Residential Solar Energy:
How It Works and What It Can Do For You
Residential solar energy comes in two forms, each serving its own purpose. The most common type of energy is solar thermal, which is usually used to heat water, and sometimes to heat the whole home.
The other kind of solar power is photovoltaic, which is used to actually provide electricity to the whole home. Both of these methods have their own unique advantages, providing the environmentally conscious consumer with many options.
Residential solar power has seen amazing advances in technology in recent years. It is no longer just for those too far away from the city to be connected to the grid; it can benefit even those living in apartment complexes and condominiums within the city.
The federal government even provides tax credits to the tenants of apartment complexes and owners of condos that choose residential solar energy providing that they meet certain criteria.
Solar Water Heaters
Often, people who wish to lower their electric bills and their carbon footprint decide to switch to solar energy only to find they do not have the space or resources for a full photovoltaic system.
These people often opt for solar water heaters instead. Solar water heaters use the heat from the sun to warm the water within the house, cutting the electric bills noticeably. Many of these people also find that they are able to heat their entire homes using thermal energy from the sun, increasing the savings substantially.
Solar Photovoltaic Systems
For those lucky enough to have enough room, a full photovoltaic system can often allow them to supplement their electricity, sometimes even turning the meter backwards.
For these people, the electric company often buys the extra power, giving them a small income or a reserve for those times when the solar system is not enough by itself.
Of course, not all people who choose residential solar energy remain connected to the local power grid, but instead store the excess energy for tough times, completely eliminating their bill.
Residential Solar Power Installation
Residential solar power can sometimes be difficult to install, however there are many mechanically inclined people who have been able to install their own systems.
Do-it-yourselfers typically do not have large systems, but instead use their solar energy as a supplementary measure. Those who opt not to go the do-it-yourself route have a variety of professional installers and companies ready to get the system going for them.
Residential solar energy has become more popular as the technology has advanced, allowing more people than ever to install at least a hot water system, if not a full energy producing one. Governmental incentives and a wider variety of options have made the future of residential solar power a bright one.
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