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Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:48 AM

I'm home from work today. As I sit here...

I'm getting solar panels installing on my home.

It was a good chunk of money, but with the federal rebate and tax deduction, it comes to about 6 grand. In about 6 years, they will pay for themselves.

I have been an environmentalist for pretty much my whole life. It has alway pained me that I have had to use coal to power my home.

About 8 years ago, we switched over to the wind power program via Austin Utilities. Our rates went up as part of the deal and when the wind wasn't blowing, coal power would kick in. Luckily, we only had to use a small amount of coal power. The was doing it's job.

Now, today, we are on 100 percent solar and what we don't use gets sold back to Austin. If that means my neighbor uses some of the power I generate, fantastic.

I know everyone can't afford to do this, but via a low interest loan, can make it possible.

My vow in my life has been to leave this earth with a lower carbon footprint then when I entered it. This is a step toward that.

Cheers and Peace.
Javaman.

81 replies, 8913 views

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Reply I'm home from work today. As I sit here... (Original post)
Javaman Nov 2012 OP
dixiegrrrrl Nov 2012 #1
MADem Nov 2012 #2
Javaman Nov 2012 #55
MADem Nov 2012 #69
Javaman Nov 2012 #78
MADem Nov 2012 #79
Javaman Nov 2012 #80
Jackpine Radical Nov 2012 #3
hibbing Nov 2012 #17
Jackpine Radical Nov 2012 #20
Javaman Nov 2012 #56
Jackpine Radical Nov 2012 #66
Javaman Nov 2012 #67
Jackpine Radical Nov 2012 #70
babylonsister Nov 2012 #4
barbtries Nov 2012 #5
Baitball Blogger Nov 2012 #6
KurtNYC Nov 2012 #30
Javaman Nov 2012 #57
joanbarnes Nov 2012 #7
Rain Mcloud Nov 2012 #8
Javaman Nov 2012 #58
JohnnyRingo Nov 2012 #9
Schema Thing Nov 2012 #15
NoOneMan Nov 2012 #27
NickB79 Nov 2012 #16
2naSalit Nov 2012 #26
abelenkpe Nov 2012 #10
Patiod Nov 2012 #11
UCmeNdc Nov 2012 #12
shireen Nov 2012 #13
roody Nov 2012 #40
Javaman Nov 2012 #59
BlancheSplanchnik Nov 2012 #14
NoOneMan Nov 2012 #28
llmart Nov 2012 #34
NoOneMan Nov 2012 #37
eShirl Nov 2012 #44
NoOneMan Nov 2012 #49
Nihil Nov 2012 #50
NoOneMan Nov 2012 #52
Javaman Nov 2012 #60
BlancheSplanchnik Nov 2012 #71
glowing Nov 2012 #18
Tikki Nov 2012 #19
Surya Gayatri Nov 2012 #21
Liberal In Red State Nov 2012 #22
eaglesfanintn Nov 2012 #23
Javaman Nov 2012 #61
jtuck004 Nov 2012 #24
Kaleva Nov 2012 #53
xxqqqzme Nov 2012 #25
ellisonz Nov 2012 #74
NoOneMan Nov 2012 #76
madokie Nov 2012 #29
CRH Nov 2012 #31
llmart Nov 2012 #35
CRH Nov 2012 #48
Kaleva Nov 2012 #47
Javaman Nov 2012 #62
CRH Nov 2012 #72
Javaman Nov 2012 #75
AverageJoe90 Nov 2012 #32
Moral Compass Nov 2012 #33
Javaman Nov 2012 #63
llmart Nov 2012 #36
Javaman Nov 2012 #64
womanofthehills Nov 2012 #38
gateley Nov 2012 #39
Journeyman Nov 2012 #41
mahina Nov 2012 #42
Javaman Nov 2012 #65
mahina Nov 2012 #77
SariesNightly Nov 2012 #43
RBInMaine Nov 2012 #45
AverageJoe90 Nov 2012 #54
caraher Nov 2012 #68
KansDem Nov 2012 #46
Berlum Nov 2012 #51
ellisonz Nov 2012 #73
limpyhobbler Nov 2012 #81

Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:00 AM

1. I am so happy for you.

I am happy you have a job, first of all.
and that you are being so conscious of the environment, willing to do everything you can.
Now, if only we can clone you...

