Did you know that you can do more than buy your energy using a green energy tariff? You can also directly invest in your own micro-renewable energy scheme to cut costs and carbon and to make your home energy self-sufficient.
Biomass fuels, or biofuels, are an obvious choice of renewable that many households have already invested in without really realising it. When you use a wood-burning stove, for example, you are using a biomass system. Look for briquettes made from recycled waste wood or pellets made from sustainable wood sources.
Wind power is an extremely clean form of energy, and it can be very efficient too. You'll need to get planning permission to erect a turbine once your building or land has been assessed for suitability. Roof-mounted turbines are popular and useful for augmenting energy. Full-size land turbines can be powerful and even make extra energy to sell back to the grid. A microgeneration installer can help you to assess the costs and suitability of your property. Expect a 20-year payback period.
Solar PV panels are easy to install and unobtrusive once sited on your roof or outbuildings. The cost of these panels has dropped rapidly in recent years as manufacturing costs have fallen, and the payback period can now be less than 20 years. When combined with a battery storage system, they also allow for energy storage that means that power can be used at night.
If you are lucky enough to have running water on your property in the form of a river or stream, then you can use it to generate electricity with a micro-hydro system. These can work around the clock as long as there is running water.