Developing your own home into an eco home or making this a core part of the design of a new build is an opportunity to reduce your energy bill to zero – that’s right, paying nothing for electricity!
Yes, there is a start up cost for purchase and installation of the energy producing hardware, but the costs of these are reducing annually with improved technological developments and greater market uptake reducing costs of manufacture. This has resulted in an approximate ‘time to repayment’ period of 5-9 years for most installations due to savings in electricity bills and energy generation tariffs.
When this is coupled with potentially exporting energy to the National Grid and actually making an income, these are sound investments for the long term, and not all aspects have to be installed in one go to make your home totally ‘off grid’.
Here we look at how to make your home as energy efficient as possible, while also the options for making producing your own electrical and heating energy.
Making your home energy efficient
This is the vital first step if you really wish to reduce your energy bills. Anyone who has moved double glazing for the first time will attest to the thermal benefits, meaning less energy has to be spent on heating. This goes for all aspects of your home or business – LED or energy efficient light bulbs, not leaving computers on standby. These are all great ways of improving the energy efficiency of your home, meaning not only do you spend less on electricity, but you need to generate less yourself to reduce your bill to nothing.
The newest generation of appliances are now ‘smart’ too, in that they utilise power in a much more efficient way, reducing greatly the amount of power used annually.
When this is all coupled with smart energy management devices and smart meters integrated to your computer or phone, then you can really take control of optimising your energy usage. For example, smart devices will use energy when it is most abundant in supply, such as the washing machine starting automatically at midday on a sunny summer day when the solar input is optimal.
Electrical energy generation
Electricity generation is easy, but doing it well is difficult. That is why we exist. Anyone can put a wind turbine in their garden and make some electricity, but not understanding the complex relationships between solar, wind and hydroelectric power (the three most common in home energy generation) and when and where each should be utilised results in a huge loss in energy production for your investment.
Combination systems of different energy production systems are almost always preferable, as they are often optimal at opposite ends of the weather spectrum (think solar in midsummer and wind in the winter).
With the advent of modern ‘aesthetically pleasing’ energy generating devices, it is possible to have installations that add something of beauty as well as being practical, meaning that not only do you produce energy, but they look great too.
One of the most inefficient methods of energy extraction is that of heat creation. Often there are several inefficient steps in the production of heating, usually involving the creation of electricity and using this to produce heat somewhere else in the home.
We are working with several manufacturers who are working on cutting edge products that have optimised the heat energy production method to above 90% efficiency – unheard of in this sphere of work – which massively increases the output you get for your investment, as you need smaller products for the same output!
Energy storage is a great addition to any home as it allows you to make more energy than you are consuming and use this later when, for example, the wind stops and it is nighttime. This ‘smoothes’ you energy utilisation over a 24 hour period, further reducing your need to consume electricity from the National Grid. While seen as an expensive addition to a ‘renewable home’, these are often the keystone in the bridge of going totally independent in your energy usage and the thing that takes your bill finally to that zero figure!
At Intuitive Renewables we are not tethered to any individual company or energy generation type, unlike your local solar installer who, amazingly, tends to suggest solar panels are the best solution for you. This leaves us free to do the best for you, not us.
We can carry out a complete site assessment to let you know exactly the best solutions for your investment level, your location, and your individual home. We also never shy away from saying “renewables aren’t the best thing for you right now” if we think you could save a lot more through energy saving home improvements.
If you have any questions about any of this, or want to discuss potential options for your own home or business, please do not hesitate to contact us via email on firstname.lastname@example.org or via the contact page on this website.