City-Data Forum How much money to convert a 1500 sq ft house to get free energy? (heaters, pump)
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04-13-2009, 03:33 PM
 4,248 posts, read 8,121,799 times Reputation: 5080

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Maine Writer We checked into wind power a couple of weeks ago. It would take 14+ years to break even. That eliminated that idea.
Did you take into account future increases of power rates?

Last edited by nuala; 04-13-2009 at 03:46 PM..

04-13-2009, 04:17 PM
 Location: Forests of Maine 30,646 posts, read 49,319,037 times Reputation: 19059
Quote:
 Originally Posted by nuala Did you take into account future increases of power rates?
Hmm, okay how exactly you do predict that?

04-13-2009, 04:34 PM
 4,248 posts, read 8,121,799 times Reputation: 5080
My point exactly. How does one predict that a break-even point is 14 years, if the future power rates are unknown?

Based on historical rate increases, power monopolies, depleting fossil fuels, and research money, it is not unreasonable to predict a 50% to 100% increase in power rates 10 years from now. A break-even point of 14 years could really be 7 years then.

Last edited by nuala; 04-13-2009 at 05:00 PM..

09-22-2013, 03:54 PM
 Location: Forests of Maine 30,646 posts, read 49,319,037 times Reputation: 19059
Quote:
 Originally Posted by nuala My point exactly. How does one predict that a break-even point is 14 years, if the future power rates are unknown? Based on historical rate increases, power monopolies, depleting fossil fuels, and research money, it is not unreasonable to predict a 50% to 100% increase in power rates 10 years from now. A break-even point of 14 years could really be 7 years then.

Fourteen is not horrible.

09-24-2013, 05:15 PM
 Location: DC 6,510 posts, read 6,434,844 times Reputation: 3112
The best thing you can do is cut your consumption in 1/2. The greenest kWh is the one you don't use.

09-24-2013, 08:42 PM
 650 posts, read 1,311,555 times Reputation: 340

09-24-2013, 08:45 PM
 650 posts, read 1,311,555 times Reputation: 340

09-25-2013, 12:50 AM
 Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii 9,605 posts, read 18,799,436 times Reputation: 8457
We have a 1,200 square foot house and are running it on a grid tie 4 kWh Photovoltaic system. It was installed last December for about \$20K and we will be seeing tax rebates for the next several years to when the actual out of pocket expenses will be less than half that amount. Our electric bill is now \$20 a month which pays for the meter and the just to be connected to the grid fee. The electric rates around here are roughly forty cents a kilowatt hour, so the payback time is less than five years.

We've been switching a lot of our cooking from gas (propane, there's no natural gas in Hawaii) to electric now that electric is essentially free so the gas bill has dropped a lot now, too. We chose solar PV panels since they don't have any moving parts and don't wear out. We also get quite a bit of sun around here, so that helped with our choice, too.

10-01-2013, 02:23 PM
 7,281 posts, read 8,843,811 times Reputation: 11419
When you figure out how much energy you need to live then you can figure out how to obtain that energy at the lowest practical costs. All the "I have great sun in my backyard" stuff doesn't mean diddly squat unless they are your next door neighbor. Meshes with "I've never done it but this is what I heard..."

Start with a clean slate, see how much you can reduce your energy needs (you can't save energy and anyone telling you that you can is nuts). Once you reduced your needs to the lowest levels you can live with, measure the needs throughout the year in what you anticipate most weather conditions to be and your needs during those times. Once you have that info you can go about deciding what types of energy solutions you need.

Remember, electric is not a source of energy, it must be converted from a source by some means. Everything that converts energy to electricity will require some form of maintenance and that will have a cost. There is no "free" anything.

Anything that stores energy also consumes it, to varying degrees. You either use it or lose it.

10-02-2013, 08:47 AM
 Location: West Orange, NJ 12,545 posts, read 18,396,261 times Reputation: 3688
Quote:
 Originally Posted by GiantRutgersfan whether it is solar or wind or whatever? What is the cheapest way to equip a house on one acre of land with equipment so that there is no electric bill each month? and what would be the approximate cost
the first step is assessing your home energy usage, as others have stated. a good thing to do is possibly have a home energy audit performed. This will expose any obvious wasteful energy consumption. It may result in recommendations to add insulation, perform air sealing, etc. Once you know what your typical usage is, then you can determine what you can realistically cut. Why pay thousands of dollars to install solar on your property, but use it to power incadescent light bulbs, or even CFLs now that LEDs are available? My home is about 20% converted to LED bulbs, for instance. They still cost quite a bit, but what's the sense in buying a CFL now that LEDs are not ridiculously expensive?

Anyways, once you figure out your usage, then you know what your needs are. I think you're in south jersey, which is actually a decent location for solar. You could have a company come out and quote you for a system. I'm not sure if geothermal or windmill is an option for you, but that could be a good combined system.

It's really difficult to tell someone what the cost would be. but it's absolutely worth exploring, especially with incentives that exist in NJ presently.
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