Go­ing So­lar

Better Nutrition - - TREND WATCH -

Last year, the so­lar in­dus­try grew faster than ever, with the num­ber of so­lar cells in the United States nearly dou­bling. And within the next decade, so­lar power will cost less than coal in many parts of the world. Should you put so­lar pan­els on your roof? What if you don’t own your home?

So­lar roof pan­els are only one way to har­ness the sun. Some util­i­ties off er power from so­lar and other re­new­able en­ergy sources, al­though it may cost more. Check your util­ity bill for green op­tions that can pro­vide some or all of your elec­tric­ity. But those aren’t your only choices.

Com­mu­nity So­lar Pro­grams

For both home­own­ers and renters, many parts of the U. S. have com­mu­nity so­lar pro­grams, some­times called so­lar farms or gar­dens. So­lar pan­els are in­stalled in large groups on oth­er­wise un­us­able land, and lo­cal res­i­dents can ei­ther rent or buy a num­ber of those pan­els.

How It Works

In the­ory, you get the power gen­er­ated by your pan­els, but it doesn’t usu­ally go di­rectly to your home. Rather, the lo­cal util­ity com­pany buys the power and cred­its you for it on your bill. Pan­els in a com­mu­nity pro­gram cost less than in­stal­la­tion on a home roof, and you don’t have to worry about main­te­nance. Prices vary around the coun­try, de­pend­ing upon state reg­u­la­tions and fi­nan­cial in­cen­tives, and not ev­ery com­mu­nity has a so­lar project. Here are some help­ful re­sources to get a sense of your op­tions:

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