My Solar Powered Home

I just got solar electric installed in my home- and love it. When I researched it, I was amazed that not only was it not as expensive as I thought it would be, but it was rather inexpensive!



Here on Long Island we have reportedly the highest rates around and with climbing oil rates (at the time) and global warming concerns I decided to make the plunge.

Here’s the breakdown:
My home uses enough electricity that a 6kWatt system would take care of 100% of my electric needs. However, I do not have enough roof space for that so I had to get a 3kW system.

The price tag for such a system is $24,000.
BUT, the local electric company pays half that right off the top so I have to pay out $12,000.
BUT, in a few months, I will get an addition $6,000 combined from state and federal tax refunds.
Bottom line, I’ll be paying one quarter of the original price tag for the system. It takes care of half my electric bill (I got my first bill and it was half!) and will pay itself off in 6 years- if oils stays at today’s prices.

A little about how it works. It kind of works like a pressurized water system. When there’s not enough solar power to juice up my roof, I buy power from the electric company like everyone else. When the sun’s up and running, I sell electricity back to the electric company and my meter RUNS BACKWARDS! I just sit there and watch it sometimes. One thing to note, I’m still connected to the grid so if there’s a blackout, I’m out too- even if there’s a full sun.



Here’s the coolest thing: The unit has a display which shows how many kWatts the system is making as well as how many kg’s of CO2 I’ve save from putting in the atmosphere by not having the electric company burn oil for my electricity. In the first month, I saved over 100 kg's.

If you’re in a good situation for it, I would recommend checking it out. Fir those of you on LI, the LIPA web site has a list of certified installers. The process was very painless.

You may even want to mention it to your administration since it is cost effective and the district would go a long way with setting a good example to the next generation.

 

The panels are about 3x5 feet each and I have 16 of them on my roof. It was installed pretty painlessly. The contractor (from the LIPA recommended list) took care of all the paperwork. All I needed was a check. The install took less than 2 days. One of which I didn't need to be home.

My bills have mathematically been cut in half, just like they said it would (remember, I only had enough roof space to fit enough panels to take care of 50% of my bill!) My summer bills (central air, pool, TV, computer, lights all at normal use) have been around $5. If you bill is negative (which it actually was) LIPA still charges a $5 service charge and the negative balance is passed on to the next month's bill.

Since so many people have asked, here are some deatils about getting the panels for your home.

A great place to start your research is the LIPA web site:
http://www.lipower.org/efficiency/solar.html
On the web site are deatils about rebates, calculators to figure out how many panels you will need and a list of LIPA approved contractors. I interviewed three contractors and found the one listed below to be the best for me.

Sun Power Systems
40 Grassmere Ave
Oakdale, NY
(631) 750-9454
Ask for Mike Baylis
www.sunpowersystems.net

(If you go with them, let them know I referred you and I will get a referral fee from them!)


Fifteen years of
Medina On-Line
1994-2009
Email: mrsciguy@optonline.net