There are a lot of people looking for ways to save money with alternative energy. Not only does it help you balance your budget, it creates a healthier, more sustainable environment. If you are looking for ways you can make the most of alternative energy opportunities in your life, you have plenty of options. Here are ten of the smartest ways to save money with alternative energy.
Save on Electricity With Solar Panels
In the past, solar panels were a major investment and it often took years before homeowners would see a return. These days, you can buy prefabricated solar panel kits from hardware stores for a couple hundred dollars. Installing them on your own means you save labor charges. You can also make upgrades one panel at a time. It does not take long before you are saving money with this alternative energy upgrade.
Cut Heating Costs With Solar Energy and Pellet Stoves
As the cost of traditional heating costs soar, homeowners are looking for effective ways to stay warm during the winter without breaking the bank. Using solar energy and installing alternative heating elements is a great solution. Pellet stoves allow you to burn compressed wood pellets or corn. Solar panels utilize the sun’s energy to warm the rooms in your home. Best of all, alternative energy sources allow you to take complete control of your heating costs.
Use Energy-Conscious Appliances
Energy efficient appliances, usually marked with the Energy Star seal, are a great way to save money. Many of these appliances utilize alternative energy in their manufacturing and in their operation. At the very least, they use as little energy as possible when operating. Upgrading to alternative, energy efficient appliances cuts your energy bill and helps you conserve energy on the day-to-day basis.
Heat Your Water Efficiently
Like other appliances, water heaters are becoming more and more efficient. Tankless water heaters even allow you to heat only the water you need to use during a given task. This cuts down on wasting water, saving you big money on your water bill. Conserving water is one of the main concerns of those in search of ways to protect the environment. Do your part by installing a tankless water heater or a traditional water heater that is efficient as possible.
Transportation has become one of the top markets to benefit from alternative energy. Cars used to run only on diesel or fuel. Nowadays, you can drive a car that runs on ethanol, which is corn, biodiesel, or electricity. Recycling oil and using alternative energy sources for operating a vehicle saves money and keeps the environment healthier. Vehicles that fun on alternative forms of energy are getting less expensive each year. They are also gaining ground in regard to comfort and efficiency. Public transportation is also making the switch to alternative fuels. If you are unable to afford an electric car or you do not want to use biodiesel or ethanol in your vehicle, consider using public transportation a few days a week for your commute.
Get Your Kids to Go Green
Many alternative energy concerns focus on adults, but it is important to remember kids are affected, too. As you make changes in your home, talk to your children. Educate them about alternatives, so when the time comes for them to make adult decisions, they understand their options. The sooner they are introduced to alternative energy the sooner alternative will become main-stream.
Make Alternative Energy a Priority in Your Kitchen
Updating your appliances is not the only option when it comes to creating a greener, more energy-efficient kitchen. When you shop for groceries, make responsible choices. Buy from food distributors that share your energy priorities. Cut back on how much you purchase from large chain stores and shop at local farmer’s markets. Learn about how your produce is grown and transported from the farm to your table. If you really want to see big savings, grown your own garden and focus on using only sustainable, organic products.
Your garden needs energy to grow. It gets this energy from the sun, from water, and from the nutrients in the soil. You can create nutrient-rich soil by composting food scraps and other waste materials from your kitchen. You can also use rain barrels to provide water instead of running the garden hose. Energy helps your plans live, just as much as it helps you live.
Cash in at Tax Time
One of the best ways to save money with alternative energy is to take advantage of the tax breaks offered by the government. State and federal programs reward those who take time to upgrade to alternative energy options. Though it varies from year to year, purchasing energy efficient appliances, an energy efficient car, or alternative sources of energy for heating and cooling your home can get you tax rebates. When the time comes to file, make sure you include any upgrades you made through the previous year. This is one of the best ways to save money on alternative energy upgrades.
Understand All of Your Options
Knowing is half the battle. This statement is very true when it comes to using alternative energy. Understanding the most cost effective upgrades to make can save you a lot of money. Before deciding how to use alternative energy, do a self-audit of your home and your life. There are a lot of changes you can make, but it is important to choose those that will benefit you most. Saving money is important, but so is being able to live with the change. If done properly, alternative energy upgrades will feel like solutions and not challenges. Include your family in the decision making process and if you have questions, talk to the energy experts. There is no sense in getting overwhelmed by all of your choices. Knowing your options and making smart choices is the smartest thing you can do when it comes to saving money with alternative energy.
Author Bio: M.H is writing for Alternative Energy Geek, a site where he shares his opinions and thoughts about alternative energy.