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September 29, 2011

Sun-powered home

We installed solar on our home in January 2010. We believe it was a good investment as well as being good for the environment, using no coal, gas or oil.

Our solar system operates only on the power it produces. Since installing the system, our electric bills have been almost cut in half. If we wanted to run on solar only, we could add more solar panels and a battery backup system for nighttime use or on less-sunny days.

The sun’s energy is free. All you have to do is collect and use it. If you don’t want panels on your roof, you could install solar shingles or put solar panels on ground trackers. Shingles are currently less efficient than panels, but solar panels on trackers can increase the power you generate.

Most reports you read state the more energy efficient the home is, the more it is worth when it comes time to sell it. The fewer natural resources we use today, the less they will cost tomorrow.

Raymond and Katherine Baisch
Lee’s Summit


feed in tariff solar panels blog

A great story - inspiration to us in the UK. Thanks for posting! We have a similar Feed In Tariff scheme over here too.


Honestly, I can't see what is tree hugging about having solar panels. I can only see good from being off the grid.


So, what's keeping you from installing more solar panels and a battery backup system if it's such a good idea?


As if anyone has any money to invest in expensive tree-hugger add-ons.



The 15 mile-per-hour winds that buffeted northern Germany on July 24 caused the nation’s 21,600 windmills to generate so much power that utilities such as EON AG and RWE AG (RWE) had to pay consumers to take it off the grid.

Rather than an anomaly, the event marked the 31st hour this year when power companies lost money on their electricity in the intraday market because of a torrent of supply from wind and solar parks. The phenomenon was unheard of five years ago.


Ironically, it might be the old fashioned baseload power providers that eventually need subsidizing as wind and solar spread.


I agree that new, unproven technologies don't deserve huge subsidies. However, I also recognize the fact that early adoption is not cost effective and that the very same technology is less expensive the more people you have using it.


The effect of solar on the traditional power sources can be good for everyone. For instance, if we went 25% solar, we would have a buyers market for electricity and everyone's bill would come down some. But... Maybe not so much. The costs to keep up the grid are somewhat fixed. We would still need all that copper, we just wouldn't be using it as much. But.... Solar works very well with the grid. On those hot sunny days when we set all those records, our solar cells would be pumping and evening out that peak demand. That means less peak generating capacity is needed. That's a good thing.

What I really like is the effect electric cars could have. If we reduced our fuel needs by 40%, I can easily imagine $1.50 gas again.

So don't make fun of the early adopters. They are blazing a trail that will lead to lower prices for the rest.


I think the payback can be in the 10-15 year range now. The panels are really coming down in price due to over-manufacturing and the lousy economy. Presently, the panels comprise about half the expense. The other half is the installation and the controller. The controller is pretty complicated. Remember, it can't contribute to the grid unless the grid is active. We don't want to electrocute the electrical workers if the grid goes down.

Hopefully the price of controllers will come down too. I've been watching the technology for a long time. When the price is right, I will get right in there.


....it worked for us....

Posted by: solomon | September 30, 2011 at 08:20 AM

WOW , you owned slaves?!

B Ker

We could employ thousands in the new energy field, manufacturing, installation, and maintenance giving the economy a good kick in the rear.

Read more: http://blogs.kansascity.com/unfettered_letters/2011/09/sun-powered-home.html#comments#ixzz1ZSKpEAlL

Ah...the liberal fairy tale. In reality, when the technology is good enough so that as kevin notes, that the ROI is reasonable, then people will buy it. You cannot force a technology that is not ready. You should learn than from the Volt and SolarGate.


Good on you, if every house had just a couple of solar panels we would go a long way to reducing dependence on dirty expensive forms of energy.

We could employ thousands in the new energy field, manufacturing, installation, and maintenance giving the economy a good kick in the rear.


Thanks for your efforts, Mr. and Mrs. Baisch. That means more gas and oil for me.


.....zeno, you set that one on a tee...

....it worked for us....


Yep China will do it the old fashioned way.... slave labor!

I wish they would have mentioned what it cost to cut their utilities in half.

Mark Hastert

Someday our homes won't be ON the electrical grid, they will be PART of the grid.


Cool, I'd love to be off the grid. Luckily China will be developing solar cells that make the cost worth it.

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