Go Green or Go Home? Let’s make sure first!
When it comes to green energy there are many options to consider in regards to the surrounding environment in which your home is located. It’s not about the quantity, more so the quality. Just because you throw money to get the latest and greatest doesn’t mean you’ll do the environment any good or even save money.You need to consider many variables before installing any type of green technology.
Let’s take Vancouver for example. Over the last few years Geothermal heating has been very popular and had much publicity, however it requires a bit of real estate which is now at a premium in this city.
Recently wind energy has been in the media and although it’s an effective and very environmentally friendly source of energy there are still many obstacles to overcome. In particular, there must be enough wind to power the turbines. As well, municipal processes and public education of this application are still in its early stages and can see some resistance.
Another popular green energy source over the last ten years has been solar energy. This technology has made huge advances in the last several years due to its extensive use in Europe and Australia. It’s the least costly of the three mentioned and can be used anywhere that has ample amounts of sunlight.
There are two types of solar energy; solar thermal (hot water) and solar electricity. Solar thermal which sits flat on the roof like a skylight can provide up to 70% of a homes hot water needs (including radiant in floor heating) annually. That’s 30-40% in the winter and 100% in the summer. This can translate to huge savings on gas energy. Solar electrical can provide electricity which can either be stored in batteries (requires space in the house) or sold into the BC Hydro grid and purchased back at a reduced rate. Both solar energy sources are fairly economical and have a shorter payback period than wind or geothermal. It’s also quicker to obtain permits for installation and easier to maintain.