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The Top 10 Ways to Save Energy Using Solar Power

Are you sick and tired of paying through the nose for your bills due to the rising costs of electricity?

Well, guess what? You are not alone. Many homeowners struggle with paying their bills due to the rising cost of electricity.

If you are going through the same experience, this does not have to be you! By conserving energy, you can lower your consumption, cut down on costs, and enjoy a debt-free life!

There are several ways of reducing your energy consumption to manage your energy bills. Our top 10 ways to save energy ensures that your overall usage is manageable, irrespective of the season, as you pay less than before.

In this piece, we discuss the following:

  • Reasons why you should conserve energy
  • Ways to conserve energy
  • Things to know before taking the solar route

Reasons Why You Should Conserve Energy

“Every act of energy conservation… is more than just common sense: I tell you it is an act of patriotism.” Jimmy Carter

Have you ever checked your energy bills and felt like it’s the wrong bill? Maybe it’s not the case as the energy bill reflects your power consumption at home. Panic hits you hard, right?

Before doing anything, be aware of your reasons. For instance, why do you want to conserve energy? Why do people turn off their appliances and lights when they are not using them?

Well, today, we answer your questions. People are taking a modern approach in managing their energy expenditure by minimizing their output.

The two main reasons why we conserve energy are:

  • Save money
    Energy costs money, whether it’s gas, electricity, coal, or oil. A massive chunk of the cash is consumed by unnecessary usage.You should get used to conserving energy to tame your wasteful practices. Plus, conserving energy saves you money as you pay less in electricity bills.
  • Environment friendliness
    Energy usage has a direct impact on the environment. The less electricity you use, the less toxic fumes are released into the environment by power plants. Therefore, saving energy helps to conserve natural resources and protects animals and plants from destruction. As a result, the world is happier and healthier.

Ten Ways To Conserve Energy

In this day and age, there are numerous ways to conserve energy. Apart from enabling energy savers, use the following conservation strategies to make your home more energy-efficient:

You manage your energy spending when your monthly bills are limited. The best part is that it only takes a simple adjustment to your daily routine to enjoy significant energy savings.

1. Do a home energy audit.

A home energy audit assesses your energy usage, aiming to increase efficiency. It’s the best way of improving your energy efficiency and cutting down on costs. The audit identifies the areas in the home that use more electricity and reduces waste.

Hire an expert to audit your home energy usage. You can do it too if you have the expertise.

Start by identifying areas where energy is wasted, like leaks, and use insulation. For instance, when your rooms consume more electricity. You may also have better energy conservation techniques to reduce your energy output to save money effectively.

The home energy audit manages both energy and temperature, giving you a controlled environment in the home.

2. Repair all electrical issues in your home

Start with bulbs to ensure there is no constant flickering, then address power surges. Handle all electrical issues in the home. For safety reasons, it is advisable to hire a certified and licensed electrical professional to inspect the circuits and repair any old wiring problems.

The professionals will also replace your electrical outlets and circuit boxes if necessary. It’s important to address existing electrical issues, since faulty electronic devices can cause a fire hazard in the home.

If you are not aware of any device or appliance that is malfunctioning, you’ll be oblivious to the danger of leaving them without making repairs.

Always contact a professional to inspect your appliances and fix problems they find, which will allow your appliances and devices to run efficiently.

Besides, it’s the best way of getting value for your money and ensuring reliability. Plus, making repairs optimizes your power output and saves you money.

3. Invest in energy-efficient appliances

Eventually, you will have to replace old appliances with new ones. Right now, you can make subtle changes to improve your energy conservation. To accomplish this, you can start by replacing your old appliances with new energy-efficient models.

Doing this ensures that all your appliances have the ENERGY STAR rating, which means your appliances use less energy. This is a necessary step if you have appliances that run 24/7 like a dryer, washer, or refrigerator. Find a new model that is more energy-efficient and consistent to enjoy the long-term benefits.

4. Use power strips if possible

Power strips provide you with more sockets to plug in your electronics. The device plugs into the wall and comes with several sockets. Also, it allows

you to optimize several things that you can plug into any outlet. Plus, it reduces your power usage.

