Renewable energy is the great hope of green living enthusiasts. That optimistic group of people who love everything green and wish to convert everyone to their way of thinking. That said, not everything green is as green as one might think at first glance and is it worth the cost?

Biomass boilers are popular as replacements to the traditional hot water boiler system that uses electricity or gas to heat water which supplies the whole property with hot water for baths, showers, sinks & washbasins, and hot water for the radiator system too. Biomass boilers use various types of wood, from logs to little standardised wood pellets, to fire and create energy for the boiler to heat water.  There are several types of biomass boilers including manual ones where someone must feed wood into it and large-scale operations where the boiler is automated. However, most types use wood for burning and wood typically contains 50 percent co2 which when burnt is expelled into the atmosphere.

Biomass boilers are satisfactory, if imperfect from a carbon standpoint, but they still carry a high running cost after installation. Renewable energy is intended to be a little more self-sustaining than that.

Small, slim wind turbines are one option. Having started out life looking like a  white mast with a wide turning blade which was a bit of an eye sore and hazardous to bird life flying through, some innovative turbine companies are now producing mini-turbines which look like small poles stuck in the ground with several curved blades rotating on an axis. These create a suitable amount of energy for a small home, while requiring far lower wind speeds to be operational. The curved design of the rotating blades also helps to dampen the noise when wind speeds pick up. It helps to shop around for prices on small wind turbines as there are several new providers in the UK market now.

Another renewable option is solar panels. These reflective screens attach to the side of a house or on the roof quite often, and as long as the house is oriented in a helpful direction, the solar panels can collect enough sunshine to create power for the home. Batteries inside the home can take a sustained charge to hold whatever power is generated that goes unused at the point of power conversion. Prices continue to fall as manufacturers experiment with different designs and fittings, making this a good time to consider having solar power installed. One of the big benefits is that unlike utilities today, the cost to install in a one-off cost, whilst the utility companies keep boosting their prices at inflation-busting rates each year.

Renewable technology installations are one of the better green deal energy options; as part of the green home improvement scheme from the UK government. Home owners are offered a home improvement loan to encourage them to make some green changes, which is repaid on the utility bill over time. A Green Deal assessor can take the confusion out of buying green technology by surveying the home at a cost of less than £150 and answering any questions. A plan can be drawn up later, including the best green upgrades for your home, which packages finance and installers together at a single cost.