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:00 AM

2. How much does it cost, where do they put the panels, how big are they, how do they hook 'em up,

do you have a room full of batteries, can you post pictures, and will you provide updates?

I would love to do this--I am not in a location where I can do it now (I live in a family home on the Historical Register, I can't do much if anything to the exterior of the joint, not that I could afford to, anyway) but I would love to see how it's done up close--I like the idea of 'smaller and more sustainable.'

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Response to MADem (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:50 AM

55. I'm still on the grid. I looked into the whole battery thing...

While at first I thought about going that route, the cost over time became to much to deal with.

I went with a solar company from San Antonio called Circular Solar. The price before the federal rebate was $18,500. After rebate $7500. Then there is a (roughly) $2500 tax deduction.

The estimated savings in the first year (a very conservative estimate - as required by the feds) is a $1000. So I'm looking at a return on investment in about 5-6 years. (The additional year for return is the money I had to lay out for my energy efficiently upgrade to my home. About $800 after state and fed rebates. The upgrade is required by the feds to qualify for the panels.)

I have 14 panels on my home and as far as how much wattage they are, I will have to get back to you, because during the run up to the installation, they were upgraded twice at no additional cost to me. So I don't have the exact numbers. I will post it when I get it.

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Response to Javaman (Reply #55)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 10:27 AM

69. Wow--I wish you EVERY success in this endeavor. I think it's cool as can be! nt

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Response to MADem (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 10:21 AM

78. here's the info on the size of my solar array...

Before the two upgrades I had a 5500 watt system. After the two upgrades, it's now a 5720 watt system.

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Response to Javaman (Reply #78)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 02:04 PM

79. Are they all on your roof? Do you have to clean them? nt

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Response to MADem (Reply #79)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 07:11 PM

80. yeah all on the roof...

and the occasional dry mop once in a while.

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:01 AM

3. Thanks.

I've just begun to experiment with solar. I built a rainwater collection system on my garage with a 300 gal. capacity & a little water tower some distance away. I pump the water up into the tower with a 12 volt pump connected to a marine battery that is in turn charged with a small solar panel.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #3)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:03 PM

17. Interesting

Hi,
Now that sounds like a real nice setup. Can you provide me with a rough figure of what your system cost?

Peace

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Response to hibbing (Reply #17)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:29 PM

20. Not very expensive.

The pump was $75 or so from an RV dealer, the 15 watt solar panel maybe $100 from Amazon, the marine battery 60 from Farm & Fleet. I found a used 265 gal food grade tank for $40. I can post pics when I get to my computer-on an iPhone now.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #20)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:51 AM

56. I'm in the process of trying something just like that. Thanks for the info! :) nt

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Response to Javaman (Reply #56)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:25 AM

66. Make sure your pump can run dry without damage.

Many of those little pumps will destroy their impellers if you let them run dry.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #66)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 10:01 AM

67. Good to know, thanks for the tip. nt

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #66)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:08 AM

70. Here are some pics:

The water tower near the end of construction



The water collection tanks. The square one is about 275 gallons & plumbed in series with the 55 gal. drum. There is an overflow tube out of the top bunghole of the drum.



The pump & battery. The battery is in a marine battery case.



This is the Amazon pic of the solar panel & converter. I have it but haven't installed it yet.

http://www.amazon.com/Sunforce-50033-15-Watt-Solar-Charging/dp/B001RJOP5Y/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1353945874&sr=8-2&keywords=solar+panels

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:09 AM

4. Very cool-you're a great role model!

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:12 AM

5. that is great.

i don't even own my home so it's not up to me. yet. maybe some day.

