Have you ever wondered why your energy costs keep rising? Do you know how much energy each of your appliances use in your home? Have you considered using Smart Technology and other energy saving devices but not sure what is right for your home? An energy evaluation can answer all of these questions and help you develop a personalized energy savings plan that meets your families energy demands while reducing overall costs.
What is a home energy evaluation?
A home energy evaluation is an assessment of your home that takes a look at current energy consumption and then identifies energy efficiency measures that you can take to make your home more efficient. An energy auditor can assess where your home is losing the most energy, and then proposes ways to save energy and reduce your utility bills.
Here’s what happens during a typical energy evaluation:
1. An energy evaluator starts by inspecting your home’s exterior. They check components including windows, walls, and eaves, looking for issues that cause leaks into or out of your home.
2. If you have an attic, they will inspect the insulation. It should be correctly installed and applied evenly between your walls. The holes where electrical lines run will also be inspected to see if they’re properly sealed.
3. Next, the furnace/AC air handler and compressor and water heater are inspected. Many times, these are a good candidate for an energy efficient upgrade. Room conditions are inspected for hot and cold spots and blocked air vents. The filter in the furnace/AC is also inspected to see if there is any evidence of potential leaks in the duct work.
4. Finally, audits include an inspection of your home’s lighting. Standard incandescent light bulbs can easily be replaced to lower electricity costs by switching over to light-emitting diodes (LEDs) or compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).
5. Pools are also evaluated as to how efficient the pool system in general is working and what upgrades might be possible to extend pool swim season.
SouthEastern Energy Solutions provides this service as the core of our business. Our energy evaluations determine energy wasting sources and offer a comprehensive plan that can cut energy costs by up to 90%.
Our Technicians will perform an energy evaluation by inspecting all energy appliances, determine areas of energy waste, offer suggestions on home repair and enhancements and suggest products that are environmentally friendly and energy efficient. Technicians will review your current energy bill and explain which appliances need repair or replacement as well as suggested structural enhancements and improvements.
Interested in learning more? Contact us for your home energy evaluation and start your savings today!
Net metering allows residential and commercial customers who generate their own electricity from solar power to feed electricity they do not use back into the grid. Many states have passed net metering laws. In other states, utilities may offer net metering programs voluntarily or as a result of regulatory decisions. Differences between states' legislation and implementation mean that the benefits of net metering can vary widely for solar customers in different areas of the country.
What Is Net Metering?
Net metering is a billing mechanism that credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid. For example, if a residential customer has a PV system on the home's rooftop, it may generate more electricity than the home uses during daylight hours. If the home is net-metered, the electricity meter will run backwards to provide a credit against what electricity is consumed at night or other periods where the home's electricity use exceeds the system's output. Customers are only billed for their "net" energy use. On average, only 20-40% of a solar energy system’s output ever goes into the grid. Exported solar electricity serves nearby customers’ loads.
Giving Customers Control Over Their Electricity Bills
Net metering allows utility customers to generate their own electricity cleanly and efficiently. During the day, most solar customers produce more electricity than they consume; net metering allows them to export that power to the grid and reduce their future electric bills.
Creating Jobs & Encouraging Private Investment
Net metering provides substantial statewide economic benefits in terms of jobs, income and investment. Net metering increases demand for solar energy systems, which in turn creates jobs for the installers, electricians, and manufacturers who work in the solar supply chain. Today, the solar industry employs more than 250,000 American workers in large part due to strong state net metering policies which have allowed the solar industry to thrive.
Protecting the Electric Grid
Unfortunately, some utilities perceive net metering policies as lost revenue opportunities. In fact, net metering policies create a smoother demand curve for electricity and allow utilities to better manage their peak electricity loads. By encouraging generation near the point of consumption, net metering also reduces the strain on distribution systems and prevents losses in long-distance electricity transmission and distribution.
If you'd like to know more about net metering, feel free to contact us.
The cost to install a home solar energy system has fallen rapidly over the past few years, and prices continue to decline. If you’re thinking about going solar, there’s no better time than during the design process for your new home. When you incorporate solar into your new home’s construction, you take advantage of solar’s environmental and financial benefits without having to retrofit your home with a solar installation later down the road.
In addition, owners of new residential and commercial solar can deduct 30 percent of the cost of installing a solar energy system from your federal taxes thanks to the investment tax credit (ITC), also known as the federal solar tax credit.
If you think you want to install home solar energy, here are a few things you’ll need to consider:
Orient the home for solar panels
It is important to have a large south-facing roof. If your home has a rectangular shape, one of the long sides should face south. This provides more roof space for your solar panels. You’ll need plenty of space if you want your solar system to produce all the electricity your house will consume throughout the year. A small south-facing roof will limit your space for panels, decreasing the possible size of the array.
Have a roof pitch of 30 to 45 degrees
The angle of the solar panels impacts the solar energy production. Mounting your solar panels at an ideal angle will increase the solar electricity output throughout the year. If solar panels are placed at a steep angle, they produce more electricity in the winter because the sun is lower in the sky. When panels are installed at a 0-degree angle, they produce more electricity in the summer because the sun is higher in the summer sky.
Strategically place dormers, vents, and chimneys
Solar systems generate the most electricity when they are completely unshaded, especially in the middle of the day. Even vents, dormers, and chimneys can create shadows on the panels, decreasing your energy output. It is important to strategically place these building features to maximize the energy production of your system and available space for mounting solar panels.
Avoid trees and building obstructions
Trees and buildings can shade your solar panels, causing a significant reduction in your solar energy production. When building a new home, locate the home clear from obstructions that will shade your solar panels. Even deciduous trees create branch shade during the winter months, significantly decreasing your energy production. If some shade is unavoidable, select solar equipment that is specifically designed for shaded conditions.
Owners of new residential and commercial solar can deduct 30 percent of the cost of installing a solar energy system from your federal taxes thanks to the investment tax credit (ITC), also known as the federal solar tax credit. This tax credit applies to both residential and commercial systems, and there is no cap on its value. As a result, an average consumer saves nearly $9,000 on the cost of going solar.
More about the solar investment tax credit
The ITC was established by the Energy Policy Act of 2005. It was set to expire at the end of 2007, but due to its popularity and to support the transition to a renewable energy economy in the United States, Congress has extended its expiration date several times. Now, the solar investment tax credit is available to homeowners through 2021. However, 2019 will be the last year for a full 30% tax credit. Here’s how it works.
In previous years, owners of new solar energy systems could not claim the tax credit unless their system was operational. Now, recent legislation allows homeowners to claim it as soon as the construction of the system begins, as long as the solar panel system is operational by December 31, 2023.
How to claim the solar investment tax credit
You can claim the investment tax credit for solar when you file your yearly federal tax return. Let your accountant know you’ve installed solar in the past year, or if you file your own taxes, you complete IRS Form 5965 to validate your qualification for renewable energy credits and then add your renewable energy credit information to your typical form 1040