Adventures in Prepping: Going Solar?

I don’t know if it’s common where you live, but over here in SE Idaho it’s rare to go a week without a solar panel salesman ignoring your many “NO SOLICITING” signs to come knocking at the door. Seriously, I’ve had them come by during a snow storm and we both laughed about their tenacity before I told them I still wasn’t interested and to go home before they freeze to death.

So, over the years I’ve begun to notice that quite a few of our neighbors have had these solar systems installed. The young couple behind us is in the process of having their entire roof covered right now (it seems to be taking forever for the company to install theirs). There are four or five others close by who have already gotten theirs put up, all shiny and black in the sun.

Unfortunately I don’t know any of them personally so I can’t just ask outright if they are getting their money’s worth, but I am curious. It *seems* like it would be a good idea to have solar roof panels to offset energy costs, especially since we do get quite a lot of sun here.

But we also get a LOT of wind, too, which makes me think that one of those home wind generators might be an even better investment for “off grid” suburban homesteading. So why is no one around here selling THOSE door-to-door? 🤔

Our energy costs in Idaho are ridiculously low already, so shelling out thousands or tens of thousands of dollars to “save” money when you are already paying some of the lowest rates in the country for electricity seems a bit silly either way.

Our personal goal here isn’t to be “off-grid” in as much as we just want to be self sufficient if necessary, so one of those whole house generators for emergencies might be our best option. We have plenty of time to figure this out because I have to score us a winning lottery ticket before we can invest in any of these alternative energy systems anyway. 😄

Anyway, it’s something I’ll be looking into more in depth and I’ll probably write more about it but if anyone reading this has any experience with this topic feel free to weigh in. I’d love to hear from you!

7 thoughts on “Adventures in Prepping: Going Solar?

  1. I heard if you live in a neighborhood, you can’t have windmills installed because you have to have so much space between the windmill and any structure. We have a lot of them in the country here in Indiana. Some counties refuse to allow them to be constructed because they cause so many problems, such as throwing ice from their blades.

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    1. That makes sense, they are pretty big even though they do have some pretty sleek designs. We have pretty lax rules in our county and in this subdivision especially, so I’m curious if we’d be allowed one of those here. Time to do some research…

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  2. I’ve thought about solar but I don’t know if we get enough sun on our roof for them to work. We have nuclear power (like I have a warning book and evacuation route haha) but I think a whole house generator that goes off our natural gas lines for us would be a better investment than solar panels, especially when we would have to drop $12k+ on a new roof before getting the panels.

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    1. Oh my goodness yes, a new roof plus a solar system would cost a fortune. That’s my issue with it and I wonder how long it takes to pay them off since most people finance the solar thing but the panels have to be replaced after a certain amount of time so are you really saving money? I am curious if it’s even cost effective at all. Some of the whole house generators run off both natural and propane so you can switch if you need to. I think it’s what we’d get.

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      1. So my friend’s husband worked as a salesman for solar for a while and they did it at her house and she said that they financed it and got grants from the state (our state was doing an incentive not sure if they still are) and her payment for the solar panels was less than her monthly electricity bill had been. Her house is a lot smaller than mine though so I honestly don’t know how it would work because I feel like the solar would be a supplement for us rather than a complete changeover. So we would still pay the power company a good amount and have to pay for the roof and panels. My husband thinks solar for the most part is a gimmick. Where our parents live in rural VA though a family that used to own the biggest oil company (and also drive nascar) has been buying up farm land and creating solar farms.

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      2. That last part is intriguing, isn’t it? I feel like it would only supplement us, too, even though we do have a pretty small house (1800sq). I remember Doug from Off Grid w/Doug & Stacey said something about him not being happy after they added solar to their farm, but he didn’t go into detail. I’ll have to go see if he posted an update with more info. 🤔

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