For most of us the notion of being able to come off the grid and satisfying all of our energy needs by clean power might seem nothing more than a romantic pipedream. However, today being able to switch to clean energy is become more of a reality than it has ever been before. Here are some top tips to enable you to start moving towards a clean energy home.
Switch to green power
These days more and more energy providers are generating their energy from renewable resources. Contact your provider and find out if they have a greener alternative for you than the package you are currently on. If not, then shop around with other providers. For the consumer the downside is that this will cost a little more as you will in effect be paying for a premium service. However, the more people choose this option then the greater the incentive for providers to invest in renewable energy infrastructure and the more the price will fall.
Move to solar power
This is perhaps in a way the most obvious choice for most people. Whilst it is unlikely that solar power will be able to meet all of your home’s energy needs it will, nonetheless, make a significant difference to your energy costs. Solar power comes in two forms – passive and active and the energy produced can be used immediately or else stored away for later use. Again, however, there is a downside in that the installation of solar panels will mean initially that you will have to make a large outlay. However, this said the price of solar panels has fallen dramatically over the last few years and this trend looks to continue into the future.
Make passive solar power work for you
The advantage of passive solar power is that it does not require mechanical systems in order to produce energy. However it does use the sun’s heat to warm your house in three ways: through direct gain where light is collected through windows; indirect gain where thermal energy is stored in walls; and isolated gain, commonly used in a solarium or sun room.
Use solar hot water
Having a solar hot water system installed will allow you to heat water for your laundry, shower and dishwasher needs. If you live in an area that is not prone to freezing then you can use a direct circulation system in which water goes directly through a solar heater into your house. If the area you live in is prone to freezing then an indirect direct circulation system can be used which employs an anti-freezing fluid to keep the water moving.
Use biofuels or biomass instead of fossil fuels
You can also heat your home with biofuels and biomass which are nontoxic fuels produced from animal fat, vegetable oils and also wood. The good news is that you won’t need to convert 100% to this means of energy generation as it can be used as part of a blend with your existing system. Whilst in the past wood stoves were the most common way this solution was employed, today a better method would be a pellet stove in which the pellets are made out of compressed sawdust.
Use wind power
Wind power is perhaps the cleanest form of energy generation and can provide plentiful energy. However the downside is that turbines are large costly and you will need to live in an area that allows them. However, over the long term the saving you can make can be significant.