Making Solar Power Work For Your Home In The D.C. Area

May 2, 2012 3:00 AM

(credit: Thinkstock)

solar vdp Making Solar Power Work For Your Home In The D.C. Area

(credit: Thinkstock)

As an innovative city, Washington, D.C. has the necessary resources to make any home energy efficient. Say goodbye to that overpriced power bill and let the sun power your house. Take full advantage of the earth’s endless energy by installing solar technology. A solar-powered home not only helps the environment, it also has the ability to prevent serious health problems because there is no air pollution created.

There are many ways to take full advantage of solar energy. Even when the sun goes down or during D.C.’s rainy season, solar energy can be stored for long periods of time. It is also easily converted to electricity. Use solar power to cook, light your home, power small appliances or heat water, including the swimming pool. Solar power is a renewable source that requires little maintenance. Once a solar gadget is installed, there are no additional charges. After a short time, there is a 100 percent return on investment and the device pays for itself.

Systems, particularly residential, are becoming less expensive as demand has increased over the last three decades. When considering solar power installation, there are two basic systems: passive and active. The passive system is simple and cheap, while the active system is more complex and expensive.

Passive Design
Basic passive design features include large south-facing windows, ceiling fans in every room, a reflective roof surface, metal or light colored shingles and exterior windows and doors with an exceptional thermal index. Most of the costs related to this small application of solar principles in design are absorbed quickly in construction costs.

Active Design
Active design systems include all or most passive design features. In addition, active systems require solar panels for electric power production, thermal panels for hot water production and small wind turbines for electrical power. All of this power production is stored in large batteries for use as needed. These active systems start at a couple thousand dollars.

Solar Panels
Complete systems aside, the most common residential solar devices are solar panels. Typical solar panels can last up to 20 years. Solar water heating systems are also an economical choice. Alternatives to panels and heaters are skylights and large windows that let in heat.

Help decrease our community’s carbon footprint by reducing greenhouse gas and carbon emissions. Here are a few D.C. area businesses to help get you started:

Green Brilliance
46090 Lake Center Plaza, Suite 109
Sterling, VA  20165
(703) 657-0090

Green Brilliance manufactures and installs high-quality solar modules at an affordable price. The headquarters is in Sterling, Virginia, and Green Brilliance will give you a free estimate.

Solar Solutions
4700 14th St. NW
Washington, DC  20011
(202) 448-5199

Solar Solutions is the leading solar installer in the Washington D.C. metro area. In addition to giving you all the information you need about a solar setup, they’ll also help you to discover incentives that can cover installation fees.

Washington D.C. Solar
3839 Benning Rd. NW, Suite 302
Washington, DC  20019
(202) 255-4467

The Washington D.C. Solar team pride themselves on being renewable energy experts. The experts provide consultation, estimates, installation, repairs, maintenance and monitoring.

Related: Green Remodeling Resources Help Homeowners, Contractors
Related: Dominion Power Wants Wind Power In The Commonwealth

For more great tricks, tips and advice about your home, visit CBSWashingtonDC/YourHome.

Kelly Johnston is a freelance writer living in D.C. She is a soon-to-be University of Alabama graduate who hopes to have a successful career in fashion journalism. Her major is Apparel and Textiles with a Concentration in Fashion Retail and Merchandising and her minor is Journalism. Her work can be found at

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