by Ninian Reid
Have you noticed? Your electric bills keep going up. Why? Electric utilities face huge challenges. They face massive investment costs for new generating plants, power transmission and environmental controls. They must pay more for fuel. End result: electric rates will keep rising. Is solar energy in your future? The sun’s power is a free resource. It’s available not only to utilities and big businesses — but to little guys as well. It’s time to consider solar energy for your home.
Here’s how: —
Learn the basics of solar radiation and solar technology. Solar science is absolutely fascinating, but it’s not rocket science. Learn the basics of electricity and safely working with electricity. Learn how solar cells convert the sun’s energy into electricity. Solar cells are the building blocks for solar panels. Learn how the cells are connected together in a panel to produce greater power. Learn how to use a battery to store solar-generated power for use later.
Examine conditions at your house and property for solar power suitability. Do the sun’s rays strike your house and grounds during the day, season and year? For how many hours a day? Where is the best location on your property for a solar panel?
Build a small scale solar power system. If you are a motivated do-it-yourselfer, you can build a solar panel yourself. Obtain a good set of plans, and gather the necessary supplies and materials. When you have everything you need, you can build a solar panel in a weekend. Materials and supplies should cost about $ 200. Once you have built your solar panel, put it to use in a small-scale solar power system. Connect it appropriately to a battery and store power generated during daylight hours. With the proper electrical interface you can use your small scale solar system to power small appliances and tools, or to light up a garden path. You will be save money on your electric bill and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time.
Consider future upgrading to a larger solar power system. The good news is that companies are investing in solar research and development. The cost of producing solar cells and panels is going down. As more companies enter the solar market prices will continue to fall. The bad news is that a large-scale, professionally-installed solar system for your house can still cost tens of thousands of dollars. Government financial incentives are available to help offset the up-front costs — but the remaining costs are still formidable. If conditions at your house and property are solar suitable, and as the cost of electricity continues its relentless upward rise, at some point it may make sense for you to “go solar” with a large scale solar system. You may even be able to “sell” some power back to your utility. Keep yourself up-to-date on who are the qualified installers in your area, their prices for installed solar systems, and the availability of financial incentives.
Solar energy is probably in your future! Get ready!
Why should you be considering solar now? Because your electric bills will continue to grow higher as electric rates rise. Why will electric rates rise? Because it will cost electric utilities a lot more money to produce and deliver electricity to your home. Why? Here are ten reasons why rates will grow higher.