Which "solution" will be the most powerful for you? Check the calculators.
If you own your house, and the south side of your (not-too-old) roof gets plenty of sun, there used to be no reason to waste all that "free" energy landing on the top of your home every day.
Caution: The key ingredient in crystalline solar modules (see photo) is polysilicon, which is often produced using forced labor in Chinese Communist concentration camps. This tragic situation has grown worse in recent years.
The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act is intended to prevent such products from reaching the USA, and to help competitor companies in the "free-world". This effort looks like it'll be successful, thanks to funds provided by the Inflation Reduction Act - if it can get the support of consumers!
As of 2023, you should be able to purchase panels free of the concentration camp polysilicon, although they'll cost more. Please demand the ethically made product from the solar contractors you talk to.
A credit union may have a better loan than a bank or contractor. Search: credit unions near me
When shopping, compare the warranties of the panels and inverters. Micro inverters are best if any of the panels are occasionally in shade. Monocrystalline panels are preferable, but cost more.
SolarReviews suggests LG and Panasonic as two top brands for solar panels. Ethical Consumer's scorecard gives LG a significantly better score than Panasonic. LG panels are assembled in the democratic countries of the USA and South Korea.
How many panels to put up will depend on your budget, rooftop space, and sunlight access. Our costs came to $4,000 for 5 panels (a small project) several years ago, and we got the cheaper, less efficient, polycrystalline panels. For "an average-size house in the U.S. [prices] range from" $11,000 to $15k.
Without rooftop solar, you can still get renewable electricity - through the grid - by signing up for a CCA program!
It often makes sense to get a battery storage system installed at the same time as the rooftop solar system.
When there's an electrical blackout, you will not be able to use the electricity from your roof, UNLESS
- you have an SPS system
- you have proper battery storage and
- you can (temporarily) disconnect from your utility grid
See the batteries page for more information on this blackout/back-up issue and other electrical storage questions!