edited on: 12/16/08 3:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/16/2008 11:27 PM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2008
Posts: 188
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CJR, I was given a Prius to drive while my car was in the shop and I RAVED about it to everyone. I had a customer at work that told me that while they are great cars and great for mileage the cost of replacing the battery canceled out some of the savings. He said it was around 7000.00 to replace and it IIRC it was every 6-8 years.


Does anyone know about the turbine things? How do they compare to solar power costwise and efficiency-wise??

Last Edited on: 12/16/08 11:29 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/17/2008 10:35 PM ET
Member Since: 10/20/2007
Posts: 5,297
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As far as the Prius goes, you can replace one cell at a time, and they're designed to last the life of the car.  They don't know for sure how long they'll last because they've replaced very few so far.  I can't remember when the first ones came out...97 maybe?  Anyway, technology has improved a lot just since then.


Date Posted: 12/19/2008 4:55 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I drove a Prius while in Seattle on vacation because we got free parking at the hotel AND it wsn't much more than a regular car.  Anyway, we loved it, thought it was cool and while we didn't drive a lot, we only had to put $2 worth of gas back in it to fill it up.

Date Posted: 12/27/2008 9:36 PM ET
Member Since: 1/9/2006
Posts: 6,638
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Last Edited on: 1/20/09 6:56 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/3/2009 5:53 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2006
Posts: 2,157
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We've been in our new house for about a month.  I'm planning on calling the "green guys" at our energy co-op to come out to the house and see what we can do to get off the grid as much as possible.  I'm not sure that we are going to have alot of options.  The house is tall, but surrounded by trees and I'm not sure we get enough wind even to run a simple turbine.  It would be great to supply our own energy.