Residential Solar Energy

Affordable Solar Power for Homes

Residential solar energy has become a viable option for many homeowners in recent years. Here you will discover which type of solar energy is best for your home, and how to affordably transition to residential solar power.

Given the long-term benefits that follow the initial investment in the equipment necessary to use solar energy, it's well worth looking into how your home could be retrofitted to utilize the sun's energy to power your home.

Some people are also realizing that contracting to build a brand new solar efficient home is not that much more costly than building a new conventional home that utilizes fossil fuels.

So, how is residential solar energy used to power a home? There are three solar energy systems available for residential use.

  1. Grid Tie Solar Energy System this system utilizes solar panels and an inverter that enables you to use the sun’s energy to power your appliances, lights, and even power tools. If you’re retrofitting your home to be more energy efficient, this type of system will reduce your energy costs overall.

  2. Grid Tie w/Backup Battery Solar Energy System this system is self-sufficient, meaning that it produces its own power. However, it also features a battery as a backup for those times when the sun isn’t shining directly onto the home or there is a power outage. This system supplements what you already have in the home and will also help to lower your energy costs.

  3. Off Grid Solar Energy System this type of residential solar energy system is ideal for those living in rural areas desiring to become self-sufficient when it comes to energy needs. This system is separate from other power sources, but does come with backup batteries that store unused energy. With this type of system in place, you can power appliances, heat your space, water, and more.

Residential solar energy is used to heat and cool the inside of the home, to power cooking appliances, to power solar refrigerators, and to power lights both inside and outside the home. Some homeowners have utilized solar energy so efficiently that their local utility company now pays them for contributing energy to the “grid”!

Solar Energy for Homes - Gardening and Water Features

Solar energy is the natural and convenient choice for powering outdoor garden and patio lights. Solar power outside the home is convenient because there are no unsightly wires, cords, or plugs required to bring a bit of light to the garden or fountain area during the evening hours.

Your landscape and garden design is much easier to create using solar energy to power your lights and water features. With solar energy as your power source, the placement of lights and water features is completely up to you.

Solar fountains can be found in many different designs that will add beauty to any garden landscape. These require sunlight throughout the day and will likely need a backup battery to operate during evening hours.

How to Affordably Transition to Residential Solar Power

Residential solar power is becoming more cost efficient as new solar panel technologies are being developed such as thin film solar panels. Some of the ways that you can make solar power more affordable are:

  • If you are handy, DIY solar power may be a good option. By "doing it yourself" you will save some of the installation cost and have the satisfaction of completing a job well done that not only saves you money, increases the value or your home, and also greatly helps the environment!

  • If installing your entire home solar power system yourself is too much, you may be able to save some money by using diy solar panels. Once you learn how to build a solar panel yourself, you can easily build more!

  • Some cities now have local programs where residents can pool their resources for solar installation which can significantly lower their costs. These solar energy bulk purchasing programs and group discounts are available through places such as Neighborhood Solar and One Block Off the Grid.

    Even if your home town doesn't yet have something like this, contact these places and make an inquiry. They may be able to put you in touch with people who can make it happen in your area!

  • Many governments are now offering solar energy incentives and solar power grants that can help defray the cost of your solar energy system and installation. This takes some time and legwork to research but could be very worthwhile and save you a great deal of money!

Solar energy is an environmentally friendly power source that many homeowners are finally finding to be within their reach financially.

If you’re not able to invest in everything you’d like to at first, begin with small projects and work your way up over time. The savings you’ll reap in the interim will help you work toward adding new solar features to your home!

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