Make your Solar Work Harder for you
Creating an Energy Efficient Home will Make Solar Work Harder for You
Now is the season for spring cleaning. Allowing your doors to open up and let the fresh air in while saying goodbye to the winter clutter and grime. Something to also consider when pursuing all of your spring todo lists is to ensure your home is as energy efficient as possible. Whether you have a solar PV system or not, we all want to be sure we aren't wasting energy, when we could easily adjust a few things to save energy, and money.
Below is a list of simple projects you can do around your home to make your solar work harder for you. This is also something you want to do before getting solar, to ensure you are getting the most out of your future investment.
Energy Efficient Lighting
We're fortunate to have long summer days, and don't seem to have to turn the lights on as often as we do in the winter months. This doesn't mean we shouldn't evaluate where our lighting is coming from. When was the last time you changed out the lightbulbs in your home? If the answer to that question is more than five years, that means you could be wasting a lot of money every time you turn on the lights. According to energy.gov "By replacing your home's five most frequently used light fixtures or bulbs with models that have earned the ENERGY STAR, you can save $75 each year." If you have a solar PV system, this means you could be putting more credits away with net metering for the winter months.
Running the AC all day can be costing you an absorbent amount of money, as well as wasting energy. Installing a programmable thermostat like the ecobee will allow you to program when you will be home, adjust the temperature depending on the hours of the day you need it cooler, or maybe don't mind an extra degree or two. They are also room sensors available, that can monitor when you enter and leave a room, and adjust the temperature accordingly.
Another way we use energy every day is by running our household appliances. We understand that replacing appliances is not always an immediate cost saving, and is sometimes more of a long-term investment. However, if your family needs new appliances, its best to chose energy star appliances. This will ensure energy savings, which will save money over time. (Click here for the Energy Star website)
Seal Up Cracks
Taking the time to walk through your home checking each window and door for air leaks, is a fast and cost effective way to save energy. Take a tissue to each window and door, if the tissue is drawn towards the crack, seal it up with some foam or rubber weatherstrip tape. You can find this tape at your local hardware store, and is a low cost way to save energy, and money, by avoiding "cooling" the outdoors.
Here at NM Solar Group, we care about each family we come in contact with. We want to be sure every system we install works the best it can. If you have questions about how you can be more energy efficient, don't hesitate to reach out to us.
Click the link below to find the available rebates for New Mexico residents for switching to renewable products:
Available Rebates in New Mexico
Increase Home Value by Installing Solar
Installing solar panels on your house and owning the system can pay for itself with an increase in value to your home. According to a study conducted by Berkeley National Lab with Sandia National Labs, the average increase in a home's value across the nation is about $3.78 per Watt. The average home has a 6KW system, translating to (6KWx$3.78=$22,680) about a $22k increase in value immediately after the install is complete. Meaning homes with solar panel systems sell for more than without.
Do Solar Panels add Value to a house?
The study analyzed 20,000 homes in six states across the country to find out just how much a solar panel system would increase the price of a home. The study concluded, home values increased at a rate between $2.68- $4.31 per watt of energy. This data is just beginning to become an asset to realtors while selling homes. Solar panel systems are becoming exceedingly popular making it easier for realtors to value these systems, and recognize the potential for home value increase. Speaking to New Mexican appraiser Mark Raney, SRA who specializes in "valuation of sustainable homes, he says "Many appraisers use ‘PV value’, a program originally developed by a Sandia Labs engineer to get the value contribution. Just type in the size and age of the system, the tilt of the panels and the zip code and they will set a value."
If you are thinking about purchasing a solar system for your home, the study should give you confidence that you are making a smart investment. The study found that homes with owned solar panels will benefit from a ‘solar premium’ when they are sold because buyers are willing to pay more for a home with solar panels.
The location, size, age, and efficiency must be considered when evaluating the value of a home with a PV system. To be sure you are getting the maximum value while getting your home appraisal done with your solar panel system, be sure to use one of the many New Mexican appraisers who specializes in the valuation of sustainable buildings.
Is it worth the Investment?
This suggests that if you sell your house soon after you have a solar system installed, you will recoup most or all of your investment while saving money on your power bills. It also confirms: Payback periods on solar power systems are not something to be overly concerned about. Your solar system will either increase your home value should you decide to sell your house, or it will pay itself off in power bill savings before you move out. In both cases, solar is a sound investment."
Thinking about getting Solar? Click here to get a quote.
Electricity Markets & Policy Group
Solar Energy could be the answer we need to save one of our most valued resources. Water. Especially in a state that rarely comes out of a drought phase. We recently had the first day in over 90 that New Mexico received any measurable precipitation. We love our bright blue skies and brag about the sunshine, but we all know that New Mexicans crave a good day of heavy rain or snow. Today we all got to rejoice while our solar panels got a good rinse, and we could rest, assured that our water supply recouped a little of what we take from it each day.
One thing that not everyone knows, or understands is that power plants use an exuberant amount of water to give energy to the people. Water is used to pump crude oil out of the ground, remove pollutants from power plant exhaust, flush out residue after fossil fuels are burned, cool power plants, and much more. Our energy resources rely on water, much more than we probably realize. This is something New Mexican residents cannot ignore. You will see in the infographic below, created by One Block Off The Grid That Coal power plants use approximately 100-1,100 gallons per MWh, Nuclear uses 600-800 gallons/ MWh, natural gas 20-300 gallons/ Mwh, while solar uses nearly no water at all.
Switching your energy over to solar, with NM Solar Group won't just save you money on your electric bill monthly, but it will help preserve the scarce resource we all need.
To read more about water used for energy click here.