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How to Use Solar Energy at Home

Prior to 1925, more than half of all homes in the United States didn’t have access to electricity. In the decades that followed, electricity became more commonplace in homes across the country. Modern homes now commonly run on some form of power — such as electricity, natural gas, or a combination of these resources. However, there is a newer player that is starting to gain a foothold in the energy market: solar energy.

An efficient solar power system can provide enough power to run your home during the daytime. So long as the sun is shining, your rooftop or ground-mounted solar energy system can produce solar energy by capturing and converting sunlight (solar radiation) into usable electricity. Using solar power at home doesn’t require a learning curve; once a solar energy system (which consists primarily of solar panels and inverters) is installed, you can just go about your day like usual while your new system does all of the work.

Talk To A Solar Expert

How can your home use solar energy to provide electricity for your daily life? It can help you:

 

Stay Comfortable with A/C and Heating

In states like New Jersey and Florida, air conditioning and heating are two invaluable resources to keep your family comfortable during the hottest and coldest months of the year. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, space cooling and heating accounted for 15% and 6%, respectively, of all residential electricity consumption in the U.S. in 2017.

Because solar energy is available year-round — whenever the sun is shining — it means that you have a virtually endless electricity resource to tap into for your home’s energy needs. A CODE Green Solar energy expert can help you determine the appropriate size system for your home based on your historical data (your average energy usage over the past 12 months based on your electric bill information) and get your home set up with a system of solar panels and inverters that can either highly reduce or virtually eliminate your power bill, depending on your goals.

Run Your Appliances

Many homeowners upgrade their washers, dryers, refrigerators, and other large appliances to more energy-efficient models to save money, water, and electricity. If you’re willing to spend thousands of dollars upgrading appliances that will only make a partial change to your electric bill, then you’ll likely be excited to learn about the impact a solar energy system can have on your monthly electric bill.

Your water heater can be a huge energy hog. The EIA reports that water heating accounted for 10% of all residential energy consumption in 2017.


How much do your other household appliances cost to operate? Using the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy’s Appliance Energy Calculator, our CODE Green Solar experts have estimated the cost of running several older model, non-efficient appliances (based on a rate of $0.16 per kilowatt hour (KWh):

Clothes washer

$149.76 per year (based on the idea that a 1,200 watt washer uses for 936 KWh of electricity per year and runs for 15 hours per week)

Clothes dryer

$374.40 per year (based on the idea that a 3,000 watt dryer uses 2,340 KWh of electricity per year and runs for 15 hours per week)

Dishwasher

$133.12 per year (based on the calculation that a 2,000 watt dishwasher runs for 2 hours a day, 4 days per week)

Refrigerator

$934.40 per year (based on the idea that a 2,000 watt refrigerator uses 5,840 KWh of electricity per year and runs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year)

Significantly Reduce Your Electric Bill

If it feels like your power bill is increasing each year, you’re not mistaken. According to EnergySage, U.S. residential electricity rates have risen an average of 4% over the past 10 years. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that electricity costs for residential uses are expected to continue to rise to 13.62 cents per kilowatt hour (KWh) by 2019.

While this might not sound significant, it can quickly add up. Considering that the average U.S. electricity bill in 2016 was 897 KWh per month — 10,766 KWh per year — at $0.13 per KWh, that will total nearly $1,400 per year! That could be the cost of paying off a credit card or enjoying 314 small lattes from your favorite boutique coffee place.

Reduce Your Environmental Impact

Without the use of solar energy, your home would be entirely dependent on the local gas and/or electricity utility companies. Our question to all homeowners is this: Why stay dependent on utility companies when you can easily produce your own electricity using clean, renewable solar energy?

An efficient solar energy system helps you to reduce your carbon footprint by making you less dependent on fossil fuels including coal, and nuclear energy. For example, the average New Jersey household uses 8,386 KWh of energy each year. Using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator, the environmental impact of the average NJ residential solar system each year equates to:

  • Greenhouse gas emissions savings equal to 2.2 tons of waste being recycled instead of landfilled.
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) savings of 6,828 lbs of coal being burned and 209 incandescent light bulbs being switched to LED.
  • Carbon sequestration equivalence of planting 7.4 acres of trees and allowing 162 tree seedlings to grow for 10 years.

Take advantage of the sun’s energy by making the switch to solar today.

Learn More About Solar

To learn more about how solar energy can benefit your home, the environment, and your wallet, or to receive other solar power information, contact a CODE Green Solar energy consultant today by filling out the contact information form on this page.