In these tough economic times, we're all looking for ways to save and make money. The possibility of making your own electricity though sounds, well, shocking. But the idea isn't quite as ridiculous as it sounds. We're not necessarily suggesting you go off grid and provide all your own power, but there are several options available to you which could both save and earn you money.
Firstly, you need to look at investment. The equipment involved in creating electricity tends to be expensive. Installing solar panels, wind turbines or solar photo-voltaic panels is costly. And unsightly.
There are grants available in some areas that will help you with start up costs, and there are even some power companies that will aid you in equipping yourself to produce electricity. However, the initial cost cannot be overlooked.
If you end up paying for even half of this equipment, the money you save or earn during the first couple of years is not going to be profit. Electricity production is somewhat of a long term investment.
Something else to keep in mind is that this is very much location sensitive. Not all areas are suitable for solar energy, and not all areas are ideal for wind turbines. Plus, if you live within certain zoning restrictions you may not be allowed to erect the necessary equipment.
Feed in Tariffs
Once you've dealt with the initial start-up problems, however, there is potential to earn and save money. Many power providers have something that they call Feed In Tariffs schemes (FITs).
These schemes work in slightly different ways depending on your provider, but have many similarities. You are paid for the electricity that you produce, even if you use that electricity yourself. You also tend to get discounted rates on power gained from a supplier.
This sounds great, but rather obviously how much you make or save depends on how much power you can produce.
Current estimates based on the average size of a household generator suggest that you can both make and save an average of around nine hundred pounds a year. That's not a sum to be sneezed at, but don't forget to factor in what your initial costs were.
Your annual savings are likely to increase over coming years, as the government is eager to put more money into renewable resources. There is no guarantee of this, however.
The process of becoming eligible for FITs is a complicated one, involving a lot of paperwork, and relevant certifications that need to be approved by councils and power providers. It will take time to become approved, and during that time you will not be earning money. So this is also a factor that you need to take into account.
. . .
The idea of producing your own electricity is not a ridiculous one, it is an opportunity that has been grasped by many people in the last couplen of years.
However, it is also not a get rich quick scheme, though seen as a long term investment you will end up profitting from such a plan.
Whether the initial costs and time taken are worth it come doen to an individual’s decision but this is something that needs to be seriously considered, especially looking at uk electricity prices today and how they are likely to increase.