The Benefits Of Renewable Energy The Benefits Of Renewable Energy Eco-friendly seems to be the word of the day at the moment More people are opting for environmentally friendly, renewable options in their everyday life. But one of the areas many people are still not aware of is the impact running your home is having on the environment – and your wallet. By using traditional gas or combination methods to heat and power your home, you are still using up dwindling fossil fuels. So this winter, why not heat your home the renewable way? How Does Renewable Energy Work? Renewable energy is, essentially, any form of energy generated from natural and renewable energy sources, with the aim of having less of an impact on the environment than traditional fossil fuels. The most common forms of renewable energy tend to be solar, wind and hydroelectric (water) power. For the home user, solar power is the only feasible way to harvest natural energy and turn it into power for your home through the use of solar panels. Simply put, solar panels work by allowing photons (or particles or light), to knock electrons free form their atoms, generating a flow of electricity. This process happens on a massive scale within the photovoltaic cells, which make up the solar panel. Once the flow of electricity has been generated, the metal conductive plates on the sides of the cell collect the electrons and transfer them to the wires, creating useable power. This can be wired to run directly into your home, or into storage batteries. To find out more about the nitty-gritty science behind solar panels, check out this article by Live Science. How Much Does It Cost? Powering your home with solar power has many cost benefits. For a start, you can dramatically cut down on your electricity bills by using the power you have generated yourself. You will only need to use power directly from the grid if your solar power has been depleted. Even better, if you are producing more electricity than you need to use, you can sell the electricity back to the grid for a profit. The UK government currently has a ‘feed-in’ tariff that allows you to earn up to £8,080 a year for selling electricity back to the grid. So if you are clever about when you use your high-power utilities, you can easily power your home using solar energy without giving a penny to the grid, and even earning money from them. But, the first thing you need to do is get the solar panels installed, and that’s where the majority of the cost comes in. The average family home needs a solar PV panel that provides 3kW of electricity to be viable. In the UK, that will cost between £4,000 and £6,000 and cover 21 square metres of roof space. While this is around 70% cheaper than solar panels were when they first hit the market, it’s still a pretty significant investment. But because it’s a positive step for the environment, many local councils are offering grants or bursary schemes to help you afford the installation costs. Heating Your Home With Solar Power While it’s true that the UK isn’t exactly bathed in sunshine, solar power has the capacity to power everything you need in your home. But in most homes, many things aren’t powered by electricity. Heating, for example, is still predominantly gas based in the UK, meaning you are burning fossil fuels and spending a lot of money to heat your home. But with an electric heating system, based on electric radiators, you can use some of that wonderful, clean and renewable energy to heat your home as well. Electric radiators are wired directly into the mains electricity in your home and will draw from your electricity supply when used. There will be no difference between the power generated by solar panels and that provided by the grid – the quality and power are still the same. And if you are utilising solar batteries to store your excess, you can be sure that your home will stay warm, even in the deepest winter power cut. So there you have it. Electric radiators are the perfect way to reduced your carbon footprint while saving money. If you already have solar panels installed on your home, but are still running gas heating, now is the time to look at switching to a more energy efficient heating solution. At Electric Heating Experts, we provide a wide range of electric heating options, including slimline, economy and stylised radiators to suit any home. For more information on how to make your home eco-friendly, get in touch with us today.