The replacement of traditionally created electricity with electricity generated from renewable or alternative resources is now a viable alternative for many people in the Western world. The main stumbling block is the initial outlay, which is why solar electricity is still not a viable concern in most other, hotter, countries.
The fact is that fitting solar panels to get your home off the grid is a lot cheaper than it was ten years ago, but it is still not cheap. Some countries have introduced incentive schemes and these are fine, as far as they go, but often they are intended for the middle classes, which is not a section of society as big as the working class and which can afford to pay for its own electricity anyway. These programs leave the preponderance of the members of society stuck with the grid. The new British proposal FITS is like this.
Other countries have so-called ‘Green Options’, which means that you can choose to pull energy from producers of electricity from users of renewable resources only, which is good as far as it goes, but the end user is still stuck in the system of being on the grid and being subject to price rises and power cuts.
If you truly want to get off the grid, do away with monthly bills and regain your freedom from the fat cat oil and electricity providers, you need to take a radical approach. The first step is to work out your electrical requirements.
Work out the coldest and the hottest month and use the dearest plus 10% as your goal. The fact is that it could take you years to get off the grid, and by then white goods will be using less electricity than they do now anyway. You can also sell your surplus electricity back to the grid for real satisfaction.
The cost of the professional installation of solar energy systems can be prohibitive and take twelve years or more to recoup, but if you assemble and install your own bank of solar panels, you can more than half that figure. In fact, it is possible to reduce the cost by as much as 75%, if you are willing to assemble and install the solar panels yourself. This is a job that most competent teenagers can do, given the right drawings or schemas.
The best way of going about it, is for you to read up as much as you can on the topic, because there are several routes you can go. The main ones, using solar panels or other means of renewable electricity, are: remain hooked up to the grid, using your own electricity first and selling back any surplus; remain linked up, but send surplus electricity to your own batteries, which could be an electric car; or you can get off the grid altogether.
The ultimate objective, in my eyes, is to supply my house with all the home-made electricity from solar panels that I need, to recharge my hybrid car’s batteries from the same source and to resell any surplus back to the electricity grid.
What a dream!
Owen Jones, the author of this article, writes on many subjects, but is currently involved with a favourite subject, types of renewable energy. If you are interested in Sustainable Energy At Home, please click through to our site.