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How to Switch your Home to Solar Power

By Edited Apr 10, 2014 0 5

Solar panels for residential homes are becoming more and more popular due to their overwhelming benefits for both the consumer and the environment.  Since energy from the sun is the most plentiful source of energy on Earth, solar power has the potential to make your home energy independent so that you do not have to rely on manufactured electricity.  With the use of solar panels, energy from the sun can be harnessed and converted to electricity through the photovoltaic effect.  Solar panels can be attached to roofs of houses quickly and effectively and do not require extensive consumer maintenance.  Solar energy is a proven technology that has existed around the world for many decades and has recently become a relatively common source of electricity in residential homes.

What are the benefits of switching to solar power?

1. Save Money on your Monthly Electricity Bill

With the price of electricity rising year after year, installing solar panels on your roof can save you massive amounts of money on your monthly electricity bill.  Depending on the size and effectiveness of your solar panels, you will be able to supply a certain amount of electricity for your home.  If you consume more energy than your solar panels can produce, you will still be able to receive additional energy from traditional manufactured electricity.  Therefore, no matter how much electricity your solar panels can generate, you will always be saving money on energy.

2. Have a Good Long-term Investment

Although solar panels are quite expensive, the investment will eventually pay for itself over time.  The amount of money that a residential solar panel installation can save on traditional electricity will, on average, total the cost of the solar panels and installation in about 7 to 10 years.  However, just the installation of solar panels on your roof can dramatically increase the value of your house and make it more desirable to a potential buyer.  In addition, just from your decision to use solar power, you may be eligible for tax incentives.  In some states, you may be able to reduce your total governmental costs from tax benefits and incentives by as much as 70 percent!

3. Protect the Environment by using Clean, Renewable Energy

Solar power is a completely renewable source energy and its production and consumption have absolutely no adverse effects on the environment.  By powering your home on solar energy, you will be supporting a clean, healthy environment and dramatically reduce the amount of fossil fuels you consume each year.  Most traditionally manufactured electricity is produced by coal-fired power plants, which are the largest contributors of toxic air pollutants.  The amount of carbon emissions that you will be saving by switching your home to solar power would be the equivalent of removing about 50 cars from the highway or the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by planting about 2 acres of trees.

4. Become Energy Independent

With a sustainable source of renewable energy, your choice to install solar panels will help us as a community move closer to becoming an entirely energy independent nation.  Today, we remain dependent on some of the most unstable areas of world to supply us with fossil fuels.  The importing of these fossil fuels has become one of the largest causes of political issues in the world and a major threat to our domestic economy.  By powering our homes with solar energy, we can decrease our dependence on foreign oil and become more energy independent.

How do I switch my home to solar power?

1. Determine How Much Electricity you Consume

The first step that you will need to take to switch your home to solar power is to determine exactly how much electricity you consume each month.   By looking at your monthly electricity statements, you can figure out your actual household electricity usage in kilowatt hours.  You will need this value to determine how many solar panels you will need.

2. Calculate the Amount of Available Space on your Roof

To determine how many solar panels you can physically have on your roof, you will first need to calculate your total amount of available surface area.  This information will also help you choose a specific solar panel installation option and compare available installation pricing costs.

3. Find Some Solar Panel Installation Companies

The next step is to find companies in your area that will be able to install solar panels to your roof.  Since installation costs vary greatly from company to company, it is important to give them the values you have obtained in the first two steps so that they can give you a price quote.  Use these price quotes to determine which company to use for the installation.  Be sure to look out for hidden costs and additional fees.

4. Choose a Company and begin Installation

After you have chosen the best company to use, make an appointment to install the solar panels.  When the solar panels have been successfully installed, you are finished and energy independent!

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Comments

Jul 19, 2011 2:55pm
nicohohman
The best example of solar energy used in a home can be found in the KB Homes GreenHouse 2011. They used panels with solar panels embedded in them to blend perfectly with the rest of the house. And they didn't even use the top-of-the-line panels because they were trying to get a more aesthically pleasing look. If you don't mind a little exposure on your roof, there are some great solar options out there.
Jul 19, 2011 5:41pm
AlexBerger07
Nicohohman, thanks for your comment! The biggest reason that people do not invest in solar panels is due to their unattractive appearance. This is definitely something to check out!
Jul 21, 2011 12:09am
eileen
Good information for anyone considering saving money by using solar panels.
Aug 23, 2011 6:10pm
BobD
Good Article. I was just reading about solar panels earlier today. I would love to get some.
Sep 22, 2011 5:59am
rdevansii
Green Energy is the waive of the future. This is something everyone should start learning about. Having your own power source is Ultimate Power. Just pay attention to our government, Oil, electricy, water, they know what power is, so we should do the same :)
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