Renewable energy has almost become a catch-phrase. With so much conversation concerning global warming, more and more people are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Another reason that many families are beginning to consider the possibility of setting up a renewable energy system in their home is the fact that many public energy companies are saying that peak energy consumption is placing a heavy load on the systems and the current infrastructure is not prepared for the loads that are being placed on it. Setting up your own renewable energy system in your home will help save money and conserve natural resources, but just how much renewable energy can one home produce? Our expert green builders in Texas, Native can answer that question.
Understanding the Variables
Taking time to familiarize yourself with all of the variables that will influence your limitations will allow you to properly plan while minimizing the frustrations. There are certain things such as the size of your home and local codes that will play a major role in determining just how much energy your home will be able to produce. Every situation will be different.
Analyze Your Loads
One of the first things that you will want to do is analyze your energy loads. What this means is that you will need to calculate your energy needs. Energy.gov provides a helpful article to help estimate home energy use. Carefully evaluating your energy needs will help you determine the size – and therefore, the cost – of the type and size of system you will need. Understanding how your energy needs fluctuate throughout different times during the year will also help you plan and purchase the right system. When calculating your loads you will also discover ways that you will be able to reduce consumption and unnecessary energy use.
As you analyze your current energy usage and future needs, you will be able to effectively project the usage in the coming years. Although your inclination may be to buy the system with the highest capacity, that may not be the most proficient or cost effective measure. Only so much energy can be stored in the backup systems for renewable energy, meaning that you don’t use and can’t store will be wasted. This is an overworking of the system which is what you are attempting to reduce.
Local Codes and Requirements
All states and many municipalities have their own codes and requirements that regulate the use of renewable energy systems. This will also have a limiting influence on how much you will be able to produce. The regulation imposed by these entities can impact the size and type of system that you can have in your home. It can also regulate who is allowed to install the system. Some of the elements that you will have to be concerned with here are easements, building codes, technology-specific requirements and local ordinances and covenants. The International Renewable Energy Agency released a study on renewable energy policies by selected cities. A city in focus was Austin, TX and its “Stimulating Renewable Energy through Public and Private Procurement,” a PDF available for download online.
Grid Connect or Standalone
Some people choose to use a grid connected system, which allows them to reduce the amount of conventional power being used. This also allows them to have the ability to sell any excess energy back to the power company.
Others use a standalone system that is total independent of the current infrastructure.
The truth is that a home can produce as much power as the systems being used are capable of. Obviously, the larger the house the more solar panels that can go up, so size also creates limitations, but the system is the primary determinant of the maximum amount of electricity that can be produced.
Native is one of the top green builders and construction companies that place importance on renewable energy. Readers interested in reducing their carbon footprint and green home improvement can build with Native.