Energy is a resource that is all too frequently taken for granted. Usually, when a switch is flipped, the lights come on without issue. This normalization of energy usage has left us all slightly numb to just how valuable of a resource it is in other areas of the world. Luckily, the idea of energy conservation is becoming more and more popular thanks to higher energy prices and environmental activists. So, what are a few popular software programs or energy systems that can help us all to save more energy?
- Smart Thermostats
- Motion Sensors
- A Home Solar System
- LED Lighting Integration
Many homeowners have jobs that keep them out of their homes for 10-12 hours per day. To avoid coming home to a house that is too hot or cold, the air conditioning or heat is usually left on all day. This is highly energy intensive and drives up your energy costs unnecessarily. To address this, homeowners can install smart thermostats that automatically turn down the temperature when you leave for work and bring it backup to an acceptable level just before you return home. This way, you are avoiding energy costs and usage for roughly 8-10 hours every work day.
Just because someone isn’t using a light that’s on, doesn’t mean you’re still not paying for it. At times, lights can be left on for hours at a time and cost you additional energy charges for no net benefit. To help conserve energy and save money, many homeowners are installing room occupancy sensors or motion sensors which automatically turn off the lights when it senses that no one is in the room anymore.
A Home Solar System
Solar energy is one of the best ways to reduce your energy consumption. After all, for every kilowatt hour an array of solar panels generates, this is one kilowatt hour that you do not have to take from the grid and pay your local utility for. The size of the solar system that could provide all of your home’s energy is highly dependent on your average monthly energy usage as well as the available space to build the solar array. To help cover the cost of installing solar, a Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) currently exists which can provide savings to consumers. The Federal ITC provides a tax credit equal to 30% of the value of installing solar system to the homeowner. Additionally, many states also offer additional incentives that can help improve the overall return on investment.
LED Lighting Integration
One of the biggest consumers of energy in a household is lighting. Often, more lights are left on in a house than are being properly utilized by its occupants. This can easily drive up monthly energy usage and raise the average cost of electricity bills. To combat this, LED lighting system can be used to replace energy intensive lighting systems. Some LED lights can be as little as just 5 watts compared to a more traditional 60 watt light bulb. This means it will only use one twelfth of the power of your existing light bulbs while outputting the same, if not more, light. Not only will this system upgrade save you a ton of energy, but it will also most likely pay for itself in under one year. This is especially true in areas of the country which have a higher than average cost of electricity.
Saving energy is a great way to be both economically and environmentally sustainable. It lowers carbon emissions by requiring fewer fossil fuels to be burned while also keeping more of your hard earned dollars in your pocket at the end of every month. By employing one or all of these techniques, homeowners will quickly realize the true value of energy.