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:22 AM

6. When do you think that solar will be affordable?

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #6)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:14 PM

30. $1 to $3 per watt of capacity now and

In some areas of the country utilities will place panels on your roof at no cost to you. They own them but still a great deal and even those who pay for their own generally have them tied into the grid (so you can sell power back, not have batteries, etc.)

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) topped the Solar Megawatt ranking in 2010 with 157 MW of solar power while Florida Power & Light Company (FPLC) was in second place 82 MW of added solar capacity (for FPLC, this is amazing considering that Florida has virtually no state solar incentives). New Jerseyís Public Service Electric & Gas Co. (PSEG) was in third place with 75 MW of solar capacity added in 2010.


http://theenergycollective.com/cleanenergyexperts/59828/utility-integrated-solar-power-grew-100-2010

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #6)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:54 AM

57. Well, personally speaking, I think they are affordable now.

In the end, prior to my tax deduction, it cost me about $7500. It it wasn't for the federal rebate, it would have been impossible for me at $18000. The company that installed the panels and walked me through the entire process offers low interest loans as well as the federal government.

After everything is said and done, my panels will pay for themselves in 5 - 6 years.

That's less then a car loan by very far.

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:31 AM

7. You Rock, Javaman!

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:47 AM

8. Congratulations.

 

Only six thousand dollars(after rebates)?
Wow!

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Response to Rain Mcloud (Reply #8)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:58 AM

58. yeah, I know!

I had been sort of looking into it, but I was constantly having trouble unraveling the rebate and outlay of cost.

That is until a friend of mine, here were I work, got them. She is our LEED person and has a deep knowledge about the entire process.

She gave me the card of the company that installed hers and it's been a very easy process.

The best part is, they do all the paper work dealing with the rebates. They were very easy to work with, everything was very upfront and they kept me posted every step of the way. The best part was, they upgraded the panels twice before they were installed at no additional cost to me!

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:51 AM

9. That's great, and I'm a huge proponent of solar energy, but...

...what if, as I believe is very likely, a new solar cell technology is developed that is much more efficient? Buying solar now could turn out to be like buying a $2000 computer in 1996. Very soon it could be obsolete and current users will still be making payments.

I think the efficiency is what is currently holding solar back. I recall that new string technology invented a couple years ago already revolutionized the industry, but there's plenty of room for very near future improvement.

I didn't mean to rain on your paneled roof, and I applaud you for moving toward energy independence, but where there's money there's research and development. The future is solar in my opinion, and it's a bright future.

Good for you for taking the initiative. I think the US should subsidize the solar industry with tax rebates for those who install panels on their roofs, like the EU did until the monetary crisis a couple years ago.

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Reply #9)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:45 PM

15. did you notice the 6 year payback?



6 years is NOTHING.


This was w/o question, a sound financial decision.

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Response to Schema Thing (Reply #15)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 03:42 PM

27. On a personal level, yes

 

I don't know the details, but we do know at least some portion of the production and purchase of these panels are subsidized with federal and state funds. This means that in terms of becoming revenue neutral, it will take much longer than 6 years. Maybe double or triple. Anyone know?

This is important because that money represents energy consumed to put those panels into use, and that is dirty energy. To begin to collect this green energy, it will take decades of its use to negate the carbon generated by its very production & purchase (as contrasted to using existing coal based energy during that time span). That is a bottom line fact.

This can be a problem on two fronts:

1) we are sort of at a tough spot right now and any activity that incites a substantial amount of new emissions may not be cost effective (if "cost" is calculated in terms of the short and long environmental impact. It really depends on emission scenarios and what happens in the future)

2) we don't know if this new "green" energy will actually lead to a reduction in the use of "dirty" energy, or rather just increase the per capita available energy supply, thereby fueling future growth (as humanity normally operates). It is a very unknown if we can change the fabric of civilization to stop using surplus energy for growth.

Of course the government should be subsidizing transitions, but it does hide the true carbon investment, which is fundamentally more important than the personal financial investment.

