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We don’t have to get all of our energy from solar power. We don’t have to solve all of our economic or environmental struggles with solar. And, we don’t have to spend all of our money or fill up our entire roof with solar.

That’s the beauty of solar: We can make a choice to pursue solar and do what works for us. Solar can work within a variety of budgets allowing each of us to become more energy independent. We can choose how much we want to save on our energy bills and in turn protect ourselves against rising energy costs that we cannot control.

Because we can connect to the grid, and because we get a one-to-one credit for extra energy produced from solar, we are free to produce our own energy. We are free to decide if we want to produce our own energy completely for the financial benefits, or completely for the environmental benefits, or because we want to care about both.

The Waxman family in Olivette, MO is a classic example of choosing their own pathway towards energy independence. They started with an energy efficient home and then added a solar air heating system. Next, they installed their first solar panels in 2009 followed by a second solar electric system in 2011.

(A step-by-step approach to energy independence: The Waxman’s pursued energy efficiency plus a solar air heating system and 4.68 kilowatts of solar panels.)

Now, their monthly electric bill is often zero. All or nothing doesn’t have to apply to us; we can all choose to do as much as we want to meet our own clean energy goals.