People are beginning to realize now more than ever that the need for a variety of alternative energy sources for their homes is imperative in order to live a sustainable life. Natural resources are becoming depleted; we have seen some of the impact already with rolling blackouts in California and increased utility bills for everyone.
Transitioning to the Alternative
The transition from the earth-depleting sources, like oil and gas, to sources such as the sun, wind and utilizing the earth’s stable temperatures has begun on every level. - Homeowners are embracing alternative energy for their homes and communities; while state and federal governments are encouraging all to support the transition to renewable energy by investing in research, revamping government buildings and providing tax incentives to homeowners.
The Consumer’s Guide to Energy
In order to live sustainably, there are a few key points that any homeowner should follow. First there is the need to reduce energy consumption. Evaluating your current energy use, replacing appliances that are energy hogs, upgrading windows and insulation before installing any alternative energy solution will save you money now and with the cost of the alternative energy source as well as reduce your ecological footprint.
Installing solar panels, a wind turbine or replacing your heating system with a geothermal heat pump will save on your heating and air conditioning expenses and make your home more marketable.
Energy for Home Owners
Energy is a basic requirement for any home owner, and there are ways to live independently of big energy companies who do not necessarily have your best interest in mind. Here in the Midwest, we had a powerful wind storm that knocked out power for over a week. Every part of your life is impacted when there is no power. You start your day by candle light and taking a cold shower and letting your hair air dry, your phone may not work, no internet access, and your are cooking all your meals on the barbecue. Businesses were closed including grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants. Any store that was open was deluged and ice was in short supply.
In just a few days people were acting desperate, driving all over to find food, gas and threatening utility company employees with guns. In that week, all the food that was bought on sale, in bulk and carefully shrunk wrapped spoiled in the freezer. I realized that week, sitting by candle light, how much power we give to the utility companies because we are so dependent on them for electricity. Energy independence is important for governments and equally important for homeowners.
In the past...
The initial cost of developing an entirely new energy-producing infrastructure was seen as cost prohibitive for many people. The more people begin to embrace the idea, however, the cheaper installing alternative sources of energy will become. If more people push for alternative energy and express interest, governments will take notice – and more tax breaks will be given and more supplies will be made available. Lately, the US has adopted a mission to begin the task of making Americans less dependent on energy and transitioning to renewable sources. This will create the growth of new industries and bring a variety of options for all of us.
There are many types of energy sources that are available for our use.
- Biomass (wood and wood by-products)
- Geothermal energy (using the earth’s heat)
- Solar power
- Wave action
There are others, but these are the ones that are more available for businesses and homeowners.
Energy Policies Full of Hope
The most productive renewable energy sources for homeowners are wind power, solar power and geothermal power. For powering autos, there are studies going on that focus on producing electric cars or cars that will run on fuel, such as ethanol, made from a renewable source like corn. But developing alternative energy sources can be complicated and come with unintended consequences. That’s why it’s best to research energy sources before you decide to implement them.
There is general agreement that alternative energy source production should be much further along than it is. If homeowners push for more resources in alternative power for their homes, advancements will be made due to increased demand.
Alternative energy will be used to produce electricity for home and industrial use, heating and air conditioning, and to power various kinds of vehicles. It is possible to see into the future of energy production and the future looks much healthier, cleaner and efficient for homeowners and businesses alike.
Interested in learning more, click on the links below:
More on what technologies are available for homeowners
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Maximizing efficiency for each technology
Choosing the right technology for you
Leaders in Solar, Wind and Geothermal Energy
Alternative vehicles, options and what to expect in the future
Nanotechnology impact on alternative energy
Variety of options of renewable energy explored
Outlining this energy option and how you can do it yourself
Below are links to help you understand specifically how incentives and rebates, etc. apply to you:
Database of State Incentives
Energy Efficiency Home and Vehicle Tax Credits
Financial Opportunities for Consumers
Consumer Energy Tax Incentives
US Department of Energy Net Metering Policies