Living Off the Grid.
I have a co-worker who has taking the less traveled path by living off the grid.
Basically, he gets his electricity from solar cells connected to a battery bank, a small wind turbine and when he needs to run an appliance or equipment that draws a lot of power, he uses a propane generator.
He gets his water from a well with the aid of an electric pump that delivers the water to the house. With this setup, he is able to save a significant amount of money each year when compared to those of us that live in the city and are on the grid. He also chops his wood from trees on his property out in the country.
See his comments at the bottom of this page for additional information.
Savings from using Renewable energy sources:
I plan to research the renewable energy sources bellow so that I can write about practical applications that can be used in both residential and industrial settings. The focus would be on practicality, low cost of installation, payback period (how long it will take to re-coup your initial investment), and the estimated lifespan of each renewable system.
Passive Solar building Design:
Solar Hot water:
Geothermal Heating and Cooling:
Some of these systems are best installed during the initial construction of a building, while others can be easily retro-fitted into existing buildings.
To an extent, the climate or part of the world you live in will determine the efficiency and energy output you can expect out of installing these systems.
Also depending on the country you live in, there may be various government incentive programs that you can tap into to help offset the cost of installing renewable energy systems, so take the time to research these. A good place to start would be your municipal, local government or department of energy website.