Your Questions About Solar Panels For Your Home

Robert asks…

Free solar panels, did you get these fitted? (U.K)?

We have been offered free solar panels fitted on our house. Apparently a few companies in the uk are offering this now if your home faces the correct way and ours apparently does. You get to use electricity generated to aide your house bringing your bills down and the company that own the panels sell the excess electricity off to the electricity suppliers. So you do not own the panels and the company service them etc for free. Just wondering if you have had this done?

Sounds like too good to be true? What is the downside?

What questions should I ask companies who offer this service in your experience when they come to discuss this?

thanks for any help offered!

ssadmin answers:

I had solar panels fitted in May at my expense (the largest system you can get to receive the largest payment – 4kw) and they have so far generated over 1500kwh of electricity. The reason companies offer free panels is so they can get they feed in tarrif of 43.3p per kwh with an additional payment of 3p per kwh exported back to the grid, calculated at 50%. The amount of electricity you use will not decrease enough to warrent the rent of your roof and when it is cloudy or raining, they will not be generating much anyway (ours go from 3.7kwh on a horrid day to 22.7kwh on a sunny day) at night time, you will have to use from the national grid and pay as normal.

I have so far made 1500 x 43.3p = £649.50 plus 750 x 3p = £22.50. Total £672.00 in 3 months. Obviously it is summer, and the amounts will decrease in the winter.

If you can afford it, or can add it to your mortgage, it makes much more sense to buy them yourself. Even if we only get 2 payments as above and 2 payments for half this, the panels will pay for themselves in less than 9 years – the FIT payments are guaranteed for 25 years and this is without any electric we are saving. We were told they need no cleaning and that when it rains, it will just wash any debris off!

The FIT is for the amount you produce, irrespective of whether you use it or not.

Lisa asks…

You wanna know why solar paneling and other green energies can never come about in the USA?

Two words ” Property Taxes “! There goes your problem. See in order for any home owner to upgrade their home to one of those green technologies like solar. They have to get a permit from their local municipality. Oh and their Communist run Municipality is always looking for a brand new source of income. So getting a permit to upgrade your home to a more fuel efficient or any kind of efficiency means that you are signing a contract that is going to kill you in taxes.

Yep you know it! Once that permit is approved your property taxes are going up like a hot air balloon in the summer time. So why would anyone in their right state of mind add solar paneling or even make their house look new. The only reason why anyone would do that is in a good economy. You see you buy old houses fix it up then sell it. The sucker I mean customer who buys the house thinks he is getting a bargain. But wait till those permits kick in with all those taxes. Now they are stuck with an outrageous mortgage and outrages taxes. Yea there goes your problem boys and girls. Its the real estate version of a pump and dump.

Fuck the Government they suck! Tell you what give tax breaks to upgrade homes and watch how many jobs are created. It will be harder to pump and dump when you get tax breaks for fixing your home. Oh and people can finally afford it without Government help. Imagine that!

Don't you love it when the Municipalities pretend to be accountants lol. They will say that your solar panel makes 500 dollars a month so they should tax you up to 40%. That leaves you with only 300 dollars a month which is what you will really make after expenses. Oh and in the winter time you will be left holding the bag.

Now you know why we will never have green technologies in America!
@indiscribable gift- Yes I did. I will respond to it soon enough. You are right Ron Paul 2012!

ssadmin answers:

I already new that, its happened in our county over and over and over !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WE THE WORKING CLASS AMERICAN CITIZENS CAN NOT AFFORD IT !

Did you get my e-mail, giggles 😀 BLAH !!!!

NoBama 2012

Lizzie asks…

How much does It cost to have solar heating installed?

I am looking to find alternative means of energy.

My electrical bill is astronomical as it is the only source of energy in my home.

I no longer use gas heat as my last heating bill was almost $600.00 a month. So, all sources of energy in my home is certainly electrical in nature.

I am looking to have solar panels installed for home heating and for hot water.

About how much am I looking to throw into this gesture?

Anyone have an idea how to get started?

Your sister,
Ginger

ssadmin answers:

I have made some enquiries on going totally solar and for a hot water service was around $4,000.00..
I am going to totally cover my roof (only 3 sides) with solar panels which will cost around $24 – $30,000.00…
Right now my Government is paying us rebates as incentives to become green on a variety of things ; especially since we are in the worst drought since recorded history…
My prices are in Aussie dollars, and are Aussie made products…

Ginger what do you do leave all your lights on 24/7, go to the low green light bulbs, a 75W globe can be reduced down to 14W, a 25W globe which I use in the passage and in all bedrooms down to 5W…
I have normal reading lights, but I find I only need those lights to just to negotiate my way, so they don't have to be bright..
A $600.00 electric bill per month I find absolutely staggering, your electricity must be very expensive, my average bill @ pensioner rates is around $115.00 for 3 months…
Good on you Ginger, go green and let's help to save our Mother Earth…
Blessed Be… )O(

Ken asks…

What are all the different types of eco-friendly home heating?

