Paybacks can take a while when upgrading. However, as we have touched
on previously, money is not the only consideration in upgrading to more
efficient technology. The higher the SEER the more efficient the unit.
That opens up many more possibilities. Like running your home on
solar panels or wind generators. If this type of alternative energy is
not your bag and the power plant you are using burns coal, a more
efficient unit means less air AND water pollutant. Pollution is a
hidden cost. You are paying for it whether you know it or not.
It isn't an 'all-or-nothing' proposition. You can start slowly and
build your way up, using the grid as a battery. (During the day you are
spinning the meter backwards and at night spinning it forwards. Kinda
using the grid as a storage facility for your power. At the end of the
month if you crammed more into the grid than you have removed ... voila!
a check from from your electric company made out to you. If not, you
pay the difference.)
You have to get a meter that tracks and allows and you to channel
electricity back into the grid. You should be able to get that through
your electric company. You will need to purchase the inverters and
other equipment to start, however, you do NOT have to purchase all of
your solar panels at one time, which is the largest cost.
You can add them as you get the $$ and time to install. Depending on
brand name and wattage, panels plus hardware will cost you anywhere from
$400 to $1000 each (110w panels).
Start with 3-4 panels. Depending on your usage, that should get you a
10%-30% drop in your bill. Add a panel or two every month and before
long, the electric company is paying you.
This site is pretty good:
But ... there are hundreds of web sites. In your area of the country, I
imagine you have retail outlets for solar parts.
I don't know where in AZ you are, but if you are in Tucson, this company:
has some financial incentives that are being offered by TEP. At the
bottom of the page you will see a link to "Hardware buy down". It
appears that TEP will pick up $2k of the costs in some cases.
If you aren't in AZ, a quick search on "solar" plus the name of your
electric company may reveal some free moola.
Craig C. wrote:
That MIGHT cover a "starter" system that you'd hate, Larry..
My brother in CA is having a $60k system put in, but after rebates and tax
credits, he figures that the net will be about $35k...
He'll also save about $300 a month on electricity..
(His system doesn't use batteries, and they add to the cost and take up space)
Please remove splinters before emailing
$15k will buy some nice equipment and get you well on the road to
eliminating your electric bill, depending on usage.
Unless your brother lives in a mansion with HUGE electric needs, he is
getting ripped off.
In TX, a $60k system has batteries, hybrid wind/solar setup with a
gas/natural gas generator backup and it is off the grid on a normal
A grid-tied system is *easy* to implement. Little or no maintenance and
they're fairly cheap too (< $10k to get started and add panels as you
can afford it), if you are willing to do some of the work on your own.
Larry strikes me a DOY'r, he'd get off to a great start with $10-12k,
and could add panels little by little after that, provided he purchases
a nice sized inverter ($3k - $5k).
You don't *have* to use Trico. You can do it yourself.
However, 7.5k net isn't bad. Just make sure you get a high quality,
over-sized inverter so that you have the option of adding more panels
later in case your need increases.
There are many brands of grid-tie inverters. I use Xantrex. Just make
sure that it is large enough or larger than your highest usage month
(I'm assuming that is August in AZ).
Not yet mac, but if we are going to, some of these issues are going to
be addressed/fixed before we do. Than if/after I buy, I will look
harder into the solar issue and maybe by then the prices will come
down a little.
Possible but don't count on it. Pricing on PV stays pretty constant.
What does change is the appearance. You can get flexible PV in a roll
now. I have seen some that look very much like shingles.
The most bang for your buck is wind power, if you get any wind in AZ.
From what little I heard, (it wasn't really my thing and several folks had more
interesting subjects), his is a grid system and he expected to run his house and
shop without drawing from the grid...
There is a big solar community here in Baja and most folks wish they'd gone for
bigger panels and better batteries when they were having the homes built...
Some folks brought in better units from the states, but the solar area becomes a
ghost town in the summer because few people want to run a generator for AC..
Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.