Is Renewable Energy the Best Option For a Sustainable Home?
One of the most popular sustainable methods when building any structure is utilising renewable energy. There are now many commercial buildings and industrial properties that use solar panels and windmills to power their operations. However, many people are still unsure whether this is the best choice when building a sustainable home. Is renewable energy really a worthy investment for the average homeowner?
There are different aspects that contribute to building a sustainable home including use of renewable energy, smart design techniques, sustainable building materials, and energy efficient products. While renewable energy is only one of these aspects, it is definitely a major contributor. This is because using clean energy has so many benefits not only to a homeowner but also to the surrounding communities, the economy, and the environment.
Because it is still relatively new compared to traditional non-renewable energy sources like fossil fuels and coal, many people are still unaware of what these advantages are and how it can directly affect homeowners.
Residential homes significantly contribute to carbon emissions in the atmosphere. In 2018, the residential sector accounted for 18% of carbon emissions in the UK. High levels of carbon emissions have been associated with the escalation of global warming.
By using renewable energy sources, you are doing your part in bettering the environment because you are using clean energy. Renewable energy sources emit little to zero carbon emissions so your home will not be contributing further to the harmful greenhouse gases and pollutants.
One of the main obstacles why more people are not yet transitioning to renewable energy is the high upfront cost. Many people are still doubtful whether they will get their money’s worth and if they are really going to get any financial benefits. If you are building a brand new home, a study has found that adding green features only add an average of around 2% onto the construction costs.
If you are adding on to your existing home, obtaining renewable energy sources is still a good investment as they can save you money in the long run. Solar and wind sources are free and will never run out which means that after your initial investment in installing the technology required, you don’t have to worry about refuelling or monthly bills. Adding solar panels to your existing home will also increase its value if you are planning to resell the property in the future.
If you are worried about the high upfront costs of setting up renewable energy to power your entire home, you can start with a smaller setup like a couple of solar panels, which could also help in lowering your monthly energy bills. Alternatively, consulting with sustainable design experts will greatly help in making this a feasible project.
Using renewable energy is also beneficial to your overall lifestyle and provides numerous health benefits because it minimises the pollutants in your living environment. This can help you avoid related respiratory diseases. The health benefits from utilising renewable energy can also extend to economic benefits. With people becoming generally healthier, less money is allocated on public health spending.
Maintaining a Sustainable Lifestyle With Renewable Energy
Answering whether renewable energy is the best choice for a sustainable home will really depend on the structure itself, its location, and the capability of the homeowner to shell out the necessary investment. In general, moving towards renewable energy is a great investment for homeowners because it does not only offer long-term monetary benefits but it also supports the environment, economy, and public health.
Emma Metson is a part-time property developer, part-time home improvements and gardening blogger at Fixtures and Flowers, and full-time Mum. Given her background, Emma has a lot of home developing and improving related advice that she loves sharing.
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