Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Solar Energy and Going Green in Your House

By Chris Ulrich

Solar energy is one of the hot conversations in today's marketplace. With government incentives at record levels-and even utilities paying you to switch to solar-now is the time to learn more and find out how you can save money with solar energy.

But what is solar energy? How does it work? Can it really produce electricity?

Solar energy reins-in the power of the sun. When sunlight hits photovoltaic cells (they look like giant computer chips made of silicon) the photons in the sunlight cause all electrons to be released from the silicon. If you can capture those electrons, you get electricity.

Think of it like this: you are playing billiards (shooting pool) and you shoot the cue ball into another ball. What happens? The white ball ricochets insets that other ball into motion as well.

When sunlight hits the solar cell, it ricochets off and sets the electron in motion. Electricity is made of electrons. The more electrons you can push in motion-and harness-the additional electricity you can generate.

For an great article on solar energy and other green energy, visit this page at NASA

How does this help you in your home? The government is fighting hard for solar energy. $20 billion dollars has been set away to help advocate solar energy throughout our country. The federal government as well as other state governments and utilities, will literally pay you to start using solar energy.

Why would they do this? First, we want to reduce our dependency on foreign oil. Second, burning fossil fuel is bad for the environment. Solar energy, on the other hand, is completely clean. There are no byproducts. There aren't carbon emissions. It is a extremely clean and pure way of generating electricity. Third, the government wants to develop the solar industry in this country which will create more and more jobs and opportunities.

Solar energy is not cheap, however. Solar energy for a house can cost $25,000. Do not stop reading this article! There is great news. The government and utilities may rebate you up to 70% of the cost of the system. In this example, you would get tax credits and rebates for around $14,000. The net cost to you is $6000. If you were to finance this, you can pay about $50-$75 per month. You may say this much or more in your electric bill! Even if you don't, you not only done something tremendously for the environment, but have also increased the value of your house by about $20,000! If you're going to resell your home, this not only increases value of nature house more desirable than other homes on the market.

There are also laws preventing local government from raising your taxes when you add solar energy to your home. We cannot tell you specific tax advice-you must speak with your accountant or attorney.

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