A Solar Buyer's Guide for the Home and Office: Navigating the Maze of Solar Options, Incentives, and Installers

Chelsea Green Publishing
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Solar power, once a fringe effort limited to DIY enthusiasts, is now fast becoming mainstream. Many home and business owners are curious about solar electric and solar thermal systems, and wonder how to go about getting a clean energy generation system of their own. The vast majority will hire a professional installer to do the job. But what should they be asking of these installers? What system makes the most sense for their home or office: solar electric, solar hot water, solar heating, or some combination of these?

A Solar Buyer's Guide for the Home and Office explains the options so that property owners can make the right choices both for their energy needs and their financial security. Understanding how solar power systems work will enable readers to be informed customers when dealing with professional installers-the book also provides advice on how to select a qualified installer and understand the expanding variety of tax credits and other incentives that are popping up around the country.

The market for solar systems has been growing at an exponential rate and strong tax credits ensure continued growth even in a sluggish economy. Many of those who would like to catch this undeniable wave of the future are held back by widespread confusion. A Solar Buyer's Guide for the Home and Office clears the air, allowing property owners to move forward with confidence to make their homes and offices more comfortable, environmentally sound, and secure against wild swings in energy prices.

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About the author

Stephen and Rebekah Hren live in Durham, North Carolina, where they are both actively involved with renewable energy, natural building, and edible urban gardening.  Rebekah works with Honey Electric Solar, Inc. as a professional designer/installer of photovoltaic systems and domestic solar hot water systems. She is a NABCEP-certified solar photovoltaic installer, licensed electrical contractor, and ISPQ-certified solar instructor for Solar Energy International.  Stephen is a professional restoration carpenter, focusing on antebellum houses. He teaches natural building classes and workshops at the local community college, and in any spare time works with Bountiful Backyards, an edible landscaping cooperative. They are the authors of The Carbon-Free Home.

Stephen and Rebekah Hren live in Durham, North Carolina, where they are both actively involved with renewable energy, natural building, and edible urban gardening.  Rebekah works with Honey Electric Solar, Inc. as a professional designer/installer of photovoltaic systems and domestic solar hot water systems. She is a NABCEP-certified solar photovoltaic installer, licensed electrical contractor, and ISPQ-certified solar instructor for Solar Energy International.  Stephen is a professional restoration carpenter, focusing on antebellum houses. He teaches natural building classes and workshops at the local community college, and in any spare time works with Bountiful Backyards, an edible landscaping cooperative. They are the authors of The Carbon-Free Home.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Chelsea Green Publishing
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Published on
Oct 7, 2010
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Pages
176
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ISBN
9781603583084
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Language
English
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Genres
House & Home / Reference
Reference / Consumer Guides
Technology & Engineering / Power Resources / Alternative & Renewable
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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You probably know that energy used in your home produces more global-warming pollution than your car, but what can you do to reduce your reliance on fossil fuels? Maybe you daydream of starting from scratch, building a new, super-efficient, passive-solar, off-grid house—but in reality you’ve got a roof (and a mortgage) over your head already. How can you turn your existing house into an environmental asset? One that simultaneously saves you money on utilities and insulates you from the possible shocks of Peak Oil?

Read this book—then grab your handsaw, tape measure, and drill, and get started! A life powered by the sun is waiting for you. Meant as a guide for renovating existing homes,The Carbon-Free Home gives you the hands-on knowledge necessary to kick the fossil-fuel habit, with projects small and large listed by skill, time, cost, and energy saved. For every aspect of your life currently powered by fossil fuels,The Carbon-Free Home offers alternatives you can accomplish yourself to get started using renewable and sustainable sources of power.

Having weaned themselves completely from fossil fuels in their conventional 1930s urban house, Rebekah and Stephen Hren provide a map for others to do the same. Their book shows first how to reduce energy consumption, then to retrofit existing homes to obtain all heating, cooling, cooking, refrigeration, hot water, and electricity from renewable sources. The Hrens also provide advice on renewable methods of transportation and home gardening. These practical approaches fit anyone’s budget and can be implemented over time to progressively liberate a home from fossil-fuel dependency.

Now more than ever, the question of economic and environmentally friendly energy sources has become a hot topic in almost every American home. With that in mind, more and more people are turning to alternatives such as solar power as a means of saving money and reducing their imprint on the environment. This nearly carbon neutral method comes with hefty tax rebates from the federal government and in states like California and New Jersey massive rebates from the state. More states are considering similar rebates and with a 3 to 8 year energy savings possible according to a recent report by the New York Times, it is an ideal solution for anyone looking to save money in the long term and help the planet immediately.

This book will guide anyone interested in the process of installing and utilizing solar power for their home in the process of searching for, buying, or building their own solar power system. Learn how solar power and other alternative energy sources can help to save the world regardless of the cost and how you can start surveying your own energy use and efficiency. Learn how you can start making basic adjustments to become more efficient and how solar power can help you before you start any major projects.

Learn what solar power requires, from cost and equipment to maintenance and preparation in certain times of the year. Learn how solar power works and how to start evaluating the potential of it for your building needs. Take the cost of installing solar power and learn how long it will take to make money back on your investment, including information on federal and state rebates that might affect you.

Multiple individuals who have successfully installed solar power in their homes have been interviewed and their experiences included in this guide to help you learn what others go through and how they came out. Learn how the installation process works and how it can be done in your landscape, in small projects, for heating and purifying water, swimming pool heating, and other smaller projects. Learn about how individuals construct solar power systems on their own to save money and what is involved in a full PV system.

Finally, learn how the market for green homes has made it possible to extract a huge return on investment from building or remodeling a home with solar power. For anyone who has ever considered solar power as a viable means to save money and the environment, this guide will help you get started right away.br>
Atlantic Publishing is a small, independent publishing company based in Ocala, Florida. Founded over twenty years ago in the company presidentâe(tm)s garage, Atlantic Publishing has grown to become a renowned resource for non-fiction books. Today, over 450 titles are in print covering subjects such as small business, healthy living, management, finance, careers, and real estate. Atlantic Publishing prides itself on producing award winning, high-quality manuals that give readers up-to-date, pertinent information, real-world examples, and case studies with expert advice. Every book has resources, contact information, and web sites of the products or companies discussed.

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