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Get Solar Energy Without Putting It On Your Own Roof

As appealing as clean energy is, you might be among the millions of people who can’t put solar panels on their own roof or pop a windmill up in their backyard.

Worry not. Here are two ways you can still get access to power that is not generated by coal, oil or other fossil fuels whose emissions pollute the air and cause climate change.

1) Stick with your utility, but switch to a clean energy provider. Solar and wind companies are setting up arrays of photovoltaic cells or fields of windmills, generating power and then shipping the electricity they generateto utility companies via power lines. The utility companies then distribute that power to customers who opt for clean energy through their existing grid. You get billed by your utility, receive uninterrupted service and if there’s a power outage, you contact your utility company, not the wind or solar provider.

It will cost you a little bit more money but it’s a pretty easy way tosupport a greater level of utility company investment in renewable energy technologies. The smallpremium on your electric bill helps cover the incremental cost of the additional renewable energy. As of the end of 2014, nearly 850 utilities across the nation, including investor-owned, municipal utilities and cooperatives, offered a green pricing option, says the U.S. Department of Energy.

You can switch back to primarily fossil fuels at any time without penalty. Usually you can sign up easily online, but as it happens, I signed up with someone who knocked on my door and had all the paperwork ready to go.

To find a clean energy provider in your area, contact your local utility company and find out who they do business with. You can get their number from your monthly bill or simply by searching for your utility by name on the internet.

Several companies compare all of the providers in your area to show the varying rates per kilowatt hour the companies charge. For example, ChooseEnergy.com provides rate comparisons for the following states: California, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C.

You can also check this map developed by the U.S. Department of Energy. Click on your state to find out where green power is offered nearby. You’ll find utility green pricing programs (how much utilities charge to deliver non-fossil fuel power to your home) and a variety of other options for avoiding coal, gas and oil.

2) Join a solar coop or network. The Community Power Network is a great resource for consumers who want to support solar but don’t have the ability to install it on their own homes. You’ll find a variety of models to choose from.

For example, the Farmers Electric Cooperative’s Solar Garden Program in Iowa invites customers to buy part of a “solar garden” located at its main office building in exchange for a reduction in their monthly bill.

In the “Special Purpose Entity Model,” individuals join in a business enterprise to develop a solar project the community shares. In my own state of Maryland, the University Park Community Solar LLC and Greenbelt Community Solar set up limited liability companies that enables Maryland residents to develop solar power generation on buildings in the community.

In nearby Washington, D.C., the Sidwell Friends School (attended by Pres. Obama’s daughters) invited members of the community to purchase “solar bonds” so a solar system could be installed on the school.

There’s even an option for people who live in apartment buildings. Grid Alternatives is a nonprofit that helps people install solar on multi-family buildings by working together to get financing and figure out what photovoltaic system works best for the structure at hand.

Want to get started in your own community? Check out this Guide to Community Shared Solar put together by the U.S. Department of Energy.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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Get Solar Energy Without Putting It On Your Own Roof

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Why Why Solar Panels on your roof? They Slash Home Energy Bills

Power bills are changing into a burden on the average household. Installing solar panels is a great way to save cash by significantly decreasing the cost of energy in the home.

Solar panels absorb sunlight then store the energy in a battery that can be utilised later as a reliable source of power. While installation is a little expensive, it’s an investment that saves householders money long-term due to reduced electricity bills.

In addition, installing solar panels means that the value of the house will increase as this sort of power conservation is highly fascinating.

Not only do solar panels economize but also they also are excellent for the environment.

It is useful to take into consideration the variables that affect the quantity of money saved by solar panels. As an example, sunnier climates will obviously create more energy.

Nevertheless solar electricity is starting to become very efficient and even environments that are generally cloudy will benefit from installing solar panels.

Normally owners might save about $60 each month on their utility bill during the summer and about $30 every month in the darkest months of the year.

The average savings for most houses is $50 every month. This can be increased more when installed to take full advantage of the angle and slope of the roof.

Usually, house owners will see that the solar panels pay for the installation totally inside about three to 5 years relying on the cost of the opening system that they selected to install. It is rewarding for many homeowners to make this investment.

Particularly, solar panels are good for houses with families that use lots of energy. They also are highly desirable in sunny climates because they are most effective there and they also aid in making running air conditioning units a lot less pricey.

Solar panels are also well-liked among people who might sell their houses in the following a decade because they increase the value.

Alison O’Neil writes on a contract basis for EcoSave Insulation L.T.D a company specialising in solar pv panels in Scotland and other energy saving solutions.

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