Solar Energy For Homes – Not Just Expensive Fiction Anymore

Employing solar energy for homes is no longer science fiction fare. The typical homeowner has within his or her reach the ability to harness the incredible power of our sun to provide relief from rising energy costs and oppressive overseas oil cartels. The fact that solar power allows for a massive improvement over coal-produced power as far as our impact on the environment is a huge bonus. And improving the quality of the air we breathe and the Earth's shape as we hand stewardship over to our children and grandchildren is reason enough to make solar energy a preferred alternative to traditional, CO2-emitting electric power consumption.

The old saw used to be that solar energy for homes was too expensive and time-intensive, and for many years that was the case. In the early days of solar power implementation, efficiency was low, which meant that massive arrays of PV solar panels had to be erected just to see any type of decent electric utility savings. It often took 20 years or more to recoup the cost of a system, and the government made no effort to incentivize the individual homeowner to take this laudable, clean-energy step in their lives. Replacement costs on parts was also very prohibitive to all but the wealthiest of homeowners, so solar energy was a nice idea, but more fairy tale than functional fact.

Well, these days Cinderella rides in a solar-powered coach and has polycrystalline-celled slippers that power her solar watch, so she'll never miss her midnight deadline, and solar energy for homes is as accessible as your local home improvement store. What was once Buck Rogers and the 25th Century technology now powers calculators, water heaters, batteries, furnaces, ovens, refrigerators, all manner of home appliances, cars and even flashlights. Yes, solar powered flashlights are not the punch line to a bad joke anymore. Solar power cells can be smaller than a postage stamp (remember those?) and as big as your entire roof, and evidence themselves as inexpensively as a $5 garden light.

And solar energy for homes is no longer the sole art of a solar-knowledgeable contractor who can charge any fee he likes, and use inferior grade products while you are charged for top-dollar merchandise. Access to solar power information of all kinds is available online, and you don't need to feel like a sitting duck for a ruthless contractor. Besides, small projects like adding solar power attic fans or installing exterior solar power security and safety lights are easy for even the home improvement novice to undertake. These simple, low-cost projects return a ton in self-confidence and solar knowledge, and allow you to effectively get your feet wet before tackling larger, more financially rewarding projects like installing a solar hot water heater.

And if you think benefiting from solar energy for homes requires some massive array of panels, pipes and wires, let me set your mind at rest. A typical North American family can supply most of their solar power needs from a 10 foot by 10 foot area of solar collectors. This is small enough to fit on a shed in your backyard, or on the back side of your house's roof, whichever spot gets the most mid-day sun.

And you won't break the bank either. A typical solar water heater setup is around $2,500 to $3,500, generally pays itself off in 4 to 6 years, and the government will subsidize up to 50% of your costs. And that's no fairy tale. So what are you waiting for? Get started today enjoying the many financial and environmental benefits that solar energy for homes offers, and stop letting the wicked stepsisters of utility bills and procrastination punish your pocketbook.

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