How Do I Make My Reno Home Net-zero Via Solar?
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With the increased focus on climate change, many Reno Nevada citizens want to make a positive difference. However, with everything that entails, the effort needed from everyone can seem overwhelming.
Nevada has climate change concerns that will take more than just the conscious effort of several people reducing, reusing and recycling. What’s more, the cost of these efforts makes it seem even more daunting.
However, each endeavor to help our planet, whether small or large, does make a difference. One way to help while also saving money is for Reno natives to take their homes “net-zero,” but what exactly does that mean?
What it Means to Make Your Reno Home Net Zero
Net-zero Reno homeowners generate or use utility-generated renewable energy to power their homes. Homes become net-zero when renewable energy usage, like solar panels, cover all of a home’s energy needs.
Often new homes use net-zero building methods, such as Reno’s passive solar design strategies, to reduce the use of energy, which helps homes meet net-zero status. However, existing homes can reach this status as well.
Through residential solar, positive post-installation solar habits, energy audits, and solar-plus additions, most Reno homes actually can reach net zero.
Solar and Net Zero Energy Development
When homeowners decide to add solar to their homes, the solar company determines the highest offset possible and quotes the customer for it. Ideally, solar would offset the entire electricity bill, but this isn’t always possible.
Often solar homes have lower offsets because of the available roof space for panels or the budget of the homeowner. However, homes with these limitations can still reach the net-zero classification.
Reno homeowners with solar can achieve or get close to net zero simply by decreasing their energy use. However, with so many energy conserving gadgets, that can become expensive, and quickly. To determine the best place to start, make sure your Reno home receives an energy audit.
A Reno Energy Audit
An energy audit tells the homeowner which appliances and areas in the home use the most energy. Often sealing gaps and turning off lights improves energy consumption. However, an energy auditor may also recommend more costly improvements, like replacing old appliances and air conditioning units.
NV Energy helps customers know what they need to do to decrease their carbon footprint, with free in-home energy assessments. After obtaining an energy audit, customers can determine which improvements would make the most difference or fit their budgets best.
Solar Plus Additions to Increase Your Reno Home’s Energy Efficiency
After an energy audit, you’ll know what you need to do to reduce your home’s carbon footprint. However, you should consider the solar-plus additions below.
These additions include battery backup and smart thermostats. Both improve the offset of residential solar, save money and facilitate energy independence.
Battery backup allows Reno solar-powered homeowners to store their excess electricity generated during the day for use at a later date, so they don’t need to rely on Nevada’s net metering policies alone. Battery backup also enables solar to continue to power a home during an outage.
Smart thermostats help Nevada homeowners have more control over their energy consumption. They can change the thermostat remotely, adjust it to adapt automatically and set it for eco savings. These features save customers hundreds on cooling and heating; the two largest energy consumers in most homes.