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Extra Savings with the use of Solar Panels

Extra Savings with the use of Solar Panels


    

Extra Savings with the use of Solar Panels

by Jerry Dyess

When you think of solar power and solar panels, what do you think of? Do you think of people living in the "rough," able only to have electric for a few hours a day, just to run a few things?

That can be what it means to have solar power, but it doesn't have to. In fact, today, solar panels are cost effective and relatively inexpensive to install, such that you can supplement your regular "on the grid" energy use with electricity and hot water generated from solar panels. In other words, you can have your cake and eat it too. Offset your own energy consumption and help the planet by installing solar panels to take care of at least some of your electricity and hot water needs, while staying "on the grid" and getting whatever electricity and energy usage you can't generate from solar panels from conventional power sources. You save money over the long haul, and you don't have to give up modern conveniences.

How can you use solar panels to offset your home's electricity and/or hot water needs? There are two basic types of solar panels. The first kind is the solar thermal panel. A solar thermal panel collects heat from the sun and then transfers it directly, to heat your water and/or your home itself. Usually, this works by having the panels collect the sun's heat during the day, and then having water circulate throughout your home into "solar thermal collectors" to provide the hot water and heat you need. This provides passive thermal heat for your home, and can at least offset heating costs in the winter and hot water heating costs as well; depending on usage, it may or may not take care of all of your heating needs in this way.

When you use a photovoltaic panel it uses the sun's power to convert it into electricity. The silicon cells absorb the light as opposed to grabbing the warmth like thermal panels. In the beginning the light that becomes electricity through direct current isn't usable in most homes. In order to accommodate those houses that cannot, the electricity is converted to an alternating current. So when you're using photovoltaic cells there is some power that you actually lose in the process. The good news is it's a small amount that doesn't really make a monumental difference.

One additional benefit to these solar panels is the ability to use both types at the same time. If you ask around most of the people who use these do utilize both options. This way electric power and heating needs can both be justified.

Staying "on the grid" even if you have solar panels - Remember, you don't have to go off grid if you install solar panels. We do recommend staying on grid so you're protected, as well as be able to sell your excess energy. Yes, you can do this and the power company could end up paying for all the energy you won't end up using. See, if by chance you don't have enough power for all your energy needs, this will still give you the opportunity to get everything you need. However, the money you can save by utilizing the second option is unbelievable. Can you imagine the power company giving you money for energy that isn't used? It can definitely be a huge benefit in the long run.

How Much does it Cost? Well, in order to install these solar panels you can't really pinpoint an exact cost. Instead, you have to look at what the experts say, which is somewhere around four thousand dollars. However, the overall could change depending on whether or not solar panels become increasingly popular. Plus you have to look at the fact you can offset the costs thanks to tax and energy credits, as well as other avenues. In the end it's all about savings and being able to say you are helping the planet at the same time. This is one of the best options out there today, and it's better to get started sooner than later.

About the Author:
Author: Jerry Dyess has specialized in Texas Energy for the past 7 years. Get more information on Texas Electric rates.


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