We’ve been hearing for a while that green energy is cheaper than fossil fuels, so I decided to look into it. It turned out to be a rabbit hole filled with really neat technology instead of scary stuff.
The variety of devices that capture wind and solar energy is dizzying, with miniature hydroelectric power plants available for people with creeks, as well as the traditional roof-top solar panels and windmills — and more novel wind generators that fit in your backyard and look like sculptures. The dream of micro-producers is, of course, to get the power company to pay them for electricity.
People who don’t have access to backyards, or permission to mount things on the roof, can still avail themselves of green energy savings. Heat pumps are all the rage, with Connecticut and New York State aggressively encouraging people to purchase one — with big incentives.
And heat pumps are pretty cool. Believe it or not, there is heat in the air, even on cold days. Rather than generate heat, a heat pump simply transfers what little warmth there is in the air into your home. For every unit of electrical energy, a heat pump delivers 26 units of heat energy. The heat pumps themselves often look like hotel air conditioners.
Renewable energy also has a place in your emergency preparedness kit. Hand-cranked radios are very popular now, and they offer a similar suite of advantages — primarily always being ready and never running out. It’s a microcosm!
Taking advantage of renewable and efficient energy is a sensible strategy for reducing energy bills and carbon footprints. Low tech things like turning off pilot lights when they’re not being used (23 hours a day) and keeping spare rooms cold will never not be useful, but heating your house with a minimal amount of electricity seems to be the way of the future. Maybe cold rooms and pilot lights will become things of the past?
At JHA we have experience negotiating with power companies to get our clients off the grid, or on the grid, depending. Contact us!