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solar panels/neighbors

Posted by mwoods (My Page) on
Tue, Jan 5, 10 at 17:01

What is your opinion on this one. A man not too far from us put 3 large solar panels in his backyard. He did it all correctly and is within the law in what he did. Each one is 16 feet tall and 10 feet wide and between the 3 of them,they have ruined the view of the landscape of a couple of his neighbors.They know there is nothing they can do legally but they are very angry that he didn't even bother to let them know that this was going to be done. One neighbor grumbled that if he wanted to heat his house more efficiently,he should have built a smaller house to begin with. I have mixed feelings. I applaud him for what he wants to accomplish but I would be mad if it blocked my view.On the other hand,if they put up one of those wind generators in the cornfield next door it wouldn't bother me at all. I like them.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: solar panels/neighbors

I also have mixed feelings. His intent is good, but his *people skills* need work! I'd like solar panels on our roof, but the Homeowners' Assoc. would never approve them. The wind generators are beautiful, IMO. There are 40 of then on a ridge near Davis, WV and they're awesome. However, the local folks don't like them --plus, they aren't getting any of the power generated. That's a bummer!


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Better diplomatic skills should have been shown. Not knowing the orientation and/or physical layout of his lot and surrounding area I can't say one way or the other whether his placement is optimal or not, or if there are more than one optimal location and and he chose poorly. Solar and wind rights are the next fight, where water was once the only thing fought over. Scenery rights are secondary. I.E. the view of the Gulf of Mexico is spoilt with the gas platforms. There is a trade off, for a few anyway, as the fishing is great around these platform.

I'm lucky in the sense that my house in Rogersville runs due east and west and the back of my house faces south. This is away from the street and there is no one behind me. The panels are roof mounted and most people don't know that I have them.


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Interesting to see that a structure 16 feet tall is allowed to be built in a backyard in your county, city etc..You said:" He did it all correctly and is within the law".
Why not ask the city,county why they allow a 16 foot structure to be built in a backyard.
Ask your neighbor why he needs such a big field of solar panels, is it for his own use or is he starting a business in reselling the power.


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We live in a rural area,this is not in a development and he isn't my neighbor.He just doesn't live that far away. He is very sincere in wanting to become more green.The rules and regulations are different for each township in the area. We have 4 acres and the people next door to us have 15. If they,as an example wanted to put up solar panels,they could do it and if they placed them just right,in the winter it would really look awful from here. You see them all over the place when you drive through the countryside. Obviously they wouldn't be allowed in a development. Tree houses aren't even allowed there.


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No tree houses, no tree houses, no tree houses ???

How utterly uncivilized, those sub-humans are that made that covenant...

Steamimg here, no tree houses is incomprehensible to me.

The philistines.


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mwoods, the Obama administration is pushing solar power as an economic and jobs stimulus and I'm all for it. However,some guide lines needs to be in place.
The solar power people will dot the earth with solar power as long as the stimulus is in place. The way I figure it, it's up to me to say enough is enough.
BTW, a treehouse is not allowed in my city either.


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pushed a button,did I?


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button

that post was for Dorph.


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  • Posted by tibs 5/6 OH (My Page) on
    Wed, Jan 6, 10 at 9:23

I think in some parts of California there are zoning regs for views. Along the coast (you know, the places that slide into the sea) you cannot build something that would block your neighbors view of the Pacific. I remember talking to a woman who was shocked that we didn't have regulations like that in rural Ohio, where the "Z" word is a four letter word.


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There's an Old Car Guy who built a garage (for some old cars...has lived there for at least 35 yrs. Has at least 10 acres) right smack dab in front of his newer(10-15 yrs.) neighbours' view of the cows across the road.
They haven't spoken since.
Monterey, Va. really tried hard to block the wind-powered turbines slated to go up on a ridge nearby, mainly because the original site was along a major fly-way for birds AND bats. As I recall, they lost, but I think the kids said a different location for the turbines was being looked into. Monterey is a wonderful small town and they like things just the way they are.
One of the oddest things is, they don't claim kinship to anyone else of the same last name. "Oh, I know of him, but he's no kin to me.", is the standard answer.

No Tree Houses? That's like banning 'Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn' from the library! --Like no peanut butter, no hammocks, no balloons,
no 'Mrs. Twiggley's Tree', no ice cream cones, no convertibles, no dreams......:o)


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And THIS is why I will never live in a house controlled by a Home Owners Association!!!

