Last year in the UK saw new records being smashed for renewable energy adoption, and homeowners are waking up to the varied benefits that can be enjoyed by adopting greener energy. There are two main ways to do this: either via a specialist energy tariff from a commercial utility provider or by installing renewable technologies in your own home.
Energy bills are expensive, and the latter approach offers a route to managing your own electricity generation and consumption, enjoying security of supply and potentially boosting the value of your home. Naturally, you'll also be benefiting the environment by choosing to power your home with a renewable energy source such as wind, air, biomass or ground-source heat.
Even better, renewable energy technologies are becoming ever cheaper. The cost of manufacturing domestic solar PV panels, for example, has plummeted in recent years, making domestic installations far more cost-effective.
The most common renewable technologies are solar panels or mini wind turbines, although some households invest in hydro energy installations if they have a localised running source of water or ground/air-source heat pumps to provide constant underfloor heating. Biomass wood burners are another extremely common form of renewable energy, using wood or briquettes made from sawdust.
If you're feeling handy, you could also try to build your own solar oven - a great project for the family and one that can be seriously effective!
The first step to finding ways to use renewable energy in your home is to contact a local renewable energy installation provider through a non-profit such as the Energy Saving Trust. They will be able to put you in touch with accredited local providers who can carry out an assessment of your property and make tailored recommendations that will meet your objectives.