With everyone talking about the sun today, I thought I'd make that the "star" of my blog today, only I'm not writing about the eclipse.

Instead, today's post is about solar energy.  The more I travel, at home and abroad, the more I'm seeing solar panels on people's homes and certain businesses and government properties.

I've recently had some conversations with a solar specialist and he's got me thinking that going solar could be a good way to reduce my carbon footprint.  I like the idea of being less reliant on gas and making use of the sun which reliably and thankfully rises each day.

One appealing benefit would be the lower energy bills over the life of the system (25+ years).  He says another way to look at it would be "free" electricity after the system gets paid for in about 8 years.  He says most people get on an installment type plan so they don't have to layout thousands of dollars up front.

Which leads me to what could be considered a downside.  It will likely take several years before you recoup your investment.   And another reason people might reject the notion of going solar is they don't like the appearance of the solar arrays on their Ocean County homes.

To learn more about options for renewable energy sources, you can visit this page from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Do you have solar panels on your house?  What has your experience been since getting them?   If you don't yet have them, are you considering getting them in the future?  Do any of your neighbors have them?  What do THEY say are the pluses and minuses?