Green energy is becoming increasingly popular with homeowners as it saves them money on monthly energy costs.  Changing your home’s energy source can be costly at first, but helps make your home smarter and more sustainable in the long term.  Here are some up-and-coming energy sources that help the environment and your wallet:

1.  Solar energy: The most common way to bring the sun’s energy to your home is through solar panels or tiles.  These tiles absorb energy from the sun, and depending on where you live, can power your entire home by themselves.

2.  Geothermal energy:  Simply speaking, the system works by pumping a carrier fluid (usually a mix of water and antifreeze) through pipes buried underground. During cold weather, the liquid absorbs heat from the ground, which is then extracted and used to heat the house. In warm weather, the system is reversed, with heat from the house pumped into the ground and cooler liquid used to cool the house.  These systems can save homeowners 30-70% of energy costs.

3.  Wind energy: While you won’t see anything as large or impressive as GE’s wind turbines on anyone’s front lawn, residential turbines are becoming more and more popular.  Wind power is reliant very much on wind patterns where you live and does not promise to always be there.  Turbines are designed to pick up winds between 10-25 MPH, so this energy source works best if you live somewhere breezy.

4.  Hydro energy:  If you live on a property close to a river or stream, using micro-hydro energy can be a great option.  Residential micro-hydro power systems usually involve diverting some amount of water from the flow of a stream or river through a turbine of some sort and then back into the source farther downstream. As long as the source of water is relatively constant even a small stream can provide a significant amount of power.