I have toyed with the idea of converting my house to a Grid-tied solar system for a few years now. Having done alot of research on the subject I finally decided to take the plunge this summer. Switching to solar will mean that I'll draw 110% of my electricity per year from the sun instead of the local power supplier. In fact they will be most likely cutting me a check at the end of the year for all the extra power I contributed to their grid. The only downside for me is that I elected to buy my system outright instead of leasing it. The system will cost me about $18,000 but after tax rebates it will only cost about $9,000. This isn't something to worry about when the system will pay for itself over the course of the first five years. Additionally its expected to save me $26,000 over the course of the systems life.
For anyone who is in the same boat as me....do it. Solar panels will help the environment, save you money, and increase the value of your home more than the cost of the system itself (see NY Times article). What more could you ask for?
Anyone looking for a solar contractor? These are the guys I went with. I suggest asking for Ryan Lane