Alternative Energy for Homes.
If you’re still clinging on to fossil fuels, then it’s about time to let go. Alternative heating methods are getting more and more popular as the price of energy continues to rise. No longer will you have to harness the consumer power of the Economy 7 tariff – you could well be generating much or all of your own energy, and you may even end up with the power companies paying you for the energy your home produces!
01. Wind turbines
You can choose to have your home’s wind turbine feed into the national grid or provide energy for your home only, whereby it will usually generate an annual income and savings of £3,200 (~$5,000) and save the earth from a further five tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. If your locality has an average annual wind speed of five metres per second or more, then you, the environment and your bank balance could well benefit from one of these.
As the name probably suggests, hydroelectric power comes from harnessing the power of water by taking water from a river or stream, feeding it downhill and returning it to the waterway at a lower point down the hill. The typical hydro system will cost around £20,000 (~$31,000) to install, and the savings and amount of power one system will produce from the next varies vastly – so it’s best to talk to a local expert for a good idea of what kind of benefits you’ll see.
The CHP stands for ‘combined heat and power’, and refers to the fact that the heating technology used here generates heat and electricity from the same energy source. Not as big a player in the energy stakes as the other contenders here, it’s slightly costlier to run than a new gas boiler, and will generate around 1kWh of electricity once it reaches optimum capacity, which is enough to power lights and electrical appliances, generating a saving of 10p per kWh.
04. Solar PV
A pretty inconspicuous alteration to your home’s cosmetics, solar panels are attached to your roof (or wherever you prefer) to silently harness the sun’s powerful rays and heat, cleverly converting it all into electric energy. While there are two types of panel to choose from, the most common is the passive solar photovoltaic panel, which generates electricity from the sun’s rays and stores that energy in a thermal mass surface for later use. Typical home systems will generate roughly 1,850kWh per year – that’s over 40 per cent of the average household’s typical energy consumption, generating an annual saving and income of £920 and obliterating one tonne of CO2 from the atmosphere per year. Just imagine the possibilities if every household installed solar energy panels!
04. Solar Water Heating
Otherwise known as the ‘active’ form of solar power, rooftop solar panel systems collect and store the sun’s heat, and can normally be fed into a pre-existing domestic heating system. Installation costs can be around the £5,000 (~$7,800) mark, and can reduce household CO2 emissions by an average of around 260kg per year.
Note: This is a sponsored post by Emma Barnes.