If you’ve been debating whether or not you should invest in a home solar system, you’re not alone. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that approximately one million homes by 2020 will have rooftop solar panels. And the owners of these homes went through the same contemplation that you’re going through now. Like with any significant investment in your home, it’s important to do your homework and base your decision on facts. This includes looking at your current total electricity usage and determining if you should implement any other efficiency measures.
The following are some considerations to explore:
Home energy audit
A great place to start when you’re in the early stages of planning a home solar system installation is with a home energy audit. This can help you understand where your home may be losing energy and what improvements you can make to increase efficiency.
Appliances and electronics
Take a walk around your home and make note of all the ways you’re currently consuming electricity. Are there improvements you can make? Switch to energy efficient lighting like LED light bulbs. Only plug in gadgets, devices, tools and other items when using them. And by all means, turn off TVs, computers and other electronics when they’re not in use.
Cooling and heating
Here in Arizona, cooling your home in the summer is a key consideration when evaluating the value of a home solar system. Since your cooling and heating needs (in the winter) will significantly impact the amount of solar energy you’ll need, it’s worth the effort to first shore up efficiency-depleting issues like an aging or malfunctioning HVAC system, insufficient insulation and gaps and cracks around windows and doors that cause conditioned air to escape.
You’ll also want to take a look at your electricity bills over the course of at least one year to understand your energy consumption pattern. Your utility company may offer tools to help you with this review.
Once you have a sense of what you’re currently spending and where you can make adjustments, you can get a better idea of the true value of solar energy when it comes to your home. Learn more about evaluating the value of a home solar system by calling Cool Blew Solar – your local solar experts.