We have a special system and it is way more expensive because you have batteries, have to have a charger to charge the batteries and a different kind of inverter. The husband said this is legal everywhere.RiverFarm
Kay, there were all sorts of incentive programs in NJ to go solar, although they have dried up now. What concerned us was that we weren't allowed to install a system whereby if the grid was down we could still use solar to power our house. The solar only operated when the grid was up. The reason cited was that power could flow back out into the grid from our solar installation and pose a danger to linemen working to restore the system. But we have a transfer mechanism on our propane generator that prevents that, and no one has been able to explain why a similar mechanism won't work for solar setups. Apparently that's what Joyce has.
He has to completely disconnect from the power company before he can switch over to the batteries.
He goes to the main disconnect that comes to the house and flips it off so we don't have any power coming from the power company and that keeps us from sending power back to them.
Then he has a sub panel that is on a separate breaker box that is in the house that just runs a few things. Since this snow, we have realized that on a sunny day our batteries do even better than what we thought. (we only have 8 batteries) They will run the freezer and refrigerator for 4 or 5 days, without an additional charge (from the sun-cloudy days) Since we were out of power this time for 3complete days, he has realized we can run our water heater if that is the only thing we are running at the time. This basically means running to the basement and turning the breakers to the fridge and freezer and water pump off, heating the water, turning the water heater breaker off, turning on the water pump to take our showers, then turning that breaker off. And this is possible because the freezer and fridge has been running to keep them at the temperature they need to be (so nothing spoils when we turn them off briefly to do the hot water and water pump) so,once the showers are taken, everything is turned off and the breaker for the refrigerator and freezer are turned back on.It's kind of like a juggling act. This all occurs when the power is down.
Otherwise, when the main breaker is on, and we are generating at full capacity, we have 45.00 a month power bills (in the last three months the power bills kept getting higher and higher because the leak was getting bigger and bigger and the pump was running constantly.) In the winter we keep the temperature set at 70 degrees and in the summer we keep the air set at 69 degrees. We also have a geothermal heat pump.
Our problem with why this wasn't working as well as it could have, this weekend, was that we discovered that we had a huge water leak. Once he fixed that yesterday he was amazed at how quickly the batteries charged...but mind you we had beautiful sunshine to accomplish this.
There is a gauge on the controller that tells us how much juice is left in the batteries, so he watches that and doesn't run our batteries down. It is not as difficult as it sounds, it's just a matter of keeping watch. Oh and if you wanted to tie a generator into the system, you could do that and it would automatically come on when the batteries get too low. (This is when solar is off and you are using the batteries)then you could possibly run your entire house off the batteries. With the geothermal heat pump, he doesn't know how much that would pull.
I hope that this explains why no one is in danger. And gives you some information to take back to the people you were talking to.
In the state of Virginia, the Stimulus money that the state received was given out on a first come first serve basis, for energy saving. You could receive grants for geothermal, solar panels and all it took to run them , energy efficient appliances and soon. At the same time, the federal government was (and may still be) giving tax credits for each thing that you did. At the same time, we were building our home and we basically just lucked out. A lot of people applied for money and then the task just looked too daunting so they turned their request back in and a second offering was made. and a third offering was made. The money was going to be there until it was gone...so I am not sure if there is any left. This is the ONLY reason we could afford it.