Is Saving Money The Only Reason To Go Solar?

When we talk about solar power term return on investment always is mentioned. Return on investment means that can earn your invested money back within a calculated time frame. How long it takes to earn back your money depends on several factors. These factors are efficiency of the solar equipment, the amount of sunshine, your location and your budget. Let there be no misunderstanding that with solar power you can certainly earn back your invested money. What I would like to mention here is that there is also another way to look at why you should invest.

First let's make it clear that you are investing in solar power. It is not just an investment, it is a wise investment. It is a wise investment for several reasons. The first reason is that is can earn your money back. That has been mentioned before. The second reason is that you can save money on your utility bill. These savings can really ad up and some people even earn money. The savings depend on where you live and therefore the amount of sunshine you get and the installation you use. If you use a pv-system and you get a lot of sunshine the solar electricity you produce is brought in the overall electrical system. So if you produce more than you use you can make money (earning money also depends on the rules of the utility company). The next reason is that you are making this world a better place by reducing the production of pollution. Although the reduction from your system may by be small you are making a contribution and everybody needs to applaud for that.

Let's get back to the first reason that is the return on investment. We will talk about solar power from another point of view. When you decide to use solar power it can be a big investment. If you would buy a total system you are looking at $15,000-$25,000 and that is a lot of money. But when you look at all the products you buy to use for your home or invest in, how many of them save you money or even make you money? When you buy a car you need that car for transportation. The decision for choosing your car depends on your budget and emotions, what you like or dislike. When you're driving your car have you ever thought about how much money you can save with this purchase? Not much I can tell you that. Buying a car is not a good investment, when you first drive your new bought car you are already loosing money. The car loses its value every day not to mention the additional cost like petrol, maintenance and car insurance. From that point of view a car is a bad investment because you will loose money instantly and constantly. From another point of view the car gives you freedom and perhaps status, but that comes with a price tag. Let take a look at a television set, you probably have more than one in your home. The television gives you entertainment, news and valuable information that you need. This device uses a lot of electricity and even in standby mode it uses a lot. The industry creates new features on television set each year. If you buy one today tomorrow you already have an 'old' set and you'll never get the same price for an older model. So it can be said that this device will also not give you a return on investment. This list can go on and on.

The only wise investment in this context is your home. If you buy a home today your investment will increase over the years. Of course there are reasons that can be negative for your home value, but in general you will gain money. When you invest in a solar power this can also be a valuable feature for your home. When you sell the house the unique selling point can be the use of solar power. For potential buyers the money saving option with solar power can be big advantage. They will not have to invest in a solar power system themselves and all the hard research work is already done for them. If you own your home and will not sell the savings on utility are yours now and forever.

What I am saying in this article is that investing in solar power should not only be for the return on investment but also for other reasons as well as mentioned above. One topic that has not been mentioned here is that depending on where you live you can get tax credits and cash rebates and other incentives when you decide to invest in solar power. That is an additional reason to invest in solar power. The rules for rebates and incentives changes really fast and sometimes you have to move fast if you want apply. If you want to invest in a solar system don't forget the rebates and incentives. It will make your return on investment even better and the savings will put a smile on your face. Even if you don't get the rebates, tax credits or other incentives going solar is a wise decision.

About the Author:
Bryan Wong is the owner of the solar information website> - A great website that shares quality Info, News and TIPS on solar energy.

Solar and Wind Power Compared

With the TV news constantly reporting about melting ice caps and rising sea levels in the Seychelles, it makes many of us wonder what we can do to do "our bit" for the environment. One way is to become as energy self-sufficient as possible. Solar panels and wind turbines are just two option available to you. Although energy is used in the manufacture of these products, overall they cause very little in the way of pollution. Once they are installed they'll keep producing energy indefinitely. Also because the energy comes from the sun and wind, you are not dependant on oil from politically unstable countries like Iraq and Nigeria.

Solar Energy - The energy from the sun'S rays are converted into energy when they hit the photovoltaic (PV) module. The PV responds to this by generating an electrical current which is carried into your home via wires and circuit breakers.

Wind Energy - This type of energy production is very different from solar however there are similarities to how they work. The propeller is spun round by the force of the wind. The propeller is attached to a shaft which is surrounded by a magnet wrapped by a coil of wire. The magnet either turns near the wire or the wire turns causing the force upon electrons. This forces the electrons along the wire which is how the electrical current is produced.

Sounds like the perfect solution to our energy requirements doesn't it? Sun and wind cost nothing and will never run out. However it does cost a lot of money and there are some limitations to how they can be used.

