Making the decision to install a solar system on your home is one of the best ways to reduce your overall energy costs in Texas. But with the summer we had, even with a solar system your utility bill may be higher than you expected. What can you do to maximize your savings and lower your energy costs even further?
You don’t have to live in the dark. Here are our top 10 tips for optimizing your savings on energy:
1. Monitor Your Energy Usage.
As the saying goes, you can’t manage what you don’t measure. Tracking your electricity consumption with energy monitoring tools can help you understand when and where you use the most electricity. Then you can make informed decisions about your energy habits and use.
2. Time your energy usage to times when utility rates are lower.
Many utilities in Texas offer time-of-use (TOU) rates that vary depending on when you use electricity. Try to shift energy-intensive activities, such as charging your EV, running your dishwasher or doing laundry, to off-peak hours when rates are lower. If you can’t get a TOU plan, simply moving your energy activities to daytime hours can save you some money.
3. Switch to more energy-efficient appliances.
Upgrade your appliances to energy-efficient models that have the ENERGY STAR label. These appliances consume less electricity and can further reduce your energy bills.
4. Seal and insulate your home.
You can save up to 20 percent of your home’s heating and cooling costs by properly insulating your home. Make sure you’ve got the right type and amount of insulation in your attic, floors and crawl spaces and seal any gaps and cracks. This can mean the difference between having a low energy bill and having no bill at all.
5. Install a programmable thermostat.
A smart or programmable thermostat allows you to schedule heating and cooling to match your daily routines. This prevents unnecessary energy consumption when you’re not at home.
6. Use LED lighting.
Replace incandescent or compact fluorescent bulbs with energy-efficient LED lights. Although they are more expensive, LEDs use significantly less energy and can last three to five times longer than CFLs and up to 30 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
7. Reduce phantom loads.
Did you know that your devices continue to draw power even when they’re turned off? Unplug devices and appliances, such as chargers and electronics when they’re not in use. Using power strips makes it easy to disconnect multiple devices at once.
8. Encourage energy-efficient habits.
No one likes to be the energy police. Flip the script by reinforcing good energy behaviors like turning off lights, unplugging devices, and setting thermostats at optimal temperatures.
9. Regularly clean and maintain your solar system.
Schedule regular cleanings and routine inspections for your solar panels and inverters to ensure they are operating efficiently. Longhorn can address any issues promptly to avoid reduced energy production.
10. Consider adding energy storage.
If your solar system generates excess energy during the day, it may make sense to install a battery storage system. This allows you to store surplus energy for use during the night or during power outages, reducing your reliance on the grid. For more info on energy storage systems, contact us.
By implementing even just a few of these strategies, you can maximize the benefits of your solar system and further reduce your energy costs.
We all need to do our part to reduce our environmental footprint as much as possible.