The power usage for every household costs a lot of money. We use energy for lighting, entertainment, heating, cooking, refrigerating, and many other basic requirements. Maximum power needed for all these tasks, is derived from fossil fuels which are non-renewable energy sources, and their formation is a slow process, requiring thousands of years. Hence, if you compare their supply and demand rate, you will understand the reason behind shortage of their energy. Consequently, the price of fuels continues to increase steadily. Thus, alternative energy sources are getting much attention nowadays, for their usage in homes.
Alternative energy sources used in homes are solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy, and biomass energy. It is not possible to completely replace fossil fuels with these sources. Hence, using them in different ways will possibly save energy for the future, while meeting the requirements for the present generation. The major advantage of renewable energy sources is that they give out clean energy (do not contribute to pollution) and are replenished by nature. Discussed below are some of the alternative energy sources for houses:
For usage in homes, it is the most popularly used alternative. In energy-efficient homes, you might have seen solar panels of specific sizes placed in areas, which receive ample amounts of light. They are best used for lighting and water heating purposes. Since these tasks consist of about 25-30 percent of the total household energy consumption, you can expect a low utility bill after installing solar panels in your home.
As an approach for saving non-renewable energy sources, one can think of setting up a wind turbine. A major drawback of wind energy is the initial cost of installing a turbine (about USD 10,000 or more). Nevertheless, remember that it is a long-term solution, and once installed, a windmill lasts for a lifetime without costing anything.
It is a dual-purpose resource, consisting of energy from underneath the Earth's surface, which is used for heating and cooling homes. During winter, it is used to warm the rooms, while it serves the opposite in hot summer months. In order to reap the benefits of this underground source, a geothermal heat pump is installed near the house. A single pump is sufficient to operate the heating system properly without needing additional energy supply.
One of the most neglected alternative fuels for homes is biomass, which includes energy derived from waste parts of plants and animals. In the United States, statistical data reveals that biomass provides 15 times more energy than that of solar and wind energy combined. Generating ethanol (a liquid fuel) from biomass is getting a lot of attention in recent times, which can be used for running cars and other vehicles, which are specifically configured for using alcohol-based fuels (not petrol or diesel).
In the present scenario, the energy crisis has become a major concern all over the world, and taking steps for conserving energy resources is a practical solution. The best way you can contribute is by using alternative energy sources for homes. Relying on these fuels is advantageous in solving political, economical, and environmental issues. Besides using these sources, modern homes are equipped with special techniques for energy-saving purpose. Also, the federal government has declared tax incentives for using renewable energy sources in homes. So, you can take advantages of this plan and enjoy the benefits of these resources.