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Last Post 3/22/2013 1:19 PM by  Kelly Larson
solar energy
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3/21/2013 6:39 AM

    carrie m

    when will the price of solar energy for homes come down to more affordable costs, ins't it really high right now for the average home? thanks...

    Tags: solar energy

    Pat Reiff

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    3/21/2013 9:59 AM
    Solar energy is continuing to become more affordable as the price of solar cells decreases. It is most efficient if you don't store your own electricity but just "sell it back" to your power company by running your meter backwards! If you want to be fully independent, you'd need a lot of batteries to store for overnight or cloudy days. The laws and tax advantages of solar systems vary by your state and locality. Already many new buildings are built with solar cells on the roof. For Americans, it's best if you have a roof that slopes down toward the south.

    Kelly Larson

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    3/22/2013 1:19 PM

    Hi Carrie,

    The average home is not built or operated with efficiency in mind. This makes powering them expensive, even from "conventional" sources. With a solar powered home, we need to pay close attention to the appliances and make sure they are efficient. When we do this, we find that solar is not that expensive. Still, unless you are lucky and live in a place where there are incentives for solar, the upfront cost keeps a lot of homeowners from making the switch.

    I agree that the best way to go solar is to stay on the grid and feed back clean energy. Then the grid is used like a "lossless battery", which is far more efficient than going "off-grid". Plus when solar energy is fed back to the grid, it helps offset energy that would otherwise be produced with a dirtier source. It also helps in sunny places, (where air conditioning loads are great), by producing electricity at a time when the utility struggles to keep up with demand - thus decreasing the likelyhood of summertime brownouts.



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