Residential Green Energy Technologies:
The Economic Depression Coupled with High Utility Bills Encourages Embracing Renewable Alternate Energy Sources
© 2008 by Kelly Smith all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without authors written permission
So youre fed up with your monthly gas and electricity bills? Or youre building a
green new home and you want to get off on the right track with controlling how much utility power you
have to buy from outside producers? Even if theyre green energy suppliers?
What you need is alternate sources of energy. There are several ways to do this and youre free
to mix and match in order to reach your energy freedom goals. No, Im not recommending that you do
any strip mining for coal in your backyard or install a nuclear reactor.
But read on; youll learn how to lower utility bills and greenhouse gas emissions.
Choices for Alternative Energy Sources
When it comes to providing some or all of your own energy sources you have options, and the
viability of these will vary according to where you live. Live out on the open plains? Youre a good
candidate for windmill type power using a
residential wind turbine.
If you live in the sun belt (below the Mason-Dixie line), solar power is your ace in the hole. If
you happen to have a stream or fast-moving river in your backyard, you might just be able to
harness that power to run your air conditioner, juice up your microwave, and heat your water.
Ideally, you can use a some of any or all of these to meet your energy demands. Lets
look at these energy sources in more detail.
Generating Electricity With a Wind Turbine
Wind is a great energy source because its almost always in motion to some extent. And once
those big propellers set up and spinning, youre money ahead. Take that, electrical utility company!
This kind of power is generated using blades, like a fan, mounted on a pole, and incorporated with a
wind turbine. The rotational power turns the turbine and converts this energy into electricity. To be
most effective, many turbines are connected together on a turbine farm.
Using Solar Power for a Residential Energy Supply
Solar energy is an even more predictable source of energy than wind. Even in the dog-dead, still days
of summer the sun shines, and even in the winter when the mercury drops, light energy is still light energy.
Solar panels also offer a smaller footprint than wind turbines.
They can either be mounted on a pole outside your home or simply laid on the roof of your home. And
who sees it there? Itll keep some of that heat from entering your attic by absorbing it first. Win-win,
Using Running Water as an Energy Source
OK, granted that this option isnt much used by any but the most adventurous DIY homeowners. But if
youre handy, you can put this together. Youll need a paddle wheel and youll have to
attach it to to a
turbine, similar to the one used in wind energy generation.
Youve likely seen plenty of these kind of set-ups in movies, but used to grind grains rather than
turn a turbine. But the basic concept is basically the same.
So its Free to be Your Own Green Energy Provider?
It sounds too good to be true, doesnt it? As with anything, there are going to be start-up
periodic maintenance costs. Plus, if something goes amiss, its on you, not a lineman or service tech.
Lets look at wind power generation, as an example.
The cost for the pole, blade assembly, and mechanical turbine varies widely. You can anticipate
shelling out from $6,000 to $22,000, depending on manufacturer, self or professional installation, etc.
The average life-span is about 20 years and itll pay for itself in between 5 and 15 years.
Other than that, just having a wind turbine on your property increases the value of your property.
If yourre considering harvesting the suns energy, this is a very competitive market. Look into a list of
solar panel manufacturers
to research which deal best fits your needs.
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