3 Ways to Power Your Home with Renewable Energy

The American oil and gas industry works very hard to convince you that alternative energy will never replace oil – that the glory days of the fossil fuel industry are not over.

Well, they are.

Regardless of what Big Oil likes to tell you, the world is transitioning to carbon-free energy sources at a rapid pace. Denmark produces more than 43 percent of its energy from renewables, Germany is aiming for 45 percent clean power by 2025, and coal usage in developing countries is on the decline. Even China, despite its many challenges, leads the world in renewable investment.

Soon America will be left in the dust.

Want to stay ahead of the curve? Here are 5 ingenious ways to power your home with renewable energy. And you know what? It’s less of an investment than you might think!

3 Ways to Power Your Home with Renewable Energy

When most of us hear terms like “renewable energy,” solar comes to mind. But there are actually a number of other home energy solutions that make a lot of sense!

What You Should Do First:

  1. Perform an Energy Audit - Examine your energy use at home.
  2. Install Programmable Thermostats - Control your energy use remotely.
  3. Seal Air Leaks at Windows and Doors - Keep warmed air from escaping.

Finally ready to incorporate clean energy into your home? Here are some options:

Renewable Energy (2)

1. Wind Turbines

Have at least one acre of land with strong wind resources? Set up a wind turbine or two to capture energy for your home. Most carefully planned wind systems may reduce your energy costs by as much as 90 percent!

What’s the average cost? Small (less than 1 kilowatt), off-grid, wind energy systems generally cost between $4,000 and 9,000. This guide and this guide can help you determine whether or not wind is right for your home.

Keep in mind that cost is highly dependent upon the wind speed where you live. You’ll need to be averaging at least 10mph to produce enough energy.

What should I be prepared for? Be prepared to look into local permitting and zoning requirements before making the investment.

Renewable Energy (1)

2. Microhydropower Systems

Do you have a source of flowing water on your property? (Think a stream, creek or other moving source.) Now might be the time to consider investing in a microhydropower system.

Hydropower is a powerful energy source. A small, 10-kilowatt system can generate enough energy to power a large home or small resort.

What’s the average cost? The cost of a home microhydro system is highly dependent upon the water resources you have available (head and flow, for example) and your energy demand. However, $20,000-$100,000 is a good range to work with.

What should I be prepared for? Make sure you factor in the cost and time of securing water rights and water permits. And ensure you have a high enough quantity of falling water.

Renewable Energy

3. Solar Panels

With advancements in solar technology and the rapid expansion of the industry on the whole, the price of solar is dropping dramatically. This type of energy solution can be used by both individual families, or by neighborhoods with community solar power systems.

What’s the average cost? Solar typically costs $7-9 per watt. So, a 5 kilowatt system would cost around $25,000. This guide by Solar Power Authority will give you a good picture of the potential.

What should I be prepared for? Get a specialist to determine whether or not your home can support a rooftop solar system.

Many states have rebate and tax programs to help offset the cost of setting up a renewable energy system in your home. Start your journey by examining the “Tax Credits, Rebates & Savings” tool on the United States Department of Energy website.

71 comments

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hillabout a month ago

thanks

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Carl R
Carl Rabout a month ago

Thanks!!!

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Sonia M
Sonia M1 months ago

Interesting article thanks for sharing

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Jerome S
Jerome S1 months ago

thanks

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven1 months ago

thanks for sharing.

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Patricia H
Patricia H2 months ago

Moving forward!

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ELIZABETH M
Elizabeth M2 months ago

Many thanks.

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Amanda M
Amanda M2 months ago

My husband and I have been looking into the idea of solar panels on our roof for several years now. With a southern-facing roof and minimal interference from tree branches and the like, our house is ideal for such an installation. However, the cost of installation is prohibitively expensive for us, and our roof needs new shingles first (the house was built in 1987, and the roof is still the original one). Hopefully we'll be able to go solar sometime down the road. My parents want to go solar too, but the cost is stopping them now as well. However, since they live in rural country and rely on well water, we're all putting our heads together to help them figure out a way to rig their well pump for solar power-every time their electricity goes down, they lose water too because of the pump going offline. Baby steps are still better than nothing.

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Daniela M
Daniela M2 months ago

Thank you for the article.

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Jerome S
Jerome S2 months ago

thanks

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