Unless you’re filthy rich, you’re probably always on the lookout for ways to save a couple bucks. One of the best ways to cut your monthly bills is by investing in renewable energy. Not from the power plant, but stuff you can scare up yourself.
Using renewable energy to power your home can reduce or completely eliminate your utility bills, and the tax incentives for installing renewables can make them even more cost effective. Here are seven different ways to power your home with renewable energy.
1. Rooftop Solar Panels
This is probably the most common and obvious method, if you’re looking into renewable power. Solar panels typically go on your roof, although you can also install them in your yard. Depending on your latitude and the orientation of the panels, you could generate 10 or more watts per square foot. A typical house consumes at least a kilowatt of power, so a few square feet of solar panels should be enough to power most or all of your needs.
If your current roof is nearing the end of its lifespan, you could also consider investing in solar shingles. Where standard rooftop solar panels are mounted on top of your current roof, solar shingles actually take the place of your roof tiles. Elon Musk’s SolarCity recently announced a plan to start producing solar shingles, and other companies like SunTegra have been making them for years.
Of course, one big weakness of solar power is that it only works when the sun is up. If you want to power your home when the sun is down, you’ll need to pay for grid electricity or invest in a second type of renewable energy.