Looking to make a bit of extra money around the house? This is for you…
If you’ve got a little bit of money spare – perhaps you’ve been saving up for the right investment – then something that simply has to be considered is going green around the home.
Did you know that instead of getting energy bills each month, you could be sending out energy bills to suppliers? Not literally, but if you’re generating your own energy at home then you are able to sell it back to the electrical grid, rather than you having to fork out to use theirs.
Even greater, the amount you charge the grid each year rises in line with the Retail Prices Index (RPI) meaning that even if your first year return isn’t massive, you should still be able to recoup a good amount of money in the long-term (20 years+).
How can you do this and how much investment is needed? This varies depending on what you want to implement, so we’ve rounded up a range of different green energy solutions for your home. The success of these options varies on your location, so be wary of projected income figures if your home doesn’t seem suitable.
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Solar panels work on any rooftop that isn’t flat – the sun is rarely directly overhead, so flat rooftops aren’t a worthwhile investment for this – ideally you’d want a roof with an angle of 35 to 50 degrees, although angles of 22 to 70 degrees will still perform well at certain times of the year.
You’ll likely need between £6,000 - £9,000 investment for solar panels, but you can expect to return a profit of between £15,000 - £20,000 over a 20 year period. 9/10 solar panel owners would recommend them to friends and family.
You can pick up a small 1kw roof-mounted wind turbine for around £3,000, and you’ll typically be able to make a profit of between £5,000 and £7,000 over a 20 year period.
Larger systems can cost up to £30,000, but with bigger investments comes a much bigger return. It’s important to remember that wind turbines will only be a good investment in areas with an average wind speed of at least 5 m/s – typically achieved in rural areas. You can check your average local wind speed at energysavingtrust.org.uk.
If you’re fortunate enough to have a river or stream running through or directly next to your property, you could be making use of hydro-electric energy production technologies (with appropriate planning permission).
These are low-stressed pieces of machinery that can last over 100 years with regular maintenance. Depending on the strength of the current and water flow, you could be looking to make up to £50,000 profit on a £10,000 - £25,000, 20 year investment.
Anaerobic digesters can be made at home for as little as £400 - £1,500, depending on the size of digester you create. These are built to turn home, garden and animal waste into a source of energy created from the capture of methane gas.
As long as you have a constant source of waste to turn into energy, you can be looking at a long-term profit of £8,000 - £15,000 on a typical digester.
Although typically costly to install at £7,500 - £15,000, geothermal energy harvesting is great as the temperature below the earth’s surface always remains constant; weather and location don’t play a part.
A geothermal heat pump is able to constantly heat and cool buildings, whilst any spare energy can be sold back to the grid to earn between £7,000 and £20,000 over a 20 year period.
Of course, despite all of these green money making methods, it’s important to still save energy around the home so that you make the most of your investments and reduce costs as much as you can.
In order to reduce your electrical output, you can change your lightbulbs to Compact Flourescent Lamp (CFL) bulbs, lower the heat on your water heater, keep your freezer temperature to the minimum needed, get A-rated appliances when you need to replace them, seal up all cracks and do everything you can to ensure all unused electrical items are unplugged.