The idea of achieving home-based clean energy sounds good, but most people aren’t really sure what their options are in accomplishing this goal. Plainly speaking the big question is almost always how much the upfront investment will cost. Discuss at length the long-term savings and available government rebates; people only have so much available capital to spend at any given time on clean energy options.
In some states, folks are fortunate enough to be able to choose their energy provider. For example, thanks to deregulation, Texans can opt for TXU Energy among several competing alternatives. While most on-grid Americans aren’t so lucky in their freedom to choose an energy provider, home-based clean energy offers several options to choose from.
Micro Hydro System
“A small stream that runs steadily and falls steeply can be a very good electricity source.” Homes with said streams on the property are begging for a micro hydro system to be installed. On-grid homeowners can benefit from smaller setups which can cost as low as $20,000 upfront, while bigger rigs designed for off-grid energy demands can be a $100,000 project or higher. Undoubtedly the most sophisticated of home-based clean energy options, but once installed it’s a runaway lead for power per cent.
The face of home-based clean energy investment, solar panels are by far the most popular option. This is due to the sheer fact virtually every dwelling is suitable for a solar panel array. Now comes the burn: the average cost of a solar panel installation before taking into account any government incentives is about $50,000. No small amount of money for the average household. Having said that, the return on investment is typically fastest through solar panels.
Small Wind Turbine Systems
Just about any property with some relatively open space can house a small wind turbine system. This renewable energy source is ideal for rural homeowners. Initial investment required for an effective small wind system ranges from $10,000 to $70,000 before government rebates. Depending on the environmental variables and the prices offered by the local energy provider the return on this investment can take anywhere from six to 30 years.
Undoubtedly many homeowners will consider hybrid clean energy solutions. Chief among these are wind-solar hybrid systems. The image to conjure is pretty basic: just picture a classic white wind turbine with branching arrays of black solar panels. The environment necessary for successful wind turbine placement is equally suitable for solar panels, so why not mix the two together? Upfront cost starts at $20,000.
Most homeowners want to find ways to depend less on their local energy companies. Unfortunately a nearly identical number of homeowners are not in a financial position suitable for the upfront investment required. For those who are the decision may still seem like more of a roll of the dice. But rest assured the price of energy is only going to increase in coming decades. So will the costs of investing in clean energy alternatives.