SCBrazil asked in EnvironmentGreen Living · 1 decade ago

Does anyone have a solar powered home?

Does anyone use solar power to provide energy for their home? If so, is it worth it? How does it work? What equipment is needed/installed etc?

13 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I have had my system for almost a year. I have a 3.74 kwh dc system that cost $26K to install, I got a $10K rebate and a $2K fed tax credit. It is saving me about $2K a year in energy costs, so I should break even in my 6th year. Many people say it is a lot of money, but it was about 1/2 what I paid for my pool, so it's a matter of perspective.

    Conservation is key to maximizing your investment. I was averaging about 45kwh daily usage in the summer and my system takes care of at least 75% of it. The home next to me is the same model and they average about 95kwh daily usage for the same time.

    I had a professional install it, because we aren't that mechanical and with all the permits to hook it up to the city power and all, just didn't want to risk it. I have 20 panels and an inverter that turns the dc into ac current. My panels are guaranteed for 25 years and they say that I will likely need to replace the inverter about 1/2 way through that. I expect to save about $50K over the life of the panels since electric rates increase an average of 5% annually.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    If you are handy, want to do something for the environment while saving money, and like a do-it-yourself project with step by step easy instructions, then this site is for you.

    The utility companies increase your energy bills more than your increase in salary. At that rate you'll be working for your energy bill!

    Invest in solar panel or wind mill energy projects, there affordable if your build it your self and will save you money in a short time. Go green while saving money.

  • 1 decade ago

    Installing solar panels, or photovoltaic cells, is a great way to reduce harmful pollution and lower your electricity bills, if you have the money to spend upfront.

    For the average family of four, living in a single family home, that means an investment of around $30,000.

    Like any investment, there are returns that can be gained over time. In this case they include tax rebates in addition to future savings on utility bills.

    But before you find an installer and start making plans for the money you’ll save by going solar, you may want to consider how long it will take for this investment to pay off.

    Tax Incentives Are a Start

    To support the use of solar and other renewable sources of power, the IRS offers an energy tax credit in 2009 for 30% of the cost of qualified alternative energy equipment. And depending on where you live, you may be able to get state income tax credits, a sales tax exemption on your purchase and a property tax exemption.

    Take New York state, for example. Assuming a $32,000 initial cost, a 30% federal rebate, a maximum state rebate of $5,000 and a $12,000 rebate through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the overall cost is just $5,400, notes Scott Rakowski, New York State regional manager at Alteris Renewable.

    To find out what kind of incentives your state offers for installing solar cells in your home, visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency at

    Recouping Upfront Costs: By the Numbers

    If you think $30,000, or even $5,400, is a high price to pay, consider that the use of solar cells now costs less than 1% of what it did in the 1970s, according to the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy division of the U.S. Department of Energy.

    Still, it could take more than six years for you to recoup the cost of the average home system, according to Broadpoint.AmTech, a technology research firm.

    In its calculations, the firm assumes an average cost of $28,000 to equip a home with solar panels and an estimated tax rebate of $10,000. The firm also assumes you’re paying 17 cents per kilowatt hour for conventional electricity, which you’ll still need to pay for from time to time. At these numbers, if you receive six full hours of sunshine a day, it would take about six and a half years for your investment to pay off, the firm estimates. If you change the price of electricity to 11 cents per kilowatt hour, the average according to the federal government’s Energy Information Administration, it’ll take almost 10 years based on Broadpoint’s equation.

    Of course, that's just the start: If you do have that kind of cash on hand, using solar panels could actually make potential future electricity price increases less of a concern.

    Electricity Savings Can Vary

    How much you actually save in electricity also depends on your location, how energy efficient your home is and what other changes you make to improve your home's energy efficiency.

    Solar power works best in an energy efficient building, the Department of Energy says, so adding insulation, energy efficient lighting, appliances and windows goes far to reduce your home’s electricity use before you install your system.

    Net Measuring a Local Benefit

    Some utility companies use a measurement system called net metering, which could add to your savings.

    With net metering, when your photovoltaic system generates more power than you need, the excess energy you create goes back to the grid and makes your meter run backward, in effect paying you for the energy you contribute.

    For example, in Hawaii and New York, where retail electric rates are high, this could be especially beneficial, the Department of Energy says. And utility companies also benefit. The solar energy you’d provide would likely come during periods of peak demand for electricity, during the day.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    NO. simply put that would be fullish. solar energy is expensive. the solar panels can break and solar energy will not run the world. renewable energies are a joke because simple put every one of them has major problems.

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  • 1 decade ago

    George Bush does

  • 1 decade ago

    It is worth it, though my house doesn't have it, I knew one of m neighbours had

    The only downside is that they can be very expensive and will take a long time to pay back

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes if the sun isn't out i can't get in or out of my damn house i hate solar doors!!

  • 1 decade ago

    its tricky,

    if you dont already have one its a moot point.

    they are so expensive that it would take 50 years for it to start paying for itself and by then you'll need to replace the entire system anyways.

    however if you are rich enough to afford it then you are rich enough to not need it

  • 1 decade ago

    yes;;i do

    it is wundefull

    i get all mein electricity from solar resources

    no more fuses to blow

    install?? NEIN


  • 1 decade ago

    No I can't afford it these days

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