Tuesday, October 6, 2009

We Are Going Solar.

We went on the Solar Home Tour in our area last weekend. Visited this home in the photo as well as some others. Have had four solar companies visit us and given us estimates on the cost. At first I was not too interested. Thinking so much money, how long will it take to recoup the investment? What about the maintenance on the panels? Not to mention the house down the street, their panels looks bad! I would not want that on my house.
After talking to some people and hearing about the grant funds, I came to the feeling this was a plausible move. Earlier I posted on the grant money. Now I want to blog a little about the layout and it's functions.
Our home faces Southeast. We have no shading trees or other things. so the panels would go on the top of our roof with a clean look. Similar the the photo here. Now we were told by most of the sale reps that there was no Net Metering in our area. Wrong, Yes we would have Net Metering. This is where your Meter would be running backwards as the solar energy is being collected. Therefore there is no lost solar energy. and you would be getting credit if you run in the negative numbers. Depending on how much one would like to offset their electric energy will decided on the size and number of panels.
Another thing a company can do is monitor the system. We like that,if there is a problem they will see it and send someone out to fix it.
Going on the tour helped me to see that this is a good choice. The owners of the homes talked to us about their savings and how the system works. Most of the homes we looked at did not have the new improved solar panels, yet they had good savings. Most of them had some sort of shading throughout the day, depending on the sun position. We do not have any shading during the day. Yet all these homes still had good results.
One home had a battery back up. We were told that the batteries are huge and would take up a Entire wall. Not true, the battery was not that large and one we could accommodate.
Attending the Solar Home Tour was a great choice for us. One needs to do some studying so not to get misled by Sale Reps. find out if there is a Solar Home tour in your area and visit. You do not have to be solar to visit the homes.
We are getting ready to sign a contract to install Solar Power . In the next few months I will be posting as this project gets underway.


  1. Interesting. It does seem like this requires a lot of education and research, though, to make sure you're getting a good deal. As for our efforts, my husband just started replacing all our bulbs with CFL ones. It's our tiny contribution to saving the environment, and a little bit of money in the long run. We're nowhere near solar panels, but it's something. Good for you!

  2. I think about things like maintenance and part replacement. What if you need to replace your roof--can you take it off and what does that entail. I think I'd do a LOT of research before getting into it, but it sounds like you are. Cool info!