Having been brought up on the notion that An Englishman's Home is His Castle (i.e. what I do on my property is My Business), I've always accepted that stuff like this is the risk you take with neighbours. It's unfortunate, but there it is: he's entitled. There's a stand of trees between us and a neighbour, and most of the trees are on their land. If they decided to cut them all down, I'd hate it, and we might even consider moving. But it's his right.

I feel very strongly about the environmental and economic benefits of drying my washing on the line. There are places in this country where I couldn't do that, which is incomprehensible to me. Despite appearances, there's many parts where this is NOT a free country!


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ditto and well said Sara.


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Tree houses today aren't much like the treehouses we had. Some of them can be huge structures the size of a small house. Just go to Google,click on images and then put in treehouse. I could live forever in one of those. Also,there are now free standing tree houses and I guess they get that name because they are so tall and on stilts.Sara,most developments around here don't allow clothes lines.I guess people who live in a place with certain regulations are fine with that and that's ok too. Either way..as long as you go into it with your eyes wide open,then you have to be prepared for whatever.The thing that annoys the heck out of me are people who move out here in the country, tear down a bunch of trees and build a house and then squawk when someone else does the same thing near them. I want to poke out their eyes.


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You might be interested in Project Laundry, which is campaigning for "the right to dry" :)
I agree: you should know going in what the rules are, which is why when we once considered moving, we ploughed through an HOA Regs. book that was about and inch and a half thick. No, I'm not moving to a house where some committee can tell me what I can and can't grow in my garden (unless it's a matter of 'only native plants'). So, we didn't move.
But I also don't want to put myself in the position of moving to a place where some activist on the HOA can change the rules afterwards either.

Here is a link that might be useful: Project Laundry


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I've always thought of HOA communities as 'anal retentive'. LOL. I'm chuckling about what Tibs said. Yes, in this part of Ohio the "Z" word is nasty. Also laughing about what KJ said. Likewise here. Nobody will admit being related to anyone with the same last name. When you ask, they screw up their face, look down their nose and say "I AH DON'T THINK SOOOOOOOOOO". Being a genealogist, I could tell them things about their ancestors they wouldn't want public. LOLOL.

I love clothesline, btw. I think a clean wash whipping in the breeze is a thing of beauty and yes, I hang my clothes to dry. It saves us over four hundred dollars a year in electric bills. Winter and summer I do and I also use a wringer washing machine. They're about as green as it gets, short of a washboard. What on earth would anyone find offensive about a line of laundry? And yeah.........a lot of covenants and restrictions shall be lifted in the name of energy savings.

Ditto what Sara says about your home is your castle. I also believe in walls and fences.

The solar panels? I know how the people feel who have to look at them. You'd think they could've been placed on properties as large as those around Marda's area so that they'd be less conspicuous. I do not mind the roof mounted ones at all. They're no more ugly than asphalt shingles. I'll trade them a couple solar panels for the light domes from the new industrial park up the road. We had heavy snow cover yesterday and even with the heavy clouds the whole world was eerie, sickening orange reflecting off the snow. Sort of like summer in the arctic when the sun never goes down. Putting that sort of pollution in the pretty countryside is insidious. It could have been prevented if they'd installed shielded lights and saved them money to boot in energy costs.


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Way back when I lived in Oslo, Norway we had cables with pulleys reaching across the street, from apartment house to apartment house and we hung our laundy to dry from these cables.As I recall, there were no official rules about when the laundry had to be "pulled" in. However, there was an understanding that the laundry should be pulled in before sundown.Many a times we pulled frozen laundry from the line.

An aside, I remember my grandfather's only pair of long john's being pulled in while still frozen and standing at attention by the wood burning stove and hoping they would dry by the next morning.

Many moons and suns later, we lived in an apartment complex in VA where they provided umbrella type outdoors dryers, and they were hardnosed about getting the laundry down before 5pm. In fact, they threatend eviction if the "umbrella" was not empty and folded by 5pm.

I'm so happy with my laundry room , washer and drier 24/7.


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Since abandoning the dryer, when temperatures drop below freezing, I'm very grateful for the basement: I have two wooden clothes horses and I hang it all on there to dry. I'm not so short of clothes that I need them to be dried within an hour of washing. A day will do. I've found that 5 mins only in the dryer will shake the creases out. Result: clean clothes, and my electricity bill has HALVED.

But I've rather wandered from the solar panels blocking the view . . . .

