How Harnessing Solar Power Can Slash Energy Bills

Are you fed up with excessive electric bills? Well, look no further than solar-energy systems.

Did you know that you could cut your electrical costs and show off your environmental savvy by installing solar panels? Last year, 792 megawatts of residential solar systems were installed in the U.S.—enough to power the equivalent of more than 130,000 homes.

A case study: Cheryl and Robert Boland of Apple Valley, Calif., cut their monthly electrical bill from approximately $300 to about $1.75 by installing solar panels on the roof of their home.

“When I compare the cost of installing the system with what we will save on our bills over the next two decades, solar gives us an incredible return on investment,” says Cheryl. “For us, it was all about the money.”

Think you might want to give solar panels a try? Consider these four key points:

Quality products. Solar panels are a long-term investment in your home; you want them to last. A quality system should last for at least 25 years. The Bolands purchased their solar panels from longtime American manufacturer SolarWorld.

Experienced installation. A qualified, experienced installer not only designs your solar panels, but can also save you money by guiding you through the process of securing tax rebates and financing options.

Intelligent design. Your residential solar system must be designed to produce the right amount of power for your home and lifestyle. A good installer will review your previous year’s energy bills and analyze the orientation and shading of your roof to determine the best design. Check your installer’s credentials for signs of trustworthy certification, for instance, as a manufacturer’s authorized installer.

Guaranteed performance. Be sure to choose solar panels that have gone through a factory-tested process called “plus sorting,” which ensures the panels have met or exceeded their nameplate power rating. Panels that don’t undergo this process are as much as 5 percent less efficient than advertised. And don’t forget the warranties.

For more information on energy-saving solar solutions for your home, visit