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Alternative Energy Sources for Your Home

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Editor’s Note: This post contributed by Laura. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter the Prepper Writing Contest today.


Yes, most of us depend on the local electric company for our energy needs. Not all of us even have the power to choose from differing rates like they do in cities like Dallas. Most of the time, especially in smaller areas, there is just the one power company and you either go with them or you don’t have power.

The thing is, traditional power companies aren’t the only way to get energy to our homes. What’s more, you don’t need to go off the grid to have these types of alternative energy sources in your home. Some of these types of energies include things like:

  • Solar power
  • Wind power
  • Water power
  • Geothermal energy

Why don’t we take a look at a few of these more closely?

Solar Power

solar-759

There are people out there who claim that solar power for the home is the energy of the future. They wouldn’t be too far off base either. It is a renewable source of energy and can be done on very large or very small scales. Right now, the prices for the equipment are falling and there are other financial incentives in place. These alone can make this a tempting option. There are even some cases where a home solar power system will create more energy than it needs and some of this can actually be sold back to your local utility company. As nice as all of this sounds, there are some things you will need to consider if you want to take this route. They include:

Wind Power

windturbine

Some people are turning to wind power as a source of energy for their homes. This is done by installing a small wind turbine. These are basically generators of electricity. They use the power of the wind to create power that is clean and free from emissions for family homes, farms, and even some small businesses. This technology is simple and gaining in popularity and allows for people to create their own energy and slash their energy bills while doing their part to reduce their carbon footprint and help the environment. Like with solar power, the government does offer rebates as well as tax credit programs to encourage people to turn to this as a source of energy.

Water Power

waterpower

Water power has been in use for homes for longer than either of the first two and there are hydroelectric power plants scattered across the country. That is large scale hydro power. However, if you happen to have a creek, stream, or other source of water flowing on your land, you can have your own hydropower system. Typically, a 10 – kilowatt system is enough to power a large home or even a small farm. To do this, you will need to figure out how much power you can get from the water on your land and will have to get the proper water rights and permits. This type of power is also eligible for rebates and some tax credits from the government.

When you are ready to say goodbye to high energy bills and invest in your own source of power, check with the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiencies to see what tax credits and rebates are offered in your area.

  • John D

    For several reasons, wind and water power are not viable options for most people. Grid-tied solar would not provide any benefit in the event of a grid-down situation. the only viable solution is off-grid solar, with batteries. Preppers tend not to want to spend a lot of money, and certainly don’t want to cover their roof with panels that scream “hey look at me, I have lots of things that you don’t.” A small, portable, off-grid solar electric system with batteries is a much more practical solution. It would cost much less, and panels can be mounted on a ground structure, not visible from the street. A small system could power lights, a refrigerator or freezer, fans, power tools, communications devices, kitchen appliances, and so on. Perhaps the only thing it couldn’t do is power a furnace or central AC. A small system can be made portable, and therefore easily transported in the event you would need to bug out.

  • Mike Dill

    Living in a suburban area of the sunny south-west of the USA, a substantial number of my neighbors already have solar panels on their roofs. Putting some on my roof is actually cost-effective and worthwhile, even if everything continues without any problems. Next year, I am putting in the Tesla PowerWall 2 battery system, which will power my lights in a grid-down situation, and have a positive payback after a few years when I use it to shave the peak time-of-use rates.
    Yes, this is not a transportable solution, and I would have to leave it behind if I needed to bug-out. But until that happens, it has a better payback than money in the bank.

  • Bardirect

    Why no consideration of solar for heating hot water but only photovoltaic generation?

    • John D

      Since we’re looking at things from a prepping point of view, it’s probably best to consider portable systems.