file000917541408The rising cost of electricity is encouraging consumer to conserve as much as possible. From unplugging appliances and turning off lights to opening windows to let in the sun and investing in solar power, there are many ways to save energy. What is a solar powered home and why are so many homeowners deciding to make the switch?

Owning Power

Much like renting a home, paying for electricity from a utility company is “renting” energy. Everyone needs this essential energy to provide power to appliances, electronics and even portable medical devices. When homeowners invest in solar power, they own their own electricity. A solar powered home typically has solar panels installed on the roof. If the roof is over ten years old, it is wise to have a roofer inspect it and make any necessary repairs before the solar panels are installed. The solar panels convert the energy from the sun into energy that can be used by the homeowners.

Going Off The Grid or Staying On The Grid

Some people are seeking to get off the grid and become totally independent. They are using solar power, wind power and growing their own vegetables. Many of these people also raise their own chickens, cows and other animals for eggs, milk and meat. Others hunt for their food or stick to a diet of homegrown grains, fruit and vegetables. There are others who stay on the grid, especially in areas that might not get abundant sun throughout all the months of the year. This gives them the ability to buy electricity as needed. Additionally, some people stay on the grid in states that allow them to sell the electricity back to the utility company. The decision is based on a variety of factors.

A Variety of Enticing Incentives

While the installation of solar panels can be a significant investment, it also costs money to buy other major assets, such as car or home. Plus, there are a variety of enticing incentives to encourage people to switch to solar power and reduce greenhouse emissions. Local and federal government incentive can help offset the initial investment, as well as certain tax incentives. Over time, those using solar power will save money on utility bills, making it worth the investment. Most systems last up to 20 years or longer and require little or no maintenance.