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Reply #9)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:51 PM

16. Solar panel efficiency gains have really slowed in recent years

Theoretical panels in labs can push close to 50%, but production units haven't seen large gains in efficiency for some time now. The technology appears to be maturing, so I wouldn't expect any insane jumps in efficiency like we saw in personal computers.

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #16)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 03:04 PM

26. One problem is that people only see one set of options

when there are many. Consider this...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=115x143812

http://www.aerotecture.com/

I tried to make a bid on some business with property last year and vowed to incorporate this system set up if I got it. Didn't win the bid because I couldn't find funding in time to make the deal but I still swear by this point source power generation concept and think it needs to be considered in most every location as it would have many benefits with regard to power shortages, making them very localized and not grid-wide in emergency situations. It would help us transition out of fossil fuels for electricity a lot faster and end the horrid corporate domination of our infrastructure.

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:01 PM

10. Good for you!

I have friends who also have solar and love telling me how their meter's sometimes run backwards or how they get bills from dwp for -40.00 dollars. If I owed a home I'd get solar too. Been trying to talk our landlord into them for forever...
Enjoy!

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:02 PM

11. Wow! Very impressive and inspirational.

One of the families in my Quaker Meeting now has a $0 energy bill thanks to solar and other changes to his home (and we're in the cloudy Northeast).

As an apartment dweller, I paid little attention, but now that I have a house, I'm going to get involved in my Meeting's "green families challenge" group.

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:07 PM

12. Very inspirational!

I think I will look into the cost and technology to convert to solar.

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:17 PM

13. cool!

does the price include batteries?

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Response to shireen (Reply #13)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:49 PM

40. Sounds like a grid tie.

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Response to shireen (Reply #13)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:05 AM

59. It's a grid tie in...

I thought about going the battery route, but maintenance and battery longevity proved to be a price killer for me.

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:29 PM

14. i love hearing this! personally, my effort is

To not have kids. That is one of the biggest things people can do to reduce the strain on the planet and all who live here.

Where I live, western N.Y. state, there's not really enough sun, but I did sign up for the wind power program with the gas/electric company. And I will be planting some trees and replacing some lawn with meadow next summer, hopefully.

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Response to BlancheSplanchnik (Reply #14)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:04 PM

28. Having children is a fundamental part of the human--and even biological--experience

 

Ten thousand years of an ascetic schism in humanity has cut off our ability to live harmoniously with nature; should we now be endorsing yet more asceticism, even if secular, if we have any hopes of salvation as a species? Why live, if we are not to live according to our instincts? Is that truly being "alive"? I argue that this patterns is precisely why we have arrived at this current junction, after homo illustrated his ability to thrive sustainably for 500 thousand years. It is the withdrawal from the rhythm of our instincts that has sent us hurtling toward the infinite growth disaster in the blink of a cosmic eye.

Surly it is more sound to argue that one should abandon the unnecessary carbon footprint of the computer, the iphone, the car, and even animal husbandry, than give up the very biological drive that lays a blanket for our existence.

It is because I have children to replace me--to plant trees when I no longer can--that I even care about the environment. Otherwise, I would watch it as an ambivalent observer, marveling in the sway of the system as it violently cures itself of cancer.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #28)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 06:46 PM

34. What happens when your "biological drive" ends up giving you......

a clan like the Duggars? Is that ecologically sound?

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Response to llmart (Reply #34)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:00 PM

37. Is a biological drive responsible or a phenomenon influenced by culture and religion?

 

In fact, the Quiverfull movement is just an ironic twist on religious asceticism, which deprives women of the opportunity to enjoy life by resigning their fate to be nothing more than a walking, child-bearing vagina for God. And society responds with fascination, rewarding them with various TV shows.

No, this is not how the homo sapiens living in harmony with nature have reproduced in the past, nor even today in observed hunter-gatherer societies (are the Hadza overshooting their environment by overbreeding?). Any creature who is biologically driven to do this, and thereby overshoot, would have shuffled off the evolutionary coil millennia ago. Evolution cannot, by its very nature, produce species that are biologically wired for overshoot (and no, not even lemmings fit this definition).

