By in Technology

How to Save Money with Solar Power

Switching to solar can initially be a large investment, but it can pay off in many ways. First of all, you can usually get some rebates and even tax breaks for installing solar panels and/or other equipment on your house, because you're reducing the strain on the country's infrastructure. You will save money on power, and if your power demand is smaller than your production, you can even sell power back to the grid.

Selling power back to the grid is known as "reverse metering", but the only way to do it is if the power company offers that option (it's pretty cool to see the little wheel on the electric meter spinning the other way!) Call them. If they do offer it, they will likely be able to recommend a company that can install solar panels for you. Of course, before you hire anyone to do that, check their references and experience. A lot of inexperienced contractors are jumping on the bandwagon since the cost of solar power systems has become more popular, and you want to be sure you hire someone who really understands the technology and how to install it properly.

If the power company doesn't offer this option, or if you just can't afford to put panels on the roof just yet, you can start smaller --order some solar-powered items like solar cookers, water heaters, and small appliances with solar panels (like cell-phone and laptop chargers, etc) to reduce your demand on the grid. Saving money AND saving the planet is a double plus. And finally, there is yet one more benefit. When the power goes out in your neighborhood, you will still be rocking and rolling with your own source of free energy. Good luck!

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wolfgirl569 wrote on February 3, 2015, 2:59 PM

I wish I could afford that or a wind mill for power. At this time I cant

nbaquero wrote on February 3, 2015, 3:27 PM

AliCanary As a concept Solar Energy is very valid, the problem is the cost of the solar panels. It is too steep still, even if the incentives are factored in. I think the alternative method of starting small is the most beneficial at the moment, but hopefully with time the prices will come down and the Solar and other alternative energy sources will become more affordable.

WordChazer wrote on February 3, 2015, 5:03 PM

One of these days we will live in a house with solar and wind power, not over-priced grid power. Hopefully...

AliCanary wrote on February 3, 2015, 5:15 PM

Actually, the good news is that the price of solar power systems has dropped considerably in just the past few years, and it is likely to fall further. It's going to become within our reach eventually, I think. In the mean time, I would definitely recommend supporting companies who make solar products by buying whatever small item you can.

Squidwhisperer wrote on February 3, 2015, 10:14 PM

I'm not all super-pro-government but this is one place where it would make sense for the government to step in. Encourage building contractors with tax breaks to have built-in solar/wind power options in new homes. I'd love to see it as a requirement but that's probably waving my socialist flag too vigorously...

nbaquero wrote on February 4, 2015, 7:41 AM

AliCanary I agree. Eventually it will be within reach. I know in China the cost of developing and producing Solar Cells is coming down, and as per your other post, it looks like companies like Tesla are also making good progress.

Last Edited: February 4, 2015, 10:52 AM

AliCanary wrote on February 18, 2015, 4:46 PM

I'm really hoping to get enough money to install a solar array on my roof. I'd love to be able to help lessen the strain on the local grid by selling power back, since we don't use very much.

AliCanary wrote on February 18, 2015, 4:47 PM

I hope everyone will! Wouldn't it be nice to not have to worry about outages, and especially to not have to see those nasty power lines blighting the landscape!

AliCanary wrote on February 18, 2015, 4:47 PM

Completely agree. There are tax incentives, but way more could be done.