Remember to account for any extra influences when you calculate how much you can expect your solar panels to output. There are some intended outputs specified on panels, but that is only accurate if they are placed in an area that is sunny all the time. Any obstruction from trees or from a cloudy day will decrease the output.
To realize even better savings, purchase grid tied panel systems. If your panels are connected, you might be able to sell extra power to the local utility. This should help you pay for your solar energy system and will also give you the option to draw power from the main grid in case your panels are not functioning.
Consider your home's outside design when thinking about solar energy. Having solar-powered pathway lights installed outside is an easy way to use solar energy at home. If you're building a home, positioning it so that it can take advantage of the sun's rays is also beneficial. Well-oriented homes filter in winter sun rays in the south-facing windows and that can reduce heating bills.