Thursday, July 22, 2021

How Can I Use Solar Power in My House?

In the United States, solar photovoltaic (making electricity from solar panels on your roof) are quite expensive. They take a very long time, even with government incentives, to pay for themselves. Perhaps 20 years, perhaps 60 years, it depends on where you live and what you pay for electricity.

Solar thermal, which heats water for showers, laundry, and so forth, pays for itself in a much shorter period of time. Perhaps 4 years, perhaps 10 years. And, government incentives are also available for solar thermal.

For both of these types of solar “power” you will need to put a solar collector on your roof. If you want to generate electricity, you will also need an inverter (which is basically a big electrical box). If you want to heat water, you’ll need to plumb in a hot water storage tank.

I’d start by contacting someone local who does this sort of thing. I’d find a local solar installer by going to the NABCEP web site. NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners) offers formal “certification” for solar installers, so by choosing a vendor from their list you’ll be sure that you are dealing with someone who has at least a bit of experience with solar. A solar installer should be able to help you size and price a system, research incentives available to you, and give you an idea on how long it might take to get all the necessary equipment.

Good luck!