Saturday, July 26, 2008

Solar Energy for the Home

Like most homeowners, I'm facing a winter of record-high heating bills, and not liking what I see. And, like many of you, I've been wondering about some of the "renewable energy" options that are supposed to wean my house off fossil fuels, help the environment -- and lower the bills.

In my July 19th About the House column for The Wall Street Journal, I explore various solar options for the home using the sun's free heat. These include solutions for domestic hot water as well as electricity. (Click the image above to see a larger diagram of a solar water system.)

On CNBC's "The Call," the host Trish Regan and I explore the topic further and you can see video of solar panels being installed. For those wondering whether we'll still care about renewable energy if oil prices fall, check out the discussion going on at WSJ's Developments blog.

To dig deeper... -- Lists federal and state tax credits and rebates for renewable energy options -- Solar Energy Industries Association -- Department of Energy sponsored site that lists certified solar installers by state -- North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners lists certified installers -- Lists certified solar-equipment manufacturers -- Primer on solar technologies from Department of Energy