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #28)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 05:15 AM

44. So is hunting.

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Response to eShirl (Reply #44)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 12:43 PM

49. I agree

 

And I highly encourage people to supplement their agriculture-produced meat with natural hunted meat whenever possible, as that can vastly reduce green house gas emissions. Further, actually going out into nature can help people form a bond with the environment and its inhabitants, and become more aware of the ecosystem and their impact upon it (thereby wishing to protect it from harm). Second to having children, my angling experiences really opened my eyes to the beauty of nature and influenced me to want to preserve it.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #49)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 04:14 AM

50. Yeah but feral cats don't taste that nice ...


Oops, wrong thread ...




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Response to Nihil (Reply #50)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 07:32 PM

52. They taste fine

 

Haven't you ever had a fish taco?

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Response to BlancheSplanchnik (Reply #14)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:07 AM

60. I'm of the no kid variety.

that was my personal choice for a variety of reasons but overall I chose not to bring kids into this world. My brother on the other hand...

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Response to Javaman (Reply #60)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 11:32 AM

71. no siblings here.....i dont know what it feels like to say that...



Anyway, population has been on my mind for years and years and years........
And I absolutely think that those of us who don't feel compelled to breed are still within the human experience. And in fact, as life on earth has evolved, the choice to breed fewer children is actually more favorable for species survival!

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:08 PM

18. What a difference it would make in this country

if our electric system was owned by us, The People, thru the Federal Govt. We could invest in an all in approach to changing our electric grid and how we get electricity into our homes and onto the grid.

All of the Southern Sunny states and southwest states and a good chunk of CA could have solar on top of the roofs of their homes and businesses, pumping electricity into the home and using the extra to power the grid. Places where we have wind, use wind power to charge the grid. AND tapping into the earth for the geo-thermal, natural heat source (instead of pumping chemicals into the earth to extract resources for oil companies to make more money off of us).

And, of course, a smart grid that works well to deliver electricity into or out of homes needs to be improved in a manner that factors in all of the natural disaster impacts that various regions face throughout the US.

It would also be a really great idea to begin dealing with our antiquated transportation system, as well as, deal with the issues of feeding people in a much more sustainable, earth friendly manner. GMO monster foods and the way the market picks and chooses the types of food produced by farmers should be re-evaluated. We should learn to eat seasonally, use back to basics canning practices (in glass canning jars), and we need to invest in the younger generation to want to farm and be able to do so in sustainable ways. Meat should be the smallest portions on our plates only a couple of times a week. We need variety in our foods. We do not get a lot of variety. Most people don't even realize how many different types of bananas are out there; they get the Dole Family's monopolizes yellow banana. We've lost a variety in legumes, fruits, apples, potatoes, lettuces, greens... So many different natural foods that come from seed that many people will never know about or taste even.

There really is much that we should be doing and pushing for from our bought and paid for reps. We can't wait for their regular 30 yrs behind the times approach to handling issues that are needed immediately. The main thing is that no one likes the system of living and surviving based on a piece of paper or a number in one's bank account. All the money that the monied power brokers threw at an election still did not win out over people wanting a system of governance that works for all, equalizes the opportunities and the equation in regards to what is important, and a shirking of the fear of moving forward and doing the work that we know needs to be done and are willing to invest in for ourselves and for the future.

Those who didn't heed the message will be removed faster and faster. The election had a mandate to move forward; not backwards. The election means that, while over all debt needs to be handled for the future, for the present time, we need to end the wars, tax the wealthy and big corporations taking in the money and paying nothing in corp taxes, and that we need to spend on making this country work for a modern world with an outlook for the future.

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:18 PM

19. AMAZING...you are my HERO of the day..

Such a grand legacy to leave to the next generations...


