Controlio asks: "With the continuing power crisis and the announcement of major power rate hikes, I figure now is an excellent time to pose this question. Instead of pay these inflated prices for power, I'd like to sink my money into a long-term solution. Cutting myself off from the power grid isn't practical, as I use too much power periodically to be 'solar-only'. But how practical is adding solar for either power redundancy (in case of a blackout) or as supplemental power? Redundancy would be nice, but being supplemental would involve using solar power as my primary power when it's available (and I hear tell that you CAN have negative electric bills if you produce more than you use). Do the costs/advantages for either provide enough incentive to be worth investing in? How would one go about creating a hybrid house? And finally, of course, which is cheaper? Investing in expensive solar paneling, or paying the outrageous charges the power company wants?"
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