Solar power is now within the reach of average homeowners, like Craig Garrison-Mogren. Improvements in the technology have made solar systems more practical and efficient.
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There's also more of a design choice on the market, with everything from slate solar to no-fringe panels. And government incentives are making them more affordable. Craig has decided to install photovoltaic solar panels on his 1960’s home in Jessup, Maryland.
The deciding factor: the newer PV panels preserve up to 95 percent of the energy collected, a significant increase over the older models. While the system will cost about the same as a new economy car, Craig estimates that his two-kilowatt system will cover about half of his monthly electric bill. He will also receive tax credits for making the switch.
A frigid outdoor shower gets the heat with a solar water-heating system.