With Summer temperatures already upon us and in the interest of being good stewards of both our wallets and the planet, it’s pretty common to think about powering your home through renewable energy options. Renewable energy can drastically cut (if not completely eliminate) your utility bills, and there are even generous tax incentives for installing these elements.
Here are a few ideas for green power!
- Solar panels. Installed either on the roof or in the yard, using the power of sun to run your house is a great option. A mere few square feet of solar panels is often enough to power an entire home. Granted, they only work when the sun is out, so you might need either a second source or to still utilize grid electricity.
- Solar shingles. Say your roof won’t support panels or is in need of replacement… go ahead and replace using solar shingles! Solar shingles actually take the place of traditional roof tiles and are utilized in places like Elon Musk’s SolarCity.
- Solar ovens. Not just for Middle School science fairs anymore… while it may look like a craft project, a solar oven can replace excessive energy use by running your stove AND literally keep the heat out of the kitchen. Making one can be as simple as lining a pizza box with foil. Pre-made solar ovens can be ordered and have many benefits: they’re free to use and work even if the power is out!
- Tesla Powerwall. Possibly the coolest way to store excess energy is by using this Tesla supersize rechargeable battery. While it’s not technically renewable energy, it can STORE several kilowatt-hours of electricity. So those solar panels you installed on your roof that only work when the sun is out? Now you have a place to store all that excess energy harnessed by the sun’s power to use at night, on an overcast day, or when it’s raining. Keep an eye out for Powerwall tax credits!
Even in a big city like Charlotte, you can find endless opportunities for clean, green energy sources. If a home improvement project is not how you want to spend your weekend, then start small. Replace one driveable errand a week by walking or biking, ditch plastic straws for reusable stainless steel, and use your canvas shopping bags instead of plastic.