Costs - Some people may argue that it doesn't matter what these methods cost; the environment is more important than money. However unless you are a millionaire, cost are very important. The cost of production, transportation and installation all add up. Unfortunately at the moment the cost just doesn't stack up compared to oil and coal.

Efficiency - Solar panels require energy from the sun so if they are installed on the equator, you'll be able to achieve 1,00 watts per square meter of solar panel. Unfortunately if you live a considerable distance from the equator and experience many dull days, you'll only get about 125-375 W/m2. Efficiency also needs to be factored in; you only get 10-15% efficiency depending on how it's produced.

Despite the above, solar panels covering your roof can still generate enough power for your home. As long as you are careful about how you use electricity and don't waste it by leaving electrical goods on all day when they aren't being used.

Problems with Wind Power - Engineers have a tendency to think about wind farms from an engineering perspective. They don't seem to think about how a wind farm will affect the local area - both visually and in terms of wildlife. Many of the windiest places are home to a huge variety of bird species. You can imagine the consequences if a bird were to fly into a turbine. It could quickly wipe out a whole flock.

Then if there is a drop in wind levels, the amount of energy produced is greatly hampered. The turbines also need to be linked up with a storage system and the energy produced is not as good as we would like.

In saying that, these types of energy production has to be a major part of our future energy production. We simply cannot keep going the way we are. Eventually oil is going to become so scarce that prices will be sky high and pollution levels will even worse than they are now. Technology is constantly advancing and efficiency levels are increasing and they are becoming more affordable. It many take many years however before they replace oil and coal.

The Future of Solar Homes

Thirty years ago in a number of countries around the world, a push began to install solar energy panels on private houses. Many experts argues that solar power, including solar energy incorporated into residential property, was to be the proverbial wave of the future. In reality, the early movement towards solar energy slowed down during the latter part of the decade and into the 1980s. A major concern associated with solar homes centered on the fact that many consumers discovered that the installation and utilization of solar power systems into their homes was not proving particularly cost effective.

Since the advent of the 21st century, there has been a significantly profound renewed interest in solar energy generally and in solar homes specifically. The "rebirth" of the trend towards the construction of more solar homes and towards the retrofitting of existing residential properties with solar systems has occurred for two primary and essential reasons.

First, an increasing segment of the media has become concerned with the impact that carbon based energy sources are having on the environment, on the planet. As a consequence, there are an ever growing number of people who are making a concerted effort to make their living spaces far more environmentally friendly. From recycling to the use of alternative energy resources such as solar power, more men and women all of the time are becoming committed to establishing and maintaining homes that are more environmentally friendly.

Second, the costs associated with petroleum, coal and natural gas as primary sources of power have increased dramatically over the course of the past several years. The net result of this tremendous cost increases has been to make alternative energy resources - including solar power - far, far more cost effective. Therefore, many people are now turning (or returning, as the case may be) to solar homes because these types of residences have become cost effective in the current marketplace.

While some people are hoping (and likely against hope) that the costs associated with petroleum, coal and natural gas will drop sooner rather than later, most industry experts and financial analysis predict that this likely will not be the case. Therefore, research and development is becoming more intense when it does come to alternative energy resources such as solar homes. Moreover, consumer demand for alternative energy resources, including residential property that relies on solar power, is increasing markedly. These are companion long-term trends that are expected to continue into the future.

With this in mind and understood, many financial experts and analysts are suggesting with increasing regularity that making investments in such alternative energy resources such as solar homes is a wise course to take. These analysts maintain that the days are long gone when an investment in solar home technology was considered speculative at best. Rather, investments in such alternative energy resources such as solar homes is considered to be a sound course which will allow for the realization of significant profits in both the short and the long term.

About the Author:

R. Douglas Allen is managing partner of Blue Lion Capital Management, a private equity company specializing in clean technology and alternative energy. You can learn more about Blue Lion Capital Management and Mr. Allen by visiting this site:
For Media Inquiries email Mr. Allen at: rdouglasallen at

Is It Time For Solar Energy to Get Hot?

Is It Time For Solar Energy To Get Hot? By Tim Phelan

Solar energy has been around for quite a while and most people don't think about it much except for the ones who are already into renewable sources of energy. Environmentalists have always loved the idea of solar energy but what has kept it from going more mainstream, being more widely used and looked upon as something someone wants to spend money to install on their property? There have been improvements in the technology of solar energy, but has there been enough? Isn't the war on terror and the desire to be independent of foreign energy sources enough to persuade people to use solar energy? At what point will solar energy become the great and never ending source of energy many of envisioned many years ago?

