DEVTOME.COM HOSTING COSTS HAVE BEGUN TO EXCEED 115$ MONTHLY. THE ADMINISTRATION IS NO LONGER ABLE TO HANDLE THE COST WITHOUT ASSISTANCE DUE TO THE RISING COST. THIS HAS BEEN OCCURRING FOR ALMOST A YEAR, BUT WE HAVE BEEN HANDLING IT FROM OUR OWN POCKETS. HOWEVER, WITH LITERALLY NO DONATIONS FOR THE PAST 2+ YEARS IT HAS DEPLETED THE BUDGET IN SHORT ORDER WITH THE INCREASE IN ACTIVITY ON THE SITE IN THE PAST 6 MONTHS. OUR CPU USAGE HAS BECOME TOO HIGH TO REMAIN ON A REASONABLE COSTING PLAN THAT WE COULD MAINTAIN. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SUPPORT THE DEVTOME PROJECT AND KEEP THE SITE UP/ALIVE PLEASE DONATE (EVEN IF ITS A SATOSHI) TO OUR DEVCOIN 1M4PCuMXvpWX6LHPkBEf3LJ2z1boZv4EQa OR OUR BTC WALLET 16eqEcqfw4zHUh2znvMcmRzGVwCn7CJLxR TO ALLOW US TO AFFORD THE HOSTING.

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Solar Power: is it Worth It?

I have recently started looking in to solar powered systems to help power my home. I have always been a big supporter of going green, and I love the idea of being able to produce my own electricity. After all, if I am able to make my own, I do not need to rely on the electric company anymore, right? Well, not exactly. What I have been finding as of lately is that the cost of solar powered systems is a lot like eating healthier: it costs a lot.

Now, when it comes to a system, I would really like to have something that produces enough power such that I do not have to keep buying it each month. If I could produce that much, it would really open the door to savings. Or at least that is what I thought. What I am finding, however, is that this is not really true. In fact, it is pretty far off in most cases.

The issues with going with solar powered systems are:

  • They have a pretty hefty up front cost. They are not cheap by any means, and you can not pay them off over time unless you are using a credit card or other loan
  • They have a life time; they are stated to be good for up to 30 years, although some say that they should last around 20 or so. What is the problem? Their pay off for most families is in the 12-15 year range, if not more. In other words, it pays off just short of its death. But if you had paid for electricity for those years instead of paying the up front cost, you could have possibly made more than that off the interest or investments you would normally deal withdraw
  • They go up on the roof of the house, so they require a strong roof. If it is not strong enough, they could collapse due to their weight. This is a huge issue and could lead to them costing way more than they are worth

There is one pretty positive part of these: if you pay taxes each year due to your income, a big portion of the cost of these solar systems can be removed from the taxes you owe. In these cases, the costs are cut down significantly from the tax credits, making it an awesome investment. This also causes them to pay themselves off faster. Sadly, a lot of people are getting money back from the government already and are not paying in to extra taxes, so these tax credits are meaningless.

Selling back power. If you are in an area where you can sell back power you generate that you do not use, that can help recoup the cost of your solar powered system much sooner. This means that if you use very little power or go on vacation, you can come back to a check or a credit on your bill. So far I have found the number of electric companies that allow this to be pretty lacking, though. Luckily, most (if not all) power companies will allow you to roll back your meter, so long as it does not put you at a credit (or at least they will not give you a negative balance). If you use 20 KW, for example, and then generate an extra 20 KW, you will pay nothing for that electricity. You do, however, pay for the fees that were associated with it; you simply do not pay the actual electric cost. If you used 50 KW and generated 30 extra, you would just pay for that 20 (along with the fees associated, and the base cost). It is an awesome deal!

On grid or off it? This is a hard thing. I have spent a lot of time researching this, and it costs a lot more to stay off the grid than to go on it. The difference here is that on the grid, if you are not generating enough electricity to handle your home you will just draw from the power company. Off grid, you are not able to draw from the electric company since you are not connected to them. At the same time, being on the grid can also help when it is too cloudy to get power. While you do have a battery that stores some extra power that is generated, that is not enough to handle you for extended periods of time. Not to mention that battery is expensive and has to be replaced every few years at a great cost. Which method you choose to go is completely up to you, although I would argue that in most cases staying on the grid is the best choice since it ensures you always have power when you need it (unless the power is out for everyone, in which case you likely would not have any regardless).

How much power do you generate? Based on what I have been told from others, you generally shoot for around 25% of your daily usage. If you are using 30 KW a day, you want to try and generate around 7.5 KW with the system. I think there is a lot more to it, but that is a small break down of it. One thing I do know is that you can expect to generate electricity from the system for around 8 hours a day or so, but as few as 6 depending on the location.

Conclusion

I think the concept behind being able to generate our own electricity is awesome. I am not against using an electric company, so I would be doing it through an on grid system. I just like the idea of being able to cut down on bills and help by utilizing green energy. Of course there are some pretty great costs associated with the systems and installation right now, but I think as time goes on those costs should go down and they will become more affordable. I am hopeful that at some point they are cheap enough that more people can jump on board, without having the 12 to 15 year return on investment. The cheaper they get, the more value there is in the systems and the easier the choice is to make!

Alternative_Energy


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