Solar panels and savings

29 Sep

Solar panels catching some rays.

While solar panels may not yet be cheap, they came with my townhouse. I think the builders realized they might not recover their money, because as their project continued, you had to opt for them at an extra cost. But I’ve got ’em, and I was excited about it. They’re on the double garage roof, and two big red things are attached to the garage wall–those look quite intimidating, as if pulling a handle might blow up a small nation half way around the world. Within the utility room, there’s a meter that tells me how the energy generated by the solar panels feeds back to the grid. I never have really paid enough attention to understand the particulars, I;m just thrilled that the city trimmed back a shade-casting tree that was shielding my power producers.

Last summer, my total electric bill for 3.5 months was $9. Who wouldn’t love that? Of course, our cloudy winter doesn’t produce the same results, but there’s still a result. I loved the idea of solar, but no one told me at the time that the panels have a limited lifespan, and that less power is generated year by year. I’m just hoping that, if I’m in the house when they give up the ghost, by that time a cheaper, better method will be on the market (we live in hope).

When I was frequently traveling to lands with erratic electricity, I was tempted to buy the small traveling panel that can charge a laptop or a small phone, but never got around to it. Sounds like a great idea, though. Solar is affecting more and more small products, but I haven’t tried any of them–any advocates out there?

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