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Have just got back from lovely holiday in Norfold and one thing that I notice there is the amount of solar panels on the rooves.  Has anyone here got solar panels on their house and how do you rate them?  Also, wind turbines, I am seeing more and more of them popping up and I think they're brilliant, but does anyone have any first hand experience?  How much of your household's energy is produced by solar/wind power?

Home educating Mammy to DD aged 13, DS aged 12, DS aged 10, DD aged 7, DD aged 3 and DS aged 2 weeks!!  grin

I'm very cautious about these in a domestic, urban setting. I have read that especially those small wind turbines, don't actually produce enough electricity to justify either their price or the materials used in making them, not unless you live somehwre very windy. They're just not big enough to produce enough even going at full pelt, which they probably woudn't most of the time anyway.
Similar with solar panels, unless you're trying to get off-grid completely and live somewhere very sunny, putting solar panels in can be a false economy, in that photovoltaic cells are very resource-intensive to produce and you need to use them enough to justify that outlay in environmental terms. I hahve read that the best and cheapest option is solar water heating on a roof. These ar tubes. If you ever went camping as child and had those things that looked a bit like a lilo, black rubber which you filled with water outside the tent during the day to produce hot water - these are exactly the same idea but on your roof and plumbed into your water system to produce hot water for your house, heated by the sun and stored in your hot water tank. Obviously you ahve to have a tank to do this.
Sorry to be a bit vague but I read so much on this subject and can never remember exactly where I read it!

Liz grin x

Druid, boat-dwelling, home educating mum of DD1 (11), Aspie DS (9) and baby DD2 (2), & part-time step-mum to 2 stepdaughters, 9 and 7.

I've just thought how satisfying it must be to watch your little turbine whizz round and know that it's making free power, likewise solar panels on a nice, sunny day.  We're not in a position to have either where we live at the mo, but one day soon, we plan to escape to the country and anything that saves/makes energy is always appealing to me. 

Home educating Mammy to DD aged 13, DS aged 12, DS aged 10, DD aged 7, DD aged 3 and DS aged 2 weeks!!  grin

We looked into getting a wind turbine and even got as far as putting an order in, but it turned out that it would have 'trespassed' onto our next-door neighbours property! ::)

HEing, BFing Mum to 2 gorgeous girls (K Oct03 and M June05)

We have looked into them, but the payback time is huge on some of these things.

Don't have the figures to hand, but will try and dig them out.

The best thing to do for saving energy, at the best cost/repayment, is cavity wall insulation.

As Julysea says, the hot water solar are pretty good too.

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