Renewable energy sources have improved over the last few years and now present a real option for homeowners who are adventurous enough to think constructively about deploying green technologies in and around their home.

 Green energy is increasing in popularity because consumers are attracted to the idea of natural  and renewable sources of energy rather than that generated somewhat more artificially by converting fossil fuels into energy.

The idea that wind power or the power of the sun can be captured and converted into electricity to power the home seems almost magical. But of course, when it comes to solar power, calculators, computer keyboards and more recently Smartphones from the likes of Sharp and Nokia have been released which use solar power to keep going indefinitely.

 Solar Power Systems

 Solar power systems are primarily made up of solar panels, inverter, cabling and sometimes batteries for energy storage.

 The solar panels have many small photovoltaic cells which react to the sun's energy and actively, convert it  into electricity which is fed through the solar panel, along the cabling, and  into the inverter.

 Electricity has different forms of current. The inverter converts this newly created electricity into a form that is readily usable in the home. Once appropriately adjusted, the electricity can either be fed into the mains power supply in the home for immediate use or stored in a pack of batteries for later use. By having the battery storage, this removes the need to tap the Grid supply in the  evening and at night when the sun has gone down, as long as the energy created is enough to supply all the home's needs.

 Being Paid To Switch To Solar Energy

 While having a solar system installed can cost quite a few thousands pounds in upfront costs, the long-term benefits are considerable. Future energy costs will fall because with the solar power covering some or all of the needs of the household, there are fewer units off the Grid being consumed. Even with price rises and energy price inflation being an ongoing bugbear, the energy bill is manageable.

For each unit of energy created by an engineer-approved solar system installed on the roof of the home, the home owner will be paid the current Feed-in Tariff amount. This is even the case if the homeowner uses all the energy generated (so a home owner can be paid for energy they use, rather than the other way around). Furthermore, any excess supply can be sold off to further increase the payments coming from renewable energy creation.

 Funding Sources

 It is sometimes possible to obtain a home improvement loan from a regular bank or building society to fund solar installations. The Green Deal scheme from the government also offers loans to pay for a range of green changes, including renewable energy, which do not require a credit check to quality for, are repaid via energy bills through cost savings, and are tied to the property rather than the individual.

When considering solar or alternative green energy systems for the home it is always worth doing a cost / benefit analysis to make sure that the installation you are considering is financially viable.