Monthly Archives: October 2014

Advantages of solar energy for your home

The technological break-through had an extreme impact on the development of sustainable energy, making it slightly inexpensive and accessible. Therefore, this is the perfect chance for all green enthusiasts to decorate their homes with the photovoltaic solar panels (PVs). If this is not enough to convince you, then read the rest of the article.
Lower Bills
The most obvious advantage of solar energy is cost- efficiency. It requires a one- time investment that repays fully after a small period of time. Having your own power supply in your home cuts the overpricing created by unnecessary intermediaries.
Easy to Get, Easy to Maintain
Advantages of solar energy for your home
Basically solar energy is available everywhere and has an immense capacity. In the past, it was difficult to get access to the sustainable resources, but this has changed. Because of the many incentives offered by the government, the solar panel system nowadays is relatively affordable. One of the characteristics of this type of energy is its flexibility. It can be installed in places that lack the required technology to run electricity.
Advantages of solar energy for your home
Another advantage is the easy maintenance. The only thing you need to do is to clean effectively and deeply the panels once in a while. Furthermore, the system comes with a lengthy warranty – between 20 and 25 years. Product replacement and repair programs are provided when a problem occurs.
Energy Reliability and Security
With solar energy, you don’t depend on the additional services of electric utilities. Being abundant and infinite, you can rely on it to supply with power the devices in your home. The electric power producers are notorious for their fluctuating prices and fickle services. You can predict when the sun will raise and set down, but you cannot say how the geopolitical environment will affect the prices of electricity tomorrow. You can simply estimate the cost by calculating how much energy will be generated.
Additional Funds
In the last decades the government incentivised the solar panel system, in order to raise its popularity and acceptance by the masses. Major drivers for institutions to support renewable are the positive environmental impact and energy independence. The government ensures subsidiaries, tax cuts and discounts.
Your home is not only your apartment or your house. Your home is Earth. The commercial energy sources harm irreversibly the planet’s eco-system and eventually this will have its consequence on your life too. The use of solar panels will reduce the malevolent influence of global warming and pollution.
Investment in the Future
It will increase the attractiveness and therefore the value of your home. Recent studies show that homeowners who installed photovoltaic solar panels got almost full recovery of their investment when they move. The installation of solar energy system adds additional money to total selling price.
In the future energy consumers will be exposed to higher prices due to resource scarcity. As a result solar panels will become a more and more valuable source. Start thinking about the future of your home now.

Things to consider before going solar

Solar panels are no longer futuristic means of acquiring energy as more and more people turn to the power of the sun for their homes. It is a way of providing your home with clean energy that utilizes completely renewable resource, which is ultimately infinite. The benefits of solar power cannot be stressed enough, in a world where environmental care is becoming more popular.
So if you are an eco-friendly person, you should definitely consider installing solar panels in your home. Before you do that, however, make sure you carefully consider the following:
Things to consider before you go solar
1) It is a long-term investment. Simply put, you need to spend a lot on a solar system and its installation, and keep a clear vision from the very start that it will only pay off in the long run. Do a proper research on customer feedback and expert advice and compare the prices. If you are prepared for the upfront costs and plan on living long enough in the same place, then solar panels are just your thing.
2) Make sure your home is the right candidate for this type of energy. This means that it should receive optimal sun exposure throughout the year. Panels should be installed in accordance with that. Seasonality is a very important factor, as solar panels will produce less energy on cloudy days and none at night. Trees and tall buildings in the vicinity may obstruct sunlight. There are also requirements about the roof – north facing and enough time free from shading hours. An installation may need a specific alignment and for that it is best to go with an expert advice, as homeowners tend to look after their homes in a way that is aesthetically pleasing, while solar panels not always achieve that.
Things to consider before you go solar2
3) Any solar system should come from a trustworthy manufacturer with a long warranty. You invest in this product for the future and you expect it to work smoothly for a very long time. Often times we are looking for a period of time longer than 20 years.
4) After you have chosen your brand and paid the money, make sure the installation is properly done and everything is in best working condition. There should be no lack of energy absorption. The knowledge and expertise of professional installers should be used in all cases, to make sure the whole system operates at its full potential. The outside mounting should be steadily attached. You do not want the wind to blow it away.
5) After a system has been installed, its performance should be closely monitored. Solar power is all about efficiency, so tracking the loss and gain to determine if there is a problem in the system is essential. After all this will determine the time it takes for the system to pay off.
Carefully plan your solar panel purchase, before you join the green family of clean energy users. There is a lot to consider before you reap the benefits of solar energy, but one thing is for sure – it is one of the best investments you can make for your home.

