Thursday, May 15, 2008
Going Solar & Phantom Loads
If you’re thinking about converting to solar energy, one of the first steps is to assess and downsize your current energy usage. Your technology investment will yield a bigger payoff when it can cover a larger percentage of your home or business’ total energy load.
One of the quickest ways to do this is to reduce phantom energy loads – the electricity used when appliances are plugged in but turned off. Using a power strip for collections of appliances (your audio-visual components or home office equipment), and switching it off when not in use can make a noticeable reduction in utility bills. Using energy efficient large appliances and heating/cooling systems is also key.
Here are a couple of tools:
The Home Energy Diet by Author Paul Scheckel Scheckel advocates for a “Triple A” approach: Awareness of the ways your home uses and loses energy, Assessment of your home's energy requirements, and Action taken to reduce energy consumption to a minimum.
Kill-A-Watt Electricity Usage Monitor