This graphic shows the many ways that homeowners can tap the sun to power domestic bliss. Suggestions run the gamut from modern contrivances like solar water heaters and light tubes to tried-and-true clotheslines and shade trees.
Rocky Mountain Institute, a think tank focused on resource efficiency through integrative design, includes the average payback for solar upgrades in its graphic. This is a very general measure of when cost savings through using solar energy versus conventionally purchased grid electricity pays for the cost of the system and financing. Click here for a larger version of the image.