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Only constructive and educated replies if you please! Thanks!

Posted by on Nov. 16, 2009 at 12:25 PM
  • 9 Replies



Question: My husband and I are trying to reduce our electric bill over time as well as make the house more environmentally friendly. We can only purchase one of these things this year. Which would you recommend?


solar panels on the roof


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Total Votes: 30

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by on Nov. 16, 2009 at 12:25 PM
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by on Nov. 16, 2009 at 12:27 PM

I don't have any advice about either of those.  But, I have heard that just unplugging all electronics and appliance while not in use will reduce your electric bill to almost nothing.  I have wanted to try it, but it seems like such a pain in the butt.

by on Nov. 16, 2009 at 12:40 PM

I don't really know- but here's a bump for you!

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by on Nov. 16, 2009 at 12:40 PM

What type of environment do you live in? Where I am we get sun like 582 (just kidding--its more like 581 :) days of the year so solar panels are very popular and effective. On big systems though--they don't pay for themselves in a very timely manner (its more like 15-20 year payoff) and you have to consider the batteries as part of the environmental impact.

Are you in a midwesty region where there is lots of wind? Or Northern? I know more about solar panels than I do windmills, but I would say your first step is to ascertain which makes more sense in your environmental area and then go from there.

Are you going to be staying with this property for years and years? Because that will make an impact as well. You don't want to put something into your property that won't pay for itself in the time you're there and you don't want to put something on your property that will hurt resell value (I may be off here--I don't know anything about windmills...)

If you aren't going to be in that property for a long time (20+) years, maybe you could consider a smaller solar system just for water heating. The payoff time is smaller (5 years or so) you are still being green and you are cutting out some utility costs...

by on Nov. 16, 2009 at 12:42 PM

That depends on where you live. I live in south Florida so solar panels make a lot of sense. But if you live in states with less sunlight but more winds (great plains region) then a windmill is a good choice. 

by on Nov. 16, 2009 at 12:42 PM

Before I vote I would advise you to research your area and see which option would be a better fit.  There are lots of consultants that have popped up in the field of helping ppl convert their home to be *green* - see what they say - they may know of a reason why one is a better fit for you than the other.

~DV Survivor ~ Single Mom of 3 ~ Divorced and Damned Happy About It ~ BM with a the after taste of a former SM ~ Bitch on Wheels ~ Watch Out World Here I Come ~ Love Me or Hate Me - Just Don't Irritate Me ~


by Platinum Member on Nov. 16, 2009 at 12:53 PM

It depends.

Solar panels require unshaded areas. Where would you be putting them? They would be my first choice.

Wind... Is it windy there? Do you have a lot of property? Wind generators can interrupt sunlight, be noisy and scare any animals or birds you might have around. They also require more upkeep and higher costs if they break down.

I am a Canadian,breastfeeding (it IS best, there is nothing even close to that nutrition and bond), co sleeping, extended rear facing (if you don't rear face to the maximum of your seat, you're NOT doing all you can to protect your child), baby wearing, Non spanking (I want my kids to respect me, not fear me) ANTI- CIO, homemade baby food making, cloth diapering, organic (chemical free household!) recycling mama to TWO! My husband is my equal and best friend, not my master and I believe basic health care should be a human RIGHT, not a privilege.


by on Nov. 16, 2009 at 12:59 PM

 Solar panels and Windmills only reduce your bills if you plan on staying in the house for 20+ years,

Solar panels are more discreet, which would be good if your in a populated area, whereas windmills are big, and can be loud, neighbours may complain about it, and you need to check your town laws to see if its even allowed

by on Nov. 16, 2009 at 2:30 PM

      Looks like solar panels win. Thanks everyone! We live in NC but we are close enough to the ocean that we do get high winds although usually during hurricane season. ;) I didn't realize that windmills were so noisy, definitely a factor to keep in mind. We do get a lot of sun too here in NC, not as much as CA or Florida but a fair share. I realize this may not pay off big at first but it does help the environment: it's a little less coal being burned or a little less nuclear waste as the case is around here. We are also getting a compost (spell) pile which is cheap and talking about putting in a cistern eventually, way, way down the line. We just feel that every little bit that we can do and encourage others to do will help, right? We already recycle and buy recycled and I'm learning how to knit with plarn. Any other tips?  

by on Nov. 16, 2009 at 2:35 PM

well, along the same lines as the cistern syetem, you could buy barrels and collect rain water for watering your plants! 

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