Tikki

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:31 PM

21. Mother Earth thanks you and future generations thank you! Kudos!

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:33 PM

22. Another profound example of moving . . . FORWARD!!!!! Awesome!

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:50 PM

23. Congrats!

My HOA - run by a bunch of old, cranky men (they all love John McCain), won't allow it. I need to work on getting that changed. I'd love to be able to do that.
I'd be happy, if I was a neighbor, to know that part of my energy may be coming from the extra that your panels produce.

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Response to eaglesfanintn (Reply #23)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:09 AM

61. Most cranky old folks on HOA's worry about cost

yes and aetheics, but mostly cost.

You could try using the concept that over time, they will be generating energy and saving a huge amount of money.

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:53 PM

24. Not for everyone, but there are 3 companies that put up solar without the upfront investment..



This isn't an endorsement, just FYI.

Solar City
SunRun
SunPower

You will have to check the details and see if it makes sense for you, but they will install the panels with no upfront costs and then you pay the electric bill to pay for it.

They are regional, so may not be available in your area. (Although if you can find 50 neighbors and all have good sun exposure and the laws allow it...)

Sometimes it makes more sense to do it on your own, but these can pencil out more than a few situations.

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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #24)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 10:57 PM

53. This article says such deals aren't that great.

"Perhaps, your biggest conniption should be with the fact that itís not you who gets the subsidies and rebates, itís the solar company! By paying lease payments throughout the life of the contract you become a cash cow owned by the solar company. While they get the panels for the fraction of the cost you end up paying a full price and then some. Doesnít this just kill your mojo?"


http://sanjosegreenhome.com/2010/01/27/secrets-of-residential-solar-lease-sweet-deal-or-disastrous-rip-off/

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:55 PM

25. Have a friend who did this about a year ago.

He also bought a Nissan Leaf so his roof powers his car. I salute your day home from work.

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Response to xxqqqzme (Reply #25)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:58 PM

74. You can't drive a car with a windmill on the hood!

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Response to ellisonz (Reply #74)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 04:33 PM

76. You could drive a car with a wind sail on the hood though

 

just sayin

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:04 PM

29. Great

Putting your mouth where your money is.
Congratulations

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:51 PM

31. Fantastic, find a place near Austin to adopt, ...

research your mini climate for a tree that will survive with limited rainfall of your area. Plant one tree a year, and your carbon foot print will soon be gone. Note: it doesn't have to be your land, if you choose your tree well, and it doesn't need maintenance. Some of my best vandalism, has been on state land near freeways.

Now, I have a good situation, and try to plant one tree per month that will survive. I also provide fifty or more one year olds to others, and try to infect them, as well.

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Response to CRH (Reply #31)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 06:49 PM

35. Hopefully you're planting native trees.....

and using more than one species. Monocultures are not good for the earth either.

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Response to llmart (Reply #35)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 08:41 AM

48. To be sure, but my surreptitious planting, often at night, ...

has been dispersed. I found the black mission fig did quite well in dry summer areas of Ca.

Other areas cypress, oak, alder and even some citrus can be quite hardy in their favorite environments. Pine, chinquapins and firs make good additions in the west to overgrazed or over cut BLM land.

Ever seen a freeway with a gradual incline for thirty yards until the cyclone fence. There are several varieties that do well within five yards of the fence and won't be bothered by state road crews, Too much work. And they are situated well above a danger zone for vehicles.

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Response to CRH (Reply #31)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 07:58 AM

47. A very interesting idea!

Where I live in Upper Michigan, there are 1000's of acres of open fields which used to be farmland. Some of my siblings own over 200 acres of such land combined.

I think it'd be rather easy to get a group of like minded people together who could find a landowner willing to allow the group to plant a field with trees.

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Response to CRH (Reply #31)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:11 AM

62. The credit union that I belong to...

requires membership in a tree planting program.

So, while I plant my own trees from time to time (I volunteer at our local parks planting trees yearly), my credit union is also doing it for me.

