How we reduce our bills using renewable energy

Go a few years back and switching to a renewable energy supplier came at a premium.  It was more expensive to be eco-friendly and so many of us were forced somewhat to keep on using the Earth’s finite resources, even if we didn’t want to.  We once switched to a green energy supplier and it was so expensive we had to change back.  Fast forward to now and sustainability is a hot topic.  You probably see it mentioned somewhere almost every day!

More people are invested in creating energy that is sustainable and there are some ways that it is cheaper than non-renewable sources.  This is great news for us and the environment.

Read on to discover how we reduce our energy bills by using renewable sources to fuel our home:

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Our solar panels pay for two-thirds of our energy per year!

Source free wood

Not long after moving in to our home, we invested in a log burner for its various benefits.  So far it’s been an amazing investment as in the four years we’ve had it, we’ve not spent a penny on wood!  We’ve been lucky to have two family members move house to places with huge gardens where they’ve chopped down or cut back trees and were more than happy for us to take the wood off their hands.  Another family member also worked somewhere that had a large wood on the grounds and we were able to collect the felled wood.  Ben has also kept an eye on Facebook Marketplace for free wood opportunities.

Just to note you should never just take wood you find lying around in woods and forests.  In some counties you can apply for a licence to give you permission to collect felled wood on Forestry Commission owned land, otherwise you’ll need permission from the landowner.

Use solar panels

We were very lucky to buy a house with solar panels.  It’s definitely something we’ll look for on future houses too, or even install ourselves.  Not only do they allow us to use the energy created from the sun before we use any paid energy, but we sell any surplus energy created back to the grid.  These payments pay for two thirds of our energy bills each year.

But in order to get the most out of the benefits of solar panel system, it’s important to get familiar with how the different components work. Generally, a solar panel system has PV panels, batteries, solar inverter and a rack that keeps all the parts in one place. 

Among these components, one of the most important pieces of equipment you need to consider is the solar inverter. It’s a component of the solar system which is responsible for getting Direct Current (DC) electricity from the PV panels to convert it to Alternating Current (AC) electricity. This is an important process because it’s not possible to use a DC current in our homes. It also helps control the current to ensure it is safe and consistent to use with all out everyday household electricals.

Typically, a solar inverter has various functions. Aside from converting DC to AC, it can also help maximise power output and ensure safe operation of the solar panel system. Being an intermediary, it plays an essential role in using solar panels for electricity generation. Without it, the renewable energy accumulated from the panels wouldn’t be used. According to solar energy expert John Lyons, solar inverter installation reduces electricity bills and increases the value of your home. It’s important to find a reliable service provider in your area that can help you install solar panels and inverters safely and efficiently.

Made the switch to Bulb

Last year we did an energy comparison to find a cheaper supplier and Bulb was the cheapest for us.  Even better – they are a renewable energy company using 100% renewable electricity and 10% green gas.  We were able to save £264 per year compared to our old supplier, plus we got £50 credit.

Use a smart thermometer

We have the Hive smart thermometer which I think we purchased on a special deal when we were with British Gas.  I’ve looked and they are £200-£250 at the moment and I’m sure we never paid that much, so keep an eye out with your energy supplier in case they ever have a special offer with a smart thermostat.  Or I’ve checked eBay and there are some much cheaper versions, even a listing offering free installation.  It will need professional installation to link up to your boiler and heating system.

But, once the faff of installing is over, they are brilliant!  According to the Hive website you can save around £130 per year just by turning your heating off when you aren’t there.  With a smart thermostat such as Hive you can control your heating and hot water when you are not at home.  This means if you’re unexpectedly out for the day, having to work late, or even if you have forgotten to turn your heating off when leaving the house , it doesn’t matter.  You can turn it all off from wherever you are with the phone app.  No more heating empty homes and wasting money!

Don’t be worried that switching to more renewable energy sources will be more costly.  It could actually be cheaper which is great news for your wallet and the environment!

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