Energy efficiency is the ability to do more work with less power. For some, this concept represents sacrifice—you have to make painful trade-offs between saving energy and leading the lifestyle that you want to live.
But in fact, most energy efficiency strategies are 100% painless. And when done correctly, these improvements can dramatically increase the return-on-investment (ROI) of your solar installation.
This article explores why this works. And it outlines some simple steps you can take to boost the ROI of your solar investment.
The Relationship between Energy Efficiency and Solar Returns
The more energy efficient you become, the less electricity you use. This alone offers instant utility bill savings, which is why most energy-efficient improvements pay for themselves very quickly. Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), for example, cost more than traditional incandescent bulbs. But because they use less power and last longer, making the switch is an investment that offers guaranteed returns.
Energy efficiency offers direct savings. But it can also offer indirect savings if you decide to go solar.
Reduced power consumption means you’ll need fewer solar panels to cover all of your electricity requirements. If you’re able to reduce your power consumption by 25%, this roughly translates to a 25% smaller photovoltaic (PV) installation.
With a smaller PV system, the upfront cost of your installation goes down. In addition, you enjoy faster payback periods—and ultimately—higher ROIs.
What Energy Efficiency Improvements Should You Make?
When you contact Direct Energy Solar for a free solar consultation, our expert advisors will recommend any number of energy efficiency improvements to help you conserve electricity. This service comes standard with all of our solar installations.
But you can get started on these improvements today—without our help. There are many proven strategies for reducing electricity consumption. We’ve already discussed switching from incandescent light bulbs to CFLs. Other low-hanging fruit include:
- Replacing older appliances with ENERGY STAR alternatives
- Installing a “smart” thermostat (do you really need to heat the home when it’s empty?)
- Lowering the average temperature of your HVAC and water systems (a few degrees isn’t noticeable—try it out yourself).
- Adding better insulation or installing storm windows and doors. This can dramatically reduce monthly heating and cooling costs.
All of these improvements represent simple changes that cost a little more up front. But they pay for themselves very quickly—usually many many times over. And they require zero intervention, meaning you don’t have to change your daily habits to benefit from passive savings.
However, if you’re really serious about boosting your solar returns, you can also become more conscientious about turning off appliances and lights that are not being used. This requires more effort. But it’s worth the investment—especially as you watch your bank account grow month after month.
Want More Energy Efficiency Tips to Boost Your Solar ROI?
The above strategies are only scratching the surface. There exist hundreds of ways to make your home or business more energy efficient. And remember that each improvement:
- Saves you money directly (by lowering your utility bill)
- Saves you money indirectly (by reducing the number of panels required)
If you’d like to receive other cost-effective energy efficiency tips for boosting the ROI of your solar installation, contact us today for a free consultation. Our expert installation team is more than happy to help you maximize the return on your solar investment.
To schedule your free Direct Energy Solar consultation today, click here.