Originally Posted by ThrillKill
I lived in Huntington Beach for a short while in a house that was solar energized and it was great. I have seen some here as well but when I looked into it, it did not make sense as it would take until the next ice age for it to pay for itself. We do have the land for a windmill and I'll have to check it out but the last thing I want are a bunch of Dutch nazi sympathizers hanging around.
In "sunny california" it takes 7-9 years to get a return on your investment. That is after a 50% subsidy for the purchase AND a tax credit that can amount to UPTO 20 PERCENT of the 50 perecnt you actually pay. (The plan is always changing, so I may be off for this year.)
So, currently, the marketplace is able to offer systems that- without significant government subsidy- woud take 15 to 20 years to make financial sense. This when most sell their homes after 7 years.
I have, in fact, opted for a system despite this. I like the idea of sending my money to the solar company instead of PG&E...the local utility...since our solar array adds value to the home to the tune of an offset of $300 a month on average for electricity. We nailed down the point where we cut our electricity bill to the first cost tier...so-called baseline usage...thereby eliminating the marginally higher rate schedule. We don't "get a check back from the power company at the end of the year", but 80 percent of our $ are solar provided (about 50 percent of our KWH). The last 20 percent would have doubled the size and cost of our array.
Now , wouldn't you know, natural gas has sky-rocketed and has blown the energy budget in my household once again.
I am seeking a decomissioned Soviet nuclear sub for a certain "engine room component" that I might install in my garage. Then I will convert everything to electricity. LOL.
My point...alternative energy is EXPENSIVE, damn it.
Most Hybrids are sold in Cali, by the way. Do you know why?
You get a sticker to drive alone in the car pool lane. 75,000 stickers have been issued to date. My brother drives a V10 BMW M5...except to work in the city...he takes his stickered civic hybrid bought for the purpose.
Irony...hybrids get better mileage if they stay OUT OF THE CARPOOL LANE, whereas my SUV would get much better gas mileage IN IT.
Also...2 people in a standard civic getting 45mpg can't drive in bay area car pool lane that requires 3 or more per car, but the 50mpg hybrid civic allows one guy to use the lane.