U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
A Consumer's Guide to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Exploring Ways to Use Solar Energy
Step outside on a hot, sunny day, and you'll experience the power of the sun's heat and the light. That's solar energy.
You can use solar energy to do the following:
Heat your home through passive solar design or an active solar heating system
Generate your own electricity
Heat water in your home or swimming pool
Light your home both indoors and outdoors
To enable your use of solar energy for these purposes, your community may have established solar access planning guidelines and/or ordinances.
If you live in the southwestern United States, you may even have the opportunity now or in the future to buy clean electricity from a concentrating solar power plant.
See Solar Radiation Basics to learn more about how solar energy works.
Department of Energy Resources
Solar Energy Technologies Program