|Each month your electric bill shows statistics on power consumption in your household compared to previous months, and the previous year. It may even show you where your household stands among other area households. What is the average amount of electricity needed to power the average house in the U.S.? According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2014 the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. resident was 10,932 kilowatt hours, or an average 911 kilowatt hours per month. Residential power consumption accounts for 36 percent of total power consumption, which was compared with commercial, industrial and public transportation sectors.|
A handful of power utilities have started to offer renewable energy sources to customers. That option, however, can cost more than fuel sources for power in the near-term. Customers also have the option of installing their own home solar panels and solar energy systems. You can outfit your home with total home solar power, or move some of the home's power load to solar while keeping the rest on electricity. This is a realistic option to help transition to solar, and additional solar panels and generators can be added at a later date to take up more of the load.
One option, which will cover a large portion if not all of a household's needs, is the Earthtech Products Ultimate 1800 Watt Generator Kit with 500 Watts of Solar Power. This system is a complete package, and comes with a Powerhub 1800, which can be hardwired into the electrical panel in your home; an extra battery box for a second set of batteries (each holds two); five 100 watt solar panels with outdoor ratings for all weather conditions; four 100 amp hour deep cycle batteries; a 25-foot MC4 cable and a Xantrex charge controller to manage the system. An additional five solar panels can be added to the kit for additional coverage.
While kits including all the components are available, buying each component separately is an option. This lets you configure a system that will address all of your needs. The basics include a power hub, which is comparable to the generator; solar panels; a control panel to manage the system; and batteries. One component to get you started is the Renogy 400 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Kit. This is the solar panel portion, and it's still necessary to get additional components to store and run power. The Renogy 400W Monocrystalline Starter Kit includes four 100W 12V Monocrystalline solar panels, a charge controller, cables and hardware to install solar panels.