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Get Powered Up! Certified Energy Manager Jeff Yago answers your alternative energy questions

Wondering about a great new energy-saving device
you found on the Internet? Then CLICK HERE!

Sorry. Jeff no longer answers questions online.
This will remain as a searchable
resource for all BHM website visitors.


Book on solar power

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

Hi Jeff,

I’m a long-time fan of BHM and your articles.

Please advise, is there one single book out there that will best explain to a middle-aged single gal how best to go solar powered at home? I don’t have the large sums to spend on big systems, but a smaller project, perhaps, or a system in steps?

I know you get tax credits but I don’t have the cash flow upfront to spend, let alone to wait for the rebate or credit. What can people with no mechanical skills and modest means do to get the benefits of solar power other than making ‘sun tea’?


PJ in Hillsboro, OR


I am going to help you feel better about yourself and what you are wanting to do. I would bet over 75% of the initial phone calls and email I receive from potential solar clients are women. Yes, most are married, but they seem to be driving this effort in their household and are very aware of what is involved. I would also point-out that our two most recent totally off-grid solar projects were for a single middle-aged women and a 84 year old widow, both living by themself. Both were very capable and very much into solar. You will also find that a good solar dealer can design a system with a reduced solar array to keep down initial costs, but have the wiring there to add more solar modules later in several stages which avoids having to finance a larger up-front system cost.

Please see the Jan/Feb, 2009 issue of Backwoods Home magazine as it will include a book review on a solar text I am recommending, plus an article describing the new solar tax credits includes several financing methods.

Good Luck!

Jeff Yago



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