- The way you orient your home to take advantage of the sun’s heat represents an efficient use of renewable energy. Build so that south-facing windows allow solar energy into the home during winter. To block high-angle midday summer sun, incorporate architectural shading or install awnings or shutters.
- While the sun is out, your home can also benefit from installing photovoltaic solar panels on the roof. A solar system converts sunlight directly to electricity that powers your home. Most residential systems are grid tied and remain connected to the local utility for power at night. During daylight hours when the panels are producing more electricity than your home needs, excess power can be sold back to the utility, resulting in a possible credit on your monthly electric bill.
- On more rural lots with at least one acre of property, a small wind generator can be installed. While it’s unlikely to meet the power needs of the home, wind power on a small scale can be used to charge batteries that power auxiliary equipment such as lights in out buildings, well pumps and other applications.
Renewable energy is defined as energy produced by natural sources which continuously replenish the supply. This includes sunlight, wind, moving water and latent heat in the earth. Because there’s an infinite supply of available renewable energy, once the technology to harvest the energy is installed and paid for, the only recurrent expenses are routine maintenance and service costs. A number of opportunities exist to harness clean, green, renewable sources for applications in your Boston home.