More and more Americans care about their impact on the environment than ever before. Accordingly, more people rely on renewable energy options than ever before. Approximately 10% of the energy used around the country, in 2015, came from renewable energy sources. Solar energy use saves about 75 million barrels of oil every year. If you have solar power panels installed on your home, there are things you can do to get the biggest bang for your solar buck.
1. Use less energy:
Conserving energy is a good idea no matter where you get your electricity. This can be pretty easy for most people to do. Merely changing your settings on your thermostat can do a lot. During the winter, lowering the temperature by two degrees can reduce your energy usage by 6%. You can also unplug devices when they are not in use. Small steps can make a big difference.
2. Use LED lights:
LED lighting is much cheaper than incandescent light bulbs. Traditional light bulbs use most of the energy they use to create heat, not light. As much as 90% of the power consumed by an incandescent light bulb is turned into heat. That means only 10% is used to produce light. By contrast, all of the energy used by LED lights is converted to light. These also only need about 10% of the power of traditional bulbs. This is a great way to reduce energy usage.
3. Skip the standby option:
There is a multitude of devices in your home that has "standby" as an option. These include televisions, gaming equipment, kitchen appliances, and computers. Whether you use renewable energy or not, these draw a lot of electricity while in the standby mode. There are two things you can do to keep them from running up your power bill when not in use. You can install switchable sockets or you can unplug them.
4. Have an energy audit done:
After you have made the switch to renewable energy, it helps to get an idea of what devices are using most of the power in your home. You may find that making some selective upgrades can save you money sooner than later.
5. Get a new water heater:
Traditional water heaters have a tank of water that is kept warm by a flame that needs gas to run. You can get an instantaneous water heater that has no tank but will heat water as it is needed. This will have the added benefit of giving you more hot water when you want it. Your solar power system can supply you the energy for all your hot water needs during warmer months.
6. Use appliances that need a lot of electricity during the day hours:
If your renewable energy source is solar panels, if you use your washer, dryer, or dishwasher during the day, these will be powered by the solar panels. Your solar energy system is most productive during the time when the sun is up.
7. Reconfigure your heating system:
Most solar power systems for homes have some storage capability. Often when this kind of renewable energy system has a storage system that is a decent size, you can use infrared radiators to heat your home. You can get these radiators in a number of styles. These are useful in taking advantage of any excess power from your solar system to keep your home comfortable when it is cold outside.
8. Charge all your batteries with solar:
Most households use a lot of items that use electricity and have batteries. These include electric cars and scooters, wheelchairs, lawn mowers, and scooters. You can get the power to charge up all of these items with the solar power you generate on your roof. If you have an electric car, you will have to install a wall box charger to get it the power it needs.
Today's consumers are much more aware of the impact they have on the environment. The choices that are being made about renewable energy or what appliances to get are often influenced by a desire to lower their footprint. If that sounds like you, these tips can help you get the most from your new solar panel system.
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