For several years I have been interested in the possibility of installing solar panels on our house. I have heard various news reports about the high cost of solar panels not actually equaling the amount one saves on energy bills, so I wanted to get an actual price quote before we made a final decision.
As it turns out, in order to get the minimum percentage of sun exposure for solar panels to work, we would need to remove the tree in front of our house, as well as the tree in front of our neighbor's house, and even then it's not guaranteed that we would meet the minimum percentage. Plus the trees are on the piece of land between the sidewalk and the street so they are technically city property and therefore we are not allowed to cut them down; that has to be a city decision. I suppose we could petition them, but we've heard from other neighbors that it's a tedious process that rarely ends in the citizens' favor.
So solar power is out for us. Are there other alternatives that we can use to either cut down our energy consumption, or support alternative energy sources? And I know all about the basics like put all appliances on power strips and turn them off when you're not using them; I'm talking big-picture here, on the scale of installing solar panels.
We live in western NY, if that helps.