Well, I, for one, think that the time has just about come for solar energy to really take off because of one reason: it will be economically the right and smart thing to do.

Last year I was driving to Las Vegas from San Jose and when I was just about three quarters of the way to my destination I passed a sign that said something about a "solar farm." I glanced over and saw row upon row of solar panels sitting in the middle of the dessert. This is about the only farm that could survive in the dessert I thought to myself. Then I thought " Wow. Why can't I do that?" In a smaller fashion of course because of my limited resources. But I thought why not rent some land and buy some of these panels and start my own little farm? It made sense and actually it still makes sense to me.

I went home later and looked into the solar energy industry. I wanted to see if this was possible now and I thought if these people put all those panels out in the dessert and sold the energy to others why can't a small businessman?

Well, what I found out is that it isn't quite possible to do just yet. Why? Because the cost of the panels, property, labor etc.. wasn't low enough to make a profit for what you can sell the energy for. The solar farm was more than likely subsidized by the government. So I looked into the possibility of using them on homes. This thought has been around for decades and you do see the panels on more homes than you used to so I was wondering if this was possible now. I found out that it just takes too long for the average consumer to get their investment back to consider putting solar panels on their homes.

The average time for a homeowner to get the money back on their investment is anywhere from 12 years to 20 years. For this industry to take off that figure I believe will have to go down to around 5 to 7. Not that far really. It could actually go below that.

Three things have to happen for the solar energy promise to become a reality and for homeowners and entrepreneurs to decide in large numbers to use solar panels to create electricity:

1. The price of the panels will have to decrease. 2. The panels will have to improve and produce more energy. 3. The cost of energy will have to increase.

Actually just one of these factors can happen to a great degree and the other two stay constant and the point will be reached where the solar energy industry will explode. But more than likely, all three will come closer together and at some point people will decide to start buying the panels in record numbers and we will see this way of creating energy from a clean and renewable source be common place.

Here is why I think the time is very near for this explosion to happen.

1. There is a bill in the state legislature in California now that will spend on rebates for solar energy. The governor wants to show that he is in the front of this movement and wants to be aggressive. Some don't like the way the bill is written, but there is a good chance it will pass. Click here for the article

2. The panels are becoming more and more efficient at producing more energy.

3. The price may go down dramatically if contracts with China to produce the panels are put into place. Normally I don't like our jobs going oversees to people who only get fractions of what the US worker makes but in this instance it will also create many jobs here to install the panels, sell them, warehouse them etc... Plus this is something the country needs I feel. Clean, renewable energy that makes us less reliable on foreign oil and gases.

Also, some companies are producing these new generation flexible solar energy panels that come in sheets and can be rolled up and then out onto surfaces. These may bring the cost way down and make the instalation much more easy and cost efficiant. Here is an article about this new product: Click Here

At what point will these three variables merge?

I predict in the next two to three years this industry will take off like so many of us were hoping it would many years ago.

If you want to know how to install a solar electric panel system to your house here is a inexpensive e-book that shows you how. Click Here People can act now, and many already are by buying and installing these solar panels. With the war on terror looking like it could last decades many look upon this investment as not only a clean green solution and a smart investment on increasing the value of their home, but as almost a patriotic gesture in a way to free us from the dependence on middle eastern oil and natural gas. Here is a link to a terrific site where you can get these panels at wholesale prices. This site has all sorts of renewable energy sources at great prices.
About the Author:
Tim Phelan is a full time internet marketer who has been self emloyed for the last 12 years. Real estate, the environment, art, world culture, politics are some of his other interests. Please visit this site: click here Email address Click Here

Tax Credit for Going Solar

As we sit in the middle of winter, most people can’t believe how high their utility bills are. Going with solar energy can lower your bills and you get a hefty tax credit

Solar Tax Credit

Solar energy is a clean, renewable energy source. The production of solar energy on residential and commercial structures creates no pollutants and is starting to make serious financial sense. In 35 states, the concept of net metering is now an established fact. Net metering simply means you can sell energy from solar panel systems back to utilities, thus eliminating or seriously reducing utility bills. As oil and natural gas costs skyrocket, the Federal Government is doing even more to promote the use of solar energy.

In 2005, Congress enacted the Energy Policy Act. As part of the act, a tax credit was established for any person purchasing and installing residential solar energy systems for electric and water heating purposes. If you purchase and install solar systems for either of these purposes, you can take a 30 percent tax credit. If you install systems for both of these purposes you can double the tax credit. To avoid tax abuse, each tax credit has a cap of $2,000.

