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Renewable Energy Options for your home

Updated on November 7, 2013

You need to produce Renewable Energy at home

Everything is shifting at this very moment. The USA has a Renewable Energy objective set for 2035, where 80% of all energy production must come from Clean Sources, you see hybrid cars on the market, electrical cars being tested and sold all over the world, green products becoming a part of your every day life, recycling, re-using, re-thinking, and millions of people going off the grid and saving their own future. The entire world is focusing on this shift to become more eco-friendly without losing efficiency.
You have to follow this direction, as it is no longer a trend and is becoming more of an obligation.

It is a fact that everyone using electricity from the Electric Utility / Power Company, is literally tied to them. As a result, at the end of the month you have to pay an enormous electricity bill, which rises every year. You can change this by switching to renewable energy. Renewable Energy will get you from wasting thousands of dollars every year, to actually making money for you through numerous incentive programs all over the country. How you can do this is pretty simple and cheap: by taking full advantage of the renewable energy sources available in, under, over and around the house you live in. I've mentioned quite a few of these sources already, and will focus on the two that will really give you everything you need to do so.

You can provide power for your entire home by using the energy too. All you have to do is harness these sources and put them to good use.
It requires the use of technologies such as photovoltaics and wind power to do so, which may require some initial investments (although low). The benefits though, are of incalculable value for years.

Take a walk outside the house and feel the sunshine and the wind. Feel them now as if they are no longer merely for enjoyment, but can also be used to produce your own electricity. Can you feel the abundance you get every single day and night simply wasted?
Now, imagine that you have a solar panel system on your roof or in your garden, and a small wind turbine too. Feel the sun and the wind, and feel utility bill free. Doesn't that put a smile on your face, knowing that you can still enjoy the benefits of electricity, the sun and the wind without having to pay thousands for electricity, and also conscious that you are not polluting our planet?
If it does make you smile, or make you curious, then Renewable Energy at Home has just become a must have for you!
Learn from what you feel, trust it, and you will go far.

The Growth of Renewable Energy Sources In Depth

As I've clarified before, Renewable Energy is that which is from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, geothermal, tides etc... and are termed renewable because they are inexhaustible and naturally replenished. The use of this type of energy has become the main global focus when it comes to saving our planet because when considering sustainability and global energy demands, renewable energy stands firm as the only solution, when all the other fuel resources that we have are coming to an end, and have created political conflicts all over our planet.
The topic is a growing topic in 2013 and will become even more popular due to the demand for a new global conscience, which is already happening. All over the world summits and meetings are made with the biggest energy producers, to make renewable energy happen, and reduce the price of renewable energy technologies.
There has been a great increase in use and demand for renewable energy these past couple of years too because of the increase in prices for oil and natural gas all over the world, thus making it crucial for Governments to arrange new strategies to combat these problems. However, and due to the scale of the problem and the time that we have to reverse it, Governments cannot do it themselves and they incentivize populations to contribute to the growth, by offering tax credits, incentives and even loan programs to everyone who owns a home.
Whilst using Renewable Energy, not only go governments guarantee that our energy demands be met, but also reduce the cost of energy production and final sale price. It is also crucial to the entire planet because it does not pollute the atmosphere with methane and other greenhouse gasses. In fact it doesn't pollute at all, contrary to fossil fuels that we've used for the last 70 years that have completely destroyed our atmosphere.

As we've seen in a previous chapter, there are quite a few different types of renewable energy that you can produce and use at home, but Solar Energy and Wind Energy are the most common and by far the most efficient to use simply because they can be found virtually everywhere on the planet (except in the north and south polar regions where you sometimes get 6 months of night).

Renewable Energy Options for home

When it comes to producing your own energy at home, nothing gets more effective than solar power for one good reason: the sun is there every day. Even on days where clouds persistently block direct rays, the sun does provide energy that can be converted by solar panels into electricity and other energy uses such as heating.


In one hour, the Sun gives the earth the same amount of energy as that consumed by all humanity in one year!

Solar power can be used in your home in many ways, but do they really work?

Let's take a look at the available options:

Example of Solar Panels
Example of Solar Panels

Solar Energy / Photovoltaic Technology

As you have read before, PV technology is the best solution that you can install at home because it delivers the best results and almost immediately after you install a system. They are a very reliable and a non-polluting source of renewable energy that can produce electricity for your home, and are becoming more accessible and cheaper. Considering building one yourself is just so much cheaper and just as effective. However, it is necessary to keep in mind that the visible advantages of using a small solar electric system also really depend on your own energy needs, which I have mentioned in previous pages.
One thing you also need to know about building your own small electric system using solar energy is that you can expand it anytime you need more energy. And thus knowing how to do it from previous experience, it all just becomes easier and cheaper to build.

Different Systems:
There are two different types of systems that you can install at your home: stand-alone system or a grid-tied system. In a grid-tied electrical system or simply grid-connected system, the power supplied by the renewable system works only during the time that it is exposed to its energy source.

