Clean Power

Published on July 4th, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan


Solar Systems — The Way To Emancipate Yourself From Electric Slavery

July 4th, 2014 by  

Originally published on Cost of Solar.

4th july fireworks Emancipate Yourself From Electric SlaveryCropped version of photo by Kadath | CC BY-NC-SA

US Independence Day got me thinking a bit this week, and then a popular Bob Marley lyric came to mind that sealed the deal for this article (that is, convinced me that I had to write it).

I think it’s one of Bob Marley’s most famous lines (I’ve seen it on many a bumper sticker) — “emancipate yourself from mental slavery.” It’s a good one, probably a bit better than my new version, “emancipate yourself from electric slavery,” but I love the sound and message of the latter, too. And that is one of the key advantages of solar power, so it’s worth highlighting during this week of independence.

We talk a lot about independence and freedom in this society, and we highlight these as two of the great values of American culture. Our ancestors fought hard to provide us with the independence and freedom that we have today.

But I know I’m not the only one who wonders these days if we haven’t lost sense of that ideal a bit. We tie ourselves to systems and contracts that make us financial slaves to so many things.

One thing that many of us are slaves to is high electric bills. We assume it’s just a fact of life, that we have to send a good chunk of our monthly salaries to electric monopolies and we can’t do much to avoid their rising prices. But we don’t have to do this, and we can avoid those rising prices.

You can drop that monthly nightmare — you can “emancipate yourself from electric slavery” (okay, that’s the last time I’ll write it) — by deciding to go solar and get your electricity from the largest energy source in the galaxy!… er, solar system!

Have you thought about it before, checked the price of doing so, and decided that it was too expensive a switch? Well, if you did that awhile back, it’s definitely time to check again. The cost of solar has fallen through the floor in the past few years. It has actually fallen a lot just within the past few months. Solar panel prices have fallen enough that it would beinsane for many of us to keep sending our money to polluting power plants and money-hungry utilities.

Don’t sit back in your chair or on your couch and leave yourself shackled to electricity systems of the past. Lean forward, dig in with all your strength (that is, click a few buttons), and see how much money you could save by switching to solar power.

Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • IMPOed

    I’m on it,, :>)

  • ronwint

    Thank you Zachary for your excellent articles.

  • Offgridmanpolktn

    You are so right in this Zach, freedom from the average 200$/month power bills for my home, workshop, and garage over the past seven years come October have already covered the initial investment at that time and the upgrades to appliances, lights, and tools since then.
    Another benefit that wasn’t even considered by myself at the start but has also saved a fair amount of money is the quality of your electricity once you disconnect or isolate from the grid. With no black outs, brown outs, or power surges or fluctuations it has also meant that my appliances last much longer as compared to relying on the power companies. No burned out power supplies in the TV’s or computers, no ruined motors in the water pumps or refrigerator/freezers, no bulbs of any kind fluorescent, led, etc having shorter lives due to power fluctuations.
    There’s no paper trail on these savings because it wasn’t considered a part of the benefits when we started. But in the thirty years previous to our going solar/wind offgrid I know that at least three TV’s, two computers/UPS systems, two well pumps, and unsure how many tools were lost or had shortened lives due to this issue, along with all the bulbs and wiring repairs that just don’t seem to happen anymore.
    It can also promote better relations with your neighbors. Not much of a sports buff myself, but hosting a super bowl party a few years back when the snowstorms had a lot of other peoples electric and cable out still gets me smiles and thanks from people that are only run into a time or two a year.
    So while I can only present anecdotal evidence I will be willing to bet money that in addition to the freedom from the power bill you will also see a lot of other savings/freedom that generating your own power will provide.

  • philofthefuture

    Sounds more like a sales pitch. Solar is a great deal nowadays but you need to own it so you get the benefits, not some leasing company. Search the Internet and put together your own system then DIY the install, it’s far easier than you think.

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