Power strips prevent users from overloading their electrical outlets, which drains unnecessary energy. These devices efficiently distribute energy to your appliances, decreasing energy wastage and increasing financial savings.

5. Switch to LED light bulbs

Energy-efficient light bulbs are more popular nowadays. They are a variation of the traditional incandescent models while being both energy- and cost-efficient. Available in various types, these bulbs, such as LED, are ideal for enhancing energy-efficiency.

LED light bulbs are more efficient than incandescent bulbs. Besides, LED bulbs can function in areas experiencing cold temperatures and have a much longer lifespan.

Therefore, they are a good bargain, and their efficiency makes up for the upfront cost. LEDs are durable and don’t burn out like traditional lights. Plus, the bulbs are brighter, unlike traditional bulbs, which are dim. LED light bulbs reduce energy usage by 25-35%.

6. Set your water heater to a more comfortable setting

As much as manufacturers recommend using a water heater temperature of between 135- and 140-degrees Fahrenheit, your home will manage well at a temperature of 115-degree Fahrenheit. It’s an ideal temperature, and your water will still be hot.

Using 115-degree Fahrenheit is good for energy conservation, and the lower temperature is safer for your piping. If you don’t like it, adjust the water heater to a slightly higher but acceptable temperature without incurring unnecessary energy costs. Use a comfortable setting that is energy-efficient.

7. Do your laundry efficiently

Laundry is a crucial chore that ensures your wardrobe contains enough clean clothes. However, it can consume a lot of energy, which will cause a

spike in your energy bills. The safest approach is to cut back on your energy usage when doing laundry.

For instance, use a cold water setting when washing clothes. Also, switch to a dry sensor feature to conserve energy. You should carefully manage the power consumption of the laundry machine. Clean your lint trap during every dry cycle to help the laundry machine run efficiently.

Your goal is to minimize your energy output by optimizing the machine to consume less energy. You will save more energy and spend less on power bills. Furthermore, you can hang your clothes on the line to air dry.

8. Turn off appliances and devices when not in use

Leaving appliances like radios, televisions, and computer monitors on increases your energy consumption. As much as it seems like a small thing, it adds up and becomes significant very quickly.

Unnecessary energy usage increases your energy bills and is not eco-friendly. Therefore, it’s safer to power down any appliances you are not used. It may take longer for the appliances to load, but you don’t need to pay more or constantly charge the battery even when not using your power.

9. Program your thermostat

Use a smart thermostat to cool and heat your home. Smart thermostats are not like traditional thermostats. You can program smart thermostats remotely using other devices like phones. Some smart thermostats can learn your behavior and adjust themselves according to your preferences without you having to make changes.

Using smart thermostats saves you money, and you can program it to cool and heat more efficiently even when away from your home. These thermostats are a sure way to conserve energy. You save 10% more on electricity costs.

Alternatively, you can program the thermostat to 68-degrees Fahrenheit during the winter season and set it to 78-degrees Fahrenheit during the summer.

However, this will force you to wear warmer clothes indoors during winter and lighter clothes during summer instead of opting to change your thermostat temperatures.

10. Insulate your home properly

Check your home insulation to ensure that you are not losing heat when you need it most. However, this requires a professional to walk through the process of inspecting every room for damage that can cause heat loss.

The professionals look for air leaks in the doors and windows, while checking other areas that require weather-stripping.

Besides, the experts check your insulation in places like the attic, plumbing areas, and walls. Identifying the problem areas is vital and helps you fix them to ensure that your HVAC system uses less energy to heat the home. Plus, you keep out unwanted air, allowing you to control the temperature in your home.

Having better insulation means that you don’t need to adjust your thermostat to higher temperatures to heat those rooms with air leaks to compensate for the leaking air. In return, you save money as you use less energy to heat those rooms.

Seal up all door and window cracks using caulk or weather stripping to ensure that your home remains warm during winter and cool during summer. A well-insulated home is more energy-efficient, reducing your energy bills.

5 Things to Know Before Taking the Solar Route

You don’t have to be a climate change enthusiast or a solar expert to know that using coal is like walking backward. The future of energy is in solar power, making it the energy of the future.

