7 Steps to an Energy-Efficient House: 7. Renewable Energy
Add renewable-energy equipment
Editor's introduction: With energy prices rising again, many homeowners are planning energy-efficiency improvements to their homes. But most people are unsure of where to begin, and even seasoned builders don’t always know which priorities should rise to the top of the list. Betsy Pettit, an architect at Building Science Corporation, recommends starting where you can get the most bang for the buck.
Step 7: Install renewable-energy equipment
Once your energy consumption has been reduced significantly, it may be reasonable to produce your own energy with a photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. system, wind turbine, or even a small hydro system (if you happen to have a stream nearby). Energy-efficiency improvements yield a faster return on your investment than renewable energy equipment, though — so until you slash your energy use, it makes no sense to invest in photovoltaics or wind. Conservation is still the cheapest game in town.
In Strategies and Details
Consider a Wind Turbine
Green Building Myth: Adding Solar Is the Best Way to Green a Home
Generating Electricity From the Sun
Tax Credits for Solar Energy Systems
Thinking About Net Zero Energy
Backyard Wind Turbines
Resisting the Allure of Small Wind Turbines
Home Wind Power
Equipment Versus Envelope
- Steven Strong