Before jumping to solar panels, our goal is to first reduce our energy consumption. We replaced all our old appliances, boiler and air conditioners with energy star rated ones or energy efficient units, all done before the wonderful rebates were available, but which dropped our energy use by 20%. We are also replacing all our light bulbs with compact fluorescent low wattage bulbs from energy star which use 2/3 less energy than normal incandescent light bulbs and can last about 5 years. This year we installed a Power-Save capacitor device on our home electrical system, which is reported to reduce energy consumption up to 25%, but we haven’t seen any savings yet.
Although we individually don’t have wind or solar, we joined PECO Wind for all our electricity needs which costs an additional $60 on average a month but you can join for as little as $2.54. This amount makes our energy use at least more carbon neutral except for heating, which is our next focus. We plan to install a wood pellet burning stove insert into our fireplace to reduce our reliance on propane based heat. What else could we be doing? Ideas?