Therefore, opting for solar power is embracing future energy solutions. However, there are things you should know before purchasing solar systems. What are they?

1. Solar systems for homes

Energy drives innovation and inventions. Therefore, mankind will have to adapt and get rid of traditional energy sources like coal and petroleum since their days are already numbered. Check your service provider and ensure that you get the best end-to-end EPC solution, maintenance, and service.

Pick the best solar panels for residential homes like Grid-tied residential solar power systems as they have few components and are easy to install. You get financial incentives like net metering and can use your utility grid to back up the solar panel when it’s not sufficient.

Off-grid solar power systems are best in places with no access to utilities as they give you 100% energy independence, ensuring that power outages don’t affect you.

2. Understand the solar panel cells

When buying an off-grid power system, consider solar cells to ensure that you get the best. The two available solar cells are monocrystalline and polycrystalline. The latter has uniform crystals and large pure silicone crystal bars. The uniform panels make them more efficient as there is no wastage of space and can absorb massive amounts of solar energy during intense sunlight.

Polycrystalline panels have purified molded crystal bars making them less efficient than monocrystalline panels. However, they are more affordable.

3. Look for certifications

Certifications are vital when buying a solar power system kit. It indicates the testing your panels underwent. Besides, certain solar panels come with government rebates, which saves you money.

4. Check the solar panel’s mounting system

Picking solar panels with the best mounting system ensures that your panels remain intact during severe storms. You need this if you live in an area experiencing frequent cyclones. You can choose the flush mounted option, which is easy to install and very cost-effective.

Alternatively, you can opt for floor or roof mounting, which is slightly more expensive, but ensures that your solar panels have a longer lifespan. Flush mounted panels are perfect for areas that don’t experience severe weather conditions, while floor or roof mounted panels are ideal if you live in a cyclone-prone area.

5. Warranty

Consider a solar panel company that offers a replacement warranty for solar panels used for residential energy solutions. Also, if the company

offers an extended warranty, it’s even better. However, a long warranty may not help much if the company doesn’t provide a good service.

Final Thoughts about Energy Conservation

“Energy Conservation is the Foundation of Energy Independence.” – Tom Allen

You can power your home using solar panels for more efficient usage and power generation. Implement the energy conservation measures above to make a cleaner, eco-friendly choice for meeting your energy needs.

Save money by switching to the energy of the future – solar power.

Call Enlightened Solar today or visit our website to learn more about energy conservation.

Latest Insights on How Solar Energy Increases Home Value

Did you know that installing solar panels in your home increases the value of your property?

According to a recent study by Zillow, installing a solar system in your home will increase its value by up to 4.1%.

Sounds interesting, right? But that’s not all…

Homes with installed solar systems sell faster than those without. Prospective buyers are willing to pay huge premiums of up to $15,000 for homes that have solar systems.

Whether you want to enjoy living in your solar-powered home for the next few years or whether you want to sell it later, you stand to benefit from lower energy costs and a higher resale value.

This brings us to the big question: Does solar energy increase home value?

Let’s find out.
Here’s an outline of what we are going to cover:

  • #1 Debunking the myths about solar power
  • #2 Why solar power should be your only source of energy
  • #3 The impact of solar installation on your home’s value
  • #4 The top 5 mistakes homeowners should avoid when going solar
  • #5 Is leasing better than buying a new solar system?
  • #6 How to calculate the added value of solar energy
  • #7 Why is solar power so popular?

#1 Debunking The False Myths about Solar Power (the third one will surprise you)

When it comes to solar energy, there are many theories and myths we need to debunk.

  • Solar energy installation is expensive. Although the initial installation costs can be on the higher side when demanded upfront, time and data have proven that installation costs are now way cheaper than electricity costs.
  • Solar panels get damaged easily—another false belief. Solar panels are weatherproof. If you don’t believe me, check the specifications and ask homeowners who have installed solar panels.
  • Solar energy can’t run your power needs. Absolutely false. When installing solar energy solutions, the professionals ask you what your energy needs are. They calculate the number of solar panels and everything you need to meet your energy needs. Therefore, you can power everything if you install enough solar panels.

