Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Maple Hill Hop 89

Maple Hill Hop

Welcome to 
The Maple Hill Hop.
This is a hop for folks who love the outdoors.
Feel free to post about anything that's going on
in your neck of the woods,
no matter the season.
(Please share only outdoor posts.)
*Grab the button above to link back to Maple Hill 101.* 

We currently live in suburbia.
There are over 300 homes in our development.
But only one has a unique feature
that we got to take a look at this weekend.

Our neighbors shared their solar panel system with us.
This set up harnesses electricity for them
so that their power bills are lower than what their neighbors pay.  
There have been times when they actually have a credit on their bill 
because they are generating so much energy.
With all the sunny days we have in Florida, it just makes sense.

David is a licensed contractor, 
among several other hats that he wears.
He had been excited about the new technology being developed
in the renewable energy field as a contractor.
He has installed several systems on his own properties over the years.
In this application, these panels were placed on the south facing side of the roof,
which is optimal for performance.
With his construction background and knowledge of these systems,
he was able to install it himself.
Pretty amazing, huh?

This inverter is the only equipment needed in the garage.
David and Cathy have a "grid-tied" 5,000 watt system. 
Grid-tied means that they are still hooked up to the power company, 
so when the power goes out,
the system stops creating electricity.
The advantage is that since power is rarely lost,
the homeowner is saving money every day it is working.
That adds up to hundreds of dollars a year.

If you are on the grid, the utility company stores the energy. 
They keep track of the kilowatts you use on an hourly basis. 
During a sunny day, you can produce more energy than you are using 
so your electric meter goes backwards and you build up energy credits. 
The goal of a solar power system on the grid, is to produce as much power 
over a twelve month period as is used.
It is possible to have negative power bills.

One of the best features of this design is 
that it is very low maintenance,
which keeps the savings in your pocket.
  There are no batteries needed to store the energy, 
as is necessary with off-grid methods.
Less equipment to keep track of  and maintain,
 continues the savings and keeps things simple.

Less than 10 years ago, a system of this size 
would cost upwards of $30-40,000.
At the time, much of that cost could be recovered through rebates and incentive programs.
Although the incentive programs are no longer available in Florida,
there may be states that still offer them.
There are tax credits available, even now,
and prices for renewable energy resources have come down
to about half of what they once were.
The hope is that they will continue to drop,
so that more folks can afford to have them installed.

This family has gone solar, enjoying lower power bills,
thus improving their quality of their life exponentially.

We've got energy renegades right in the neighborhood!
What do you think about going solar?

What's happening where you are?
HOP on!


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