Home Energy and Residential Solar

Home Energy Tips

First, benchmark your total annual home energy usage to be your baseline.

  • Add up a year’s worth of electricity in kilowatt hours (kWh), from Dominion bills.
  • If you have natural gas, add up a year’s worth of gas usage in hundreds of cubic feet (CCF).

Next, conserve energy by using less with the systems you have. For example:

  • Set you thermostat to the EPA recommended settings of 68 for winter and 78 for summer–or as close as you can get to those!
  • Wash clothes in cold water.
  • Turn off lights that aren’t in use.
  • Unplug chargers and seldom used electronics between uses.
  • Use blinds or curtains to control sunlight, blocking heat gain in the summer and using the passive heat in the winter.

Then, consider actions that will improve your home’s efficiency.

  • Start with your home’s envelope. Weatherize doors and windows,
    add insulation to your crawlspace and attic if you see deficiencies.
  • Change incandescent or CFL lights to LEDs. They use half the energy and last twice as long.
    They are durable and the light quality is better. This change will pay you back in savings in less than a year.
  • Have your HVAC system tuned up annually and change the filters at least every 3 months (more often if you have pets and/or allergies).

Lastly, consult a professional if you’re considering major upgrades.

  • Get professional advice on home energy upgrades such as replacement windows, foam insulation, new HVAC, or solar power after you’ve done all you can yourself.
  • Don’t forget to re-benchmark your total home energy use one year after making improvements to measure your success!

 

Additional Resources

Homeowner’s Enhancement Guide
The Henrico Community Revitalization Homeowner’s Guide is a how-to handbook intended for homeowners and prospective purchasers of homes that may be in need of modernization and enhancement. The Guide includes a chapter on “Going Green” to save energy, water, and money on utilities.

Dominion Energy Residential Programs
Dominion offers customers numerous programs to save money, earn rebates, and explore ways to reduce your energy use at home and at work.  Programs include home energy audits, thermostat and efficient appliance rebates, and building weatherization assistance.

Solarize RVA
SolarizeRVA is an educational campaign to help home and business owners in the greater Richmond region transition to clean solar power.  SolarizeRVA helps provide the knowledge and tools needed to determine if solar panels are right for you.  The campaign is managed by local non-profit Viridiant and you can learn more at  https://www.viridiant.org/solar.

 
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