Do I need to install Solar Panels?
Many people mistakenly believe that going green is expensive as they feel it's necessary to install solar panels and replace all their appliances.
In order to determine if this is even a good idea for you. Consider several things
- How long do you plan to stay in the home
- How much will it cost to install adequate solar panels to meet your power needs
- What is your average electric bill and
- How long will that take to pay for itself.
- Can you afford it?
That last line is key, although I am a certified green living coach, I pride myself on being the balanced living coach. You can help the planet by simply doing what you can to use less power. Getting yourself up to your eyeballs in debt to install solar panels, will serve only to increase your stress levels. When you factor in the interest, you may not ever see a cash savings. Before you bet on a tax credit, speak to a tax professional.
Remember you are not going to make money on electricity. Power companies purchase excess generated power at wholesale and sell it to you at retail, therefore, most people are unlikely to make a profit. You don't want to spend too much money on the purchase and installation of the panels expecting to profit by generating electricity. The goal is just enough to power your home. Bear in mind these can be delicate, and make sure the installer is experienced, you need to avoid trees both for shade and for the risk of falling branches, and be careful to install where snow isn't likely to build up on them.
When I did this test, I simply decided to drain my hot-tub in the winter months, Although I had not specifically tested it in the summer, I am happy to go outside in a bathing suit in the summer and fall months, however in below zero weather, the 30 seconds to put the cover back on is painful, and it is only used rarely, and keeping the water above freezing to save the pipes is simply too expensive.
I replaced the Dishwasher because it wasn't working very well. My new dishwasher is an energy star dishwasher. It's hard to tell if I am saving money, because of a huge rate increase and also the fact that I made so many changes at once. I can tell you i run it more often because it works SO WELL, that I end up washing everything in it.
Energy star is not always what you think though. You do need to investigate how things are tested. Consumer reports wrote an excellent article on his a few years ago, which explains some of the glitches in the testing of Energy star appliances. Over all if you have to replace something, Energy Star is a great idea. In the interest of Balanced Living, replace something that needs replacing for other reasons too. Filling up the landfills in the interest of saving power, is not very green, and again, Pay cash.
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