Solar

Over the last few years solar energy has become a lot more cost effective, fully assembled panels are selling for under $2 per watt. The average household uses about 1-1.5kw on average, there are several things you can do to reduce this, like compact florescent lights, improving insulation, and installing timed programmable temperature controllers.  Generating your own power is a lot simpler than some people would have you believe. Solar systems require only 2 things to get started, solar panels, and an inverter.

The solar panes produce DC power, the inverter changes it from dc to ac so you can tie it directly into the power grid. A common misconception is that you need a large bank of expensive batteries to have a solar system, these are optional, and are only needed if you are looking for a completely off-grid system.  If you choose the grid tie route, when  you generate excess power your power meter literally turns backwards, and when its dark you draw power from the grid again and the meter goes back the other direction.  If you generate more power than you use, like if you go to Arizona for the winter, the power company will send you a monthly check for the power you generate, and you can combine wind and solar together to generate  all the power you need.

 

In addition to photo-voltaic (generating power) solar water heating is another very viable option, when you consider that your water heater can draw up to 8 KW of power while it heats up the water, letting the sun heat it up for you while you're at work can significantly reduce the amount of electricity your house will need. Solar water heaters are much more cost effective to implement than the Pv panels, and are surprisingly powerful, some produce high flow water at just below the boiling point.  If you're interested we'd love to discuss what kind of application would suit your needs.