I have recently done some research into adding a hybrid solar panel system into my home as a backup power source and well as cutting down on my power bill a little.
I spoke to the renewable energy guy at my local power company here about getting a “net meter” installed. This is the type of meter that registers how much power you put back on the grid.
The person that I spoke to mentioned to me that a 5kW Grid Tie solar panel system ( this is where the panels generate power only during the day and can put power on the grid) would cut an average person’s energy bill on an average house by $70/month.
I mentioned that a 5.6 kW grind tie system only costs $10,000 and he mentioned to me that 2 years ago that would have cost $30,000. So the good news is the cost of technology is coming down.
For the average homeowner that does not foolishly buy a 3800 sq ft mini-mansion, my guess is with some smart planning on a 1600 sq ft house and a $20,000 investment in a panel system you could have a $0 power bill.
Although the math for ROI is not quite there yet, I’m pretty sure it will be in two years.
Additionally Sanyo is on the verge on of a new battery technology that will make energy storage and battery life make living off the grid a real possibility.
Give it 2-5 years and you can have the pleasure of telling your local power company to “Shove it!”