I am closing out the books on that dog of a year, 2011. We've been working on passive solar renovations for the last several years. While weather plays some part in our utility usage for our home from year to year, I thought I'd report on our general progress.
I've said it before, but it bears repeating. If solar panels are your goal, you'll go broke trying to "solarize" a lossy house.
Proper windows, doors, insulation, CFLs, Energy Star appliances, and shutting down drafts will save you big when it comes time to buy solar panels.
This isn't sexy work, but it's important.