HOW CAN I LOWER MY ENERGY BILL IN 2020?

It’s not unusual for your energy bills to go up during the winter and summer months, but perhaps the increase is a little extreme. This could be a sign of an inefficient HVAC system or an inefficient home. If you want to lower your bills this year, consider the following steps.

SWITCHING TO SOLAR

Photovoltaic systems have become more affordable in recent years, but before you ponder a switch, you’ll want to take a few things into account. For one thing, you’ll probably need a professional to evaluate your home’s solar energy potential. This potential varies based on region.

In most cases, homeowners do not rely entirely on solar power but rather have a back-up system installed. Even so, solar energy provides big savings, and you can receive incentives from the state for utilizing it.

GETTING REGULAR TUNE-UPS

If switching to solar is too great a step, you should focus on making your current unit as efficient as possible. Every HVAC unit, whatever its age, needs regular maintenance: ideally, an AC tune-up in the spring and a heating tune-up in the fall. Small issues that compromise performance can be detected in a tune-up. It can also cover:

  • Thermostat calibration
  • Coil cleaning
  • Air filter replacement

BUYING A SMART THERMOSTAT

Let’s say your HVAC system is running smoothly as can be. Still, you could be hurting yourself by having it run continuously. This is where a programmable thermostat comes in. Use it to create a heating schedule for those times when your home is actually occupied.

Even better, you could buy a smart thermostat, which will automatically control the temperature based on your preferences and even tell you what are the most efficient temperature settings.

SEALING DRAFTS

Lastly, we want to mention that drafty homes are a drain on many people’s wallets. Seal up the cracks and openings in doors, windows, and the attic using foam tape, metal strips, and various other materials.

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NET ENERGY METERING 3.0 INFORMATION

Net Energy Metering 3.0 (NEM 3.0) is the incoming law created by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The new tariffs and fees will impact both residential and commercial solar systems built in California. 

As this notice is posted in November of 2022, the Proposed Decision from the CPUC outlining the proposed NEM 3.0 terms is expected soon. This comes after a year’s delay. Once the new agreement is finalized and passed into law, there will exist a designation of the deadline under which new systems will continue to qualify for NEM 2.0 rates. 

The new NEM 3.0 rates will be designed to lower the value of electricity during the daytime hours, when solar is producing, and increase the value of electricity during the evening hours, when solar homes and businesses purchase electricity. In short, NEM 3.0 will create a “sell low, buy high” proposition to new solar system owners. 

To Californians looking to install a solar system on their home or commercial building, the NEM 2.0 rates will be preferred. As of this post, the solar industry does not know the details of how different the NEM 3.0 rates will be from the NEM 2.0 rates. 

Please use the HES Solar website as a resource to learn more, and please take our offer to speak with an HES Solar Energy Consultant at no obligation.

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Robert Laverty

Senior Energy Consultant, Residential

Robert Laverty joined the HES team in the summer of 2018, bringing his ten years of solar design experience and his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Puget Sound with him. Robert is dedicated to finding solutions to help families produce and store electricity in order to reduce their reliance on grid power as well as help reduce their household’s carbon footprint. Robert’s experience as a newspaper editor as well as his involvement with the sustainability-focused Rocky Mountain Institute drives him to constantly seek out innovative ways to meet energy needs through renewable resources as well as helps him share those ideas with Southern California homeowners. When not at work or volunteering time with his church or community, Robert spends time with his wife and two sons or pursues his passion of fly fishing.
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