Social media is blowing up with news of consumers’ solar savings, appropriately identified with the #SolarSavings hashtag.
Today, you can save thousands on your photovoltaic system installation by taking advantage of the available government financial incentives. And of course, adopting solar energy cuts your power bills drastically. If you size your PV system properly, you can eliminate the need for grid power altogether.
But did you know that you can boost your solar savings even further by increasing your home’s energy efficiency? If you participate in net metering, this is a great way to earn additional credit toward future grid electricity use.
A home energy audit offers an effective tool for determining how best to boost your household’s efficiency.
Give Your Home a Checkup to Extend Your Solar Savings
A simple walkthrough of your home can identify those areas that could use efficiency improvements.
Lighting uses a large amount of electricity — up to 10 percent of the average electricity bill, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. So look for any older, less-efficient light bulbs and consider replacing them with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or light-emitting diodes (LEDs). In some rooms, installing dimmers or sensors could make sense.
Are there any obvious air leaks or drafts in your home? Sealing them could result in energy savings of anywhere from 5 to 30 percent, says the U.S. Department of Energy. And if your heating and cooling system is more than 15 years old, buying a new unit can greatly decrease your energy consumption.
Try an Online Audit to Boost Solar Savings and Energy Efficiency
Need a little help figuring out which efficiency upgrades are worthwhile for your household?
Try the online home energy audit tool developed by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a division of the DOE.
Called the Home Energy Saver (HES), this tool can give you suggestions on energy improvements to make, based upon your home’s design specifications, electricity prices in your area and other factors.
Just enter your ZIP code and provide the requested information and you’ll be given a personalized report. Follow the advice in the report and you could save up to 20 percent on annual electricity bills, according to HES.
Get a Professional Solar Savings Home Energy Audit
You can conduct your own audit, make energy improvements and increase your solar savings. But if you opt for a professional audit, chances are you’ll save even more.
A professional home audit can detect areas of energy loss and waste in your home that you, as an average homeowner, may miss. And even little tweaks to electricity use in your household could add up to big savings — and bigger net metering credits!
If you have your own strategies for stretching your solar energy dollar, give us a shout out on Twitter and tag us with your #SolarSavings ideas and photos.
If you’re not yet enjoying the financial and energy independence benefits of photovoltaic power, give us a call to schedule a consultation. Intermountain Wind & Solar is dedicated to helping commercial and residential customers in Utah and throughout the Intermountain West realize the maximum possible solar savings.