Solar-PowerI got a quote for solar power on my home a couple weeks ago and was impressed that solar is much more feasible than I had ever imagined, even in my inefficient older home. The best part is, after I make the needed improvements to my home, it will be even more feasible. I’m excited and can’t wait to go solar on my home.

Obviously working for a solar lighting company has taught me a lot about what requirements are needed for solar power to be feasible, so thinking my 1800 sq ft house with no insulation, old windows that leak and 22 year old HVAC system could ever be powered by solar was a long shot. Well I was surprised at what I found out by finally talking to a home solar power system specialist. It is completely feasible!

Okay, well my home needs some major TLC before I go solar. I need to replace the outside of my home and in doing so I am going to be adding insulation and new Low-E windows energy efficient windows. This will help dearly on my energy usage and noise pollution from outside (I live next to a train track and it can get loud!). I am also going to replace my HVAC system with a SEER 16 or 17 that is actually sized for the house and not a ton or more undersized. These three major upgrades will help in my going solar tremendously.

Without my upgrades I am looking at a 10 kW system to be grid tied. With my upgrades I’m unsure what the size of the system will need to be, but even at 10 kW the system is completely feasible. The best part is the system is completely made here in the US! The only thing I did was go to One Block Off The Grid, fill out their form and they connect you with local solar companies that can come out and give you an estimate. So simple!

The only other issue we faced going solar is my roof, though very large, is an A frame that faces East / West. Installing solar on the roof is just not going to happen. However I have a decent size property and can install the solar in the yard. I was even suggested by a friend to install it higher up so it is more like the solar parking structures so that the yard will still be usable underneath the solar. I can’t wait to see the system installed. Hopefully this will be complete in a year or so and I can let you all know how it goes.

Check out One year with solar energy at home: Mostly sunny! for a great article written by an actual homeowner and their experiences during the first year after install.

Author: Liz Karschner writes for SEPCO – Solar Electric Power Company’s blog and is active in the renewable energy and green movement here in the US and Worldwide.