March 4th, 2013 by Guest Contributor
Clean energy is in everyone’s best interests. Not only does it save you money, but it also helps to save the future of the earth’s resources and ecosystem. Finite energy sources will not be around forever, and their production is harmful to the earth’s atmosphere. Luckily, some real progress has been made regarding clean energy, and it is now easier than ever to use efficient sources of energy. And you can have them right in your home.
Solar power is the most freely available clean energy source. Techniques for assessing a home and installing solar panels are progressing everyday, and it is now relatively cheap to have them installed. Of course there is one hitch with solar panels — you need the sun for them to work. But most solar panels are set up so that, when you can use solar energy, it will kick in, but when it runs out, other sources will be utilized. You will find that, even with this kind of system — and taking into account the money that you spend on the panels — you save more money using solar panels than when you go without. And in case you were wondering, solar panels do work when it is cloudy.
We waste an extortionate amount of energy simply by leaving our heating on when we are out of the house. Thankfully, this problem has been addressed by recent smart energy technologies that monitor the energy usage in your house and allow you to take better control of it. The newest development however, is the most exciting. It is a thermostat that remembers your habits, and knows when your heating or air conditioning is not needed, and switches it off automatically. It will also turn back on when you re-enter the house. There is of course a manual override.
Wind power is another clean energy source that can save you money in the long run. Although it is still not perfect — it is not windy all the time — it is quite an efficient source of energy when combined with your regular source. And, like solar energy, it will save you money as well as energy. Depending on your house, you may have to install a tower for your wind turbine, but this is just a more effective way to get the most out of your wind turbine.
The Environmental Protection Agency is a great resource for those looking to use cleaner energy. You can use their website to take a short “power profiler” test, to let you know how much energy you are using, and your overall environmental impact. It also offers guidance for ways in which you can use cleaner energy, including an Energy Star list, which is a comprehensive guide to the best, most energy efficient products and appliances that are on the market.
Combined Heat and Power
Combined heat and power generation was once only available to large buildings and companies, but it is developing in such a way that homeowners can make use of it. It is still not widely available, but the benefits are there for all to see. What CHP does is combine your heating and electricity, so that it is being produced by only one energy source, thus reducing the amount of wasted energy. If you cannot get this for your house, it is worth looking into other ways that you can control both your heating and lighting together, such as home automation.
About the Author: Rick Delgado is a passionate freelance writer in the tech and eco-friendly space.
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