In a grid-connected system, it will only use power generated from PV panels during the day. So any excess energy, which is produced, can be fed back to the grid and compensated back to you in the form of energy (during the evening for instance) saving you money by balancing your supply to your excess use when using energy from your provider. This is called "net-metering".
There are also credits and tax rebates which may apply to those who produce their own energy, where you can easily offset your costs with a solar system. The credits can be given in the form of direct payments, cuts on property taxes and other credits. At the End of this article, I share a link to a site where you can check which credits apply to your area. If you are using a DIY Kit like the one I recommend at the end of this article, it will explain everything you need to know about these incentives too, and how you can apply for them. It even comes with the forms you will need to fill out in order to apply.
If you use an independent system, you will need a battery bank to store the energy at your home to feed off of during the night hours. You don't owe anyone energy, and nobody will own you back. You're basically free.

How a system works:
Basically a stand-alone solar system consists of a set of solar panels connected to a solar charge controller, a battery bank, an inverter, and a controller.
The photovoltaic cells contained in the panels capture the energy from sunlight and transform it directly into electrical current. The energy produced is DC or Direct Current electricity, but still has to pass through an inverter to be converted into AC (Alternating Current), which is what powers a few other appliances that we use at home, such as washing machines and ovens.
In an independent system, the DC (Direct Current) power is stored in the batteries, and converted to AC (Alternating Current) when needed.
The controller's function is to stabilize the electrical current so that you don't get peaks and so on.

Overall evaluation:
Our evaluation depends on only one factor: are you building your own system or are you installing one from a contractor. This is mainly due to the costs vs. compensation.
If you are building your own system, I totally cheer to that. If you are not, then you are wasting money and your return on investment will only be made about 15 years later.

Exterior Solar Lighting

Solar Lighting for the home saves you money every time you click the light switch. Not only does it use renewable energy, but is also completely free forever! This can be done with solar cells charged with solar energy during the day, so that during the night you can benefit from this free source of energy. Can you imagine those electricity bills dropping down?

Overall evaluation:
Go for it. It's worth every penny you invest.

Solar lighting for gardens
Solar lighting for gardens

Interior Heating and Pool Heating

Similar to lighting, Solar energy can also be used for interior heating and to heat your swimming pool, cutting your energy bills radically. Getting one of these systems can get you a return-on-investment in a medium period of time, being free from your break even point onwards.

Overall evaluation:
We recommend you apply heating and pool heating via solar power if you really need these. Although heating is important, do you really need your swimming pool during the winter? This is one of those questions that you should ask yourself when opting to convert to green energy. If you do, then it is an option that you may consider viable then because it will help reduce your monthly energy costs.

Solar Hot Water and Space Heating

Another very efficient way to use solar energy in a solar home is with a solar water heating system (SWH). There are two types of water heating systems available, which can deliver an optimum level of hot water through the year, but, however, during the winter in certain areas of the country, it may be necessary to install an alternative-heating source. The two systems available are "close-coupled, where the water storage tank is horizontally mounted on a solar collector, and then there's "pump-circulated" where the storage tank is floor mounted below the collector level. This requires a circulating pump to work in order to make the water circulate, differently to the close coupled that uses only the course through thermosiphon flow.

Where Solar Hot water works best:
Before using a solar hot water system, you must analyse your needs for hot water, if it is for everyday use or to hear your home, and if it is worth investing in.
It is a fact that you will never be able to provide hot water through a system all year round especially in the winter, but it will reduce the costs of heating water in the future.

Overall Evaluation:
Anything that can be used to reduce your costs with energy and declare independence is essential, however the efficiency of having a hot water system is only average vs. the price to install one. Therefore we would leave this to last on our checklist.

Where Solar Power works best:

The operation and technical feasibility of PV Technologies at a certain location depends on the available solar resource or solar radiation.

Principles that apply to Solar Energy:

Every spot on our planet receives different sunlight incidence during a certain time of the year. The amount or radiation receives depends on some very important factors that you must see into before investing in Solar Technology. These are:

  1. Geographic location
  2. Local weather conditions
  3. Time of day
  4. Landscape
  5. Season of the year

Due to the fact that our planet is round and it's 23.5ยบ tilted axis , the sun's rays hit the earth from different angles according to the factors stated above. At noon where the sun is at its peak, it can be exactly 90 degrees over our head, or 80 degrees depending on the time of the year and geographic location. This causes the production of energy to vary accordingly.

In countries such as the USA and Australia, which are situated in middle latitudes (between the Tropics and Arctics), the incidence of solar radiance is higher during the summer due to the inclination towards the sun during those periods. In any way, the sun's incidence on the specific location also varies according to the time of the day. In resume, Solar Power works best in strong sun lit regions.

Example of a wind turbine for the home
Example of a wind turbine for the home

Wind Power for your home

Wind power has also become very popular in home energy production around the globe. Wind never ends and the technology is becoming cheaper and more accessible.
Wind power is transformed into useable energy when harnessed by wind turbines. It has become very popular due to its effectiveness and to the amount of energy that it can produce. However it's downturns are mainly due to its inconstancy because the wind doesn't blow all the time, nor does blow with the same intensity.

