3 Sources of Renewable Energy for Home

There are many great reasons to make the switch to renewable energy sources for your home, and you don’t have to be part of the renewable energy generation to save money on utility bills, and receive some nice tax cuts.

While those are nice incentives, most people are attracted to renewable energy because it also combats climate change. Sustainability is a great model for future homes, and here are three different ways that you can turn your dwelling into an alternative energy home that’s doing good for the planet.

Geothermal Energy

When it comes to renewable energy for homes, most people immediately think of solar power. But while solar is popular, geothermal heating and cooling has been around much longer, and is a fantastic alternative to solar panels.

Geothermal energy works by taking advantage of the earth that’s below the surface we walk on everyday. Just a few feet down, the ground is at a near constant temperature year-round, and is naturally warmer than the outside air during winter time, and cooler in the summertime.

A clean energy company will install a series of pipes that run underneath the ground. Then, a pump is installed to either pull air from the pipes beneath the ground and heat the home, or the pump will vacuum warm air out of a home, and release it into the pipes. The cool temperature below ground will then cool this air, and recirculate it.

The Price of Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy is best installed prior to construction of a home, but is not required. Pricing for geothermal energy varies by locale, and Home Advisor’s geothermal energy calculator says that prices can run anywhere between $3,500-$16,000.

While this is no drop in the bucket, the Department Of Energy (DOE) estimates that most homeowners reclaim their costs with lowered utility bills and tax incentives within 5-10 years of installation.

Solar Power

Power from the sun is one of the most abundant resources on the planet, and is another fantastic renewable energy source for your home. Commercial solar companies and local contractors are available for installation just about everywhere, as solar power becomes more popular and affordable.

But choosing a company for installation might be the easy part, as there are many different kinds of home use solar panels and brands. One of the most important things to keep in mind when choosing solar panels for your home is how much roof space you have.

Power solar panels are rated by efficiency (among other criteria), and if your roof space is small, then you may have to pay for more expensive, and more efficient panels. Whereas if you have plenty of roof space, efficiency won’t matter as much in favor of more panels.

The Price of Solar Power

While the DOE has revealed that the price of solar power installation has dropped every year since 2009, it should be noted that it’s still quite expensive. Home Advisor’s solar power calculator says that prices vary by locale, and can cost anywhere between $16,000-$31,000.

Tax incentives and utility costs will eventually offset this investment, and while it may make sense to wait for the installation cost to keep dropping, you’d be missing out on savings every utility bill cycle.

Wind Power for Homes

When people think of wind power, images of open fields with giant fans twisting in the wind come to mind, and seldom do people think about at home wind turbines. Wind power for homes is an alternative to solar panels, but there’s a couple of reasons why you don’t see many (if any) homes with giant fans spinning on their roofs.

The first reason is that most people don’t live in an area that averages 14 mph winds, which is the necessary speed to generate enough kilowatts to power a home. That will disqualify most of the people in the land.

The Price of Wind Power for Homes

The other reason that wind power for homes isn’t the best alternative to solar panels is the enormous cost. Wind turbine installation typically comes with a price tag between $65,000-$95,000. That means it will take a long time before the cost offset from utility and tax savings makes it worth it.

However, wind power is a great renewable energy source for homes in remote areas that can actually take advantage of a prevailing wind.

Renewable Energy & Climate Change

One thing that should be noted is that while calculators and break even points on utility costs justify the price of installing renewable energy sources for your home, there is no way to truly quantify the effect it will have on the planet.

Renewable energy and climate change go hand-in-hand, as both lie ahead for everyone. More and more people are choosing to make their homes more eco-friendly and sustainable, and there are also a lot of companies that are helping them do it.

Green Energy Companies

The green energy revolution has started, and there are now countless companies that are investing and creating either new sources of renewable energy, or making current sources more efficient.

Clean energy companies, however, exist in many forms, as it starts with research and development, and ends with a distributor and contractor. Homeowners who install geothermal energy, solar power, or wind power will likely only interact with distributors and contractors.

These clean energy companies are staffed with people who’ve also made the same choice as their consumer counterparts - they chose to work in an industry that promotes renewable energy and combats climate change. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship that will hopefully serve as the model for the future.

Other forms of renewable energy for homes are in the works, but for now, these are the three best options for homeowners. Geothermal energy, solar power, and wind power have been giving homeowners who’ve had them installed peace of mind that they’re doing something active to combat climate change every single day. That sounds a lot like a home we’d all love to live in.