What does the DIY, message board, community think about single family homeowners going solar for electric power. Good, bad, indifferent? Worth the cost? Who to turn to for good advice, etc.?
Even those that sell solar systems will tell you it isn't suitable for primary or "base" power needs, but is a way to spend less on purchased electricity. Same is true of wind power. Obviously, the efficiency of solar depends upon how "sunny" it is where you live. Good in Yuma, not so good in Seattle. You would have to take all these factors into consideration and do a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether or not it makes sense in your particular situation.
I've been PO'd about it ever since they said that Pluto wasn't really a planet.
It sure seems that with the technology we currently have and the cost of that technology that there is little economic advantage to most alternative energy systems. Factoring the money you save vs the cost of the systems vs the expected lifetime and maintenance costs - currently it appears that the best you can do is break even over the long run.
Now, as Joe points out above, you may have better results in different areas that may make your alternate energy system much more efficient.
Barring a wonderful environment, the only situation that I see currently where an alternative energy source would work out would be if the house is in an extremely remote location where getting conventional power would either be impossible or very expensive.
Both great answers, thanks a lot!
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