Become more energy efficient before going solar
Before installing a solar power system, it's important to reduce the amount of electricity you use as much as possible. By taking these actions, you can install a smaller system, which lowers your upfront costs.
Things to think about:
- Lighting: One easy thing you can do is make sure all your light bulbs are LED bulbs. While they do cost more than standard incandescent light bulbs, they are far more efficient and last longer.
- Appliances: Consider replacing your older appliances with ENERGY STAR®appliances. Use your large appliances efficiently (e.g., running full dishwasher loads, washing clothes with cold water).
- Heating and cooling systems: In most homes, heating (if electric) and cooling are often what use the most electricity in your home. Making weatherization improvements, such as sealing air leaks around windows and doors, will make a significant impact on your electricity use.
- Pool pumps: If you have a pool, pool pumps are one of the first things a solar installer should check for when they are assessing your electricity needs. If you don't have a variable-speed pool pump, you should get one. This one replacement will make a big difference in the size of your solar power system.
- Home energy audits: The first step in making energy efficiency improvements is understanding what uses the most electricity in your home. Get a home energy audit to learn how you can save the most energy.