Many homeowners are looking for ways to reduce the impact their home has on the environment so that they can reduce their carbon footprint and also save some money on energy bills. With technology advancements being made year upon year, there are more ways now than ever to help accomplish this.
If you’re interested in making your home more environmentally friendly and energy efficient, here are the five best ways to use clean energy.
1. Rooftop solar panels
Rooftop solar panels are one of the most effective ways to produce renewable energy for your home. Solar panels are one of the most popular ways, as the barrier to entry is low, and the results far outweigh the initial cost. The solar panels are usually installed on the roof of your home or in your garden if there is adequate space and sunlight. This is so the sun’s energy can be captured effectively. Once the rays are captured by the panels, the energy is converted into electricity, therefore reducing the burden your home puts on the electrical grid and lowering your energy bills. Depending on where you are in the UK, you could save around 1.3 to 1.6 tonnes of carbon per year with your typical home solar panel system.
The initial cost for set-up is all you have to pay when it comes to the expenses for your solar panel system. Solar energy is free, so after it’s installed, you will enjoy a reduction in your energy bills and no other costs will be payable. Moreover, there are some times where your panels will end up generating more electricity than your home can use. In this case, the surplus energy gets exported to the grid for another home to use. You can then get paid for this surplus through an export payment via your energy company.
2. Wind turbines
Most people recognise wind turbines as a solution commonly built on large open spaces. But did you know that if your property has enough space, you can install your own small scale wind turbine to help generate electricity for your home too!
Due to the very nature of wind turbines, there are considerations to remember such as the noise they may generate and any planning regulations that must be adhered to. However, if you do go forward with a wind turbine, you can enjoy many benefits. Wind power is more reliable than solar, and depending on the size of your turbine, you could generate a considerable amount, if not all of, your electricity needs for your home.
3. Solar water heating
Similar to solar panels on your roof, a solar-powered water heater can heat your water in an environmentally friendly way. The sun's rays are captured through the panels to heat a reserve of water which gets pumped through to your taps, showers, and radiators. This method of heating your water is considerably cheaper than using electricity or gas, so your monthly bill will be reduced.
This method may not work for everyone and is dependent on your location because you need a source of flowing water. If you do have a source of flowing water, you could consider hydropower by diverting a stream of water through a turbine. Depending on how strong the stream of water is, you could generate a lot of power for your home.
In order to do this, you would need to invest in a hydropower generator and get a professional to install it for you, but once this is done, your flow of energy is continuous. Hydropower is more stable than solar or wind power because it isn’t dependent on the weather, so you’ll always get the same amount of energy from it.
5. Biomass energy
Biomass is a more recent innovation in environmentally friendly fuel. It’s made from organic waste like agricultural waste, wood pellets and scrap timber, animal waste and manure, and other general debris. It most commonly generates energy through combustion and can help you reduce your heating costs. Compared to fossil fuel use, biomass also lowers greenhouse gas emissions and helps maintain forests and crops.
Whilst you may not be able to power your entire home on renewable energy – unless of course, you live in a tiny home – you can certainly make a positive environmental impact and noticeably reduce your monthly energy bills with these options.