Using Solar and Wind Power for Your Home

By: Patricia Hodge-Rendall

Environmental issues have been often discussed in the news over the last few years. Energy conservation and renewable energy have particularly been at the center of these discussions. You may be investigating the possibility of installing a solar or wind power system on your home. However, an important question will be: Will you be taking your home off the grid? If you are considering using solar power and wind power for your home you will need to decide if you want to be on the grid or off the grid. So what exactly is a grid? When it comes to solar, a grid is the power grid that is maintained by utility companies. When you pay your monthly utility bill you are paying for pulling power off of the utility grid.

Taking your home off the grid by using solar and wind power is a way for you to make a statement of independence. In other words, if you don't want to pay a monthly utility bill you can choose to handle your own electrical needs. The question is: do you want to do this?

Taking your home off the grid by using solar and wind power will be more expensive than being on the grid. This will be true both in the short term and the long term. One of the first expenses you will have when you go off the grid will be for the batteries. Because you are not on the grid, you will need to store power into these batteries. The batteries will need to be replaced every so often and they can be expensive.

When you are on the grid, your energy cost is lower mainly because you do not have to worry about storing the power you need, meaning no batteries to buy. You will only use the utility grid for your power. This is done through the use of a power meter but you should verify with the utility company before you do this.

Once you are on their grid you will be able to feed power into your home's system. When you are not at home the panel system will be feeding electricity into the grid. This will cause the meter to go backwards and your bill will go down if it is not eliminated altogether.

Taking your home off the grid may be a good idea for a lot of different reasons. You will want to find out as much information as you can about it to determine if you want to go that route.

If you want to be independent of the utility companies or if you live in an area that is remote and it will be too expensive for you to reach the grid than it is definitely a good idea to use solar and wind power for your home. Using clean, renewable energy may appeal to you. Once you have made the decision to use solar and/or wind power, your main dilemma will be whether you want to be on the grid or off the grid. You should contact your utility company and research your options before making your final decision.

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