Solar power electricity – is it the ultimate renewable resource that could save you thousands of dollars on your power bills? Or will it burn a mighty hole in your bank balance?
You need to know the answer to that question before you spend $15,000 to $25,000 having solar electric power installed in your home and then have to wait 20-25 years to get your money back through energy savings.
OK, once the panels are up, the electricity generated by solar power IS cheaper than the stuff you buy from your local power company, but even if you achieve energy savings of $1,000 or more a year, the payoff is a mighty distant one.
Even with the greenest of good intentions about saving the planet, going solar is a huge financial decision. Now, I don’t want to rain all over the idea of solar powered electricity because I believe there IS a way of doing it economically. However, consider the following:
1) The further north you live, the less return you’ll get from solar electric power.
2) Solar power delivers more electricity in summer when the sun is highest in the sky – even then it might cover no more than 70-80 per cent of your electricity needs.
3) I’m skeptical of claims solar power in winter can still provide 40-50 per cent of your power needs. In Florida maybe, but in the northwestern U.S. and British Columbia, winters can be notoriously dull and wet with the sun peeking out only occasionally.
4) Summer or winter, solar power produces nothing once the sun has gone down.
I guess my bottom line here folks is that going solar does NOT mean you can call your local power company and tell them to shove their electricity. Believe me, you’ll still need them! Now, let me give you some solid reasons FOR checking out solar electric power systems.
– First, you can achieve some power savings IF you go about it the right way – more on that in a moment.
– Second, solar panels last a long time – up to 30 years if they are installed properly and they require almost zero maintenance.
– Third, a mass domestic shift to solar electric power would reduce the need for power companies to expand generation using “dirty” fuels like coal and nuclear.
– Fourth, there is the “feel good” factor about generating some of your own power and doing your bit for Mother Earth.
So, how do you make solar power affordable? You do it yourself!
No, it’s not as hard as you might think and there are several excellent “how to” kits on the market that explain everything step by step. You can make your own solar power panels for as little as $200 each instead of buying them for $1,000 to $1,500 each. And if you install them yourself, you’ll save big bucks on hiring some company to do it. Again, it’s not hard to do.
If you make and install your own solar panels you’ll wipe thousands of dollars off the cost and enjoy a faster return on your investment.