The original residence contained two electric water heaters. To conserve energy these were removed and replaced with a solar hot water heating system located centrally in the house. We are in the process of going totally off the grid and have recently installed a 2.8 Kw solar array hooked up to a pair of Xantrex SW5548’s and 16 L-16 batteries.
As of May 25th,2007 the array has been redone and upgraded. We now have over 5Kw online (30 x 175W panels) and on our first full day of operation (Saturday May 26th) we made 26 KWh of power from the sun, compared to the 13-14 being produced with the original system.
If you are interested in the environment but not ready to commit to solar yet I would suggest you read this article :
Ideas like not buying or using an SUV for daily commuting or using CFL’s can go a long way (we put in CFL’s in all inside light fixtures before putting in our solar system and saw a 10% decrease in our electric bill at that time)