Sunny savings?

Talk with your local electric co-op about solar energy to avoid getting burned

Family next to solar panel

These dog days of summer might have you considering putting those loitering summer sunrays to work making electricity for your home.

Advances in technology have helped make the cost of solar energy more affordable. More people than ever before are considering adding solar panels to their home. But before you contact a solar panel sales company, review these steps to see if solar energy may be right for you.

Talk to Your Electric Cooperative If you want to lower your energy bill, your co-op’s energy advisor can review your home’s energy use and may even provide a home energy audit to provide actionable steps you can take to minimize energy waste. Even upgrading to LED lighting or to ENERGY STAR® certified equipment can lead to significant savings. 

If you are considering buying solar panels, your energy advisor can help shed light on expectations. If a solar energy company provided financial details about savings, your local energy advisor can double check. Sometimes projected savings can be based on unrealistic assumptions. Unfortunately, sometimes people learn this after they sign contracts. If you want green energy, there may be lower cost options. Some electric co-ops offer Co-op Solar, a community solar program available with arrays in Indiana, Illinois and Missouri. Your energy advisor can provide details. 

…But First: Seal, Insulate, Equip! Before you consider a major investment, you should first make your home as energy efficient as possible. Consider air sealing wasteful cracks and crevices to prevent treated air from escaping. After your home is properly air sealed, you should maximize your home’s insulation. Once you have done that, you can double check to make sure your home’s heating and cooling equipment is efficient and properly sized for your home. You can search for equipment that is ENERGY STAR® certified to ensure that you are maximizing energy savings. You may find that by taking these steps, your home will be much more comfortable year-round while also lowering energy use – saving money in the process – and lowering the amount of solar panels you need to purchase and pay for.

As solar energy becomes more affordable, you may be considering its benefits more than ever. You’ve trusted your local energy advisor for answers about your home’s energy use.  You can trust him or her as well to help answer your questions about solar power That way, you can soak in the benefits without getting burned!