We're not there yet...and I only personally know a couple of people who are off the grid in Vermont. Two designed and built their homes to use wind and solar power, the other one uses gas lights, an outdoor gravity-fed shower, wood heat, etc.<br><br>
We have a bunch of good books at our library on the subject. Here are a couple I found really relevant to my situation (existing home, on-grid):<br><br><a href="http://http//www.amazon.com/Got-Sun-Solar-Renewable-Grid-Tied/dp/0965809870/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/104-7636529-9979961?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1177598195&sr=1-1" target="_blank">Got Sun? Go Solar</a><br>
and<br><a href="http://http//www.amazon.com/Homeowners-Guide-Energy-Independence-Alternative/dp/1592288170/ref=sr_1_7/104-7636529-9979961?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1177598195&sr=1-7" target="_blank">The Homeowner's Guide to Energy Independence</a><br><br>
Maybe your local library could InterLibrary Loan them for you!
We are not on solar yet, but we saw a representative from this group on the homebuilders show here in Manchester, NH.<br>
I think what they have to offer is pretty good, check out their web site, it has loads of info. I wish I could find something similar regarding wind power, although here in Manch I do not think windpower is very possible. ;-) At least not within the city limits.<br><br>
Link: <a href="http://www.jointhesolution.com/solar4us" target="_blank">www.jointhesolution.com/solar4us</a><br><br>
In the recent past (3 years ago when we had a system designed) there were rebates from the state for both converting an existing system to renewables or building a new home with renewables. Which are you planning?<br><br>
I imagine the state is still offering rebates. What part of the state are you in? If you are anywhere near Rutland County, I would recommend calling Central VT Solar & Wind (John Blittersdorf). That is who helped us. John was terrific--he hooked me up with a tour of a local home that provided me with a lot of info. He also did a site eval and prepared a quote that included the best system to meet our needs minus the state rebates.<br><br>
I actually need to look into the state rebate program again (not tonight, though :yawning: ) so I will let you know if I find out anything.<br><br>
I think that finding a local contractor who can do a site eval is the place to start (as well as pp suggestions of books, websites...).
I work at an org here in Burlington that runs the Efficiency Vermont program and we also run a program that helps with renewables incentives called the Renewable Energy Resource Center. visit <a href="http://www.rerc-vt.org" target="_blank">www.rerc-vt.org</a> to see what the current rates for the incentives are. Other Qs I can help answer too.
My father runs his own Solar company and we are working on getting wind power as well. We are in Manchester, NH- but if you send me your email address I can get my father to forward information on any companies doing business in VT through Shucco.<br><br>
Hey Maggie, we can put panels on your house <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> I have them on my house to power the hot water and we are looking into enough panels for electricity as well <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
Cool company your dad has!<br>
I was looking at "jointhesolution" because we do not have the cash for the time being to buy our own solar panels. They are still a bit pricey unfortunately and there are so many other things we need to fix and repair in our house first....