Thursday, May 15, 2008

Going Solar & Phantom Loads

Home Energy Diet cover
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

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