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With the seemingly ever increasing fuel prices, what are people doing about this ?

It is possible to change providers, however most of them are putting up their prices... so there isn't much of a saving from one to the other....

Obviously we can cut down on the energy used in order to reduce the outgoings... but again... how much can we do...

- boiler insulation
- roof and cavity wall insulation

will help... but what about the other option...

Generating electricity... and ideally selling any excess to the energy companies...

As I understand it, in order to generate sufficient electricity I need to look into Photo Voltaic solar panels... as the regular panels don't generate enough... but there is also the option of wind turbines.

Does anyone out there have any experience in this ? And any idea on cost ?

I'd like to think that any initial outlay would be showing some sort of return (or at least a balance) within 5 or so years....

Thanks for any input,

A co-worker was talking about this the other day. He wants to be totally off the grid with his own power supply. He was talking mostly about solar panels, but I would assume if your county doesn't have a problem with it, wind turbines would be just as good no?
Actually small domestic wind turbines may be green but it has been shown that during the life of the turbine you would not recoup in the cost of electricity produced, the initial outlay to buy and install the actual turbine. Solar panals are though efficient, we have a garden water feature run of a panal only 10" sqr.
Don't forget programmable thermostats, and well placed landscaping Smile
For the moment, it's quite expensive to use green energy but I hope in some years, it could be cheaper
T. Boone Pickens is my new hero. Finally someone is doing more than just talking about moving to renewable energy sources. He's got some really good ideas!
Going "green" or off the grid is still very exspensive with questionable recoup. Probably better off to make simple improvements in insulation, cualking and weatherstripping. Then possibly a energy efficient heating/cooling unit(s) if money available.
standready wrote:
Going "green" or off the grid is still very exspensive with questionable recoup. Probably better off to make simple improvements in insulation, cualking and weatherstripping.

Yes, standready is absolutely right, the problem with going off the grid is that you don't have economies of scale, unlike your current supplier. you're better off just reducing your power consumption than sticking up a windmill or a solar plant.

However, ground source heating / cooling is a very good idea. this is just a 100m (or ft, I forget, big difference though!) deep pipe which circulates water, simple, and very effective
Bogger is right, from what I have read, the underground heating and cooling is quite effective. During the winter, it draws heat from the ground, and apparently during the summer heat is forced into the ground. This helps to keep the area in "equilibrium". One must wonder about side effects of doing this though, or if you have to dig deeper as more and more people tap into this....
A report (among many) on the effects:

I have no time to read it, maybe you could and then summarise it for me? Razz
Silk2008 wrote:
T. Boone Pickens is my new hero. Finally someone is doing more than just talking about moving to renewable energy sources. He's got some really good ideas!

Although seeing a conservative go into "green" energy looks like something great, I still am afraid that we will face the same problems with having a few people own a large portion of our energy. I would prefer to have the people produce their own energy with solar arrays that are on homes rather than large lots. Here are a few reasons why:

1. You can use what energy you produce on site, meaning less loss when transporting energy.

2. You prevent A-holes like the Enron boys from manipulating markets by spreading the energy producing capacity over millions of people, instead of a few large companies.

3. The increased national security with having production spread over large amount of people and geography.

Germany is doing great things with solar. Right now if you live in Germany, you can get a very low interest loan to buy solar panels, I'm talking low, below the rate of inflation. Then as long as your paying off your loan, you can sell any excess energy (such as when you sleep) back to the utilities for 6X the market rate, then once you have paid back your loan, the utilities must buy power at the market rate.

Oh, and please, I'm ready for the conservative who is STILL talking about free market, non-interventionist crap. Especially right after the last 20 years of deregulation is coming to a head with a 1 trillion dollar bailout, endorsed by Bush and the bunch, who liked to pretend that they weren't the ones who helped us get into this mess by calling for deregulation when it makes a few hundred people rich, and now calling for deregulation now that all of our financial institutions are failing. Ha!

Or... remember the savings and loan burst after deregulation? Or, as I mentioned, the energy markets after dereg (Cough*Enron*Cough), now the mortgage industry. Except this time when the S*^T hits the fan, we don't have our manufacturing to fall back on like in the 20's...Way to go globalization!
May what is said is true but I cannot understand how long the USA will rely on the federal reserves
check this
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., whose insurance fund has slipped below the minimum target level set by Congress, could be forced to tap tax dollars through a Treasury Department loan if Washington Mutual Inc., the nation's largest thrift, or another struggling rival fails, economists and industry analysts said Tuesday. ref:
Energy is Most wanted by all, so we need to preserve its Non resourses.

Sun is the only basic source of energy, so we need to concentrate our
research in making Efficient/economical solar cells.

These researches should be aiming for a permanent solution for the
Global need for Energy.

We should develop a new technology to convet light to electricity in
a ecofriendly manner
we can reduce the use of energy resources by acting upon useful guidelines...

its our duty to do that...i think
I too laugh about the fear of screwing over the market by making available to the average homeowner the ability to produce their own energy and earn a pay check from the power companies. You see the need for a centrailized power station will never go away. Large businesses and large prduction facilities will always use the grid, it is very expensive for them to produce their own power.

If the average person begins to produce their own power, and sell it to the grid, it will cause price to go down, which will lower the cost of doing business for large business and manufacturing. It could even start to be cost effective for largte manufacturing to move back due to reduced cost of power. I think that it would help.
In tamilnadu, India , they are generating electricity from wind. A lot of empty space there, for them to help this methode
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