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Thursday, December 5, 2013

5 renewable energy sources to help during the holiday season

Fossil fuel alternatives include renewable energy
Renewable energy saves money
By Lindsey Patterson

The holiday season is the best part of the year, but it can also soon become stressful if you find yourself spending more than you'd like on presents, decorations, and trips with the family. 

When you add on the cost of utilities each month, it becomes the sort of financial situation that nobody wants to deal with. However, there is a way in which you can cut the cost of your energy, as well as doing your part to save the environment. And you can do it right there in your home. Here are five renewable energy sources to help you during the holiday season.

1. Natural

Never underestimate the power of natural energy. If you have plenty of windows in your house, natural sunlight can give you the warmth and light that you need for most of the year, which reduces the need for electricity. Look into ways in which you can introduce more windows and glass doors into your house; with double glazing, you can still have a fully insulated home.

2. Wind

Windo power is generated with turbines
Wind turbines are loud, but Earth friendly
There are a few different ways in which you can make use of wind power in your home. It is not the most effective form of renewable energy, but if you use it correctly it can be beneficial. 

If you live in an area with a good wind farm, you might be able to get your energy from there. More likely however, you will have to set up your own turbine.

Before you do this, make sure to get an expert to come and evaluate the suitability of your house's location for wind power. However, be warned that wind turbines can be noisy and unreliable.

3. Solar

The marketplace for solar electricity is expansive
Solar panels can be financed
Solar power is by far the easiest and most accessible form of renewable energy for your home. It easily fits in with most digital home automation systems, allowing you to control every one of your solar powered utilities—lighting, heating, cooling—with a central keypad or even your smartphone.

There are also a lot of solar companies who will help you to cut costs by effectively loaning you the solar panels, and selling you the energy. This is a much cheaper way to get solar power for your home.

4. Hydropower

Electricity is generated using local flowing water sources
Hydropower is possible via investment
It is possible to make use of hydropower in your home, that is, if you are willing to pay the big bucks--which might just defeat your reasons for installing renewable energy in the first place.

However, if you are interested, and have access to at least two gallons per minute of flowing water, you can read more information about hydropower here.


5. Geothermal

You can install a geothermal energy system in your home, but it is even more expensive than hydropower, so be prepared to part with tens of thousands of dollars. An easier way to do it might be to connect to a local geothermal plant, but not everyone has one of those handy. For more information regarding geothermal energy at home, visit here.

About the authorLindsey Patterson is a freelance writer who specializes in technology and the latest social trends, specifically involving social media.

Image licences: Scott Maxwell; RGBStock royalty free; Sundstrom, RGBStock royalty free; Ayla87, RGBStock royalty free; RWLinder, RGBStock royalty free