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He also placed a Plexiglas tank painted black on the south side of his house to preheat water in summer. He had read about installing solar panels in many of the energy magazines he subscribes to. Since 2003, Missouri laws allow homeowners to connect power generating devices into the electric system and get credit for the power. This requires a permit from the city and a net-metering contract. The solar panels Ward purchased cost $11,000 – but the actual cost was less than that.

He got tax credits from the state and federal government of about $2,000 for his purchase. At a rate of zero energy use, it won’t take long to recoup the remaining cost. “If you save $100 a month, you’ll be done paying for the panels in seven years,” he said. He did have to connect the panels into the electrical grid in a particular way, which he said was not difficult. He followed the instructions he had read in resources about the subject such as Home Power Magazine, Mother Earth News and the National Electric Code, Section 690. ‘Learning curve’ Since no one else had ever done this in Farmington before, some kinks appeared. At first the city was charging him for the power he was generating. Ward was not pleased when his electric bill increased because the city was counting the power he generated against him.

City Administrator Greg Beavers explained Ward’s power usage was exceptionally low for an occupied home so they had installed a digital meter at his residence instead of the older type that has a dial. The digital meter wasn’t able to credit Ward for the power he was generating. “This is the first time anyone has done something like that here,” Beaver said. “There was a little bit of a learning curve.” City workers put the old-style meter back and used a meter on Ward’s solar panels to credit him for the power he had been generating, Beavers said. Now they are paying him at cost for any excess power he generates. Ward uses about six kilowatts a day and had been making between nine and 13 kilowatts with his solar panels in March. The number will go up as days get longer and down as they get shorter. That doesn’t quite cover the flat $11.60 customer charge for electric service – but it makes Ward feel pretty good that his bill reads zero on the line for electric usage. In some states, he would get paid market value for any extra power he feeds into the system – but in Missouri the most he can get is wholesale cost. Last year a bill called the Easy Connect Act was sponsored in the Legislature and 52 lawmakers backed the bill. Information about the bill is available at morenergy.com. “A monkey could do this,” he said, when it was suggested his system might be above the ability of the average person. “We all have to take some responsibility and do our part.” He is satisfied with what he has done so far, but Ward is far from finished with energy improvements. He has been looking at solar-powered refrigerators and windmills. “Cloudy days are likely to be windy ones,” he pointed out. “That might even things out and keep my power generation going.” Vitamin & Herb Store. 525 W Central Ave , Lompoc , CA 93436 Cross Streets: Near the intersection of W Central Ave and N L St (805) 736-6100 vitaminandherbstores.com Today : 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM Opens today at 10:00 AM See all hours Mon 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM Tue 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM Wed 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM Opens today at 10:00 AM Thu 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM Fri 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM Sat 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM Sun Closed. Omg Heike (I asked her to repeat it a couple times) was such a breath of fresh air! We talked for a few minutes, after I had asked for some help. Good variety of health goods, Great friendly, knowledgeable staff! The Best and only Health Food Store in Lompoc, California. It carries FDA GMP rated supplementation and essential Oils Only. This is the best vitamin store I've ever been too . Heike is the best she is so helpful, asked questions & listens to you. AMAZING selection of vitamins, gifts, sage, lotions, food, and more.

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