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As the world’s leading energy consumers, the united states gets their energy from several different sources. Fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas and petroleum produce the most energy consumed in the US. but these resources may not be around forever.

Recently I was approached to write an short article on Solar energy. We hear about renewable energy sources on the news every day. Our government is divided on the issue. ought to we continue to drill for oil in other areas of the country or offshore or ought to we invest much more money into renewable energy sources such as solar? I am sure you have your own opinion on energy consumption.

I did not realize how essential using renewable energy really is until I had a few questions answered by mother and energy expert, Monique Hanis. She is spokesperson for the Solar energy industries association in Washington D.C. Monique lives with her family in their solar-powered home in Arlington, VA. Our teenage children appreciate their hot solar showers because they do sports year-round. We like the savings on our utility bills.

Below are the questions I was honored to ask Monique.

-How can families benefit from solar energy?

“Families benefit from solar by saving money, often starting the first day their system is operational. families that go solar find that they can cut their energy bills dramatically. In many cases, utilities give you credit report for extra electrical power you generate and feed back to the grid. cost effective solar water heating systems save money, too. getting a solar water heating system can save thousands of dollars a year. once their system is installed, the cost of the fuel, sunlight, is totally free so they are protected from fluctuating fossil fuel costs. Going solar is a smart investment for families to save money. numerous families are happy to invest in solar to safeguard the environment, because solar is a clean, abundant and reliable renewable energy source. families that invest in solar typically become much more conscious of their energy consumption and decrease their energy use as well as improve other efficiency measures.”

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-Are solar energy systems for homes affordable?

“Today, solar energy systems for homes are much more economical than ever as prices have come down considerably over the last 5 years and continue to drop as the industry has scaled up – similar to the cell phone and computer sectors. In fact, families across the country in all 50 states are making the smart investment to go solar. My family went solar in 2006 and we’ve received a better return on our investment than my 401(k) fund. much more installer companies offer financing options as well. typically the additional financing cost is much more than offset by the savings on their utility bills.”

“There are numerous ways to go solar, all of which can save customers money. many commonly, when people think of solar, they think of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels on rooftops. These panels convert sunlight to create electrical power that can often offset half or much more of the electrical power needs for a house, depending on the size of the system, location and common home energy use. Homeowners can harness the power of the sun with a solar water heating system that serves as a affordable replacement to conventional electric, natural gas or heating oil water heaters. The growing pipeline of utility-scale solar power plants allows much more Americans to benefit from clean, reliable solar energy generated by their local utility – even if they can’t put it on their own property. You can contact your utility to indicate your support for their investment in solar power and to find out what incentives they offer local customers that want to go solar.
Besides cost, many people don’t realize that the various solar technologies are available now, are proven and reliable. many come with 20+ year guarantees and there are much more qualified installers across the nation than ever. Last year, solar was the fastest growing energy source of new installed capacity in the United States. Solar energy equipment is off-the-shelf, ready-to-install and is manufactured by numerous well-recognized name brand companies.”Related  What is Pectin?

-If so, where can families get an economical solar energy system for their home?

“You can check out the Solar energy industries association (SEIA) site to learn much more about going solar. like any home improvement project, it’s a good idea to get at least three solid proposals from experienced contractors. check references on past projects and ask about credentials, licenses and membership in trade and company groups. SEIA requires members to sign a code of ethics, pledging to deliver high-quality service and fair and truthful rates.”

-Why ought to we invest in a solar energy system?

“You can see for yourself how solar is benefiting Americans across the country by following the Solar Generation road trip (). check out what customers are saying from our road trip to homes, companies and communities across the country.
There are a number of reasons. The first, as I discussed is saving money. Going solar is the best way to safeguard your family from continuously fluctuating fossil fuel prices. ”

“Solar systems are also an investment in your children’s future. Unlike energy from fossil fuels sources like coal and natural gas, solar doesn’t require burning anything to produce energy, keeping harmful pollutants out of our air.”

“In some regions of the country, solar offers a reliable backup system if power lines or other supplies are cut. For my family, the solar water heating system (backed up by our old natural gas water heater) keeps us supplied with a plentiful 160 gallons of hot water year-round.
Solar is also a domestically produced energy source that creates jobs here in the United States. The industry employs nearly 100,000 Americans in good-paying jobs, and that figure is expected to grow 26 percent in 2011. ”

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-Why do you believe that solar energy is essential to mothers and families?

“Like so numerous families, my family has to live on a budget. Installing solar made sense as it was a good investment for my family’s budget. As a mom, I feel better knowing that we invested in a clean energy source that reduces pollution that is harmful to our children and our planet. An added benefit has been that my kids have become interested in solar energy and sustainability in general. In fact, my child is completing his environmental science advanced placement class in high school. It is a great way to learn about issues of sustainability and environmental stewardship, major issues facing this generation for years to come – and ones with growing profession opportunities as well. My husband and feel like we set an example for our kids: instead of purchasing a modest new car in 2006, we instead invested in solar PV and solar water heating. ”

Her answers certainly opened my eyes to the possibilities of solar energy. would you invest in a solar energy system for your home? Do you believe that the united states ought to invest much more in renewable energy research? Please leave your answers in the comments.

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Link to this post:Families and Solar energy : Why it ought to be essential to You


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