Prices of solar panels and wind turbines have never been lower. If the government would get out of the way, we could all enjoy free energy. Typically, a lease for a utility-free home's hardware is about the same monthly payment as your current utility bill. Except that in 15 years, when the lease is paid off, you no longer have a utility bill at all. Since solar panels have no moving parts, there is nothing to break, and while most new modules come with a 25 year warranty, modules can last indefinetly.
The government goes to great lengths to spread misinformation and outright lies in order to make you believe the collective grid is what needs to be improved, when in fact, your own personal energy independence is really what you should be striving for.
When the economy collapses, you can watch the illiterate, publicly educated, welfare and food stamp recipients kill each other and loot in order to survive, on your TV, powered by the sunlight that God gives you for free.
How much power do you need?
Here is a system sizing chart that shows how much power some common appliances use. Normally, you can save enormous amounts of electricity by using evaporative cooling rather than air conditioning, and propane or natural gas instead of electricity for heating and cooking.
An off-grid system may use batteries to store the daylight produced electricity for use at night, whereas an on-grid system uses no batteries and when you produce more than you consume, your power meter actually runs backward.
Do not be discouraged by the up front cost of being your own utility company. You can start with a single solar panel and add more as you can afford it.
||To find out which government incentives or tax breaks you may qualify for in your particular state, visit the Database of State Incentives for renewables and efficiency. There may be additional Federal, State, and local incentives and rebates. Sometimes, like in Califormia, your rebate may be larger than your actual cost, in which case your equipment is free.