A Guide to Generating Electricity At Home

A Guide to Generating Electricity At Home

Generating Electricity At Home: Hydro Power Systems

With rising energy prices and government schemes in place to encourage home owners to be more self-sufficient in their energy production and consumption, there has never been a better time to consider alternative sources of energy for electricity generation in your home. If a stream or river runs through your property then you could use the running water to generate electricity in a hydro power system.

How does a hydro power system work?

A hydro power system uses the naturally occurring running water of a river or stream to turn a small turbine which then generates electricity. It utilises the technology used in larger hydroelectricity generation but scaled smaller to be suitable for domestic use.

What are the advantages of using a hydro power system?

A hydro power system generates electricity in your garden, it is a renewable energy source that doesn’t produce any carbon emissions or harmful pollutants. Investing in hydro power will therefore reduce your carbon footprint and help the environment. It will also lower your electricity bills, any energy left over can then be used for your heating needs or sold back to the national grid through the Government’s Feed In Tariff.

How much does a hydro power system cost?

Hydro systems are not cheap to install, for an average home installation can cost as much as £20,000 to £25,000. Once installed there are very few maintenance costs. Whether or not this is a cost-effective investment then depends how much hydroelectricity will be generated and how much of your electricity needs will need to be met by the National Grid. Although the cost of installation may be high, the potential for saving by using hydroelectricity is vast, particularly if you consider that you could make money by selling back excess electricity that you generate.

Is a hydro power system suitable for my property?

The first thing to consider is whether or not there is a river or stream running through your property, you should then look at the speed of the water flow and whether or not it varies depending on the time of year, this will determine how much electricity the hydro system would generate and how much you would save.

Will I need planning permission to install a hydro power system?

Before you build a hydro power system you should contact your local planning authority and the Environment Agency as there may be restrictions and other environmental concerns to consider.

Considering all the different options available is an important step in determining whether or not you can generate electricity from home. If you have a river or stream running through your property, hydro power could be the answer, saving you money and helping to make your property more environmentally sustainable.

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