Solar energy generating systems provide several obvious benefits, the most attractive of which includes reducing your dependence on utility providers and saving money by generating your own power. But did you realize that you can maximize your cost benefits and return on investment even more by making just a few lifestyle changes? Read on for some ideas for saving money and capitalizing on your renewable energy system even more than you thought possible.
Give Up the Gas
If you use natural gas in your home for cooking, heating, hot water or drying clothes consider your options for switching these items over to electricity. Most people are unwilling to give up their natural gas cooktop, but the rest of these tasks are arguably performed more efficiently with electricity. You may not be interested in purchasing a batch of new appliances all at once, but as your gas appliances need replacing, consider the electric version instead. Meanwhile, turn to small electric appliances whenever possible for your cooking needs, including electric skillets and griddles, slow cookers and the microwave. The sooner you can cut your dependence on the gas company, the sooner you will increase your electricity savings.
Fuel Your Ride for Free
You have probably noticed that alternative energy vehicles are growing in popularity almost as quickly as solar power systems. Today, you have many electric and hybrid vehicle options to choose from, in a variety of price ranges. Vehicles powered by electricity are already much more cost-effective than their gasoline-powered counterparts. Now consider that charging an electric car in your solar energy-powered home won’t cost you anything. This essentially allows you to double your savings. Until charging stations become more common and accessible to the public, you may want to opt for a hybrid — less gasoline is needed to power a hybrid than a traditional combustion engine.
Up Your Efficiency Quotient
When you install a solar energy system on your home or business, assuming it’s properly sized and configured, there is little or no need to change your lifestyle, but if you do, even to a small degree, you can increase the amount of power you feed back to the grid. This in turn increases the credit you receive for future power use. Start by thinking about the biggest users of electricity in your home — your heater and air conditioner. Other power hogs include extra refrigerators or freezers, clothes dryers and water heaters. Lights also draw a lot of power, so switch out incandescent bulbs for LEDs. Every kilowatt you save is money back in your pocket, now that you have solar.
Intermountain Wind and Solar designs and installs affordable, no-maintenance wind and solar power systems in Utah and throughout the Mountain West region. They offer financing for qualified customers, allowing them to take advantage of alternative power systems for a low monthly payment, often with little to no up-front investment. Contact them today and find out how you can most effectively leverage solar energy for your home or business.