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Solar Energy and Going Green – Any Limitations?

Have you jumped on the “going green” bandwagon?  Ever wondered if taking this step will involve some sacrifices and/or cost on your part?

This timely topic is posed to the experts in the third of eLocal’s Blog Off Series.

Blog-Off #3:  Does Going Green Limit Homeowners?

Here’s my take on this topic:

Going green does provide certain constraints when considering all your eco-friendly options when in the design or remodelling process. I’ll focus my comments on solar electricity. The most obvious consideration is to have a clear site line to, and a large surface area exposed to the path of the sun as it moves across the sky.

In my experience, cost has always been the major stumbling block when considering green options. I haven’t met anyone that wouldn’t consider tempering, or even better, eliminating energy cost from the family budget. I believe most people are just watching and waiting until the balance tips somewhere close to where it makes solar power a viable option without payback times extending into the 20 or 30 year range.

For the homeowner that is on a smaller budget, there are many things you can do that don’t cost extra, but still makes eco-sense. Considerations as to the orientation of a new home design such as lots of windows and a south facing home in cold climates to capture the natural light and radiant heat from the sun to help reduce heating costs, and just the opposite for homes in hot climates where cooling is the prime focus.

New technology in solar electricity allows getting a photo-voltaic system incorporated in the original installation, and starting with only the amount of modules that you can afford at the time, but easily expandable as the budget allows.

Spending money to save money and to help the environment is, was, and will always be an argument that is hard to lose in my mind.


This topic generated a lot of interesting discussion among the experts.  Have a read, and let me know your thoughts on this.  Is going green a legitimate trend, or just a fad?  Read eLocal’s blog – click here to view it.

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