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One way to make a huge impact on your energy bill and on the environment is to begin using alternative energy in your home. Some states may still offer tax credits for installing alternative energy systems.
Step One: Choose Your Approach
There are several different alternative energy sources to consider. The most popular are solar and wind. Solar is generally considered the easiest option and the most affordable. Most experts agree that solar panels and systems have never been cheaper.
Fully installed, your solar array might cost around $3 per watt. The average 4-kilowatt system then costs around $12,000 for the entire system. However, that doesn’t include tax credits and savings. Over 20 years experts predict the average family could save around $20,000.
Wind and hydro systems are another option. However, they’re generally more expensive and more difficult to maintain. Solar is durable and lasts for decades with minimal maintenance.
Step Two: Identify Your Budget and Goals
Decide what you want to accomplish from your alternative energy. For example, if you simply want to recharge your devices without having to plug them in, you can invest in small solar charging appliances. If you want to go completely independent and create all your own power, you’ll want to take the next step.
Step Three: Get Quotes and Price It Out
There are two general approaches. You can reach out to local installation companies who can give you the full package. This often includes connecting you to the grid so you can earn energy credits. Or you can install your system yourself.
Step Four: Install and Enjoy
Get your system installed and create a plan to maintain it. Now you can enjoy the fruits of your labor for decades. For fun, track your monthly savings by comparing your new energy bill to last years.
The next sustainable living idea also embraces the resources that nature provides. Let’s take a look at how to harvest your rainwater.