Harnessing the power of the sun isn’t just for Superman.

Solar power technology has come a long way since the ‘70s. And in the era of high oil prices, it’s becoming an economical choice and not just an environmental one.

“I personally believe every company is going to be forced to do something, and I believe every person will do something as well,” said Sandy Hines, head of installation services for Second Source Power.

“Right now we’re driven by economics, but it’s just becoming reasonable to do it now.”

Second Source Power specializes in green energy such as wind power and solar power for hot water, heating and electricity. Two companies recently merged to create Second Source and will open a showroom in Burnside on May 1.

“We’ll have everything from all of our wind turbines and solar solutions to backpacks that are solar powered and you can connect your iPod or your cellphone,” said Jeff Larsen, the company’s chief operating officer.

“And grey-water recycling, which takes your shower water and reuses it for your toilet water.”

Solar power installation has never been cheap to set up. Larsen said solar-heated hot water systems cost upwards of $7,500 to heat 60 per cent of water for a family of four. Heating systems start at $2,500 and solar electrical systems start at $10,000.

Hines said it’s getting easier and easier to sell solar power.

“As we continue to see the price of oil rising, (solar power) is going to continue to become much, much more economical each year,” he said.

“Almost everybody is going to be looking for alternative methods to reduce their energy costs, and once they become educated as to the benefits of going with renewable energy, the focus often shifts from saving money to doing the environmentally conscious aspect of it.”