Solar energy powered homes have been around for decades, and though they’re fairly popular amongst people with money, others would have them if the cost wasn’t still so prohibitive. Solar costs can range anywhere from $35,000 up to $250,000, and there’s really no savings that can be reached that will recover the costs of installing solar energy panels as yet. It’s coming as technology changes, and in some states, people who reach a certain percentage of solar power will get rebates, but overall, it’s a loss; at least for the people who originally install it.
It’s not only solar panels; actually, it’s not even mainly solar panels. The problem is the batteries, which still haven’t been made efficient enough nor powerful enough to store all the energy that the panels can produce. At least not on the inexpensive end of things.
Of course, if there is a state that’s perfect for taking advantage of solar energy, it’s California, especially in the Los Angeles area, where it doesn’t rain all that often, nor is it often all that cloudy. Solar panels actually aren’t bad looking when they’re sitting on top of a house, and some designers have figured out ways to make the solar panels look like stylish editions to some houses.
Something else that’s happening in the Los Angeles area is the city itself is looking to move towards more solar energy usage itself, as it’s faced rolling brown-outs over the past few years because of excessive consumption; it takes a lot more energy to cool down a city than to heat one up. The thought is that they might be able to reach at least 10% by 2020; ambitious, but proof of just how far solar technology still has to go.
Still, celebrities have lead the way. Though people think of Begley Jr now, one of the first celebrities to lead the way towards solar energy was Dennis Weaver, who first built his house out of old tires and other recycled materials, then added both solar panels and solar batteries to the mix. Thinking about this, the construction of his house should have been minimal, but by adding solar, the house ended up costing more than $500,000 back in the late 80’s, in Colorado no less.
But his was an example of what other stars could do in the Los Angeles area. Some celebrities who have gone this route includes Jackson Browne, Larry Hagman, Julia Roberts, and Edward Norton. Norton even goes further by paying for solar energy for a low income family every time a celebrity installs solar panels in their home; that’s a nice way to give back to the community.