Welcome to Cranky Puppy Farm!

This blog belongs to two Gen X-er's smackdab in downtown Kansas City where we've been renovating and decorating two old Victorians built in the 1890's. Our life is filled with 3 demanding Pomeranians (1 of them cranky, of course), honking cars, noisy neighbors and the hustle and bustle of city life but we dream of the day when we can move to our 40-acre farm and hear nothing but the wind and the cows next door. Until then, we're chronicling our triumphs and mishaps here as we try to garden and preserve on 2 city lots, raise chickens, and learn all those things we should have learned from our grandparents. Welcome to our world - we hope you'll stay awhile!

Goal #1: Solar Energy

Friday, January 24, 2014

I just paid our electric bill for this month and it was  $184.71 for a month that was bitterly cold.  That may not seem too bad for a big ol' 3-story Victorian with questionable insulation, but I know we can do better.  In the summer, the pain comes when the 5-ton air conditioner kicks on and runs the bills up into the $300 range during July and August.  Summers here can be brutal. 

I really hate writing that check to the Power & Light company.  Not only that, but the idea of generating my own energy is really intriguing - especially since it's "free" in the form of sunshine. 
Until recently, that word "free" didn't go along with solar power because the panels themselves were REALLY expensive.  But, with the tax incentives from state and local governments, utility company rebates, and leasing options that are available, you actually CAN get solar installed for free or something close to it.
This is our #1 Goal for 2014, and I'm going to try it.  And we're gonna DIY it to save money.  Lots of people have done it themselves, so it's not something to be scared of. (I think I can, I think I can!)
We've got a lot to learn and my plan is to take you along with us here on the blog as we make decisions. I'll be talking about things like:
  • is solar worth it?  (the economics of it all and the dreaded "return on investment")
  • what rebates and incentives are available?
  • determining placement of your solar panels
  • sizing your solar array
  • on-grid vs. off-grid
  • details of how everything connects together
  • the best tools and resources on the web for solar (especially DIYers!)

We start tomorrow with a look at whether solar is worth it and how I think I can get it installed for free.  Hope you'll join me as we embark down this path!

Click here for the next post in the Solar Series.
I'm sharing this series on solar with the weekly Homestead Barn Hop.  It's a great place to find out about gardening, homesteading, chickens and lots more.  Go check it out! 

1 comment:

  1. I have been thinking more about solar as we plan on building a house soon. I do need to check into it more.


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