Solar Powered Homes are Hot
I recently had a conversation with some clients of ours who had just installed Solar Panels on their house. It is a 1920’s era house in the West Hollywood vicinity of Los Angeles with no air conditioning. After much research, they decided now was an opportune time to install Solar Panels along with air ducts. They went ahead and did it and have been thrilled with the results. They told me that as far as benefits, Obama is paying for a good chunk of the cost and in Southern California we get such good sun, they figure they should be pushing power back to the grid most days in spring through fall. As far as drawbacks, LADWP had yet to inspect the system because they were all backed up and slow, so they had yet to officially hook up to the grid. By that time, they already had the panels for two months and felt it was quite a loss to be wasting all that power. That glitch aside, there are multiple benefits to installing solar panels to your home:
- Solar earns tax credits. Solar homes qualify for a federal tax credit of up to 30 percent of the solar installation. Consult your tax professional or the IRS for details.
- The technology is proven. Tens of thousands of California homeowners are already enjoying the benefits of solar. Solar saves the environment.
- Solar power reduces global warming by significantly cutting air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
- And finally, it is effortless. Solar roof panels are virtually maintenance-free and long term system warranties protect against defective workmanship and breakdowns.
Below are some fun facts I recently read on Solar Power: Fun facts on solar power include things for example the fact that, in one hour, enough sunlight reaches the earth’s surface to meet the entire world’s energy needs for a full year. Imagine! That information comes from the American Solar Energy Society.
- Around 1921, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded for experiments with solar power and photovoltaic. It was awarded to Albert Einstein.
- When silicon is taken from just one ton of sand, and used in photovoltaic residential solar panels, that silicon can produce as much electricity as 500,000 tons of burning coal.
- In the U.S., more than 10,000 homes get their energy entirely from solar power.
- Nearly 200 years ago, a British astronomer named John Herschel cooked food with solar power during a journey to Africa.
- California opened its first large solar power plant in 1982.
- Solar power can cut water bills by more than 50 percent each year in the house where a solar model replaces the electric water heater.
- The buying price of photovoltaic (PV) solar power systems has dropped 200 percent during the last 30 years. Owners now pay between 10 and 40 cents per kilowatt-hour.
- A study by the U.S. United States DOE (USDOE) showed that solar power conditions were close to perfect (99 percent) in San Francisco on June 14th, 2000. On that day, 100,000 customers in that area lost power. Solar power could have provided all they needed.
- Another USDOE study showed that the roofs of California’s city and county buildings, if covered with solar PV panels, could generate 200 megawatts of clean electricity! Cover California’s school roofs with residential solar panels and you add 1,500 megawatts more to the state’s peak power supply.
- In California, covering every available commercial and industrial roof with solar panel products could generate as much electricity needed in that state during the daytime.
- Germany is making the best use of solar power, even though its climate includes many cloudy days.
- It takes only about 8 minutes for solar energy to travel from the sun to the earth.