A Beginner’s Guide to Getting Off the Power Grid Are you tired of depending on your local power company? Do you wish you could be independent and live off of the grid? Being reliant upon the “grid” can have many disadvantages. For starters, the cost of electricity rises all the time. Also, if the power ever goes out, there’s nothing you can really do unless you have a backup generator, and that can be expensive! There are a handful of things you can do for getting off the power grid completely. Some steps require a bit of an investment. For instance, if you want to install solar panels or wind turbines on your property, you’re going to need to invest in the parts. It’s a lot cheaper to build them from scratch than it is to buy assembled ones. Here are some tips for getting off the power grid:
Replace your conventional water heater with a solar water heater. A solar water heater can provide more than 75% of your family’s yearly waterheating needs. Your utility bills will be cut in half! The downside to solar water heaters is that they can be expensive. However, they tend to pay for themselves just after a few years of use.
Learn about solar panels and decide whether they would be a good option for your property. Keep in mind that they work on light, not heat, so you can use them even if you don’t live in an area with warm weather. Indeed, solar panels can work even in the winter time provided that they are installed properly! If you don’t live in a very sunny area, you can still benefit from solar energy by installing more than one panel on your property.
Consider wind turbines. Wind energy is excellent for producing electricity. Just as long as you get at least 11 mph wind speeds in your area, wind turbines should be worth having on your property. You should also have enough room for a wind generator. It needs to stand up tall over all other objects on your property. Chances are, you’ll probably need more than one wind generator on your property – especially if you want to power your entire home.
Micro-hydro electricity can be useful. This is perhaps the least-known energy system, yet it’s also one of the most useful. The source of energy for this type of system is running water. If you live near a stream, then you may want to consider this option. The only problem is that hydroelectric systems aren’t easy to
build. If you want to construct a renewable energy system from scratch, your best bet is solar or wind. There are plenty of small things you can do for getting off the power grid.
Taking many small steps might be easier for you than taking a few large ones.
Start unplugging appliances when you’re not using them.
Start opening windows so that you don’t have to turn the air conditioner on.
Use a broom more than a vacuum cleaner.
Start hanging your clothes outside to dry rather than putting them in the dryer.
Start using compact fluorescent light bulbs.
Consider a solar energy lighting system for your home.
Always turn off lights when you’re not using them.
Don’t leave appliances such as computers and televisions on all the time.
Reuse plastic bottles a few times before throwing them away.
These guidelines are really just the beginning. You can get the COMPLETE, step by step solar blueprint for saving THOUSANDS of dollars (yep, thousands.) every single year on your energy bills with your own homemade solar panel system.
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