Solar First or Last? Know the Order in which to Tackle Home Energy Upgrades
By J. Daniel Geddis, REALTOR®, Green, MRP
When asked, “What is one of the best ways to ‘go green’ and upgrade your home’s energy efficiency?,” many homeowners might answer with, “Install solar panels.” While solar panels certainly are an excellent technology with the potential to drastically reduce your home’s energy dependence, they are not necessarily the first upgrade to consider in the big picture of home energy upgrades.
There is a saying among many green energy experts that you have to earn solar. What this means is that if your home is inefficient in energy use due to old, poor-performing appliances, lack of proper insulation, or air sealing, then the energy created from solar is going to largely be wasted.
This pyramid diagram is a useful tool to show the loading order of home energy upgrades. It all begins with the base of the pyramid with an increased general understanding and knowledge. A homeowner can be educated by having a home energy audit, or by reading about various methods, tools, and practices to help make a home more energy efficient. From there, the homeowner can move up the pyramid to items that are more complex and/or require more of an investment. Not every upgrade is going to be appropriate for each home. This is why it is important to work with experts in home energy efficiency to maximize your specific results.
If you are interested in obtaining a home energy assessment or learning how you might be able to increase your home’s energy efficiency, thereby potentially lowering utility bills, increasing perceived comfort and making your home a more green space, please contact me below. I would love to help you by being a resource to information!