Solar Power At Home

Is it time to consider solar power for your home? Recent solar research has uncovered some amazing technologies which will not only make solar more efficient but will finally bring solar prices into the average householder’s price arena.

If you think the solar energy solution is for you here are 10 steps to get you powered up.

1 ~ If you’re building a home, orient the largest windows and the roof toward the south, smallest windows to the north. Plant deciduous trees (leaves fall off in winter) in a position where they’ll shade the windows in the summer but allow the winter sun to shine in.

2 ~ Make your home as energy efficient as possible. Replace all heating and cooling appliances (fridge, freezer, air conditioner, stove, oven, dryer) with the most energy efficient model available or switch to gas or propane where possible. Install a solar power water heater and possibly a wood, pellet or corn husk stove.

3 ~ Check your electricity bill to determine the amount of power you use now that you’ve made changes. Size your system for the month with the greatest energy use. (In warm climates that’ll be summer and in colder climates it’ll be winter. Sizing your system for the month with the highest use ensures that you’ll produce enough power for any month of the year.

An average 2 bedroom home in the southern US uses 25 KWH per day.

4 ~ If you intend to tie into the grid then sizing will not be as critical as it is for an independent system.

5 ~ Price out your system. Remember that the panels themselves only account for about 45% of the cost of your system. You may want to acquire more than one estimate and if you have an installer or are handy enough to do it yourself you can often save money by purchasing your components through eBay or other avenues. (Be careful, you may not qualify for warranties)

6 ~ Other set up costs are ~ inverter, charge controller, batteries, installation and various wires and hardware. (Some of these costs will not apply to a grid tied solar power system.)

7 ~ Without subsidies expect to pay at least $75,000 USD (August 2007) for an independent solar energy system. A grid tie system will cost significantly less because you don’t have to size the system to cover all of your power needs. The utility grid will pick up when the solar power falls off.

8 ~ Many nations, countries and municipalities provide substantial subsidies, grants and tax incentives which reduce the price to you by half or better. Check with gov’t and power companies in your area to see if solar power subsidies exist.

9 ~ Once the system has been installed there is little maintenance required (some battery maintenance and periodic inspections of the solar panels) and interruptions in power will be a thing of the past.

10 ~ Solar panels not only increase the value of your home but pay monthly dividends in electric bill savings for up to 40 years.

The more
energy efficient you make your home the lower your cost to convert to solar power.

Free yourself from the political tug of war over oil and gas and help clean up the environment at the same time. Solar power is here to stay and about to take its rightful place at the energy table.