Not so long ago the thought of producing your own energy to power your home seemed like something that you’d only see in very remote, reclusive communities without access to the national grid and yet now with the advancements of technology it’s not only possible but commonplace with more and more people choosing to invest in renewable energy, saving themselves money and reducing their carbon footprint. If renewable power alternatives are something that you may be interested in exploring then here are just 4 of the ways in which you could power your home.
- Roof-mounted solar panels
10 years ago it was rare to see solar panels outside of solar farms, jump forward to the present day and a quick scan across the rooftops will often turn up several instalments within your immediate vicinity. Roof-mounted solar pannels are a popular form of renewable energy as they take up very little space and can be installed on virtually any roof, capturing the energy in sunlight and transforming it into power. If your roof is coming to the end of its life, or you perhaps dislike the look of roof-mounted solar panels, don’t discount the energy providing potential of your roof altogether as you can now purchase solar shingles which are thin, flat, solar panels that can replace the tiles and shingles of your roof, giving a sleeker, less intrusive look. If you’re interested in finding out more about the potential of solar, then check out solar panels 101 for more information.
- Wind turbines
Another very popular form of renewable energy is wind power, which can be harnessed through the installation of a wind turbine. You may have already seen the vast installations of huge wind turbines out at sea or on wind farms, but you don’t need one quite that big to produce energy for your home. Wind power is often more reliable than solar and even a modest-sized wind turbine can easily produce enough energy to fulfil the majority of your electricity needs. If you have enough space to install a wind turbine and you are allowed to do so in your planning regulations then it is a great option for those looking to explore renewable energy sources, especially in climates which cannot rely on solar.
- Solar water heating
As well as providing you with the electricity you need to power your lights and other home electronics, solar can also replace your gas or electric boiler by heating your water. Solar-powered water heaters work in much the same way as roof-mounted solar panels, except that instead of producing power, they heat up a body of water, which can then be pumped through your home to your radiators, shower and taps.
Hydropower isn’t an option that will work for everyone as it requires a moving body of water in order to work, however, if you happen to live on land with a stream or river, or you have access to a private portion of the beach, then hydropower is a very effective way to harness the power of the water and convert this into useable electricity. Hydropower generators can be quite difficult to install and you may need professional help, but the benefits of hydropower are that unlike solar and wind they are usually extremely consistent and reliable.