Considering Clean Energy? Here Are 3 Renewable Ways to Power Your Home

Considering Clean Energy? Here Are 3 Renewable Ways to Power Your Home

Not every green source of energy will suit your property, but you have several options. Here are three to get your brainstorming started.

Once upon a time, the thought of powering your home with renewable energy seemed impossible. Not only were the methods limited, but sky-high prices put each option out of reach for most homeowners. Today, however, more consumers demand eco-friendly alternatives. Costs have lowered, making renewables accessible to people everywhere. 

Not every green source of energy will suit your property, but you have several options. Here are three to get your brainstorming started.

1. Wind Turbines

You've probably noticed these power generators on massive stretches of open land. If you have an expansive property, install a smaller version of your own. You have a few negatives to consider, however. Namely, a turbine can create noise, and it's a big visual addition to your yard.

Your neighborhood homeowner’s association might not like it, either. Since you can't predict the wind, you'll have to connect to a power grid in case your turbines don't spin. 

This renewable has many advantages to offer, too. For one, it's a stable source of energy. In areas with the right amount of wind — and if you install a big enough turbine — you can power your entire property with ease. Keep an eye on the weather and adjust your equipment to make the most of windy days, and you'll be good on the energy front. 

You might make a small or large investment in your home's green energy supply — it depends on the size of the machinery that you invest in. A turbine with a less-than-100-watt output can cost as little as $3,000. Meanwhile, one able to power an expansive home on its own could come with a $50,000 price tag. Of course, for a lifetime of free and eco-friendly electricity, it could be worth the buy.

2. Hydro Power

Do you have a stream or river flowing through your property, by chance? If so, you could harness the great power of hydroelectricity for your home.

You might have to call in an expert to help you power your home with hydroelectricity but doing so is a relatively easy process. They will divert a stretch of your stream or river — the longest, most vertical bit — and channel it through a generator. The flow of water creates power for your property, a source that's more stable than wind. As long as the stream or river flows, you will have eco-friendly energy for your home.

Hydroelectric power requires no fuel to turn water into usable energy, making it more earth friendly. It costs very little to use, too. The only issue is the diversion of water to your generator. This process could have an environmental impact on creatures living in the river if they get caught in it. However, a home generator would be less of a problem than a dam, which is how major hydroelectric power sources gather water. 

Much like wind turbines, hydroelectric power sources can be a significant investment. The cost will depend on the system's output — it could range from $1,000 to $20,000. Once again, though, you won't have to pay electric bills anymore — and you'll be relying on a green source of power. 

3. Solar Power

Speaking of long-lasting renewable energy sources, you might want to consider solar power for your home. Let's say you install rooftop panels, which soak up the sun's rays and use them to create energy. They will do so as long as the sun continues to shine, which experts estimate will continue for 4.5 billion more years — no need to worry about that, then. Indeed, this is one of the major pros of choosing solar for your home. 

In the past, people have seen solar panels as a costly investment that comes without a matching return. Nowadays, though, the technology has become cheaper and more accessible to the everyday homeowner.

As such, you can and should consider solar as a worthwhile option for your eco-friendly property. It's possible to produce enough energy for your home and feed more back to the city's supply, meaning you'll get paid for your home's energy output.

Of course, solar power will lose its efficiency on cloudy days. If you live in a regularly sunny locale, you don't have to worry about this downfall. Instead, ensure your panels face the right direction to gather the most sunlight. You might also have to buy batteries to store excess energy, accessories that can be pricey.

Always be aware of your energy usage so that you don't waste any power, either. Unplug electronics and keep your major appliances serviced so that they run as efficiently as possible.

The average solar panel installation costs between $11,411 and $14,874. With the cost of solar panels falling 20 percent in five years, the investment is a bargain compared to previous prices. Get quotes from multiple companies to ensure you land on the most cost-effective option for your home.

Find the Power in Green Sources

These options are an excellent jumping-off point for any homeowner in search of renewable energy. Harness the power of wind, water or the sun, and you've got a household that's saving the planet's non-renewable resources.


Start researching and see which of these or other renewable sources will work best for your abode. Then, relish in the fact that you're off the grid — and protecting the Earth, too.

About the Author

Jenna Tsui is a Texan journalist who co-owns The Byte Beat blog. She writes about the latest news in sustainability, culture, technology and more. Check out her work on TBB or follow her on Twitter @jenna_tsui .