:)


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I have a laundry room which DH built in the garage for me and it's heated. I have a large drying rack in there which I use for some things,not everything. Nothing dries in a single day and some things take several days.I wonder why that is?


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Humidity, most likely. The level of the humidity in a room will determine how much and how quickly something will dry.


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I have empty g'houses in the winter in which to hang clothes.....if it's half-way sunny. If we have days of endless dark and snow, you may as well forget it. I put it on lines in the basement and it's dry by the next day. I'm obliged to line dry now with a wringer washer, because the wringers do not remove as much moisture as a spin cycle.....but my Gosh do the clothes look clean again.

Automatics remove normal soil, but not the kind I get into in my work. Yes.........I was always taught 'proper' people never let their clothes hang overnight. Well, nobody can see my clotheslines, and I'm not very proper, I guess.


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---Anybody remember the Easy Spindryer washing machines?
Instead of the wringer, it had a smaller spin dryer connected to the tub---the excess water ran through a hose which could be directed back into the tub or into a laundry sink. They were great!
Reminded me of an Avante---really on the cutting edge with style and performance for its day, but made by good ol' Studebaker....

Suzy, I know you must really enjoy that wringer-washer of yours---it's actually fun to go back to a simpler way of doing things. Gives you some time to muse about stuff while you're working.
Kathryn Alexander, an elderly lady who sold her land to Hershey Candy Co. for their plant down here in Stuarts Draft years back, had lifetime rights to her family home until she passed away. I remember going to visit her a couple of times and on the first visit, I noticed sitting on her back porch, a beautiful tan and brown gasoline-powered wringer-washer ---it till worked!! She was really proud of that machine and said she was a firm believer in using something up 'til it wears out...


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Photobucket

I call her Ruby the Wringer, KJ. She's my pride and joy. I can do three loads of wash and have them on the line in the same time as I did one load in my automatic. She whomps them duds silly with her agitator and goes chugga.....chugga.......chugga. She traveled eight thousand miles to get here. Pity these fine machines aren't made anymore in the U.S. of A. Ahhhh the smell of suds 'n bleach. Then the smell of sunshine and fresh air in the sheets.


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She's a BEAUTY, Suzy! Where in Heaven's name did you order her from? You can tell she has an honored spot in your heart.

What really blows me away are the beautiful bricks/brickwork you have---well-laid/good color.
I'm impressed.

Your fountain reminds me of the last time DSIL hooked up the one in the garden for an Office Appreciation Luncheon....Halfway through, one of the DGD's slipped up beside her Dad and said, "Hate to tell you Dad, your fountain's smokin'!!" He hadn't noticed a crack in the bowl and the water was dripping down into the electrical box!!!
It's interesting to see a Sagittarius really break stride and RUN!!!!!


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3 panels, each 16'x10'??? Whoooweee, that's a LOT of electric! I figured once that 4 panels (2x8) would provide all my needs and have lots left over --- neighbor did just that many/size and sends the excess to the power company. So I have no objections to solar panels per se, but my firm belief is that they should be on the roof, not the lawn. Actually, my opinion is that ALL houses should have roof-top solar panels (hear me, Mr O? if you're serious about this, subsidize 80% of the cost for roof-panels, commercial and residential)

I grew up with wringer washers... they are great for cleaning, but not something meant to be turned on and ignored. Also not so good if one has one arm in a sling.

As for hanging clothes outside, weather like we're having now makes me extremely grateful for mechanical dryers! No frostbitten fingers, no chilblains, no frozen stiff garments thawing (and dripping), no fighting the wind to hang icy sheets. No, I'm more than happy to pay the bill for warm air tumbling through the laundry. :-)


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Solar panels that large do not belong in your backyard,
unless you can place them where they are not an eyesore or
block the neighbor's view. That's pretty inconsiderate.
I don't mind the ones that can be put on the roof.
I wish I had a couple on mine.
Most folks have a not in my backyard attitude. People can
do what they want to on their own property unless they live
next door to me.

Sun dried sheets smell like heaven.

I love your washing machine, Suzy.


