Finding the most efficient solar panels is important, but when it comes to increasing the efficiency of your solar panels, your behavior and how you choose to generate electricity can have a dramatic influence not just on your energy bills, but how you impact and influence the rest of your neighborhood, too.
The semi-ugly truth is that we have much more control over what we consume than we do over what we produce. This means we have more control of the savings we can generate from certain behavioral patterns, such as scaling back on energy consumption.
This not only applies to energy consumption, but also to investing and personal finance.
The most efficient solar panels technology will be highly influential in and of itself, but making a deliberate effort to control our energy consumption will also help us reduce our cost of living by dozens of thousands of dollars over the span of a couple decades.
Yes, it’ll take time, but consistency is king in the world of investing, and solar panels are an investment.
Although there are many benefits of going solar independent of how one consumes electricity in the home, making smarter decisions with in-home energy consumption can save a great deal of money.
As a state with financially savvy people, Utah locals have more control over what they spend than they may even realize.
Contrary to popular opinion, low-cost energy consumption doesn’t necessarily require changing one’s lifestyle—it just requires a smarter setup and a concerted effort to refrain from wasting energy (E.g., forgetting to turn off the lights when leaving the house).
Here are 10 Essential but not-so-obvious steps Utah residents can take to compound the savings they’ll earn from installing solar panels atop their homes.
7. Efficient Light Bulbs: LEDs Are a Great Utah Energy Incentive
Energy Star LED light bulbs can lower light usage costs by as much as 75 percent. Regardless of whether you go solar, you’re going to have to buy light bulbs if you live in a modern home of any kind. You may as well make a smart decision.
Although these LED light bulbs tend to cost a little bit more on average, they will help you make return on your energy investment over the course of their lifespan.
6. Capitalize on Insulation Incentives Post Solar Installation
Rocky Mountain Power, among other power companies, offers cash back for every square foot of properly insulated space.
To really leverage the benefits of saving on solar panels, insulating your home is one of the quickest and easiest things you can do to reduce the costs you spend on heating and cooling throughout the various seasons.
5. Heating and Cooling Incentives
As of June 17, 2017, using central air conditioner incentives made the most efficient solar panels in Utah an even more efficient investment.
Given that roughly 50% of the energy used in Utah homes goes to cooling and heating (this figure is higher given the extreme temperatures in the Beehive State), there’s a huge lump sum of money to be saved from partaking in an incentive program from the major power supplier’s participating vendors.
4. $550 Cash Back on Heat Pump Water Heaters. Not Bad When Savings Are Compounded with the Most Efficient Solar Panels
A high-performance heat pump will get you extra efficiency out of your solar panels, not just because of the energy conservation solar panels provide, but because of the incentives Rocky Mountain Power provides when you upgrade your heat pump.
Given that the best models of heat pumps are as much as 50 percent more efficient than the standard models, the $550 incentive to buy a better one is justified.
3. Keep Your Cool with Extra Cash from the Cool Keeper Program
If you’re a Utah resident with a home or a business owner whose unit has central air conditioning, you qualify for the wattsmart-approved Cool Keeper program.
Once you choose to enroll in the program, a device will be added near your exterior central air conditioning unit.
During a few weekdays in summertime, participating air conditioners will be coordinated to ease the demand load for cooling.
Once you’ve done this, you’ll receive the $20 thank you credit. That’s enough for a nice dinner for two! Totally worth it.
2. New Homes Incentives
Home builders are striving to adapt their models to the new Utah energy incentives not just because consumers have become increasingly conscientious about living in sustainable homes, but also because consumers stand to gain financial incentives from being more energy efficient.
The most efficient solar panels will help you get the best bang for your buck on new homes incentives, among which are building homes that are above and beyond the standard of Utah’s state energy code.
A full list of the current energy incentives can be found at homeenergysavings.net’s new homes in Utah incentives page.
1. Multifamily Program Incentives
Perhaps the solar industry’s brightest future rests in communal solar sharing, and this multifamily program for Utahans offers some incentives that serve as precursors to how that communal solar usage environment may look in the next decade.
This incentive program offers properties housing numerous families with four or more units the opportunity to get cash for their energy-efficient upgrades; each of these updates will be administered according to either a low income or market rate incentive.
The prior of these two requires the area earn four-fifths of the area’s median per capita income.
The multifamily program incentives in the state of Utah are given on a community-by-community basis. Although there are certain qualifying standards, they apply to number of residents and shared living space more than other “high-hanging fruit” qualifiers.
After a consultant from the power company comes to your residence, you’ll be able to choose what energy upgrades you’d like to install to complement the efficiency of your solar-powered home.
Cash incentives are offered for the following items on the multifamily program incentive plan: Lighting, water heating, HVAC, appliances, building shells, etc.
To learn more about the recent net metering changes and how they will impact the savings Utah residents can earn before November 15, 2017, please check out our post “Why Utah Solar Companies Will Still Thrive Without Net Metering.”