So yeah, unless you’ve been living under a stone you’ve heard a million times about using solar panels to power your home.
But what if you can’t afford their hefty up-front cost?
Well, fortunately solar panels aren’t the only way to use renewable energy to power your home. And you don’t have to be financially well off either.
Here are some other ideas to use renewable energy and save money on your electric bill at the same time:
1. Solar Water Heating and Air Conditioning
These two systems are among the leading consumers of energy around your home.
Solar water heaters and air conditioners never actually generate electricity for your home itself.
Instead, they use solar panels to collect electricity and run it directly to those appliances.
Solar powered water heaters heat a reserve of water. Solar air conditioning also uses heated water to keep your home cool.
Both save you a ton of electricity. But neither cost nearly as much as installing your own solar panel system.
2. Use a Rechargeable Battery to Store Energy
Batteries like the Tesla Powerwall can store several kWh of electricity when prices run low.
Then, when the prices rise because of greater demand, you use the battery’s electricity rather than that from your REP.
It’s not technically renewable energy. However, you can score nice savings going this route.
Batteries like this are technically designed to store electricity gathered by solar panels, but they can also be connected to your local grid too.
3. Use Solar-Powered LED Lights and Device Charges
Ok, so this one is decidedly smaller-scale than the others. You’ll power a light or device that consumes far less electricity than many other appliances.
But, every little bit counts.
You can get power banks that you run to an inverter to power small kitchen appliances like your toaster, blender, coffee make, and slow cooker.
Your smaller technological devices can also operate on energy from solar collectors with power banks (like your smartphone or tablet PC).
And in the case of LED-based lighting with a solar collector, you don’t have to pay any attention at all.
Maybe this is one you use to teach your kids about energy savings!
4. Geothermal Heat Pumps Offer Great Savings
You don’t use these to power your entire home. However, they work as a great alternative to the conventional HVAC system.
Geothermal heat pumps pull energy from the ground and can heat or cool your home to comfortable levels, while also saving you 25-50% on your heating and cooling costs.
They’re quiet, last 20 years, and are much more affordable than a solar panel system.
You can score anywhere from minor to moderate energy savings with those ideas. Which makes most sense for you and your budget at this point?