Before you dive into solar energy systems, consider the energy efficiency of your building. The more energy your home, business, or space consumes, the larger your solar system will need to be to meet your needs. By reducing energy usage before sizing your solar system, you may be able to reduce costs significantly. Check out ONCOR’s Take a Load Off to explore energy efficiency incentive programs for homes, businesses, governments, schools, and nonprofits!
Some possible upgrades include:
- Enhancing insulation
- Duct sealing
- Caulking and weather-stripping
- Installing energy-efficient appliances, air conditioners, and water heaters
- Replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent or LED bulbs
One way to determine the energy efficiency of a home is to perform an energy audit. Energy audits assign a score to your building based on its energy efficiency rating and provides recommended measures to improve energy efficiency. For homeowners, companies like Residential Energy Service Network (RESNET) administer home energy audits, which offer valuable insight into the energy performance of a home's insulation, HVAC, lighting, appliances, windows, and doors. For commercial and industrial building owners, EnergyStar Portfolio Manager can be utilized to monitor energy use and pinpoint areas of inefficiency.