Of the all the sources of energy that we, as a species, have been able to tap into in our brief history of electrical usage, those that are renewable are undoubtedly the most important. Only renewable energies are completely environmentally friendly, and inexhaustible.
A person or business may choose to go renewable for purely altruistic reasons, namely the benefits to the environment, but there is also the incentive that, in cases where the amount of energy generated exceeds the amount being used, that excess can be sold back to the grid.
What is This Grid You Speak Of?
If you’re unsure what selling back to the grid means, fear not, this article will get you started.
The grid is a collection – or group – of equipment. The purpose of that equipment is to transfer electricity around, from power sources, such as power plants, to the places the electricity is needed, such as homes, and businesses.
The grid is not a one way system, however, and is more about power distribution. It may help to think of electricity in the grid as water in a big tank, with many pipes coming out of it. The water is fed out of the pipes to the places it needs to go – the homes – but water can also be fed back into the tank through any of those pipes. By generating your own electricity, you can feed electricity back into the grid, and be paid for it.
Solar power is the most common and popular way of generating your own electricity in the home, or in businesses. This method uses photovoltaic cells to convert sunlight into electricity. Another popular method is the use of wind turbines, which work in a similar fashion to wind mills, to convert wind energy into electricity via the use of electrical generators that the wind turbines turn.
Selling electricity back to the grid can be rather complex, and it may seem impossible that you could be accurately compensated, given that electricity is not a product that you can see. This is taken care of by meters – much like those that measure your usage so that the electricity company can charge you – which will keep track of what you have put back into the grid.
The Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, or PURPA, states that a certain amount of electricity must be renewable. Any electricity you produce would count towards this amount for the electricity company, and so, they can give you a certificate to that effect.
How Much Can I Earn?
Making estimate on the amount of money you could earn is difficult, as so many factors can affect it. What type of energy generation are you using? What is the weather typically like in your area? What rate of electricity are you charged? How much do you use yourself?
With a typical installation, you can expect to make around three thousand dollars a year, though it could be drastically different in either direction, depending on your situation.
Of course, it’s important to properly research before you try moving into the world of renewable energy. There may be restrictions that would apply to your situation. Hopefully, this article will have proved to be a good starting point for your research. And, remember, there are always professionals available to help you with your move to renewable energy, so why not get started in making money back on your electricity bill, as well as contributing to a cleaner world.