Saturday, March 08, 2008

What's Your Potential?

Dreaming of installing solar panels one day? Ever considered a wind turbine in your backyard? Before you shell out the big bucks in the name of renewable energy, find out how much it would really cost, or save, you.

Most green home renovations are said to pay for themselves in about five years in energy saved. The Husband and I were just recently discussing looking into solar panels one day. Now I'm not so sure. According to Choose Renewables, conventional energy is much cheaper where we live. It would take 58 years to recoup the cost of solar panel installation and 130 years for wind. Hmph.

So I checked the address we just moved from in the Old Pueblo: better. 21 years for solar, 103 wind.

Finally, my parents' house, where I grew up, northern NY: excellent. Dad, a wind turbine would pay for itself in only five years! And solar panels in ten. Not too shabby.

I want more info, though. What happens if you install both? What about partial usage as opposed to going off the grid entirely? Doesn't the size of your house matter? Are they taking into account the insane cost of heating in NY and AC in AZ?

What's your renewable energy potential?

(Also fun: calculate your impact and receive recommendations on how to reduce.)


Sarah Berry said...

As an alternative, I know quite a few people who pay a tiny bit extra and buy all wind or all renewable energy from their regular provider (NYSEG) where we live). They say the more people that do this, the more the energy companies will support the small wind and solar farms and call for more.

feather nester said...

Is that what Renewable Energy Certificates are? I've been trying to figure that out, but don't quite understand.

Strongmama said...

We buy wind and water and actually it costs less than conventional energy by about .002 per unit (or however it's measured). And they tell us how many Co2 emissions we avoided and the equivalent auto miles not driven. It's pretty cool.

die Frau said...

DH has taken to calling me his eco-warrior. I'll have to look into wind energy and the like. I think the former will work here well during the winter, although the whole solar thing may be summer only.