Solar Power

All About Clean Energy

The cleanest fuel is the fuel you do not use. That is why an important step before garnering clean fuel is to make your home as efficient as possible.

One of the best ways to determine your home’s efficiency is to get an energy audit. Your local utility company may offer to do one, or may recommend a company that does them.

If these options are not available you could use the information at the following website to help conduct your own energy audit:

To help in your personal energy audit there is also a thermal leak detector that can help detect the locations of energy loss in your home. These can be purchased at hardware stores or even online.

Once your audit is complete, then you can concentrate on fixing your energy wasting weaknesses.

Some of your energy weakness can be turned into positives by updating to clean energy.

One clean energy choice would be to incorporate passive solar into your life.
One of the easiest ways in the winter would be to open shades on windows located on the south side of your home, and then at night close them. However, to take full advantage of this in the summer you will need to shade the windows with deciduous plants or install overhangs on the windows that will help keep the summer heat out of your home.

A couple of options to consider, although expensive, would be to either add a sun room or a solar Trombe wall on the south side of your home. The wall has the benefit of absorbing heat from the sun and radiating it back into your home at night.

The passive solar option is a clean energy, however, it relies heavily on sunny days and in the winter, there may be few days of sun.

Another option for clean energy via solar would be to use photovoltaic systems that can store solar power for use on days when there is little sunshine. The major drawback to one of these systems is they are an expensive way to get clean energy. But, if you are interested in solar as your clean energy choice there are companies that now lease the equipment to help make the costs more manageable.

Gary Nolan is a freelance writer. You can find a wide range of clean energy providers and organisations in New Zealand.

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