Tag

saving energy

Implementing simple green changes to your home is easy and most of us don’t think twice when it comes to installing LED lights or a dual-flush toilet. However, when it comes to going green on a larger scale, such as switching to a renewable energy system, we start thinking about our finances. Yet, we fail to see that even though such an upgrade might require more money initially, it actually offers a high return on investment. Furthermore, you have different systems at your disposal, so you can find one that meets your needs.

Wind Turbines

Although wind turbines aren’t the most common solution for residential areas, wind-generated energy is actually more stable than solar energy. With an appropriately sized turbine, you can meet most or all of your household’s energy needs. Some of the disadvantages of wind turbines are their somewhat unappealing look and noise. However, nowadays, you can find small turbines appropriate for residential use. Nonetheless, before opting for this energy source, make sure that there aren’t any local regulations that prohibit it.

wind turbines
Image Source: econews.com.au

Geothermal energy systems

Geothermal systems are another source of clean, renewable energy generated by earth’s heat. Although this type of system may have a small environmental footprint while being developed, it’s actually quite eco-friendly as it can reduce your home’s carbon footprint significantly by eliminating the need for electricity used for heating or cooling your home. This system consists of geothermal heat pumps (GHPs) that use 25 to 50 percent less energy than regular HVAC systems. Furthermore, the equipment produces no noise and requires little space, so it can easily fit in any home design. If you opt for this type of renewable energy system, make sure to check your property’s geological,
spatial and hydrological characteristics that will determine what kind of system you need.

Solar energy systems

Solar panels are one of the most popular and commonly used renewable energy systems that can boost your home value substantially. Depending on your energy needs, a few square feet of solar panels can be enough. Due to their aesthetic appeal, solar panels work well with modern home designs. They can be placed either on your roof or in your backyard. However, the main disadvantage of a solar system is that it produces energy only when the sun is up. Nonetheless, you can now find solar batteries that can store your excess energy which you can then use when there’s no sun.

home solar panels
Image Source: thegreenage.co.uk

There’s another possible solution if you want to go with solar energy. Solar shingles are becoming more and more popular as they feature a subtler design than solar panels. These are actually photovoltaic roof tiles that are installed instead of regular shingles. Since they resemble regular roof shingles, they can even blend with a more traditional home design. The initial installation may amount to even $20,000, but around 350 shingles can slash your electricity bill by up to 60 percent. In addition, you may find federal, state or local tax incentives that can reduce the cost of installation.

However, if you’re not in a financial situation to go with an entire solar system, you have other options available. For instance, you can go with a solar water heating system to heat your home and water. Solar water heaters are more affordable than solar panels and easier to install. In addition, they can cut your gas or electricity consumption, increasing your savings in the long run. Solar air conditioning is another possible solution that uses solar power to cool down your home. You can actually combine these two systems as they both use hot water.

Hydropower systems

A hydropower system generates energy from a flowing water source. Of course, this type of energy system is available only to homeowners who have such a source on their property. Thus, if you’re one of the lucky few, you should definitely invest in a micro hydro generator because even a small stream can generate steady and clean energy and cover your needs at a price significantly lower than wind or solar.

Renewable energy systems may require a sizeable investment upon installation, but they are a profitable home improvement that will boost your home’s value and increase your savings in the long run.

These days you can spend a fortune renovating your home to make it greener and more energy efficient, however not everyone has the time or money to upgrade their home. Don’t be disheartened there is still lots that you can do to make your home more energy efficient without breaking the bank.

pink piggy bank

Creating good energy habits is the first step to making your home more energy efficient, simple steps like turning lights and electrical appliances off when you leave a room. If no one’s in there you’re wasting energy to entertain an empty room. Standby energy consumption can account for up to $120 on your annual energy bill. By simply turning everything off at the wall can save you over $100. Easy, right?

Operating your appliances efficiently is another important step. You can buy the most energy efficient appliance however if you don’t operate it efficiently and smartly it can be counterproductive. For dishwashers and washing machines ensure that you always operate these with full loads, washing your dishes and clothes in half loads is a waste of energy and water, unless the appliance you are using has a specific half load function. Operate the machines using the eco function.

dishwash machine full of dishes

Washing your clothes in cold water can save you up to $100 on your washing energy bills a year, you can increase this saving by drying your clothes using your solar dryer (the clothes line!), hang your clothes on the line or on a drying rack inside and you can almost double this saving.

Other simple steps you can take with your fridge and freezers is to ensure that the door seals are clean and free from grim, ensuring they close properly and don’t let air out. Make sure that your fridge freezer is full, empty space means that your fridge or freezer has to work harder to keep that area cool, fill up those spaces with Tupperware to help combat this issue.

Hot water accounts for a large part of your annual energy bill and while it might be tempting to stay in the shower to heat up on those cold mornings this is going to drive your hot water heating bills through the roof. Have a timer in the shower and get everyone in the house to actually stick to it.

girl taking a shower

Did you know that if you turn on the faucet when it’s in the hot position even if the water coming out the tap is not hot it’s still costing you on your energy bill? Always ensure you have the faucet on the cold position to ensure you are not drawing hot water unnecessarily.

We hope these tips will help you save energy and money on your next electricity bills!

Created by Julie Moore director of Save Energy Save Money