During the development or remodel phase of a home, the main focal points are usually exterior and interior improvements, designs, and personal preferences. But one thing that is often overlooked is the home’s current effect on energy consumption and how that can be improved.
Some new development homes take this into account, where they properly seal and insulate doors, windows, and walls, and in the specs they may even include some solar paneling. What they sometimes miss, however, is the consideration of external things, like which way the house is facing so that when the sun rises and falls it doesn’t go through some of the biggest, primary windows and heat up the home. If the home is being built in a generally colder place, that may be the desired effect, however if it’s somewhere in the south, then that means added cooling costs for most of the year. Taking these few things into account can save a lot of money on an energy bill, especially if it’s a much bigger home.
For home remodels, it’s important to go through and find the air leaks that are occurring, determine what are the biggest heat sources, and find out how well the home is insulated. Additionally, the home can have added reflective screens on windows to prevent excess heat from coming in and staying trapped. Solar panel additions definitely help reduce energy consumption from the grid, and thinking about where the thermostat is placed vs what rooms are going to need the most air flow is crucial. In a remodel, as well as a new home, some home automation tools can be built in so that vents can be open and closed depending on where the air flow needs to go. This will save energy on cooling/heating because that cycled air doesn’t go to rooms that are not being used at that time or much at all.
In either case, there are some other things to consider like energy efficient bulbs and appliances, really solid electrical wiring to help prevent excessive usage, and general home habits like keeping computers and other appliances turned off at night or when they’re not being used.
One rare tip that can actually make a huge difference for states that are decentralized is the use of referral programs. Using referral programs, such as a reliant energy refer a friend, can bring huge bill credits because of the fact that when you refer a customer, you and that referred customer receive bill credit. This effect stacks, meaning that you can constantly refer other people and receive credits to your bill that accumulate over time. It’s entirely possible to receive so much credit that you don’t have to pay your bill for nearly a year! Most homeowners don’t take advantage of this. For a group of friends that all own homes, it’s not unreasonable to switch to multiple providers and give each other the referral benefits at the same time. It all depends on what the rules are, if you’ve used those companies before, and signing on to the right contracts.