Many people think of ‘going solar’ as requiring a large investment, specialty installation, equipment on your roof and calculating the years required for payback.
But there is a way to get started on a lot smaller budget as soon as possible.
If you think about all the things you use every day that require electricity, and then rank these things by criticality for your use. For instance, on a scale of 1 (low criticality) to 5 (high), charging your Roomba or your hand-vac might rank as a 1. It doesn’t matter exactly when it gets charged, you probably have days or weeks between usage.
Charging your iPod might be a 2 or 3 depending on how critical those tunes are for your daily workout or your commute.
Running your computer might be a 4 or 5 if your business depends on it.
On a larger scale (requiring significantly more energy), running your washer and dryer might be a 2, if you are willing and able to wait until there is enough battery charge or bright sunshine.
So how about a solar panel that is hooked up to a few special outlets or a utility room where these less critical devices get recharged. Maybe in the future we will have ‘recharging’ rooms or ‘recharging’ outlets that are only expected to charge when the sun is shining.
In the mean time, I looked up a couple of portable and smaller scale solar chargers that can be used for devices around the house. I am working with the Solio so I will provide a review on that one in an upcoming blog.
Get your kids involved by making it a game to see how many things they can charge without using the household electricity — make sure the Nintendo DS is on the list!