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How to Conserve Water and Save Money

Save Water

When it comes to saving money, everyone is in the same boat. We all want to save money, but most of us don’t know where to start. Sure, we know enough to skip the expensive coffees in the middle of the day, and we’re all careful with large purchases, but everything in between can get a bit hazy. But it’s that middle gray area that brings the real savings; those day to day expenses, like utility bills, that can have the biggest impact on our budgets. If we can learn to save money there, we can avoid ending up cash strapped. Then, when we face a financial emergency, we will have money in the bank, and won’t have to take out a payday loan or two to cover any sudden expenses.

Conserving Water

Learning how to conserve water is a great way to save money, while helping to protect the planet. Most of us waste water every day, without even noticing. Fortunately, there are some simple tips that everyone can follow to conserve water, and save money in the process.

Turn Off the Tap

We’ll start simple. Make it a point to completely turn off all faucets when not in use. It’s surprising how much water is lost every day simply because a kitchen tap has been left dripping throughout the day. Also, don’t unnecessarily run your taps. For example, when you’re brushing your teeth, wet the brush and turn off the tap. When you’ve finished, turn the tap back on and rinse. Simple steps like this can save a lot of water, and a lot of money.

Leaky Faucets

A leaky faucet, dripping upwards of 100 times a minute, wastes 330 gallons of water per month. That’s more than 4000 gallons a year. That’s a lot of water, and a lot of money, down the drain. Most leaky faucets can be fixed by simply replacing a washer. It’s cheap fix, and will save you a ton of money.

Leaky Water Pipes

Over time, a leaky water pipe can cost you a fair amount of money. If you have noticed your water bill getting bigger, a leaky pipe might well be the culprit. Inspect your plumbing, and look for any tell tale signs of leaks, like unexplained damp areas or unexpectedly dark patches of grass on the lawn. It might be easier to bring in a professional to review your plumbing, and identify any leaks. If any leaky pipes are found, repair immediately.

Hot Water Heaters

When you run a bath or shower, you typically have to draw off a few gallons of water simply waiting for it to heat up. That’s because most water heaters are kept in a garage or basement. Simply moving your water heater closer to the areas where the most hot water is used can cut down the waste significantly, and save you money on your water bill.

Install Water Efficient Fixtures

Low flow shower heads and water efficient toilets have become quite affordable. Simply upgrading your plumbing fixtures to more water efficient models can do a lot to conserve water, and to ultimately save you money. If any of your bathroom fixtures are past their prime, use the opportunity to install a water efficient upgrade.

Watering Your Lawn

Watering the lawn in the summer uses a lot of water, most of which evaporates in the heat. Try watering your lawn in the morning, when it’s cooler. This will use less water, as most of it will be absorbed before the high heat of the day. You might also switch to a ‘soaker’ hose as opposed to a regular sprinkler. This keeps the water closer to the ground, and reduces evaporation further.

Learning to conserve water is not only good for the environment, it’s great for your bank account. These few tips are just the beginning when it comes to saving money on your water bill. To learn how to save even more, check out an online water usage calculator. The water you save will be like money in the bank.

Generate Your Own Energy to Save Money (and the Environment)

Solar Energy

Many people are worried about rising energy costs – not just the financial costs but the toll on the environment as well. Fortunately in the UK, it’s possible to save or even make money by generating your own energy in ways that are beneficial to the environment as well as to your pocketbook. You’ll save money on your bills since you will be using your own electricity instead of purchasing it from a supplier. And if you install specific technologies such as solar panels or a wind turbine you might even get money from your supplier under the government’s FIT (Fee-in Tariff) scheme. You can also benefit from the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

First introduced to the UK in April 2010, Feed-in Tariffs replaced UK government grants as the chief financial incentive to foster renewable energy-generating technologies. A similar scheme, the RHI, was introduced in 2011 for heat generation in order to provide payments to industry, businesses and public sector organisations. In April of 2014 the RHI was expanded to include homeowners, private landlords, social landlords and self-builders.

