Renewable energy is power that comes from natural resources, such as wind, rain, sunlight and geothermal heat. It’s classed as renewable because it can be replenished naturally, and it doesn’t harm the environment, when we use it as a source of power. Take tide energy for example. Massive turbines are powered by the pressure and flow of water from dams and huge waterfalls, which in turn generates energy.
On a global scale, around 16 per cent of the world’s energy use is renewable. Although many of the biggest energy projects in the world are looking to power entire continents through renewable energy, there are also smaller projects in construction that are suited to rural and remote places – areas where energy is absolutely necessary in human development.
Domestic energy companies that power households are continuously educating their customers about the benefits of renewable energy, however many are still to be convinced. Renewable energy in the home not only reduces utility bills, but it also helps to reduce the effect of your family’s carbon footprint on the environment. Here are a few ways you can utilise renewable energy in your home.
Generate Your Own Energy
Solar panels and small wind turbines are a direct and efficient way of using renewable energy to power your home. Not only are these systems cost-effective, especially in small towns and rural areas, but they reduce the impact energy companies have on the land when they install lengthy cables and power lines.
There are a number of ranches in Texas that use solar panels to pump water around their farms, and many more desert-based businesses choose to augment their existing equipment in order to harness the sun’s energy. Not only will this process reduce their energy bill, but they also have the option of selling any surplus energy back to the national grid.
Another great device that can be used to power your home is a solar water heater; however the technology is vastly underused. Although these systems don’t directly generate electricity, they do reduce a household’s need for electricity and gas when powering your water heater. By installing a solar water heater, you can expect to see a 50-80 per cent reduction in gas and electricity costs related to your water supply.
Designing Your Home Around Renewable Energy
If you’re remodelling your home, or even building a new one, it’s best to pay attention to opportunities that will allow you to use renewable energy systems. Take passive solar design and heating controls for example. If you’re building a new wall or extension, try placing the build in direct view of the sun, for as many hours as possible. By doing this, you can install solar panels on those walls, and make use of the sun’s heat to power your home.
Even if you don’t use the heat now, this advanced energy system can store the power until the winter. Roof overhangs are another great way to implement renewable energy in your home. Not only can they be fitted into the original structure of your home, but they have the ability to keep the sunlight out during the summer, and let in during the winter.
This guest post has been written on behalf of Ener-G, independent energy and water consultants in the UK.