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Posted by Mr Solar on October 19, 2014
These days, going solar is a no-brainer. Costs are at an all-time low and getting lower and utility companies and state and local governments are offering subsidies to drive down these already low costs to sometimes as much as fifty-percent. On top of this, most states have enacted net metering laws that enable consumers to actually sell the excess electricity generated from their solar panels back to the grid. But if you really want to capitalize on solar, I’m here to tell you to invest in efficiency first.
Your mother may have told you – “you have to eat your vegetables before you get dessert.” Well, this adage applies neatly to investing in a solar photovoltaic system. In this case, energy efficiency is the “vegetables” and solar is the “dessert.” The reason that making your home more energy efficient makes sense before investing in solar is simply that by investing in energy efficiency, you won’t need to purchase as big of a solar PV system.
Energy efficiency is the concept that you can do the same things (i.e. heat and cool your home and use appliances and lighting) with less energy. By making your home more energy efficient, this means that you don’t consume as much electricity and therefore don’t need to purchase a solar PV system with quite as much generating capacity. This in and of itself can save you thousands of dollars right from the get-to.
Making your home more energy efficient is often considered the “low-hanging fruit” in the green energy industry, simply because energy efficiency upgrades are much cheaper and more cost-effective than generating green power. Here are a few easy steps to get your efficiency vegetables before moving onto the solar dessert:
Finally, be sure to check out your local utility company’s website to see what incentive might be available for making energy efficiency upgrades.