An active solar system is any home energy setup that utilizes pumps, fans or other mechanical devices to harness the sun's energy for either immediate use or later storage. These systems can be contrasted with passive solar energy systems, including solar panels, which also harness the power of the sun for energy use. Many homes today have an active solar system to reduce their home energy costs. When individuals make use of these systems, they also benefit the environment. Though active solar systems do come with some costs, they will pay for themselves over time as decreased utility bills provide enhanced savings. In some cases, homeowners may be able to receive tax credits for installing a solar energy system in their homes. The government continues to try out new ideas to encourage people to use this type of energy in lieu of traditional power.