Alternatives to Rising Energy Prices
These days there is widespread concern about electricity and gas prices. You hear a lot of talk about how high they are and how to beat them. You may also hear that some people are making a move to live off the grid. But what does that mean? Simply put, it means that you make some changes and convert your home so that it no longer uses conventional energy supples from the main gas and electricity suppliers. Going off the grid can be a scary thought. Can you really survive and maintain your quality of life without the use of electricity? Here are two main questions to ask yourself if you are considering going off the grid.
Can You Afford The Initial Costs?
Whilst making you longer term savings the initial outlay may not come cheaply. You will need to buy the proper equipment to convert your home so that it can run on your new energy source. This means converting everything down to the water heater. Converting your home to alternative energy will vary in upfront costs depending on which type of energy you choose, how much energy the system needs to produce to meet your needs, and some other factors. Going to a wind turbine system for instance can cost as much as £7000 according to some estimates.
The main thing people want to know in converting is how long will it take to see that money? When will they really start saving? According to an estimate on that same wind turbine system and current energy prices the answer is about 14 years. That may seem like a long time, but you will continue to get at least six years use out of that system after the payoff point. In total, the system can save you as much as £50,000 based on expected price increases over its 20 year life!
Can You Live On Less Energy?
When you convert to an alternative energy source, there will be an adjustment period. With solar, for instance, you have to get used to the fact that no energy is generated at night. Most people will use the times of maximum solar collection during the day to store energy into a battery storage system. Once your reserves are gone you have to wait for the sun to come up and charge the panels before you have access to energy again. Every time you turn on a light or the television you have to think about how long you can run it. Now it seems difficult but in reality, the system works much like a conventional power supply. You do have to be careful, but you don’t have to count minutes. If you did, there would not be over 25,000 people in the UK alone living off-grid.
By making a few energy-saving lifestyle changes and putting out the upfront costs, you can gain a life filled with self-reliance and independence from the main energy suppliers. If you don’t have the money right now to implement an alternative energy system you can start making the necessary lifestyle changes so you are prepared when you do. Little energy saving lifestyle changes will start you on your way to lowering energy bills, making savings that you can put towards capital outlay and prepare you for your future changes.
You may be pleased to know that as technolgy develops. alternative energy generation is becoming much more efficient all the time. As a result, production costs are coming down in proportion. if you do have to wait a while due to financial constraints, it may well be that you get a more efficient system at a much lower cost than those available at the moment.
Of course with all of the focus on cost, the fact that generating your own energy from alternative energy sources will reduce your carbon footprint considerably can sometimes get lost. Many people are motivated to live off the grid through environmental concerns. This is not only good for your wallet, but also good for the planet as well as being much kinder to the environment.
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(price as of Sep 24, 2013)