Increasing energy efficiency is paramount to ending our nation’s addiction to fossil fuels. While Sun Pacific Solar Electric would like to see every residence and business go solar, we feel that it is extremely important to first look at becoming more energy efficient. A general principle is that for every $1.00 that you save with energy efficiency, you save $3.00 on your potential solar electrical system costs. Greater energy efficiency generally translates into a smaller solar system needed to offset electrical usage. Our design and sales team will help you identify areas that will reduce your electric consumption. Sun Pacific Solar Electric will even arrange an energy audit for your home or business when it is requested or warranted.
We recommend these five straightforward steps that will greatly increase your energy efficiency while at the same time lowering your energy bills:
Switch to LED (Light Emitting Diode) Light Bulbs.
LED lights are now available in high quality true white light. These extremely energy efficient bulbs produce light at 10% or less of the cost of conventional light bulbs. They are expensive to purchase but with over 100,000 hours of life you will be rewarded time and again with great energy savings.
Program Thermostats for Heating, Air Conditioning, and Water Heaters.
Energy star thermostats are highly accurate as well as efficient and programmable. Setting your thermostat at 78° F or higher in the summer months and 62° F in the winter, and programming them to be off or at a minimal output when no one is in the home or office can save a tremendous amount of energy and electricity. Additionally, programming your water heater to 120*F will also save on your monthly bill.
Tune Up Heating and Cooling Systems (HVAC).
HVACs should be tuned up periodically to ensure optimal performance. Filters should be changed or cleaned frequently and ducting should be checked for leaks.
Add & Maintain Weather Stripping.
Weather stripping around doors and windows should be maintained or repaired. You can save money on heating and air conditioning bills by caulking and weather stripping doors, windows and other wall penetrations while keeping living spaces more comfortable.
Buy ENERGY STAR Appliances.
Energy Star appliances are reported to be 40% more efficient today than they were just four years ago. Energy Star appliances may cost more but they will more than pay for these extra costs with reduced electrical bills and long-term savings as energy costs continue to increase.
Convert to Gas Appliances.
Gas rates are generally much cheaper than electricity rates. If your area/property is connected to Natural Gas lines, switching your appliances could save you a considerable amount monthly.
Invest in an Electric Car.
A handful of articles have been written recently on the cost effectiveness of Electric Vehicles compared to gas cars. EnergySage wrote about the topic succinctly here. Additionally, Plugin Santa Barbara is making solar charging stations readily available in Southern California. If you’re interested in learning what it would take to install an Electrical Vehicle charger in conjunction with or to an existing solar system, read up on it on our blog post.