1. In the past, those environmentally-minded individuals who wanted to utilize solar energy at home faced a
    large investment in a system that must be installed and maintained. While installation and maintenance costs
    generally remain the same, the cost of such systems has decreased in recent years. In addition, smaller
    solar panels are readily available for everyday use in the home. All of this has created a buyer’s market for
    people who are interested in introducing solar energy to their home.

    As solar cell technology has advanced over the past ten years, the price per watt of solar panels has decreased. This technology is continually changing, making solar cell technology more accessible to homeowners as well as more affordable for everyone. One of the most recent advances that has great promise is in thin-film solar cells. Integrating this technology into a home’s roofing could provide a useful solution for those seeking renewable energy for their homes while still maintaining the aesthetics of the house. These drops in price are also due to increased production of solar panels of all sizes. Growing demand for solar panels has prompted more companies to begin their production; more supply also helps to lower prices for potential purchasers.

    Increasingly, manufacturers are seeing the potential for solar power in a wide array of products. For those who
    for whatever reason are not able to install an entire solar system, there are smaller ways to use renewable energy. Homeowners who want to decrease their energy costs may find a solar attic fan an easy way to install a small solar device. These fans are self contained and powered by solar energy. They circulate attic air, thus
    increasing the efficiency of the home’s heating and cooling system. In addition, many in sunny areas will wish to
    install a solar water heating system, which would greatly decrease the need for fossil fuels, whether electric or gas. Israel is leading in their use of solar water heating systems; 90% of Israel homes have solar water heaters.
    On an even smaller scale, lighting, such as holiday and walkway lights, can be replaced with solar versions. These can be easily purchased at most stores and are efficient in their use of solar power. The holiday lighting can also be used year round as night lights. They light the room enough to allow easy maneuvering without destroying night vision. Popularity of these products has increased in the past few years. As more products are converted to solar power, this will make them easier for homeowners to purchase and use.

    People interested in green living will find their entry into renewable energy easier than before. With the
    continued improvements in solar technology, solar panels are more affordable and easier to find. Whether it is the purchase of an entire solar system or simply walkway lights, environmentally-minded individuals will be able to add renewable energy to their homes without a large investment in time or money.

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