Renewable energy comes from sources that will last indefinitely. Your basic options at home are solar, wind, and hydropower (generating electricity via moving water).
If the sun shines on your house or yard, you may be able to use solar energy to heat your house or your water.
You may also want to consider installing a photovoltaic (PV) system to generate electricity. A PV professional can analyze your site’s solar potential and recommend the best way to capture that solar energy. Mount solar modules on the roof? On a pole? Tracking or fixed mount? Ask an expert.
Here’s a four-stage plan for adding solar energy to your home:
In some areas, tax incentives and rebates can help cover the cost of installing solar thermal and PV systems. Such programs can make it cost-effective to go solar right away.
Small-scale wind power may be an option if you have sufficient space and plenty of wind. To capture this resource, you’ll need a tower to get the turbine away from the turbulence near the ground. If your home fills the bill, you could easily generate a lot of excess power to sell back to the utility company.
Hydropower can be one of the most environmentally friendly and least-expensive sources of electricity for your home, but you’ve got to have a water source on your property, and it’s got to have a significant flow and some vertical drop. Got a creek? If so, have a micro-hydropower pro take a look at your site’s feasibility.