What is the best way to stay green in 2023?
One of the best ways to stay green is by using renewable energy to reduce your carbon footprint for your household or community building. Some great ways to obtain renewable energy is via Solar PV or Air Source Heat Pumps. This will lead to lower energy cost, a more sustainable building and will have side-benefits such as increasing the value of your property in case you wish to put it on the market at any point.
What is renewable energy?
Renewable energy also referred to “green energy” or “clean energy” is produced from natural sources such as the sun, wind, biomass and water. As these sources naturally replenish, they’re an infinite source of energy.
The process of generating energy from these renewable sources emits no or hardly any greenhouse gasses unlike fossil fuels such as coal. Moving away from these fossil fuels that we are constantly trying to find more and more of is the future to combat climate change.
Solar Power (Solar Photovoltaic / Solar PV)
You can use the sun to generate electricity through your home via Solar Photovoltaic panels. This is the easiest and most common source of renewable energy at the moment due to easy installation on roofs, so they don’t require any external space. Solar PV systems are also becoming more common in farmers’ fields as they give a good ROI.
It should be noted that you should not confuse this with solar thermal, these are different kinds of panels that absorbs sunlight and convert it into heat to heat your water tank rather than using your boiler. These are enhanced when it is hot and greatly reduced when its not
Solar PV systems go hand in hand with battery storage. You can store all the excess energy you produce in your battery storage system which can be used during your high tariff. This will offset your energy bills even further and prevent you buying electricity from the Grid at a high rate. Alternatively, if you do not have Solar PV or if your Solar PV is not producing enough energy, you can use your battery storage system to buy electricity from the grid during your low / night rate, store the energy you have purchased on said rate and then use this energy when its required, during the day, during your high-rate tariff. If you don’t store your energy from your Solar PV then you can always sell it back to the grid but you don’t get nearly as much value as storing it in your home and will likely have to buy the energy back from the grid at more than what you sold it for. Having a battery installed also allows you to be independent with your electricity meaning if the grid went down or if there was any type of power cut you, would still have electricity for a period of time, depending on how many batteries you have and the quality / battery size.
Air source Heat Pumps
Air source heat pumps use heat from the outside air to provide you with heating and hot water. These can work in all temperatures and are capable to heat your home up to temperatures of 15˚C². Heat pumps can help your home stay warm, be more efficient and reduce your carbon footprint.
When the term wind turbines are mentioned, people often think of the big wind farms out in the fields or at sea but they’re also available for homes in a much smaller form. The wind turns the blades which drives an internal turbine to create Kinect power. These can come in two different ways either installed on the building directly or free-standing pole. You can also connect these up to a battery storage system.
It should be noted that solar panels are generally cheaper, more compact, and more widely used in urban and suburban environments. They're also known to be a more reliable source of energy because they can absorb light on cloudy days whereas turbines only spin when it's windy. Although, on windy days a turbine could be able to produce double what a solar PV could.
Hydroelectric uses water flowing down hill to generate electricity. This is at the bottom of the list as you need to be positioned near a lake or river to benefit from this. These can generate large amounts of electricity if the drop is one metre or more and if there is a lot of water flowing. These can also be hooked up to batteries if needed.
To take advantage of all the electricity produced by these systems an electric car would be the cherry on top to push you a step further towards Carbon Net Zero. Your electric vehicle charger could power directly from your renewable energy sources and essentially, proving you electricity for free! This also reduces your carbon footprint drastically as most if not all of the electricity you would be producing is renewable.
You should also keep in mind the government offer all types of grants for these renewable systems so you can spend less on the install and get a quicker ROI.
At JSG we offer all of your metering needs so you can track just how much renewable energy you’re producing and sending back to the grid or storing. Be sure to get in contact with our friendly team if you have any questions about how to track your renewable energy.