Saturday, December 25, 2010

Your Green Electricity Options

If you are looking to switch to green electricity then you have two options. Your first option is to generate the electricity yourself using renewable energy technologies. The second is to switch to a green tariff with one of the energy providers. Let's take a closer look at these two possibilities.

Generating your own renewable energy is a viable option these days. The only set back is the relatively high initial investment that you would need. There are a number of options including solar, wind, combined heat and power or hydro. Probably the most practical and suitable for most people is the solar option.

When we talk about solar we mean solar photovoltaic panels, these turn the light form the sun into electricity. They are almost entirely maintenance free and can be installed in a day. You do however have to have a South facing roof for them to work effectively. The more direct sun that they get the more electricity they will produce.

A typical solar installation should produce more than half of all your electrical power requirements. You can get larger installations and sell any excess energy back to the grid. The down side to solar is that they only work during the day. This means at night you will still have to buy in your power from the grid.

There are ways to store the excess power you generate but for most people the systems are not yet domestically practical. The appliances we use are generally high demand and the batteries would not last very long.

The second option is to switch to a green electricity tariff from either your current energy company or from a competitor. Most companies these days have a green or eco tariff. However they are not all the same. Some providers top up their green with brown electricity. Brown electricity is the same type that you are already using.

To make a difference your best option is to switch to a provider who only produces renewable energy. Many of the independents produce their own renewable power and sell it direct to the consumer.

The cost of switching to a green tariff varies depending on the type of tariff and the company you choose. Some companies offer a rate equal to that you are currently already paying so that it will not cost you any more to switch. Others are slightly more expensive but the costs are coming down as more supply is being produced to meet demand.

Find out more about your green electricity options or find out how you can get free solar panels for your home with a government grant.

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