If you’re interested in saving or making money by generating your own energy, here are a few facts you need to know.

  1. You won’t get an instant ROI. You won’t see a return right away, as in most cases you have to pay for installation of your energy-generating equipment, which can be quite expensive. It could take years to pay for itself. But this isn’t about instant gratification; it’s about doing what’s best in the long term.
  2. Though your electric bills will be reduced, savings will vary. Once you begin generating your own electricity, you will see savings on your electric bills. After all, as noted above, you don’t have to buy as much electricity from your energy supplier. Of course, the amount you save will vary depending upon how much electricity you use.
  3. You might be able to MAKE money if you’re eligible for Feed-in tariff (FIT) payments. In addition to lower bills from your supplier, FITs provide two key benefits: A generation tariff, which means you get paid for generating electricity (your supplier will pay you a set rate for each unit (or kWh) of electricity that you generate); and an export tariff, where you get paid for generating surplus electricity. Your supplier will pay you an extra amount for each unit of electricity you put back into the grid, meaning you will be selling any electricity you generate but don’t use yourself. You’ll probably be eligible for the FIT programme if you generate your energy using one of the following methods: solar electricity, wind turbines, hydro-electricity or anaerobic digesters. The money you can make through the scheme varies depending on the amount of electricity you use yourself and the type of technology you have installed. Since the government sets the amount you make per unit that amount is always subject to change. Also realise that some small electricity suppliers are not required to participate in this scheme so may not be obligated to give you FIT payments. In any case you’ll find a list of FIT-licensed suppliers on Ofgem web site:
  4. Consider the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme. The purpose of the RHI is to help the UK reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet targets for reducing the effects of climate change. It does this by providing incentives for generation of heat from renewable energy sources in lieu of fossil fuels. For more information on the RHI from the Department of Energy and Climate Change, see

When considering “free” solar panel deals or “rent a roof” schemes, read the fine print. No doubt you’ve seen ads for ‘free’ solar panel deals where you basically rent your roof and have solar panels installed on it. The advantage of these deals is that you don’t have to pay upfront for the solar panels and you’ll benefit from the free electricity they produce. But the company generally claims all the generation and export tariff payments so even though you’re saving money, you won’t make any money. Still, if you really can’t afford the installation costs, don’t want to take out a loan and don’t care about making money with the use of the panels, you can benefit from such a deal. Just be sure you carefully read the legal fine print before participating in any such scheme.

Solar Power Buying Tips

Purchasing a good solar power system for your needs and home may seem like a daunting task in the beginning, but you will see that is not the case if you work on things with a bit of prior research. You will need to work on some practical aspects of the purchasing process, since it will be a pretty large investment that will need to be considered carefully before you move forward. The tips of this article will give you a few ideas you can use to make things work:

• Recommendations
You must ask coworkers, friends and family members or a house clearance professional for any information they may have or advice in terms of solar power. Some of them may have had some experience with photovoltaic technology they can help you with, so you would do well to ask them for whatever help they can provide.
Solar Power Buying Tips
• Checking the warranty
You will need to take a good, long look at the guarantees that may be available from the manufacturer of the system you’re going for. If they have a good, long warranty period of more than 25 years, then you are in luck and you won’t have to deal with as many issues as you may thing you will need to. This will allow you to have more time for yourself and your personal needs, as well as more time to deal with paying it off in the long run. If you want to have the warranty being honored however, you will have to keep track of the manufacturer and to ensure you pick a company that will likely be around on the market 25 years from now.
Solar Power Buying Tips2
• Keep your expectation realistic
Assuming you will be paying quite a bit for pretty much any system you found with parameters of your choice, suspiciously low prices may mean a bad product that could cause a whole lot of issues in the future. You will need to check the warranty on the product, its components and the installation service company which will get things done for you. Smaller companies may find it hard and will do their best to cut costs to remain on the competitive edge, but this may sometimes require them to cut corners. Keep that in mind and do some research prior to making your purchase.

• Certification
You will need to look for one with all solar panel purchases, especially if you are looking to find a government rebate for the entire process. The certification of panels is something which shows the exact type of testing that was done prior to putting them on the market, whether it was done by an independent laboratory and if they meet the specs advertised originally. The TUV IEC 61215 is the certification which covers them, so you will need to make sure you have things covered before you make the purchase.