Your Green Life: "Solar Powered Home"

By KBJR News 1

August 4, 2010 Updated Aug 4, 2010 at 3:16 PM CDT

Here in Duluth and in the Northland the sun is one of the most abundant resources available, you may have used it to power your calculator or your yard lights, but in this weeks "Your Green Life" Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson looks at a Northland resident who uses the sun to help power his entire home.

Solar panels for home use have dropped significantly in cost and have become more efficient over the past decade. They are now efficient enough where they can even provide a surplus of energy.

"This particular system doesn't isolate me from the grid, it actually lets me contribute to the rest of the grid", said John Bergstrom.

Overall John claims to achieve a savings of 25% off his energy bills per year, but in the winter time how efficient are the panels?

"In fact ambient temperature doesn't affect them. They actually perform a bit better in cool temperatures", said Bergstrom.

Also in the winter, these solar panels will produce the highest amounts of energy. In addition, they are almost maintenance free with the requirement of brushing off the snow a few times a year. So what exactly do you need to get started with one of these systems?

"Today's systems involve the inverter, the solar panels that you see behind me and the meter", said Leo Wilenius.

With today's technology, a user of these solar panels will be able to see how much energy they are using minute by minute, and even see how much they are saving in CO2 output. While all of this equipment can seem expensive, it's actually more easily affordable with a $2000 rebate from Lake Country Power and also from the State of Minnesota. The process of installing a system is quite fast as well.

"From the time I decided we get them and ordered them, to the time they were up and operating was probably two months", says Bergstrom.

Little maintenance and big savings are the ideas behind solar panels to help cut your energy costs. In St. Louis County, For your Green Life, I'm Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson, The Northland's Newscenter.

For more information on the adding solar panels on your home you can contact Lake Country Power to see if there is a solution for your home at:
(800) 421-9959