When people think of green living, generally they think of things like using solar energy. It makes sense, and we know this solar energy can run many things. Consider if you well the tiny calculators that all have solar panels on them now, they work off of UV light, from a light bulb, they don't even need the actual Sun, you can use them at midnight, all you need is a light source.

Of course, people also like the idea of getting free energy and saving on electricity bill by putting up solar panels. The whole wave of distributed energy, smart grids, and selling back your extra energy to the grid to lower your electricity bill sounds great. Many people would love to unplug from the grid all together and create their own electricity from solar.

Many ancient cultures worshiped the sun, and there are still some religions today – the Aztecs for instance. Wouldn't they be proud of us, if they knew we were using solar generated energy for electricity? I bet if you brought back solar panels, back in time, and a couple of gadgets which ran on electricity, they would think you were the Sun God. They knew that the sun has energy and power, that's why they worshiped it.

So let's get back to putting solar panels on top of the roof of your home to power up your computers, refrigerator, lights, large screen flat panel TV, charge your golf cart, and maybe even charge of your electric car in the future. It is amazing how many solar power companies that sell equipment and solar panels for homes and small businesses which have sprung up over the years. Many of them have made tremendous amount of dollars because of the tax credits that are given to citizens who install solar panels.

Still, before you consider putting up solar panels in your home you need to know what the return on investment will be, how much money will you save on your electricity bill, and how soon will the money you saved pay off the cost you spent on your solar panels. Then you need to subtract out the tax savings from the tax credits and look at that number.

This should be a minor calculation, but you must also consider which how much of your roof is pointing towards the east and west, because the sun comes up in the east and sets in the west. Further, you must consider that if you have trees in the way of your roof, this provides shading in the summer time and lowers the temperature of your house, but it will block your solar panels. The number of square feet facing East or West will help you determine how much energy you can generate.

You need to do real calculations and not necessarily take a solar equipment panel company's estimates as your actual potential future return on investment. I've seen many of these estimates, and at the bottom they always say; you agree that your actual figures may vary. But if you agree to this, then you are agreeing that their numbers are hogwash. If they will not guarantee your return on investment up front, you'd be a silly consumer to participate. Please consider all this.

Source by Lance Winslow