More and more homeowners are considering solar energy for their homes, whether it's to help the environment or their wallet, or some combination of the two. There are many resources out there to help you get started in understanding the basics of solar energy.
Solar energy is something that is close to our hearts because, before we created What Next Now, we devoted most our time to sunmetrix.com, a website to help homeowners figure out if solar energy is right for them. This is a great resource for determining how much solar energy you can produce where you live and whether it makes financial sense in your case. Location makes a big difference, not just because of the varying amounts of solar energy but because the financial viability of solar panels is dependent on the cost of retail electricity at your utility, as well as on the amount and types of solar rebates, tax credits and other incentives where you live.
In general, we do not recommend solar energy as a DIY project (unless of course, you're a qualified electrician!). It is a complicated and potentially dangerous undertaking so we always recommend that homeowners work with a qualified installer (this is also important so that you benefit from any existing financial incentive programs). However, it never hurts to learn more about how solar panels work, so that you are better informed and make the right decision for you. Below, you can find some books that address the topic of solar energy (naturally, most of these are non-fiction, but hey, you never know, from time to time you may find a fiction book about solar pop up in this category). Happy reading!