I read the article in the current Countryside Magazine and was really curious about this. We are in the process of building a house and are putting in a geo-thermal heat system (vertical) which will also heat our hot water in the warmer months and supply ac. It will cost us about $1.00 a day to run our heat/cooling system and hotwater. We will also have a woodstove insert for our family area and for when ice storms hit in winter and power goes out. I know without solar batteries, i will have no power, but we don't want to pay lots for the few times the power might go out. My question is: 1. Has anyone used just the panels tied into your electric panel so that if you generate enough solar to run the house the meter starts going backward. 2. How expensive is it (about) if hubby does it himself (he's an elec. enginner)? What would he need? 3. Is it worth it if our elec. bill including appliances, hot water and heat/cool would be about $70 month? (just my estimate) We have invested in the geo-thermal heat so i'm not sure it's worth it to invest in solar panels. We decided it would get too expensive to startup to go off grid with batteries and all - we just want to keep it very simple. Any pointers would be great.