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Response to Javaman (Reply #62)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:01 PM

72. Double fantastic, several thumbs up, ...

So nice your community Credit Union is a credit to the community. Beats the hell out of BofA.

However, you are shattering my opinion that there is little redeemable in TX. Just goes to show, no matter where you go, folks are folks, most of them good.

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Response to CRH (Reply #72)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 04:25 PM

75. Remember though, I live in Austin...

It's a world apart from the rest of Texas.

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 05:14 PM

32. Awesome news, man.

Solar power is really quite a bit more accessible than many might think. And I think many of us can dream of a day when coal power is a thing of the past.....may it be so.

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 06:13 PM

33. Good for you

I wish I could do the same, but I live in a rented duplex and don't even have enough insulation. My carbon footprint has got to be pretty big. But what're you going to do in Texas. You've got to have air conditioning.

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Response to Moral Compass (Reply #33)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:14 AM

63. I live in Austin...

If you are interested, I could give you the information for the solar company that installed my panels. Your landlord might be very interested in the money he or she could save over the long term.

The federal rebate money is still available.

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 06:51 PM

36. We just truly need more people like you..

This is an admirable thing you've done. Oh yeah, it'll pay for itself in the long run, but even knowing that few people would want to expend the $6,000 up front.

Thank you from all of us who value the planet.

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Response to llmart (Reply #36)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:16 AM

64. There are low interest loans available via the feds...

even the solar company I had installed my panels offered the loans.

The money I save monthly on my electric bills would go directly to pay off the loan.

6K isn't all that much when you compare it to the price of a new car or a major home improvement. My estimate of 5-6 years to pay off my panels is pretty much dead on.

That's really not all that long at all.

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:45 PM

38. I have solar panels on my home too!!

I used to be totally off grid with batteries (because I'm way out in the high desert of NM) but as I got older that became harder so I connected to the grid a few months ago. I got rid of the batteries (tired of the maintenance) and when the sun is out I can watch my meter spin back wards. Last month I had no bill (except $16. monthly fee). If I don't use all the electricity I make, our elec coop pays me the difference every 6 months.

I have a separate solar panel and solar pump for my well. It only pumps when the sun hits the panel, so I have a 1000 gal holding tank.


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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:24 PM

39. Inspirational, Javaman!

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 02:11 AM

41. Excellent. My wife and I are discussing this now. . .

Probably do it early next year.

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 02:18 AM

42. Javaman, how did you select your installer? I'm interviewing to find out how people make good

analyzes, and share the processes.

So regular people can easily find out how math teachers and engineers and Javamen figure out how to move forward, and with who.

Can I interview you? By phone or skype?

Or email?

Thank you for letting us know, congratulations!

aloha

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Response to mahina (Reply #42)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:18 AM

65. I found my installer via a friend I work with...

She is our LEED person.

Sure you can interview me. Private message me and we will talk further.

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Response to Javaman (Reply #65)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 04:18 PM

77. Thank you!

Will do!

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 02:54 AM

43. Bravo!

I want to be like you one day

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 05:19 AM

45. Imagine if we could get virtually EVERYONE on solar. GOOD FOR YOU.

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Response to RBInMaine (Reply #45)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 11:09 PM

54. Oh yeah.

Hell, maybe there could be a kickass solar-powered automobile available for the market one of these days.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #54)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 10:08 AM

68. That would be an electric car + solar charging station

There's just not enough power density (about 1 kW per square meter) in sunlight for solar cells on a car to power it as it rolls except for the ultra-lightweight vehicles built for solar car races - and the key to those competitions is very sophisticated energy management based on weather forecasts. Onboard solar cells would extend range somewhat, but couldn't do the job alone if you want something with significant cargo/passenger capacity and reasonable collision safety.

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 07:35 AM

46. Congratulations! And to celebrate your solar panels...


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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 04:47 AM

51. cheers indeed

!

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:49 PM

73. Congrats!

We as a people can do this!

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Response to Javaman (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 07:36 PM

81. wow that's cool. nt

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