To convert wind power into electricity at your own home, you will not need to build ten 250-foot tall wind turbines in your back yard. Remember, you are not producing energy for an entire city, but only for your home, therefore if you rescale your vision to adapt to your requirements, you will end up with one 6 foot wind turbine and all you will need is a corner in your yard to install it.


Wind energy though, can produce more than 5 times the amount of energy required for the entire world per year.

Wind Turbines

At the moment, the use of wind turbines is the best to convert wind power into electricity. Due to their simple construction, wind turbines can be built with very accessible parts lying around at your own home, or with a very low cost.
Before going around building your own wind turbine, similarly to solar power, previous analysis is required to see if using it at home is feasible in terms of space and energy production. If you do proceed to building one, you must use a DIY Kit with step-by-step instructions so you don't get anything wrong. Do not use information lying around on the Internet. Use a certified guide that works.
If you build your own, use only quality and durable materials only, because if you are going to depend on the energy produced from it, you cannot rely on something that is prone to break or get damaged easily in a storm or strong winds just because you didn't use the right materials, or didn't follow the certified guide's instructions.

Where wind power works best:
Wind power works best in areas where the wind blows frequently and constantly, and that is why it is the perfect viable option for those who live in places with high altitude.
Well built home made wind turbines though, have proven to be efficient with winds of only 11 miles per hour.

Where wind power won't work:
If you live in a city and have no space to put your turbine, then it is not a feasible option.

Overall evaluation
Wind power is a very good option to have installed at your home. I highly recommend it too.

The BIG Reality - Why you absolutely need to use these options

I certainly hope you've enjoyed reading thus far, and have learnt a few new things about renewable energy and which sources are available to you. You absolutely need to change to renewable energy because by not doing so you are literally being robbed every month for something that you are not even using, apart from the fact that you are not reducing your yearly Carbon Emissions either. Let's try to see this in the negative situation where you don't make the change:
Your everyday life stays the same, nothing changes. Your money goes to paying more and more bills; you do not become independent in any way. And of course what can be the best day of the month - payday - can also represent the worst day because it's when you remember all the monthly bills you have to pay for.

Can you guess which bill you receive every month that can be reduced by 80% every single month. If you thought Energy, then you got it right!
There are of course ways that you can reduce the amount of money you pay every month on your bills; some of them are even stated in this article, but taking more measurable actions such as producing your own electricity at home can notoriously reflect on your energy bill, and even make you extra cash!

Remember, reducing your electricity bill is also equivalent to saving power, thus helping the world save power for its future generations.

What will work for you if you want to produce your own energy at home

At last, we arrive at a very practical solution to your problems, apart from the very useful links at the end of this article. By taking your time to read through this article, you will probably have noticed that I use and produce Solar Energy myself, for my office and home. Know you now that I personally compiled every tip in this article too. I insist on recommending renewable energy just because it really works, and is really worth more than the money initially invested in installing a system yourself. Installing a system your self as in DIY. Use a DIY Kit to help you through your entire project, and you can be using free solar electricity forever, for a very low cost.

You can be producing electricity from thin air and powering your home appliances. After testing, and after benefiting from the energy produced, you can move on to bigger ventures like I did: power your entire home and offices with Free Perpetual Energy!

Reducing your energy consumption isn't really going to solve your entire problem. It helps a lot, but it doesn't fully solve it, and that is why you will need to produce energy.

Ask yourself the following question: "Why am I still not using Free Electricity?"

If you live in the USA, Canada, Australia, UK, South Africa or anywhere where the sun shines and the wind blows (which is anywhere in the world), can you really make up any excuse to not be using renewable energy?
It works for me, it works for millions all over the globe every day, and it can work for you too if you just give it a try.

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    • phildazz profile image

      Allan Philip 

      4 years ago from Toronto

      Great information but you can't switch everyone over to green energy over night. Local utility grids are much cheaper and change takes time, unless you do a residential conversion and not everyone can cover the cost. I've switched my utility bill to green energy and I'm paying more.

    • profile image

      Larry Wall 

      5 years ago

      I use to work for the oil and gas industry. So, you can assume a bias attitude on my part if you wish. Actually, I am just being practical. A person can power their home with solar power, windmills, etc. However, hospitals need a constant and steady supply of power and a lot of it. There are many other industries, such as schools that are too old to retofit. Thus you have to have the electric company for those big demand users. Then, if you live in Louisiana where we have frequent hurricanes, or Oklahoma where tornadoes are common, people need power in a hurry. People living in the northeast and along the Canadian boarder where they get a lot of snow and many dark days, solar power will not work. There is a use for the alternatives you mentioned and maybe as new subdivisions and communities are established, alternative energy sources can be incorporated into the infrastructure. I am not opposed to alternative fuels, as long as the oil and gas industry is not expected to pay for it, and as long as people realize that it cannot replace fossil fuels.


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