You can be free of the power grid when you generate your own solar power. You, yourself, can get it work, making your family more independent than your neighbors. In other words, you won't need to change electric services should you move, nor will you see high electric bills anymore.
When it comes to solar water heaters, be realistic. They're typically only 30% more efficient than any other form of water heater. Second, don't think that just because you shower in the dark means you'll have to deal with cold water. Water heated by solar power should stay warm for 24 hours.
Experiment with various angles and placements, monitoring the power stored on a daily basis and making changes as necessary. Any angle might be acceptable, but there are times when a small tweak in the position can have a noticeable impact. Try different options and stick with the spot that works best.
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Make sure to watch the light on your solar panel inverter regularly. Check it at least a couple of times a week, while sunlight is hitting your panels. The light should be green. If it is not, your panels might not be working correctly, and it is time to call in a technician.