The Louisiana Solar Energy Society is an
educational organization formed to promote the
use of solar energy and to share information
on the subject between its members and the

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Going Solar!
by Jeff Shaw

Now is the time to get started powering your home with solar power. It's happening all over the country and you might not even know it (unless you're plugged in to the network of people who are!).

Do you have a solar powered calculator on your desk or have you seen solar powered garden lights advertised at Home Depot?  Maybe you've noticed all the solar panels popping up along the Interstate highways.  There is a reason.  There have been major improvements in technology since the '70s.  Panels are more powerful and less expensive than ever before.  They now are practical for powering your home.  Yes, your home!

Don't think you have to buy your system all at once.  It will cost you as much as a new car.  You can go solar... a room at a time.  All you need is a panel, an inverter, and batteries, and you're in business.  It's simple.  The panel charges the batteries during the day and the inverter runs your room off the batteries at night.  Soon you will feel what it's like to have independence from the power company.  You can have independence from power outages and brown-outs.  And your electric bill will be a little smaller while you are reducing the kilowatt usage for your family.  It's a "green" thing to do for the environment.

I will warn you.  Independence is addictive.  You will want to add one room after another room to your little solar power system.  When the neighborhood loses power and you have a room with lights, fan and TV, you will appreciate that independence even more.  Your system will grow as you are financially able to expand it.  Compare it to buying clothes for your family.  You normally wouldn't go to the store and buy the family wardrobe in one trip.  It can be done by buying the basics and expanding as money permits, just like solar.

There are families that do purchase their system all at once.  It might make sense in their situation when power would be too expensive to run to a remote home.  It may be a commitment to life "off the power grid" for personal reasons.  There is a great magazine that illustrates homes off the grid called Home Power Magazine.

I want to encourage people to start going solar... a room at a time, and to start now.  Join the Louisiana Solar Energy Society and join forces with others that want to do the same thing but just don't know where to start.

Join today and get started "going solar"!