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  • Posted by tibs 5/6 OH (My Page) on
    Thu, Jan 7, 10 at 17:32

Suzy does your washer bring back memories. Grandma had one. I loved that thing, feeding the clothes thru the wringers was a child's glory. And the beat of the motor; I danced and sashayed to the rhythm all around the basement. I hang dry sheets and towels outside as long as I can. I always thought you brought them in before 5 so they wouldn't take in the moisture in the evening air and get mildew. I have some lines in the basement, I use them for part of each load to dry because my automatic wahser doesn't spin dry like it is suppose to, and holds more than my dryer. It saves time and money to dry some of them on the line. In the old reseidential landscape design books of the late 1800's-early 1900's the plan would have enclosed drying yards. God forbid of anyone say your unmentionables drying on the line, plus the fence would hopefully cut down on the dust from the dirt roads.

The retired lady commissioner from a county south east of here gives a lovely talk of bygone times using her mother'sapron. Part of the story is the clothes oin in the apron and collecting eggs in the apron. She said they would lay stuff to try on the bushes, to get bleached by the sun.


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Yes, I know her. She's a amazing lady.


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Here's the article about the solar panels and also a photo of them.

Here is a link that might be useful: solar panels


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We had a Spindryer machine too. If I remember correctly. it would jump all over the place if it wasn't loaded correctly. As for the solar panels, I wouldn't mind them at all. We have our yard surrounded by l5' junipers. The only pollution I dread is nite lite and noise.


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I read the article about the solar panels and saw the photos. Wow, they are "big" and seemingly imposing.
Re the question:

"Nothing dries in a single day and some things take several days.I wonder why that is?"
Yes humidity may have something to do with it, but I would also look at the content of the material you're trying to dry.
In my experience,cotton/polyester takes a short time to dry, 100% cotton takes a lot longer to dry,100% wool has to be hand washed and takes a long time to dry, natural fibers, such as hemp takes a very short time to dry, bamboo yarn is a water hog and it takes forever to dry, syntectic yarns takes the least amount of time to dry. I tend to select fabric/yarn that takes the least amount of time to dry.


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I wonder why the people who said the folks who installed the panels feel someone had a responsibility to inform them? How does that remedy their situation? Yes, the panels need to be in optimum exposure to the sun's rays, but I'm assuming there was .90 of an acre elsewhere on that lot instead of as close as physically possible to lot lines. And I don't think planting shrubs are going to hide it. You'd better be thinking something like Royal Paulownia trees and Chinese tree of heaven, or better yet a purple and yellow striped fence, painted where just the people next door have to look at it. Oh boy, sigh.


I won't even 'go there' about the development. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but I see developments like that. They block my panoramic view of farmland. ;-)


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Lord luv a duck!!!
Those are big suckers.
I'm thinking about how much it is costing him to buy propane to heat a 4,000 sq ft house.

I just remembered that when I was growing up, we didn't
heat our bedrooms any time and we didn't heat the house at
all at night. I, being the oldest sibling had to get up and
light the oil heater in the morning.
I love central heat and air conditioning, washers, dryers,
refrigerators and freezers, telephones and television.
Oh! Shoot! I love it all, I think I just flunked the GO GREEN test. ;0(

Back to the solar panels. I wouldn't want to look at those
things every day but then they look better than what I see
when I look out my kitchen window.
Come spring, I'll be fencing and planting, maybe I should just put some big solar panels out back and see what happens.


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I notice that the overwhelming majority of the posters to that article are in support of his right to have the solar panels, and consider the neighbours to be over-reacting.

Perhaps, as the article quotes them as being concerned about the view lowering their property value, they should get their own solar panels. I would think that would improve the property value, considering the appeal of 'free' electricity.

:)


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Jan, you always turn something into a nice big bowl of warm chicken soup! I'll always love that about you!!

The house I raised my kids in, had no heat upstairs. The heat from the gas funace came from in-floor big grates. (We would stand over them in the mornings for a nightgown heat boost, or after working outdoors, for a thaw-out.) The attic-turned-into kids'-bedrooms, used the heat which rose up the stairs from below. When my Mom would come to visit, she would sleep on the couch in the LR. She'd sneak up and close the stairway door to the kids' rooms at night because she said there was a draft on her. They'd wake up with frost on the insides of their windows. That little war went on for years---(no matter where in the small LR the couch was moved, there was always 'the draft')
(2 hrs. later--morning chores)):
Even though I hang wash out as I can---I dearly LOVE my old Maytag GAS dryer! It has faithfully dried our clothes for the past 40-some years.


