It is no big secret that utility bills have been skyrocketing in recent years. We need to become more energy-efficient. With the advent of so many technologies powered by electricity, it is no wonder. Every room in your home, discounting the lights themselves, is almost guaranteed to have an electric item. This not only proves to be expensive but is also harmful for the environment.
The electricity which runs these many devices is created through burning fossil fuels. This process releases massive amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, which harms the earth’s protective Ozone layers. This system is certainly not energy-efficient. The damage which has already been done can be repaired through solid effort on behalf of everyone, and everyone can save a considerable amount of money in the process.
The most obvious way to save money and reduce carbon footprints is using a home solar system. Solar power creates useable energy directly from the sun. Although it creates energy from the sun, the sun does not lose any of its own power in the process, which is why is called a renewable resource and is energy-efficient – a category which also includes power created from wind or water. Since the energy is renewable, and there is no need to burn fossil fuels, there is little to no carbon emissions associated with it’s use. This reduces harm to the earth’s protective layer, giving it a chance to repair the damage already done. Residential solar in South Africa also saves homeowners a considerable amount of money on their utility bills. Solar is a one-time investment versus a monthly recurring bill. It is estimated this can reduce electricity costs for the homeowner by as much as 85%. The systems pay themselves off in approximately five years. After this return on investment, the electric savings turns to extra pocket cash.
Another option to utilise is energy-efficient heat pumps. These heat pumps are designed to use a mere fraction of the amount other heat sources do. For heat pumps to be most efficient, they should be installed in the most optimal place in each room. A professional can assist you in determining where the heat pump will be of most use, so you may reap the most benefits. Although heat pumps in South Africa do not eliminate the need for electricity, they do use much less. This is, like the solar power mentioned above, much better for both the environment and homeowner.
A key to getting the most from an energy-efficient system is to be energy-efficient yourself. By reducing overall energy needs, the bigger the difference energy-efficient options can make. For example, if you reduce your energy usage by just 15%, your solar panels have the potential to fulfill all your energy needs.
To that end, here are just a few ways you can help to improve the benefits reaped through energy-efficient home options:
• Turn off lights when not in a room
• Open the windows in spring or fall instead of running the air conditioner
• Use windows as natural light during the daytime
• Turn off all electronics, such as televisions, before going to bed