Here’s a photo describing and debunking other common myths about solar energy.

#2 Why Solar Power Should Be Your Only Source of Energy

You can hold your breath and hope for the best. Smart people, and we believe you are, have plan B in place, in case your power supply acts up. Plan B takes care of the things you can’t control and ensures that your normal daily routine is never interrupted.

Many homes have a secondary solution that is very reliable, namely solar energy. Unlike in the past, where solar panels were exclusively for industrial use, you can buy yours and hire a professional company to install it for you.

With solar panels installed in your home, you can say goodbye to outrageous bills and unforeseen power outages.

Notably, using solar power adds value to your home. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, installing solar panels is an upgrade that will provide huge returns on your investment in the near future. So, why wait! Exactly!

Homeowners across the country are already enjoying the environmental and economic benefits of having a solar-powered home.

What is even more amazing is that using solar power lowers electricity bills, and you get tax incentives for every new installation.

As a homeowner, you recover your investment and gain a handsome ROI. Buying solar energy systems significantly increases the value of your property.

#3 The Impact of Solar Installation on Your Home’s Value

Homes with solar panels on their roofs enjoy more benefits, such as:

  • Your home value increases drastically
  • Your home sells faster
  • The new homeowner enjoys the same solar installation

a) What influences the added home value?

Several factors determine a home’s value, chief of which is the market. Solar panels directly affect your home’s value depending on the following factors:

  • Local electricity prices
  • Your location
  • System replacement value
  • Frequent power outages
  • Solar installation prices
  • Eco-consciousness of the community
  • Age of the solar system
  • Understanding of benefits of solar technology
  • Incentives in the state

b) Solar Energy Incentives Every Homeowner Would Die For!

Besides increasing your property value over comparable non-solar homes in the area, you enjoy financial benefits such as:

  • Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit
  • State incentives and rebates like net metering

As a home seller, you enjoy the following benefits in the real estate market:

  • Potential buyers see solar panels as an upgrade.
  • Your home fetches a higher asking price than other homes of comparable size and architecture without solar power.
  • Homes with installed solar panels sell faster than homes without them.
  • You enjoy a 100% ROI when you sell your home.

However, as a homeowner wanting to sell in the future, keep your documentation safe as buyers will want to see it.
Contact the experts to find out how to document your cost savings and show them to prospective home buyers.

c) Homebuyer incentives when buying and going solar

Having a home solar installation means prospective buyers can receive a 100% return on their investment in less than four years. There aren’t many investments that match this kind of financial benefit.
Besides, most solar companies offer buyers warranties spanning up to 30 years.

d) Discover how solar lowers operational costs

Did you know that solar panels are capable of generating as much wattage as electricity but at a cheaper rate?

This means that you can recuperate your cost of installation while enjoying longer-lasting and cheaper energy solutions. You can then use your savings to upgrade your home and increase its overall value.

e) Your home sells faster

Installing a solar energy system takes your home off the market 20% faster than homes without solar panels. No wonder there is a rapid expansion of solar installations throughout the country.

f) New solar energy system installation versus old installation

New systems are more efficient as they use modern technology. Plus, they last longer and come with a longer warranty. New solar energy technology is easy to maintain and increases your property value immensely.

g) Regional markets and electricity prices

If you live in an area with higher electricity rates, then solar properties fetch higher prices and enjoy strong incentives. The high cost of electricity motivates people to own solar homes, which drives up solar installations.
States also enjoy long-term infrastructure benefits when people install solar panels. Homebuyers also enjoy the implemented incentives. An increase in electricity prices results in higher appraisals for solar energy homes.

#4 THE TOP FIVE MISTAKES Homeowners Should Avoid When Going Solar!

The moment you decide to invest in solar energy, it’s only wise to do due diligence. Remember, your monthly utility bills will plummet almost

instantly. However, to reap the benefits, do some research and learn from other property owners who are benefiting from solar energy.
So, what are these mistakes to avoid?

1) Making a purchase decision based on price only.

