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Free Solar Panels For Your Home

Colleen Said:

Why pay PG&E or Edison when you can get free energy from the sun....?

We Answered:


I too live in an apartment, am a dreamer and would love to save the whales, the air, environment, etc but the reality is that we (in apartments) can't live off of the grid.....but you can be more efficient, and not consume as much. The solar panels for laptops, lights and oven sound a bit dreamy and a tad unrealistic, but I would love to be proved wrong!

My advice for immediate "green living" would be to first off, contact PG&E, & Edison for an in home energy audit. Usually the utilities will do this for free, and they will tell you what if any changes you should make to your apartment, house, etc. I live in Florida, and ironically enough had Florida Power & Light at my apartment yesterday afternoon for my free audit. I found it quite helpful, as I found out that our hot water heater was set to 180 degrees!! (Now I can assure you that our showers did not feel as though they were that hot, and I still have skin on my body so I don't know about the 180 degrees but that's a lot of money and energy being wasted!) I had the technician adjust the interior thermostat...for obvious reasons.There are also private companies that do Energy Audits, but they charge for their services. A typical price range for their services are from $200-$800. Other easy to do fixes in the apartment are to install a low flow shower head in your shower, make sure that your toilet is a 1.6 gpf, replace the filters in your AC every 3 months, make sure your dampers are open, and that your AC grills are not dirty, install 3M window film on the inside of your windows (or slidding glass balcony doors) and hang curtains or window blinds to reduce solar glare, don't drive your car as much, etc etc. The cost for some of these recommendations , low flow shower head, 3M window film, etc are eligible for the energy efficiency tax credits on your return, so that can be helpful.

Secondly, contact PG&E and Edison to see if they have a renewable energy buying program. A few years ago Florida Power & Light (FPL) had a program where you paid an extra $10 a month and that extra money went towards the purchase and use of renewable energy. (allegedly)

Lastly check with your landlord or property owner as to what if any "green" characteristics there are to the building. Is the roof is white? ( so that it obviously does not absorb as much heat and the building's AC doesn't have to work as hard) Perhaps the pool has a solar heater? the Air Handler is a new energy efficient model? the outdoor flood lights have fluorescent bulbs? the driveway is sealed with a permeable material? (reducing storm water runoff) there are solar panels on the roof? Should the building have some of these components then the property manager/management company/condo board, etc can be eligible for federal tax credits (under the 2005 Energy Act and its enhancements from the ARRA) where that savings conceivably could be passed down to you. Check with a company called ETS (Engineering Tax Services) as they will come to the building, check everything, and then report to the management company as to what efficiency changes can be made. If the roof is capable of supporting solar panels or film and there is enough sunlight then solar might work too. Check with a company called Sun Electronics, as they are a solar system distributing company that has relationships with installers all throughout the country. I know these questions and recommendations may sound a bit Extreme and although there is no silver bullet, a close second is always good.

As I said before I too live in an apartment, hate paying an electrical bill, and most of all love the environment and would love to do what I can to prevent its destruction.

Good Luck

Beatrice Said:

How many will vow to only buy a 100% electric car? ?

We Answered:


one...if you're green enough to buy a car that runs solely on electricity, and live close enough to your job to make a successful roundtrip commute with the limited range of an all electric car, just frickin take your bike! good for you and the environment and i wont have to deal with you clogging up the highway barely getting up to the speed limit.

two...the idea of electric cars is the biggest joke on environmentalists everywhere. kudos if you can charge your car with your own solar cell, but for everyone else, guess where all that energy comes from? FOSSILE FUELS! and with everyone driving an all-electric car, electric companies could wipe their asses with the profits

Violet Said:

paper questions. is it good?

We Answered:

Generally speaking, when writing a formal essay or research paper, you want to avoid phrases like "I think," and "In my opinion." State your facts as facts and leave out anything that isn't a fact. Unless you've been specifically instructed to share your personal opinion about your topic, then you shouldn't express it in a paper.

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