On a smaller scale, PV cell panels and passive solar home architecture can collect the sun’s energy and utilize it to power the entire dwelling. Passive solar architecture takes advantage of the sun’s warmth by letting it in via windows on the south side of the house and keeping it there using insulating materials like concrete, bricks, and tiles.
There are solar-powered homes that produce so much extra energy that the owner can sell it back to the utility company. Extrasolar energy can be stored in batteries and used later at night, which is a financially viable option. Scientists are working hard to develop innovations that combine form and function, such as solar windows and roof shingles.
Ground-source heat pumps
The coils at the back of your refrigerator act as a miniature heat pump, drawing heat out of the fridge’s interior to keep food cool and fresh. Geothermal technology is just a new spin on an age-old process. Geothermal or geo-exchange pumps may cool a house in the summer, heat it in the winter, and even warm water using the constant temperature of the earth (a few feet below the surface).
While the upfront cost of a geothermal system can be high, the investment usually pays for itself in as little as five to ten years. They are more hygienic, need less upkeep, and last longer than standard air conditioners.
Systems of modest proportions in the wind
What, a personal wind farm in the backyard? Small wind turbines are commonly utilized by the maritime industry, the ranching community, and the telecommunications industry. Wind turbines for residential use are now available, and dealers offer assistance with siting, installation, and maintenance (though some do-it-yourself types still do it themselves). The ability of a wind turbine to lessen your dependency on the electrical grid is contingent on factors such as your electricity demands, local wind speeds, and zoning regulations.
Making money off of your solar panels
Homes powered by renewable sources like wind and solar can operate alone or link to the broader electricity grid. Net metering allows homeowners to pay for the electricity they use, regardless of whether it comes from the grid or their generators. If you generate more electricity than you consume, your utility may compensate you at full retail value.
You and renewable energy
Help speed up the shift to a sustainable energy future by advocating for or using renewables in your own life. If you can’t get solar panels installed just yet, you might still be able to choose to use electricity generated by a greener method. (Get in touch with your utility and see whether they provide that option.) You can buy renewable energy certificates to compensate if your utility doesn’t offer renewable energy.