Renewable Energy – Lesson 6 – Home Solar Panels

June 8th, 2010

With the state of the current economy, countless people are looking for ways to cut costs and to become more efficient. There are countless articles in print and online that detail various ways to shop for food cheaper, to find low cost methods of entertainment, to save money by downsizing vehicles and even houses. While these are just a few of the predictable and traditional money saving tactics in a bad economy, there are a few new ways to save money on utility bills and to do the environment a favor at the same time.

Home solar panels are about to become a part of the average mainstream residential home in this country. Historically, home solar panels were limited to the affluent due to the high cost of the components of the system. In addition, solar panels of the past have not been very energy efficient and have not produced a large savings relative to the up-front costs. Now, with advances in solar panel technology, home solar panels have become dramatically more efficient and affordable. Now, the cost of a complete home solar panel system can be recouped in less than a year in the savings that it generates.

The home solar panel system is fairly uncomplicated. A number of solar panels, the more the better, are installed on the roof of the house or the garage and are securely bolted or nailed down. The panels are connected to each other and to the house’s electrical system. While the actual wiring of the system should be completed by a licensed electrician, the task is a quick one, and the rest of the installation can be accomplished by anyone who is reasonably familiar with tools.

Once the system is installed, many are sunrise by how much power it can generate even on fairly cloudy days. Some people are even able to go off the grid, or disconnect from the electric company entirely, with solar power. However, it is probably more prudent to remain connected to the electric grid and to let the solar panels simply reduce or cancel out the monthly electric bill. This alone can be a savings of thousands of dollars per year. The electric companies will simply track the amount of power the home solar panel system is putting back into the grid and credit that account accordingly. It is not uncommon for efficient systems to be able to more than pay for all the power used in an average household.

Installing a home solar panel system is a good thing to do on a number of levels. It supports vital green industries that are vital to reducing pollution from fossil fuels, it allows people to save significant amounts of money in utility bills and raises the collective environmental consciousness. With the new increased efficiency and afford ability of home solar panel systems there is no reason why almost every household shouldn’t have one, especially considering the fact that almost any system pays for itself in the first year.


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