Importantly, tax credits are far more valuable than tax deductions. Tax deductions are taken from your gross income prior to figuring the amount of tax owed. Tax credits are a dollar for dollar reduction of the actual amount of tax you owe. For instance, if you prepare your tax returns and find you owe $5,000 to the IRS, a tax credit would be deducted from this $5,000 figure. In short, a tax credit gives you a lot more bang for your buck.

To claim the solar tax credit, there are a few restrictions and requirements. First, you can’t claim the tax credit if you use the solar system to heat a hot tub or pool. Second, the system must be certified by a solar rating certification corporation to establish that you, in fact, installed a working system. Third, the system must be activated between January 1, 2005 and the end of 2007. Finally, you cannot claim the credit if the government gave you a grant or financing to purchase the system, to wit, no double dipping.

When solar energy is discussed as a potential alternative energy source, most supporters point to the environmental benefits. Ultimately, the benefits to ones bank account will really make the difference and the solar tax credit is a solid step in that direction.

About The Author

Rick Chapo is with – a directory of solar energy and solar power companies. Visit to read more solar electricity articles.

Solar Home Improvements without Panels

by: Rick Chapo
You’ve grown tired of paying monstrous electric bills and have decided to go solar. Solar panels, however, aren’t exactly your taste. Don’t worry, you can go solar without them.

Solar panels are used to convert sunlight into electricity, which can be used to light and heat a home. They are not, however, the only method for accomplishing these goals with the sun. A simple experiment you can try in your driveway will show you why.

Park your car in a sunny spot on your driveway. Get in, mark the time, close the vents and roll up the windows. It starts getting pretty warm pretty quick, eh? You’ve just experience a concept known as direct gain energy. The power of the sun is more than sufficient to create heating and lighting if it is manipulated to hit your home in the right way.

Direct gain is a concept that has existed for thousands of years. Before electricity was in abundant supply, ancient societies planned entire structures around the concept. You can learn from their experience.

The first rule of direct gain is to focus on the south facing side of your home. In the Northern Hemisphere, the south side of any structure will receive the most sunlight during the year. If the sun is not striking the south side of your home, you’re going to need to move some trees and what not. Failing to do so will kill any direct gain heating options you have available to you. The sun must have a clear path to the south side of your structure or you can stop reading this article.

Once gardening issues are resolved, you need to take a close look at the surface areas. Much like a car, it is important that the sun has a method for penetrating the exterior of the home. The primary issue concerns windows. Are there any and, if so, how big are they?

The easiest method to generate solar heat in your home is by placing large windows on the south side of the home. Home Depot, here we come. To truly maximize the effect, you should also have two additional components.

The first is a fan system that will help circulate air out into the rest of the home. The temperature differences from room to room will eventually equalize, but a few ceiling fans can help.

The second issue to consider is your flooring. Windows are great and all, but what happens when the sun goes down? No more sunlight and no more heat. To overcome this problem, you can make improvements to the flooring below the windows. Yank up the carpet and put in some material that soaks up the sunlight. Certain ceramic and masonry products will hold significant amounts of heat. As the sun beats down on them, they slowly heat up during the day. Once the sun sets, they start giving off heat which allows you to maximize your passive solar system.

While this strategy will not replace your traditional heating costs, it can act as a supplemental system to take care of heating issues during the day and early evening. Break out your hammer and you can cut a chunk out of your utility bill!

About The AuthorRick Chapo is with – a directory of solar energy and solar power companies. Visit to read more solar electricity articles.

I have just heard a very stupid new political stupidity of the Bush administration:

When faced with a dramatic increase in the amount of proposed solar power plants, the federal government has placed a moratorium on new solar projects on public land until it studies their environmental impact (?!), which is expected to take about two years.

The Bureau of Land Management says "an extensive environmental study is needed to determine how large solar plants might affect millions of acres it oversees in six Western states — Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah".

This decision will definately freeze new solar proposals. That has caused widespread concern in the alternative-energy industry, as fledgling solar companies must wait to see if they can realize their hopes of harnessing power from tons of sun-coocked public land, just as the demand for viable alternative energy is accelerating.

That terrible news, exemplify the way the US government lagging far behind the rest of the western world in advancing new alternative energy projects. This illogical two-year moratorium underscores how environmental progress under this administration has not been just a story of benign neglect but rather significant and widespread destructi

The strange request to study the "environmental impact" of solar panels is a complete stupid argument. No one in the administration seems to be concerned about "the impact of construction and transmission lines on native vegetation and wildlife" when it comes to the enormous border fence spanning the sunniest parts of the country...

As a whole, we must change this attitude, before the increase in fossil fuels uses, will left now vegetation or wildlife to be concerned about.