Today, few resources have greater unseen influence on our lives than energy—until you open your utility bill, that is. Many homeowners have noticed the increasingly erratic costs for electricity. This has prompted more people to ask if solar energy is an option for them. For many in SoCal, the answer is “yes.”
First however, you should know how traditional systems work to understand the importance of renewable energy. You also need to know your available options, as well as the benefits of home renewable energy to help you choose a system that will satisfy your family’s energy demands as efficiently as possible.
What Is Renewable Energy?
Considering how many aspects of daily life depend on electricity, it seems obvious that electrical energy is our most important resource. Even if information, or more specifically, data, is today’s currency, transmitting that data still requires electric power.
For the last century or so, powering household electricity has required the use of natural resources like coal, oil, and natural gas. As the geological by-products of once-living organisms, these fuels require millions of years to replenish. In addition, a hundred years of technological advances have left these resources severely depleted, leading to an uncomfortable conclusion: This is not sustainable.
Types of Renewable Energy
This obvious scarcity, combined with the current climate crisis, rising gas prices, and other contributing factors, have prompted more people to seek new, renewable methods for generating and accessing electricity. Renewable power sources include solar energy, as well as wind, geothermal, and biomass energy, among others shown below.
Any of these sources could one day supply electricity to Southern California residents under the authority of California Independent System Operator (CAISO)—which includes San Diego Gas and Electric (SDGE) and Southern California Edison (SCE).
Rather than planning on “someday,” however, the most direct, reliable way to control your electricity costs is to install your own home renewable energy system. The most practical renewable energy sources for a residential system are solar, wind, or a combination of the two.
Home Renewable Energy Systems
Instead of drawing electricity from a traditional grid powered by fossil fuels, home renewable energy systems allow homeowners to generate electricity from renewable sources like solar and/or wind energy. The two most important factors keeping traditional utility consumers from exploring home renewable systems are usually available space and direct control.
Other than underground lines and grounding, drawing electricity from the grid requires no property space. The same is not true for home renewable energy systems. Regardless of the system type, you’ll need to decide where to locate your energy collection and conversion equipment. Depending on your energy goals, you may also need space for onsite battery storage. The issue of space becomes moot, however, if you opt to install rooftop solar panels or a solar roof.
Allocating property space for a home renewable energy system can offer homeowners more direct control over skyrocketing utility bills. Batteries allow consumers to store excess energy and draw from them during peak times, or at times when your solar panels are producing less. The ability to tap into your own stored energy thus lessens your dependency on utility companies and saves you money.
The most versatile renewables, solar and wind installations, can be configured as standalone systems, or as tandem assemblies (solar and wind combined). For example, a home renewable energy system may consist of a grid-tied small-turbine wind system, stand-alone roof-mounted solar panels or a hybrid system that pairs panels with wind turbines on nearby poles.
Benefits of Home Renewable Energy Systems
Whether you install a home renewable energy system out of environmental concern, to increase property value, or to reinforce security in the face of rolling blackouts and wildfires, these are all short-term concerns. The more households that use home renewable energy systems, the greater the long-term benefits we will see on a global scale in the future.
The number one reason most homeowners install renewable energy systems is to lower their electric bills. This is no surprise, as the costs for electricity in Southern California have steadily outpaced inflation over the past two decades with no change in sight. The added volatility of oil and gas prices makes renewables a great alternative.
Home renewable systems run on “clean” energy, meaning they help lessen environmental damage from toxic by-products. Therefore, the more people use them, the cleaner the air is. This is a big deal in a state where smog and wildfires annually threaten air quality, in addition to the greenhouse gas effects that traditional energy sources produce on a global scale.
Another benefit that is not always a primary consideration for home renewal energy systems is security against power outages. As demand challenges available supply in SoCal, a home renewable system with battery backup can offer peace of mind during rolling blackouts, downed power lines, or other interruptions from the power grid. Reliable power also sustains essential medical equipment, home security systems, and offers general protection for you and your family, even during power outages when crime is more common.
This list is far from comprehensive. For example, charging your electric vehicle (EV) at home for free is another significant benefit. The optimal number of advantages you can enjoy with your home renewal energy system depends on many factors, including your home size, your energy needs, and the quality of your installation.
Take the first step toward enjoying these benefits: Schedule a consultation with an experienced renewable energy system company today.
Baker Electric Home Energy has served the Southern California area for over 15 years and provided clean energy solutions to more than 17,000 of your neighbors. Our way of doing business, The Baker Way®, which includes delivering extraordinary service and building customer confidence, is exemplified by being awarded the Torch Award for 2021. For more information on home renewable energy, contact us.