Nick Rosen | |
Solar newbies beware
Solar newbies beware

Don’t believe the awful ads which promise you “free power for $200”, or “build your own solar panel for $200”. Several of them appear on this site from time to time, despite that we are doing everything we can to stop them.  Many are from Chinese spammers, and a particular bunch of conmen called energy4free, or earth4energy or, amongst many other aliases. These slimebags ask you to pay for an e-book which directs you to some other sites and offers to sell you components for a solar panel that will never work. Of course it would be quite wrong and immoral to suggest you should click repeatedly on their ads whenever you see the Earth4energy logo. We do not recommend that.

We have complained to Google but that did no good. Every time we find the ads we delete them, but they pop up under some other dodgy URL.  Please email us if you find any ads you think we should delete.

IF the federal government was really worried about the planet’s destruction it would force power companies to adopt a German model and pay people more for generating green power, and ban solar rip-offs like the above.

The solar tax rebate is mainly aimed at grid-connected homes, and although I can’t say its a bad thing in itself, I certainly don’t like that the State-based incentives tend to discriminate against off-gridders.  But the new Obama stimulus incentives might allow new off-grid properties larger grants for power and water.

Right now, the power generators are treating people who put energy back into the power grid as if they had somehow fixed the electricity meter – refusing to pay them any more once they have “zeroed out” their own electrical usage. In Germany, where solar power is a significant contributor to energy, I would get 50c, instead of the 10c I get here.

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The contribution from solar is most important at times of peak demand in the heat of the day in the cities, when the faraway power stations are losing a lot of heat in the transmission lines.

Now back to that claim of “free energy for $200”: If you were to spend $10,000 on renewable energy for your house, you’re not going to get that back for many years. But it would bring your power bills down by a large amount.

So how much would it cost to take your home, with say a couple acres  completely off the grid? `If you do everything really well, you should be able to spend $5000 of your own money plus the $5000 grant from the Government.” For water and sewerage, allow another $5-8,000. In most cases, if you have a couple acres or more allow $15,000 of your own money and you need never get another power or water bill.

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