Alternative energy sources are becoming more readily available to the average consumer for household use. It used to be that homeowners could only rely on the electrical utilities to provide them with their power requirements. More people and more demands on energy sources are causing the cost of those power sources to rise to extreme levels.
As we move away from the use of fossil fuels, we must consider green energy sources that are renewable and green. At one point in time, many of these technologies seemed like a fictional movie, but they are now seen installed in many homes across the country. These days there are several options that communities are considering and individual homeowners have the option of installing new technologies in their homes too.
Solar power is one of the most well-known "alternative" energy sources that is available for installation on private homes. The technology for this energy source has come a long way since its early use in the 1950s. Solar panels have become smaller, more efficient and can capture and make use of sunlight much more efficiently. If a person wants to install solar panels, they generally have a system where the energy that is captured is stored in batteries and then utilized when the batteries are fully charged.
Wind turbines are another energy source that has been reduced in size for home use. Wind causes large blades to turn, which strikes a turbine and creates energy. In the past wind turbines were only seen in "wind farms" with thousands of large turbines all producing energy in tandem. Single smaller turbines can now be purchased for private use and can produce enough energy to run simple household appliances and lighting.
Tidal power is an alternative energy source that harnesses the power of streams and rivers that have the momentum of gravity behind them as they move down hills towards the ocean. The mouth of the river is blocked with a large concrete dam and as water builds up behind the dam it is fed into an intake. The intake feeds conduits which are connected to turbines. This alternative power source is usually constructed by electrical companies, but communities can also build and harness this technology to power local items within the community, such as street lights.
As alternative technologies are developed and moved into the mainstream, the average consumer can have them installed in their own homes. Many governmental bodies offer assistance in the form of grants and rebates that can cover off part of the cost of the installation of alternative energy sources.
If a homeowner installs an alternate energy generator, they can expect to reduce their electrical bills to begin with. A wise investment is to take any extra money that is saved on electrical bills and reinvest that back into the cost of installing more solar panels for example. Some homeowners report that they have become independent from the electrical grid by installing green energy sources.
Sufficient installations can help homeowners to become independent from the grid. If sufficient power is generated to power an individual home and there is some power left over, that power can be fed back into the grid for use by other users. At that point the homeowner receives payment from the electrical company for the power they feed back into the grid.