As it turns out, the gas-guzzlers in every home are the costs of heating and cooling, which can account for up to 50 percent of your utility bill. Taking drastic action may be tempting but before considering an investment in a green energy solution, ask your local utility if they have an energy audit program in your area. This first step will help uncover some simple ways to reduce your household’s energy consumption and hopefully your utility bill as well.
In addition, it makes good green sense to take a look at the energy efficiency of your appliances—are they over 10 years old?—because these big energy consumers play a key role in what it will take to offset your electricity bill.
Once you have those two items checked off the list, you will be pleased to discover that residential renewable energy solutions such as solar and wind, are growing in popularity. According to an article by Amy Westervelt, “Rooftop Pipe-Dream” http://www.slate.com/id/2284633/ in Slate.com, the market for “small wind” turbines (those that are mounted to your rooftop) grew 13 percent in the United States in 2009.
These statistics would be more exciting if this burgeoning renewable energy market was not fraught with concerns around noise and human health, overzealous manufacturers and a lack of regulation in the industry. A few years ago, I wrote an article informing readers that if your home is on half an acre of unobstructed land with average wind speeds of 10 mph, consider a residential wind turbine (mounted to a tower on your property). According to Westervelt, these tower-mounted turbines have been proven to work where as the rooftop turbines only work in very specific settings “and almost never in urban areas” because there are too many physical structures blocking the wind. The SkyStream 3.7 http://www.skystreamenergy.com/index-main.php pictured below features a sleek plug-and-play design that connects directly to your home to provide power when the wind is blowing. Homes are powered by the utility as usual when the wind isn’t blowing.
The take away lesson here is that when it comes to green energy technology, whether solar, wind or geothermal, be sure your installer is certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners http://www.nabcep.org. You want expert knowledge and a commitment to ethics so that all the proper steps are taken to ensure your financial investment will meet your expectations.
SkyStream 3.7 Residential Wind Turbine and Energy Wind System