Friday, June 19, 2009

Solar Power Systems: Slash Your Energy Costs Now

By Chris Ulrich

Oil prices are rising again, and electricity prices will soon follow. Over the last 25 years, the solar energy industry has made great advances in technology in producing solar energy.

As the cost of power rising and the price of solar energy systems falling, now is the time to educate yourself about solar power.

Is Solar Power Truly Affordable?

The answer for most is "yes" because of government rebates. The state, federal and local governments are now giving large incentives to home owners. Based on your location, you may be rebated 35% - 65% of the price of your solar power system. With financing available through many solar energy companies (as well as home equity loans) many will be able to reduce monthly electric bills by more than the system costs.

Will the Utilities Buy Extra Electricity from Me?

Yes, the power companies will "buy" your excess power as it is produced. If your solar energy system produces more electricity than your home is using at that moment, the surplus electric feeds back into the power grid, and your power meter will actually spin backwards! If you are away from your house, and leave as many electric items turned off as possible, the surplus electricity can automatically flow back earning you money.

Are Professional Installers Available for Solar Energy Systems?

Absolutely. In fact, because you are interfacing with the electric system of your house, it is highly recommended that an experienced licensed electrician install the system for you. Most solar energy installation companies have electricians to handle this.

What is Required to Get a Solar Energy System?

Generally, you should have a home with exposure to the south, southeast or southwest. You will want it as unobstructed as possible. Having your house in the southern United States has advantages, but home owners to the north also benefit greatly from solar energy. Before you make a purchase, most reputable solar power companies send an experienced technician to inspect your home, property and landscape to determine whether solar power is appropriate and what sort of savings you can see.

Is Solar Power Really Good for the Environment?

Yes. While electricity is does not produce polution, the oil required to generate the electricity is not. By harnassing the energy of the sun, you are actually able to generate your own electricity with no impact on the environment. This reduces pollutants in the air, decreases our demand on foreign oil, and helps to lower the overall cost structure of power in this country.

Does the Government Really Support Solar Power?

Yes. There are local, state and federal programs specifically designed to encourage house owners to switch to solar energy (as well as wind and other alternative energies). Our government is aware that the fossil fuels will not last forever, and our dependency on them is bad for our country as well as our ecology. By offering incentives for people to convert to solar energy, the fed is making an investment in you, to help alleviate the energy crisis. In the coming years, millions can switch to solar energy, drastically reducing tax our dependency on foreign oil.

What Does a Solar Energy System Cost?

This depends on the amount of energy you want to produce. Obviously the bigger the system, the greater amount of electricity you can produce. Solar Power Systems can range from $10,000-$30,000 or more based on your needs. If a system costs $20,000 and the government pays 65%, the cost to you is $7,000. Depending on how you choose to finance this, this may cost you approximately $50-$75 per month. Many will save more than this in their first month on their electric bill. The exact savings will vary based upon the cost of the system, any tax incentives, and the amount you pay today for electricity.

For more information, we invite you to see our website at

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