- Last Updated: August 6, 2010
In today’s society of soaring energy prices that are putting a damper on any consumer’s wallet, it is a good thing to know that as consumers we have choices when it comes to dealing with this enormous energy problem. Just because oil and gas prices are reaching astronomical heights, we do not have to stand for it if we can help it.
Just like there are practical solutions to beat the high prices at the gas station, there are also practical solutions for high electrical prices when it comes to running our homes.
What are consumers doing when they cannot afford to drive their automobiles to work? The practical solutions would be: carpool, public transportation, walking, biking, going hybrid or simply working from home if that can be a money and gas saving remedy.
Ahhh, problem solved for the gas tank issue!
But still, how do consumers solve the issue of high energy or high electrical bills when it comes to running their homes? Today, it is as if the multi-billion dollar energy suppliers are controlling our home lives - regulating how much we are going to spend to fuel our homes in the winter and how we are going to cool it off in the summer. Even when we can’t afford the cost, we manage to pay for it through “budget plans” allotted to consumers when utility prices start squeezing us to death like a Python snake.
Budget plans, or moving in with neighbors, family or friends are not the only solutions to dealing with sky rocketing utility or electrical bills - where you split everything right down the middle to have a roof over your head. Is that the American dream or the way of the future?
The solution for this scenario is going solar. That’s right, solar power to the rescue! Just like Superman coming to save the day; the sun’s powerful energy is the “other” resource for consumers. Just like there was a bailout for Wall Street, the sun’s everlasting solar energy is the bailout plan for consumers and homeowners when it comes to economizing. This resource option is a dream come true; after all, the sun does more than just shine. As a child, we learned the benefits of the sun and the power it has to energize the earth - this wasn’t a fairytale or a breath of fiction just to make one feel good. There is truth in facts and for today, the facts bring solutions to the energy and electric crisis when it comes to powering our homes with efficient and ample energy - energy that has always been around ever since God said, “Let There Be Light.”
They used to say that everything has a price tag attached to it; however, let me remind you once more, energy from the sun is a totally free resource. The only thing that consumers would have to pay for is the actual device in which energy is transported and converted in so that we can use that energy and benefit from it.
The device comes in form of solar power, wind power, and geometrical power; with devices such as solar panels, wind mills or turbines and satellites - all of which are renewable energy resources that are generated from the sun’s planet.
With this option, the consumer has the choice of an on-grid or off-grid supply. This simply means deciding whether your home is going to remain connected to your power company’s utility grid or power lines from electrical poles on the street in which you live.
This is the “grid link” option for consumers, an option that works either way if you are considering going solar. You will not be left in the dark because you chose one over the other, and you will still see quite a difference in your electrical bill and savings if you choose to be grid tied, or connected to your power company’s source of energy.
However, once gone off-grid, you will find that your home’s energy is completely free and without monthly anticipated bills. Right now you should be asking yourself, “Which is it going to be, on-grid or off-grid?” Let’s look at the differences:
Off-grid: Off-grid means that your home is independent from power lines and can be powered through solar panels, wind generators or gas generators and hydro-power - you can even get fancy and combine all of them together, having multiple systems running your home.
Off-grid allows consumers to only use what they produce by the above mentioned power sources. Any power off-grid source runs normal AC appliances like refrigerators.
When running your home on wind power, it is a fact that you must live in a windy area for this system to be practical and efficient, otherwise it will not work.
Though gas generators are resourceful, they are somewhat noisy when they are in use. They will also give you a headache because starting them has been proven to be a bit on the difficult side. In addition, gas generators need more maintenance and you will need to transport fuel to them - this is the only solar resource that has its drawbacks or pit falls.
You can run your off-grid power system in RVs and boats, for those who love to travel. You have at your disposal: off-grid solar (which is the sun’s energy), off-grid DC (which is run by a generator) and off-grid wind (which is run by a wind turbine). With all of these available resources, you can have a battery back up system for extra support.
On-grid: Most residential consumers choose to be plugged into their local electrical company’s supply source, which is what on-grid is all about.
Your home’s roof top must be in direct sunlight to benefit from the sun’s energy output. If your home is hidden in a dense population of shady trees, a solar energy system may not be the ideal solution.
For an on-grid system, energy is stored during the day - when it produces more than what is used - the excess is then returned to the power company’s grid, and in return, your power company will give you credit to your account.
Another on-grid fact is that during the night, your household electrical needs are being met by your power company since the sun doesn’t shine at night or during cloudy days. If your system doesn’t produce enough energy, your power company will step in and make up the difference.
Residential solar power systems do not give hot water, nor do they add heat to your home, because it is an electrical system which gives light and makes electrical appliances and apparatuses work - it has nothing to do with gas operations.