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Thank you! Of note, we went with the SMA inverter because it has an Aux power supply that you can lose when the grid is down. Nice for the fridge. Holly February 7, , pm. Good for you! We use between to kWh per month. We replaced the furnace with a high efficiency one. Replacing all of the insulation in the home made the biggest difference for cutting our heating costs, both natural gas and electricity to run the furnace.

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So I open the windows at night to cool the house down, and then close them in the morning to keep the heat out. This works like a charm for the 80 to degree days. Having a gas cooktop probably saves us electricity. However, we also use a large toaster oven to do most of the oven-style cooking.

This uses much less electricity than the oven. And we also purchased an energy-efficient condo-sized washer and dryer set, and we only run them when we have full loads. My husband often hangs the clothes to dry. Changing light bulbs really does make a difference too. All the areas of the home where the lights are used the most have LED bulbs. John N February 8, , pm. I use 48 kWh per month. Wales, UK. TheHappyPhilosopher February 7, , pm. Very cool. Curious, what would the cost be to install a similar system if you outsourced everything to a local solar installation company?

Mrs PoP February 8, , am. Bruce A Johnson February 7, , pm. This time I know our side will win. You are absolutely correct that there is satisfaction beyond the monetary in solar energy. This time I know our side will win!

Homeowner’s Guide to Going Solar | Department of Energy

Ben Nelson February 9, , am. One of the other commenters here, Bruce, was one of the many people who inspired me to do solar. The more solar including good DIY systems! Spread the good word! Todd S. February 7, , pm. Congrats Pete and good work. Per the monitoring screenshot, it seems to be working nicely though. Are you still working with the Longmont elementary school to look into solar for them? Lemme answer all your damn questions!

Shaw Solar looks like a great outfit, but Durango is far for periodic service visits. I upsized the inverter because the extra cost was minimal and I really hope to add a LOT more panels to the system. My new strategy is avoiding bureaucracy when trying to do good around the city — either do the good without asking, or partner with people who are free from the burdens of lawyers, banks and overseers for now.

February 8, , pm. Open offer to hit me up with solar questions in the future. All in the tribe I suppose. Jamie Costello February 9, , pm. Im curious if you have a link for those classy LED replacements you speak of. Thanks for this article, it has inspired me to give solar panels on our personal home a harder look. Money Mustache February 10, , pm. Hey Jamie — sure: after shopping around the local Home Depot ended up having the best LED fluorescent bulbs, surprisingly enough. They were Philips brand in the T8 shape and the school required a K color temperature. Michael R February 10, , pm.

TomTrottier February 17, , am. For art you want coloujr accuracy. CRI — colour rendering index — is most important. It shows how balanced the spectrum is. Tony February 10, , pm. That was going to be my question, whether or not you could add to the setup later. So as long as the inverter can handle the input, you can add more panels? Considering solar on our garage but maybe starting with one side of the gable…. Be carefull how much good you do outside of the bureaucracy.

You should just get famous too! Friends DO always pop over to help each other with projects. Money Mustache to experience this phenomenon. And one of the big messages I try to share here is to work on this aspect of your life. Start a small business. Reach out to people who run companies in your area, and find ways to help them. Use Craigslist for most transactions, and meet the people in your community.

These are things that help make you more pleasant to be around.

  • Runes of Isle Royale!
  • Solar Power - The Camping and Caravanning Club.
  • My DIY Solar Power Setup – Free Energy for Life.
  • GENERAL Books about Solar Energy and Energy Policy;
  • Guinea Pig Apocalypse.

Charming myself — I still have lots of work to do in this department. But at least I know the general direction I want to take my life, and how to move in that direction. Colin February 8, , pm. In the last year my two best project-doing friends — who lived within walking distance — moved away.

The ugly truth behind grid-tie solar systems. Part 1, FarmCraft101 solar. Watch before you buy!

Marcia February 8, , pm. I have friends that pop over and help! I have helped other friends with sewing too. My neighbors have traded their skills with building and planting and growing. My other neighbor is a chiropractor with lots of friends who do landscaping, building, and are fishermen. Lots of trading going on!

I bought from ML Solar, which had the best prices I could find, and luckily just happened to be 60 miles from my home, so I went and picked them up for less than the shipping would have cost. Managed to get all the panels in the back of my Jetta wagon, and the racking on the roof. Mount the solar panels just high enough to comfortably walk, drive, and park beneath then rake in the free solar.

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Same goes for parks in need of a little shade. This would make loads of sense, because parking lots are usually completely unshaded. Some cities already have large installations like this in place especially places like Phoenix where cars and summer sun are a super-unpleasant combination.

The key to making it all work cost effectively is a really cost-effective system to bolt together over the existing parking spaces. If you can minimize the engineering, steel, concrete and building permit aspects, then things start looking much better. The same argument applies to choosing small, lightweight bike infrastructure over the massive stuff we need to build to support cars! Almost all the County buildings here in Santa Clara County are doing that now.

Even the Elmwood Jail has solar covered parking for the employees.