5 Best Ways to Power your Home with Renewable Energy

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Back in my uni days, I was studying for my Masters in Environmental Architecture & Energy, because of this I often get asked my opinion on the best renewable energy systems to use.

Renewable energy has come a long way over the years. Previously reserved for the wealthy or the ‘off griders’. Now getting your energy from renewable resources is becoming far more common. This is emphasised even more by the various green home incentive schemes available today. These include green grants provided by local councils.

Why Renewables?

Not sure why you’d want to switch to renewable energy? Below are some of the benefits of switching. There are many more!

  • Take back control of your energy – Independence from the grid

  • Reducing your energy bills

  • Clean energy

  • Reducing your carbon footprint

  • In some cases, make money back from your electric

Before you Begin with Renewable Energy

To get the most out of your new energy system it makes sense to ensure your home is as eco as possible. There are several ways that you can make your home more energy efficient including…

  • Loft insulation

  • Cavity wall insulation

  • Blocking out drafts

  • Switch to low energy bulbs

  • Lower your thermostat

  • Don’t leave items on standby

It’s a good idea to perform an energy audit on your home before you decided which system to use. That isn’t as hard as it sounds. Locate drafts, check your insulation levels, inspect your current heating system.

Related Post: How Can New Builds become Greener than Ever?

5 Best Ways to Power your Home with Renewable Energy Once you have your information you can create a whole house plan. Answer questions like how much money do I currently spend? Where are we currently losing energy? Which renewable energy systems could we use? If we invest in renewables how long will it take to get our money back?

If you want to determine whether your home is losing energy, then a professional energy audit is the way forward. There are various companies online that provide this service

With so many renewable energy options available today it can seem overwhelming. Today I have highlighted the 5 most popular renewable energy systems…

5 Ways to Power Your Home with Renewable Energy

Solar Panels

Solar panels are the most common renewable energy systems. This is due to them being one of the most effective forms of generating renewable energy.

One of the previous problems with solar was that you could only get power from the panels when the sun was out. But, now due to new technology you have the ability to store surplus solar power for the evening. This is done by storing the power in a battery.

Solar schemes like SunPlug offer this service. The SunPlug enables you to keep the energy you generate rather than selling it back to the grid. Meaning you can power your home using solar in the evening as well as the day.

For more information on using solar check out this handy article by EnergyWise ‘Top Reasons to use Solar Energy’. It’s full of handy tips for anyone considering solar.

solar power for your home

Wind Turbines

As the name suggests wind turbines harness the energy in wind to create electricity. There are two options for home wind turbines; roof mounted or freestanding. The turbine can be connected to the grid or to a remote battery.

There are companies that will install turbines for you. Or, if you are handy with your tools you can buy a kit. Wind energy is particularly good for anyone living in the UK, as it’s the windiest European country.

‘81% of people in the western isles are favourable towards wind as a method of energy production’ EDF Energy

wind turbines for powering your home

Hydro

If you have a water supply on your property then you may want to consider Hydro. It works by capturing the energy from the water, also known as hydroelectric power.

A small stream with a good water flow would be ideal. This is known as a ‘run-of-river’ installation. It’s a microsystem that is perfect for private dwellings. The flow of the water is used to turn the turbines.

Hydro is considered a fairly reliable energy source.

hydro for powering your home

Solar Water Heating

Solar water heating works by using heat from the sun to warm water. You can use solar heating alongside a conventional boiler. The system will work all year but you may need to top up the heat with your boiler in the winter months.

You can buy a ready-made system or attempt to create your own. I once saw one made from an old cast iron radiator that had been painted black. It was very effective and used up materials that would have otherwise been discarded.

solar water heating

Ground Source Heat Pumps

Ground source heat pumps work by extracting heat from the ground. First, you need an area of land to install the heat pump, then Pipes are buried in the land. Some of the systems are installed horizontally on your land. Other companies drill down and install vertically.

One of the advantages of ground source heat pumps is that the temperature underground stays constant. This means they can be used all year round. But, you would have to dig up your garden to have them installed.

heat pumps

Related Post: 5 Simple Ways You Can Be Eco-Friendly Every Day

Research is the Key

There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to renewable energy systems. To get the best out of your system you need to have a good understanding of what would work best for you in your location

Researching whether there are any green home incentives in your area is also a good idea. They can help towards the cost of your installation and may sway your final decision.

It’s also worth considering the payback time for the systems. If you only plan to live in your property for 5 years then it’s unlikely that you will recover your costs in that time.

So what about you, would you consider powering your home with renewable energy?

Gina Caro

This is a collaborative post with EDF Energy. All thoughts & opinions, as always, are my own

A Green and Rosie Life

11 thoughts on “5 Best Ways to Power your Home with Renewable Energy

  1. Without any doubt, a great post!

    I installed solar panel for my lawn lights. We should move to renewable energy for it’s economic benefits and energy security.

    Thanks for sharing your great post.

  2. Thank you for sharing this. Definitely, big help! As much as possible I want to save up when it comes to my home energy. Taking note of this. Well-informative. Cheers!

  3. We are finally doing our small house extension and it will include a good number of eco-features including solar water heating panels, a woodburner with integrated oven, hob and water back boiler, recycled/reclaimed materials and possibly a ground source heat pump. Exciting times! #GoingGreen
    Rosie (@greenrosielife) recently posted…Animal Tales – 108My Profile

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