On Portland local access show (Portland on the Move) we highlighted something made very attractive by NOT being on the Move: solar panels. As the solar installer explained at our Earth Day Solar Open House, solar panels require very little maintenance once installed because they have no moving parts.
Another fun fact I learned from our Open House: during a good day, solar panels generate up to twice as much electricity as you will use that day. This excess electricity is put back onto the grid and you are credited for your surplus thanks to net metering. You are able to redeem those credits on days when there is not as much sunshine dollar for dollar.
However, you do not want to install a system that will generate way more electricity than your demands. At the end of the fiscal year, if you have produced more electricity than you have used annually, you will only be paid a fraction of the value for your excess electricity. So you want to make sure your home is energy efficient so you minimize your energy demands, THEN invest in renewable energy.
Also, the burden of high upfront cost associated with solar has been overcome by the ability to lease solar panels with no down payment. Instead of paying your electricity bill, you pay the solar lease on your panels, which should be lower than if you were to stay with your current utility company. You don’t pay the upfront cost and you have the satisfaction of supporting clean generation of electricity. Now THAT’s a way to celebrate Earth Day!