Can I Become More Energy Independent on a Budget?

With their costs lowering, and advanced energy systems becoming more and more accessible, many people are shifting over to using

With their costs lowering, and advanced energy systems becoming more and more accessible, many people are shifting over to using solar energy to power their homes. In fact, between 2008 and 2015, the installation of solar energy systems increase by over 23 times.

If you want to go beyond energy efficiency, all the way to ultimate energy sustainability—then achieving energy independence through commercial solar is probably right for you. Before you contact energy professionals, here’s what you need to know.

Use Solar Panels

Currently, the simplest, most-effective way to become your own source of energy is with solar panels. Energy professionals will install solar panels on the roof of your home, and connect your energy system to the local energy grid. The panels will generate all the power you need, and any excess energy will be exported to the local power company. And you’ll be compensated for the energy you send them—instead of sending a check to the power company every month, you can enjoy free power, and get a check from them.

If the solar panel system isn’t quite sufficient to provide power to your entire home, all the time, you can still buy electricity from the power company when you need it. Thanks to solar systems’ robustness, you’ll rarely need to repair them, and the only regular maintenance they need is a checkup from energy professionals every three years, making it an affordable investment in the long-run. This takes the stress out of personal renewable energy.

Use Appliances During the Daytime Hours

While your home’s lighting and HVAC system will need to be used at night, you can maximize the energy you get from daylight hours by only running major appliances during the day.

By running your dishwasher and clothes washing machine while the sun is shining, you’ll be using all-solar energy to power them. Even if sub-optimal conditions—such as a slightly overcast day—your solar panels should generate enough power to keep any appliance running while the sun shines.

This way, you’ll be using that excess solar power, instead of feeding it off to the local grid. This is especially valuable if you earn only a low feed-in tariff for the excess power you generate, but have to pay the high retail rate for any power you use at night.

To effectively monitor your solar power, and make sure your system generates enough energy for your appliances, you should ask energy professionals about installing a power meter which you can read from inside your home (such as with a digital display). This device should show you how much power you export to the grid, as well as how much solar power you’re generating and using.

Become More Energy Efficient

Even on solar power, the cheapest electricity is the electricity you don’t use. To further maximize your savings and sustainability, it’s still a good idea to make your home and lifestyle as energy-efficient as possible.

A simple web search will show you a plethora of things you can do to minimize energy consumption, and most of these things are pretty obvious—such as turning off lights when you leave a room, and using only as much hot water as you need. By significantly reducing your use of overall energy, you can minimize the energy you buy from the power company, and avoid having to invest in a costly energy storage system.

Use a Home Energy Storage System

Solar energy may be generated during the day, but unfortunately, most power consumption takes place in the night and evening hours. After all, you don’t need the lights when the sun is out, and most people are only at home on evenings anyway.

To help solve this problem, you can use a small battery bank to “time shift” your solar energy, towards the part of the day when you actually need it—by storing energy during the day, to be used at night. This will mean less energy getting exported to the power grid, and also less energy you have to purchase back from the grid at night. The right power bank can fully charge during the day, and deplete itself each night.

Instead of a small power bank, you might want to go all-out and use a large battery system. These can further help lower the amount of energy you purchase from the power company, or even free you from the grid altogether, making you truly energy independent.

While some of these options might seem expensive up front, the investment certainly pays off in the long run. For more information about energy deregulation on a budget, don’t hesitate to reach out to Energy Professionals today.

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