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Buying & Making Electricity

  • You have the option to purchase renewable electricity, either directly from your power supplier, from an independent clean power generator, or through renewable energy certificates.

  • Planning for a home renewable energy system is a process that includes analyzing your existing electricity use, looking at local codes and requirements, deciding if you want to operate your system on or off of the electric grid, and understanding technology options you have for your site.

  • When connecting a home energy system to the electric grid, you should research and consider what the typically required equipment will be as well as your power provider’s requirements and agreements.

  • Powering your home or small business using a small renewable energy system that is not connected to the electricity grid -- called a stand-alone system -- can make economic and environmental sense.

You can use renewable energy to power your home, either by purchasing "green power"—electricity generated using renewable energy, or by installing a small renewable energy system. Using a small renewable energy system can help you lower your electricity costs, achieve energy independence, and reduce pollution. Learn your options for buying clean electricity, as well as how to plan for your own small wind, solar, or microhydropower systems.

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Small Solar Electric Systems

A small solar electric or photovoltaic system can be a reliable and pollution-free producer of electricity for your home or office. Learn about which solar system might be right for your home.

Small Wind Electric Systems

Small wind electric systems are one of the most cost-effective home-based renewable energy systems -- with zero emissions and pollution.

Microhydropower Systems
Microhydropower can be one of the most simple and consistent forms or renewable energy on your property.

Do you have a stream on your property? Microhydropower may provide a simple and reliable source of electricity for your home.

Hybrid Wind and Solar Electric Systems
Because the peak operating times for wind and solar systems occur at different times of the day and year, hybrid systems are more likely to produce power when you need it.

Need a reliable source of renewable power? Consider combining wind and solar systems to produce power when you need it.

Balance-of-System Equipment Required for Renewable Energy Systems
Both grid-connected and off-grid home renewable energy systems require additional “balance-of-system” equipment.

Both grid-connected and off-grid home renewable energy systems require additional “balance-of-system” equipment.

Solar So Simple It Is Just a Click Away
Incubator 6 awardee Sun Number converts complex aerial data into an easy-to-understand solar suitability score ranging from 1 to 100, with 100 being the ideal rooftop for solar. | Photo courtesy of Sun Number.

The SunShot Initiative is working to make it easier for consumers to install solar panels on their homes.