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janis_g, I luv all the things you mentiond and I have all of them. And I'm not giving them up and I'm not going back to the old days. No more frozen laundry for me if I can help it.
I'm as "green" as I can afford. I'm not a lone wolf here and I look for incentives.
I buy engergy star appliances, when somone offers me a good deal, be it a tax write off or a rebate. I buy energy saving light bulbs when they are on sale. We've installed all new energy saving, dual paned windows and patio doors, endorsed by our power company and allowed for a tax write off.

We have a real water problem here in CA and our water company keeps asking us to conserve water and I do that by buing water saving appliances. However, they have never offered any incentives other than saying that if we use less water we'll get a reduction in fees. If I reduce the water use to my green front lawn, it will turn brown. How about if the water company went hightec and offered us a rebate on a water sensor system?
Getting back to the solar panels, they are all over the place here in Silicon Valley and I'm glad to see it happening, but I'll need a real good deal before I install them.


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The link below was the first link that came up on a search for solar roof tiles. I will have to do more research and check more companies but this is something I heard about some years ago. When the money is there to do it I would very much like to install these. The orientation of the house is a consideration also. There are a lot of other green things that can be done and those interest me also.

Here is a link that might be useful: solar roof tile


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Our neighbor across the road had something similar installed on his barn,which is huge and his total electric bill for all of last summer was 15.00.


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Due to the location, solar panels are not effective for us. Having started out with a laundry boiler and brush board, handwringing laundry or a manually operated spin dryer, I appreciate my front loading washer and my dryer. No more frozen laundry, even if I had an attic like years ago at home. The main reason for using the dryer instead of clothes lines are the birds! We have a lot of trees. Lots of trees means lots of birds and lots of birds means re-washing clothes. LOL.


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Think of the bird art as tie-dying, Anneliese. LOL.


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Don ~ watch the dates on whatever info you pull up on the web. LOTS of advances very recently, but unfortunately, solar tiles are still non-competitive even when discounting cost of regular tiles. I think their best selling point is that they don't appear to be solar and thus are non-offensive to those who value the appearance of a roof.


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I'm just wondering if we do put up solar panels and start
saving money on our energy bills or make too much and can
sell it back to the power companies.
Will they (the power company or the government) start taxing
us for the rays of sun we use per day or charging us a tax
for selling power to power companies without a license? :0)


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I surely don't have any first-hand knowledge of solar panels, but I've read that some utility companies make it almost impossible to get clearance to tie in and sell back. The technology shall always be ahead of the bureaucracy. Ditto areas like run-off gardens, grey water, compost toilets. These could have been mainstream years ago if encouraged. Heck, not even that, if tolerated.


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  • Posted by tibs 5/6 OH (My Page) on
    Wed, Jan 13, 10 at 19:26

If the original poster plants fast growing tall evergreens (I am thinking something like Green Giant Arborvite) would that block the sun from the solar panals and would the neighbor be able to stop them from planting trees to block the sun? If no zoning I am thinking not. Ooh, that would be a nasty neighbor war. But entertaining,


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Hi,

Just on a technical note. Solar panels tend to be large because that is the only way you can get enough power out of them. Just to run a small 1KW electrical fire, you would need about 2 meters squared of electrical panels.

I actuall was thiking about solar panels, but for hot water not electricity. Hot water is cheaper and has a faster payback return. My oil heating bils are real expensive these days.

Best, Mike.


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We don't have solar panels on our house, so I can't speak about that aspect. But there is a new development up the street that built the houses with solar panels built directly into the roof shingles.


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don_socal , you're a forward thinker and your thoughts are in our neighborhood here in Silicon Valley. The developers of one of the last open spaces (farm land) decided to go "green" and among other things they used both solar tiles on the roof and as you said " The orientation of the house is a consideration also.", so they used panels in other places.
The houses are selling very well.


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Man, I miss so many people on this thread.


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Got to agree with you, it get's kind of lonely here.


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  • Posted by mwheel East. WV-Z.6 (My Page) on
    Tue, Jul 23, 13 at 16:20

I agree with both of you. Wouldn't it be nice, if someone would surprise us with a visit?

It was a real treat to read the posts in that thread.


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My sunroom is now powered solely by solar panels. Panels have become much more affordable in the last three years. 8D


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8D, there used to be a fellow that called himself " endorphinjunkie " that used to post here at the GP, he also outfitted his sun room with solar power. He did it in stages and he shared with us what he was doing. I sure appreciated that he shared his knowledge.
I hope you will stick around and share your knowledge.


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unless mathwizard is endorphin??? Would stand to reason. If so, hi M!


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If so rob333, welcome M! and 8D.


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