"We had been investigating [solar] for several years as a way to reduce our monthly expenses and move toward a smaller footprint on the planet."  The North Family chose to make the jump to solar when they realized the 2011 incentives offered such a great financial return.  They are really excited about all the different aspects of their system, but "the most exciting thing for us is the system's transparency. No hassle management, and consistent supply of solar-heated water."  Since aesthetics were very important to this family, "we are fortunate that the design of our house makes the system all but completely invisible."  The Norths also employ rainwater harvesting on their property which allows them to water their plants by storing rain run off from their roof.  They also get their electricity from the sun.