Can you give me information on solar energy?
I would love to use some solar energy in my home. What can you tell me about how much it costs to begin? Is there some sort of federal tax credit? What all do I need to buy (panels, batteries, etc)? Can a homeowner do the installation or must it be done by a professional? Would also appreciate any websites for retailers of solar energy items. Thank you very much for any information.
- 1 decade agoFavorite Answer
When I was gainfully employed, prior to experiencing the bliss of retirement, I worked for a hardware store that marketed a solar energy system for single family residences.
The cost profile (this stuff is expensive) suggested that, if you planned to live in your home for 19 years post-installation, you would amortize the cost.
There were federal and California state tax credits available at the time, as well as a rebate from Pacific Gas and Electric (primary utility provider in No. Calif.) which produced a net cost near $20K.
You need to determine if your local power company is obligated to buy back surplus power from your solar system first. If they are not legally required to do so, that will make amortization more difficult.
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- i_was_myselfLv 71 decade ago
This is one of those areas where it is possible to do it yourself, but the industry doesn't want you to. Therefore if you don't have knowledge of a combination of electrical and carpentry stuff, you probably are going to have a difficult time pulling it off.
You can spend just about any amount on the topic. Really most people would be looking at the 20 to 40 thousand range to seriously put a dent in your electrical use.
For thousands less you could install electrical switches to your outlets that always have non essentials plugged in. For example if you put every outlet in the kitchen, except the refrigerator, on a switch and then shut the power off, you probably will reduce power usage in the kitchen by 10 to 30 percent depending on how many devices you keep plugged in. The clock on your microwave uses more power than the microwave does in operation. Every power converter is always drawing power, so that even the can opener is always drawing power all day.
So if you put a switch on the outlets in the kitchen and shut it off when you don't use the kitchen, you would save a large chunk of power. The same is true of every other room too. Just be thoughtful when planning out how to do it. There are many things you won't want to shut off.