Always do more research regardingthe specifications of the solar panels and systems before buying. Cheap doesn’t mean it’s bad, nor does expensive mean its right. However, you need to fully grasp what you are spending your money on to ensure it’s right for you.
Pick an experienced and reputable installation company, check their reviews and certifications.

2) Not comparing different quotes.

Always get multiple quotes to help you select the best system. This will ensure that your money is well spent. After getting the quotes, compare them to brands with different inverters and solar panels.
Furthermore, the panels vary in size and can be mounted in different places. Seek clarification when you are in doubt or don’t understand.

3) Not going for the incentives.

Solar energy lowers your electricity bill, besides being eco-friendly. Making use of incentives allows you to pay less in taxes. Owning a solar home lowers your taxes, and you enjoy 26% in federal tax credits.
Furthermore, there are local incentives you can utilize, depending on your state. For instance, Maryland offers solar homeowners a $1,000 grant that covers solar systems of up to 20kW.
Partner with a solar installer who is knowledgeable about the available incentives in the area to ensure that you qualify for them.

4) Failing to understand warranties

All solar energy systems, including the inverters, charge controllers, panels, and other components come with warranties. The warranties may not be specific to your installation company, but are available to all purchases.
Most solar panels come with a linear performance warranty (25-30 years) and a product warranty of 12-25 years.
Product warranties cover replacements minus labor costs. Therefore, it’s vital that you have a workmanship warranty. Ask the installer before you sign the contract.

5) DIY Installation

The process of installing a solar system is not a Do-It-Yourself task. It requires the right tools and competent personnel to install the panels correctly.

#5 Is Leasing Better Than Buying a New Solar System?

Absolutely not. Why? Because when you lease, you recoup less from the sale of your home. However, installing a new solar energy system means future proceeds pass directly to you, and the system is included in the property assessment.
You can transfer the asset without any obligation. Also, you have a performance guarantee and warranty transfer with the sale. Buy a solar power system to secure a higher home value.
However, if you decide to lease or use a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), you recoup less as your solar energy system is third-party owned. Any future sale requires third-party involvement during a property transfer.

#6 How to Calculate the Added Value of Solar Energy?

Early studies show that home buyers are more willing to pay 4% more for a solar energy home. For example, in 2008, a California study determined that homes sell faster when they have solar panels. Also, the same homes enjoy $15,000 in premiums for residential properties.

Additionally, SEIA (Solar Energy Industry Association) calculated the increase in home value using the following methods:

Income approach

This method considers the cost of your expected savings minus your ongoing operating costs. This figure is called avoided cost and also the billing rate of your utility. The calculation is the rationale that spearheads most solar panel purchase decisions.

Cost approach

This approach represents the cost of replacing your solar panels. The calculation factors in the solar energy system pricing, but even solar panels depreciate with time, which is already considered.
The fact that solar prices are falling means your installation and purchase costs for new solar systems are more affordable today.
Incentives affect this factor as buyers can pay for a replacement after getting incentives. This is buoyed by the gradual drop in residential solar

pricing, which has declined from $6.75 per watt in 2014 to $3.25 per watt in 2016.
The cost approach factors in the quality of installation and age of the solar system.

Comparable sales approach

Location and geographical area matter when it comes to home appraisal for solar homes. This method works better when more solar panels are installed in an area. Solar homes fetch higher prices compared to properties without solar panels.

#7 Why Are Solar Systems So Popular?

The sudden decline in system components and a decrease in installation costs over the past 10 years is the reason for this. Recently, homeowners have been enjoying more home financing options. For instance, they are offered leased systems and zero-down purchase deals. Furthermore, installing solar power brings impacts your reputation by making you look progressive.

According to more studies, solar homes sell at 4.1% more than homes without solar energy systems. Consequently, the US Department of Energy’s consumer guide affirms that solar electric systems increase a home’s value by $20 every time it saves $1 in utility bills annually.

Ready to reap the rewards of solar energy?

Solar energy is clean and renewable, that offers considerable potential for homeowners who would love to resell their homes in the future.

All you have to do is harness it and use it to meet your energy needs. Act smart, install solar panels to increase the value of your home before selling.

Enlightened Solar is here to help you convert your residence into an energy-efficient, high-value home. Call us today!