Sparks for Cash: Selling Energy Back to the Power Grid

solar panels on a roof

People and entrepreneurs who are interested in giving back to the environment are turning to more sustainable methods of living their lives and running their businesses. Some of them start recycling their waste materials at home, or help recycling facilities by sorting them. Others find means to lower their carbon footprint, like going paperless.

One of the best means to go green is to turn to renewable sources of energy. The most prevalent and accessible source of this kind of energy is sunlight. If you own a small business, you might have already considered purchasing solar panel systems for commercial properties. But did you know that aside from reducing your dependence on traditional energy sources, you can also sell that energy back to the power grid?

Setting Up to Selling Sparks

First, you should check whether or not the state you live in has what is called “net metering policies” before you install solar panels with associated appliances and machinery. These policies enable utility companies to purchase energy generated by residents and businesses on their premises. They also regulate the capacity and the compensation for certain amounts of electricity. You should review if your state has any net metering policies and know the requirements for you to sell energy.

Then, you should have your home or business’s energy consumption audited. Your audit depends on how many people live or work at the premises, how many appliances and gadgets use energy in the building, and what temperature your thermostat is set during summer and winter. The result will tell you whether or not you consume too much electricity to generate excess amounts.

Lastly, you should consider which method of renewable energy generation you are going to use. Although solar energy is ubiquitous, there are other sources you can explore. The environment around your home or business is important to this consideration. If you live or operate in a region that experiences a lot of cloudy days, augment your photovoltaic panels with other means.  Once you settle on a method of generation, you can install it and begin reaping the rewards of renewable energy,

Methods of Renewable Energy Generation

Solar heater for green energy

The most common method you can employ is getting rooftop solar panels. These panels can generate 10 watts of energy per square feet, depending on the location. They are, however, obviously only effective when the sun is up. If you don’t wish to be dependent from grid energy at night or on rainy days, invest in alternatives.

If your business or home is in an area that’s often overcast, consider getting small wind turbines. These are ideal for windy and cloudy regions where sunlight is a little erratic. They do require more space than photovoltaic panels, and some zoning laws forbid their construction and use in certain areas.

A hydroelectric generator would require that you have a moving water source on your property, such as a small stream or brook. You will have to find a way to channel the water toward your generator and to make sure that it does so with enough force to turn the turbine. If you truly want a hydroelectric generator, you can build your own with the right know-how and tools.

Renewable energy is the gift that keeps on giving. It can give the world a fighting chance against pollution. It can give future generations a healthy home. And it can give you a prosperous present. Make the change and be the change the world needs.

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