With concerns about the environment and conserving our available resources growing, more and more people are thinking about generating their own power at home. However, there are a lot of questions to be answered first. Will generating my own electricity be worthwhile in the long run? Does it really help the environment? Let’s take a look at some of the major issues in home power generation to help you find out if it’s something that will work for you.
The first thing you need to know is that generating your own electricity is not cheap, though it will save you money in the long run. There are some federal and state tax incentives for people who are thinking about starting up their own alternative power generation, but the initial cost of the equipment is still going to be high. You don’t want to cut corners, either. Low quality equipment may break down early or perform less well.
If you’re willing to deal with the initial cost, however, you’ll probably save money as the years go on. Generating your own power is relatively inexpensive, once you have a setup, and if you decide to go with a grid tie-in, rather than go completely off the grid, you don’t need to purchase batteries and monitoring equipment. However, you won’t achieve the same level of independence, either.
So, what’s the environmental impact? This depends on how you’re generating your power, and how your utility company generates theirs. If you choose to get your own windmill instead of using wind power from a green utility, the environmental benefit of your windmill is minimal (though it’s satisfying to have power when everyone else is in a brownout).
If your local utility burns coal, and doesn’t do it efficiently, your wind turbine or solar panels could be making a big difference in your personal carbon footprint. To tell what the difference is in your life, you’re going to have to look at your own situation. There’s a pretty good chance that it’s worth it, however.
If you’re thinking about taking up generating your own electricity, you should investigate all the options, and see if your site is suitable for it. After all, solar panels don’t work well if it’s perpetually overcast. However, if you find out that home electricity generation would work well for where you live, take advantage of all the programs encouraging us to strike out on our own. You’ll be glad you did, and you’ll be doing a little bit more for the environment, too.
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