I know about solar panels for your house and even wind turbines…what other ones are there and what are the best to completely remove a houses dependency on oil or gas heating…..10 points to best answer

ssadmin answers:

It makes a big difference where you are located, what resources are available, if you are working with new construction or renovating old existing work.

In general, any path to energy independence is going to start with conservation. With heating and hot water this may mean point of use heaters, insulation, heating surfaces instead of the air (radiant heating costs less in operation) ventilation instead of air conditioning, earth tubes etc. Start to satisfy your existing 100% of current energy demands you may be able to achieve 20 to 30% with conservation techniques.

We feel warmer if surfaces are warmed than if only the air is warmed. It is more efficient as the surface temps can be 10 deg lower than we would normally heat the air. Radiant heating in floors and sometimes walls works well with both solar thermal panels and geothermal as a heat source.

In new construction a masonry stove (not cast iron) can be a very efficient use of wood. It may be lit once per day to a very high heat. The balance of the day and night the massive masonry structure radiates heat to the dwelling.

Geothermal, ground source heat pump applications are a kind of alternative form of heating conservation. It saves heating costs but still requires some energy. It does not yet supply more than it requires.

Solar thermal is 60 to 80% efficient vs photovoltaic which is only about 8 to 22% for the homeowner. There is some speculation that solar thermal plus a stirling generator may be several times cheaper than photovoltaic panels for producing electricity. ($1/ watt vs photovoltaic $5/watt.) Heat is also easier to store than electricity. So store heat to make electricity. Solar thermal comes in several designs for residences. In new designs it is in passive solar heating. For both new designs and retrofits a solar sun room may provide additional heat. Solar thermal systems can active or passive. Active systems have pumps. Solar thermal panels can be flat plate or vacuum tube collectors water based collectors or air collectors that have no liquids in them. Solar thermal energy can be used for heat, hot water, air conditioning and to generate electricity with a mid temp range stirling engine/generator.

It also would be possible in more rural settings to generate your own natural gas with a bio digester. It would however require massive amounts of bio fuel. However if the supply exists it is certainly a possibility.

While wind turbines are a possibility for electrical energy there is the duel problem of having power when you need it. First the wind must be blowing with sufficient strength and secondly there needs to be some type of energy strorage capacity. This storage shoud have deep cycle capacity. Heating water or a phase change material may be one option. Chemical storage may be another (hydrogen) Pumped hydro may be practical in some locations. There is some discussion of using compressed air for storage. This might give a byproduct of heat that could be used to some benefit. Otherwise we are left with batteries.

Daniel asks…

DIY Solar panels? From scratch?

I have seen a lot of DIY information on making your own solar panels. I have even purchased a couple of them. However, they have not been very helpful in the fact that they either call for buying tons of broken peices and putting them together, or buying each cell and building the frame, and wiring it together. I have a 14'X60′ Mobile home with the flat roof on it. It is in full sunlight 3/4 of every day. I am looking for an inexpensive way to build my own solar panel using the entire roof. I am not looking for the most efficient, because I have plenty of size to work with. I do not have a lot of electrical needs. I am on some medical machines though, if it werent for them I would probably just let the electric go and buy a propane fridge and stove and call it good. I do not want to spend a bunch of money on books either so please no advertisements on where to buy books on this subject. I have very little resources in the way of money or else I would just pay the electric bill, my electric company is 1/4 renewable energy anyway. So if anyone knows of a way to build this, or knows where I can get a book or website for free. please let me know. Thank you,
I guess I should have put this in to begin with. I already have the regulators, the inverter and the batteries. I use to have a wind and solar hybrid power plant in Montana when I was 6 miles from the nearest utility pole. I moved to Oregon, and I still have the wind generator, which does little good where I live, it would sit up there for days before I got enough wind to produce enough electricity to run a light bulb for a few minutes. What I do not have is the solar panels. I know the new ones use crystals and a lot of things you can not get readily, what I do not know is how they made the older ones before the crystals, back in the 50's when all this started out. They were only 6 to 8% efficient. (in most cases less) but the materials for them must be available somewhere relatively cheap, and since I have a large area to put it in. I would rather try to save a few dollars, and use the entire roof. I also have the wiring I would need as well I just need to find out how it was done

ssadmin answers:

Instead of trying to make your own solar panels from old parts that may or may not work I would suggest you look for applications where solar panels are presently used on a temporary basis and then not recycled. Consider some place where a battery needs to be kept charged while being shipped and then not afterwords.

Alternatively you should be looking for overstocked or out of date units. None of this may be easy to find. You will be paying in effort what you don't pay out of your pocket.

If you can't come up with any possibilities then send me an email.

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