Energy Conservation for Efficiency

LED Light Bulb

LED Light Bulb

It is my opinion that the most cost efficient and practical clean energy puchase for you here in my region is to put a photovoltaic solar panel on the south roof, or an array on the yard pointing south, and wire the electricity back to the power company for credit. This is called a “grid-tied PV solar electric” system. It can heat the right house and power the right collection of appliances.

However, before you even think about that, energy conservation is the best strategy that offers, by far, the greatest cost savings and positive environmental impact with the lightest investment. Conservation will ensure that you get the most for your money when purchasing a clean energy system. One cannot always accomodate for this entire checklist, but it is the best idea to try. We want a house to be highly energy efficient before installing a solar energy power system.

Energy Conservation Strategy Checklist

  • 400 to 800 lumen, LED light bulbs througout the house.
  • Low comsumption appliances approved by Energy-Star or better.
  • An exterior wall insulated to a continuous R-30 or better.
  • Roof and attic combined insulation of R-37 or better.
  • Insulate well around receptacles, doors, windows, and plumbing exits.
  • Insulation around rim joists and sometimes the ceiling of the basement.
  • Install an insulating blanket around your water heating tank and hot water pipes.
  • Do not exceed 10 or 12 percent of glass area to floor area in your house.
  • 75 percent of the glass should face the sun some time during the day.
  • Install 1 to 2 inch rigid foam on the exterior of the foundation wall.
  • Purchase the heating furnace with the highest efficiency rating.
  • Review the distribution of heat through the house, and modify for efficiency.
  • Install insulated cellular shades or curtains on windows and close them at night.
  • Always shut off all appliances and lights not in use.
  • If you are a little hot, take off some clothes and get over it.
  • If you are a little cold, wear a sweater or get some exercise.
  • When you can get along without an electrical appliance, don’t buy it.
  • Dishwashers are wasteful. Wash them yourself.

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