gmhTODAY 01 gmhToday Mar Apr 2015 - Page 98

Doing Solar The Way It Should Be Done I s there a right way or a wrong way to approach or pool pumps draining energy. Once these potential solar? In speaking with many solar advocates, energy vultures are identified and eliminated, the solar customers, fellow solar consultants and installers consultant can factor in the amount of energy savings I hear a common thread that tends to be along per month and design the solar system accordingly. the lines of “size the system for the energy demand of the This approach can save homeowners thousands house.” This makes sense, but does it really make cents as of dollars on solar as they will now require a smaller in dollars and cents? solar system. The money saved on solar can be used to There are very few companies out there that don’t follow pay for some of those energy upgrades in the home or the status quo when approaching a solar project. Those are building. Doing solar the right way is a whole home or the companies that look deeper into the energy demand entire building envelope approach, which we call “reduce scenario and ask the most important question after seeing before you produce.” Reduce energy consumption before the energy bill. This question is critical to what the chosen producing clean energy with solar. This makes sense and few of my astute colleagues consider is the key to “doing saves lots of dollars and cents. solar the way it should be done.” Rather than asking the “how” much is your energy bill question, one should be asking the “why” question. Why is the energy bill so high? To design a system for the current electric bill can in many cases be the “wrong way to do solar” and also an injustice to the homeowner. This approach can result in a larger and more expensive system than what may be necessary. To do solar the right way, assess the entire home to see if there are energy leaks causing these higher electric bills, such as: unsealed air ducts, lack of proper insulation, older inefficient heaters and air conditioners, older water heaters 98 G M H T O D A Y M A G A Z I N E For information, call Affordable Solar Roofs at (408) 779-3333, or visit affordablesolarroofs. com. Serving the community since 1995. MARCH / APRIL 2015