How can I get my house converted to work on solar energy and is it expensive?

I saw an episode in extreme makeover home edition were they built a house for a family and they used solar energy to power the house I like that not just because is good for the envirorment but because I think is better for us too, If we take care of the Earth we live in I think is going to last more.

12 thoughts on “How can I get my house converted to work on solar energy and is it expensive?”

  1. To make and store from solar power the amount of power you now use would cost an enormous amount. First, if you really want to go solar you need to get all the newest energy saving appliances and lights. Then insulate your house well and put many large double pane windows on the south side of your house. Next, get a ground sourced heat pump- they’re much more efficient than resistance electric heat. Also get a solar water heater for your hot water needs. Almost there- get a bunch of solar panels to cover your needs, while staying on the grid. Finally, buy the batteries you’ll need to replace every 5-10 years if you want to get completely off the grid. Good luck!

  2. Another option is a company called Citizenre. They come to your house, install the panels, and maintain them all at no cost to you. You pay monthly for the amount of solar energy you consume — just like you would pay monthly for traditional electric.

    The upside is that Citizenre sets a fixed monthly rate. When electric costs increase, your monthly charge remains the same. Essentially you are "renting" the panels from Citizenre as opposed to buying them yourself & hassling with the install.

    Their website has a widget for showing you how much you’ll save. (I tried to post a direct link, but I can’t finaggle a direct URL. it’s on the bottom left corner of the home page.) It looks like the first month of so your electric bill will be about the same (but no added cost), but as energy costs rise, you stil pay that same rate, which actually SAVES you money for using the panels.

    I’m still investigating this option myself, so I don’t have a personal testimonial, but it sounds like a win-win!

    Hope that helps!

  3. Solar is a great resource but the technology is still where the break even point a long time. In this part of the country you also have the problem of wet, rainy, cloudy winters meaning it is unlikely you can produce enough energy with solar to meet your needs in winter.

    I feel that here in TN it’s best to use a little of everything. I have some solar panels (with no battery back-up) and use a lot of passive solar heating. I also heat with my wood stove, using trees that are blown down on my property every year. And I buy green power from TVA so the power I must buy is from renewable sources.

  4. Stars and Stripes

    Hi Pal,
    We have a solar panel on our roof that leaks and has left water mineral deposits going down from the roof and ruining the discoloration of the stucco. We also had other problems with our solar panels that are not under warranty.
    To my knowledge there are few companies that back up their product. So ask lots of Q’s as to what is covered. And ask for recommendations from one of their oldest customers. If they can not refer you to an old happy client – something is up!
    Best wishes to you.

  5. Converting a house to solar power is easy but can be expensive. Here are some websites where they can come and help you with your conversion. GOOD LUCK

  6. An average size house is about $10-15K to go 100% solar. You sure thats what you wanna do?

  7. What a great question I too want to know about this I did try to find out about solar panels and found a guy on the Internet who was selling used ones for $75. each but I don’t know how to figure out how many I would need so I will be watching for the answers to this one, Thanks for asking.

  8. Unless you are willing to live with out AC and other modern conviences such as TV, hair dryers, etc or you have lots of acreage to put the solar panels, you won’t be able to make this happen.

    It takes a large amount of solar panels to produce enough electricty for a normal house with central air and heat. Even if you COVERED your roof with solar panels it won’t be enough to power. Now, you can reduce the amount of electricty that you ‘take off the grid’ by installing solar panels but again, you will be only getting a small amount of juice to use and you will need to convert a lot of your lights and appliances to match the lower votages.

    The best way to take advantage of the solar energy is to heat your hot water with it. There are many companies that sell complete systems or you can do it yourself if you are mechancially inclined and have some electrical and plumbing knowledge.

    While Solar Energy is great untapped resource, the technology to utilize it effetively just hasn’t been discovered yet.

    Hope this helps!

  9. I Think SOLAR is great!

    Initially it cost alot, but you have to call or seach on the web for SOLAR ENERGY..sales representatives….Get as much information as you can.
    Remember you will not have that high bill every month, so I believe in the long run its much cheaper.

  10. Hurray for caring about Mother Earth. The cool thing about converting to solar energy is that you can do it a little at a time if you want to. One of the best sources in checking out all the options is the magazine Mother Earth News. This magazine has been around for as long as I can remember and have hundreds if not thousands of articles about solar energy projects. A good library will probably have back issues and I imagine you can go on line and get some article straight from the source if you are so inclined. As with any project it is the proper installation that is key in making the project worthwhile. So you either do it yourself, right, or hire people who have many years of experience in doing these types of installations. You might also be interested to know that the government gives very nice tax right offs for folks who convert to solar energy and some states can be very generous indeed. So check out all your different sources both on line and at the library to get the best information you can. Enjoy the process it is really fascinating overall.

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