Build your own solar system. It is not as difficult as you may think. A solar system only has four parts. How complicated can it be? A solar system consists of; the panels, charge controller, batteries, and an inverter. Yes, you can make it complicated if you want to, but it is not necessary.
The people that design and install solar systems will tell you about necessary wattage for your panels and the necessary storage capacity of the battery bank you will need and, of course, the inverter has to be big enough to run everything in your house. It all gets pretty scary when you start adding up the cost. They are only leaving out one thing; a solar system does not have to be big enough to run everything in your house to save you money. Read that last sentence again.
The reason most people become interested in solar energy is to cut down on their light bill or provide power where or when none is available. Even the most basic and smallest solar system will produce some electricity which you can use instead of paying the power company to produce it for you. You can produce it much cheaper than they can, and much more reliably, if you live in a rural area like I do.
The logical way to approach this is to start small and add to your solar system over time and this way you can start using solar power immediately. Most of us cannot afford to lay out ten or twenty thousand dollars for a professionally designed and installed whole house system, however, we can afford three or four hundred to get started with a system that will power some lights, computers, television, and other small appliances. That is power you will not be paying the Electric Company for. Put the money you save in your pocket and use it to pay for your solar system, or use it to add more panels or batteries enabling you to produce even more electricity and save more money, (it has a snowball effect.)
So; where can you get your first basic solar system for only $269.00? I thought you would never ask. You can get the Sunforce 50048 60-Watt Solar Kit here. I have used two of these systems for the last 4 years and they have given me great service. I did have to replace one of the inverters last year after 3 years of use. I live in a remote area with no access to outside power so they produce most all of my electricity. I have a generator for back-up when I use a lot of power or when I want to run the air conditioning or vacuum cleaner. This kit comes complete with everything you need, including the wiring, except the batteries. For batteries, I use 6 deep-cycle marine batteries. Complete cost of one of these systems including 2 batteries is less than $400.00, which is also less than 3 months of electric bills for the folks that live in the town nearest to me. Think about it; less than $400.00 for a start-up system that could be the beginning of your independence from the Electric Company. Sunforce 50048 60-Watt Solar Kit