I've been giving very serious thought to the idea of getting a few large solar panels and fitting them on the roof to provide some additional income/reduction on bills.
As I've become more aware of my power usage due to the size of 1 power bill a few years ago, which was in error, I've started to replace all my lights with very low wattage systems and put timers into things that are not needed to be on all the time. This did result in a reduction of my overall electricity bills,. I expect some more of a rebate this year when the annual statement arrives.
Also turning the heating down a degree in the winter made no difference to me personally and produced more savings.
I'm especially interested in micro grid tie systems, which push the energy they generate back into the mains and allow you to use it, or have if fed back to the grid. The good point being that what you don't use effectively reverses the meter and you can, in theory get the power company to pay you if you put in more than you use...but that's unlikely. However it certainly reduces your bills.
Now some very rough calculations show that a 500euro system, of a set of 500w panels and converter, can generate about 80c a day income at half efficiency...considered a good guideline. ......assuming it does that all summer and gives even a few cents in the winter...it would still take some time to pay for itself....that makes it sound like a bad idead...
But..here's the thing.. I currently have about 4.5K sat in a savings account, its some grant from the government I have to give back as I've not started my Masters as planned. But till they request it, its sitting there...earning interest...at the massive rate of 13c a day......
so...500 euros can generate a daily average over the year of around 40c's and 4.5K can generate 13c.......
Clearly its a better investment than putting any spare cash I have in the bank...though the bank lets me take it out...so I won't put all my cash into solar.
But I think this is the time to use my upcoming tax rebate for this(or rather whats left after my Dl1608 splurge)... I have space on my shed roof which gets sun all day long. If it works out as expected, and continues to outperform the banks interest rate.. I'll invest one of my 2 yearly bonus's in a couple of Kw system for the roof which has plenty of non-obscured space