Homeowners usually experience a peak in electricity bills during the winter months because of the change in temperature. We know it is important to keep your home comfortable during these cold temperature seasons and there are ways to do so while minimizing the electricity costs. Here are a few tips from our energy experts at Standard Energy Solutions (SES) on maximizing your home’s energy efficiency while staying comfortable during the winter months.
1. Check your Home’s Building Envelope
During the summer season we discussed your home’s building envelope which includes the walls, doors, windows and floor of your home. Your building envelope creates a barrier between the air in your home and the air outside. According to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), hidden air leaks cause some of the largest heat losses, especially in older homes. A tight building envelope ensures that warm air circulates throughout and lessens the need to increase the thermostat’s temperature. In fact, sealing air leakage can reduce costs by up to $90 a year. How do you check your home’s envelope? With a home energy audit, your home’s building envelope will be evaluated by SES experts who provide a thorough and accurate measurement of the air leakage in your home. Our experts use several techniques during their inspection including a blower door test, infrared inspection and a combustion appliance zone test. We will also provide a customized audit report that will include a detailed summary of the recommended retrofits and energy solutions for your home.
2. Set Your Programmable Thermostat
Once your home’s building envelope is tightly sealed, the next step is to set your desired temperatures. There are two simple rules to follow to be as energy efficient as possible. Firstly, when you are home, set your thermostat at a low yet comfortable temperature. And secondly, when away, turn your thermostat down 10-15 degrees. According to the Department of Energy’s Fall and Winter Energy-Saving Tips, this can reduce costs by about 10 percent annually on your heating bill. Keeping up with constantly changing the thermostat when you’re in and out the house can be a task. SES offers a Smart Home energy solution that includes a programmable thermostat. With the SES Smart Home, you can set the desired temperature scenes based on your daily routine while also having the ability to change the setting remotely from your computer or smartphone! Our Smart Home package also allows you to remotely manage electrical appliances and lighting – which will result in more efficient energy usage and lower electricity costs.
3. Make the switch to LEDS
The third tip to maintaining energy efficiency during the winter season is converting your existing compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs to light-emitting diodes bulbs. LEDs are energy efficient and environmentally friendly. They convert 60% of electricity to light and are fully dimmable – allowing you to create customizable scenes when entertaining company or managing your lighting remotely via your Smart Home. SES offers several different LED options, whether you are interested in pairing our LEDs with your Whole Home package or adding as a DIY project, our SES experts can provide detailed information on the benefits and customizable uses of LED bulbs.
During the holiday season, try LED holiday light strings to reduce the cost of decorating your home. Did you know that it only costs $0.27 to light a 6-foot tree for 12 hours a day for 40 days with LEDS compared to $10 for incandescent lights? In fact, LEDS are much cooler than incandescent lights which make them a lot safer reducing the risk of combustion or burnt fingers. They also are much more resistant to breakage.
With these three basic tips, your home can be warm and energy efficient this winter season. For information on how SES can help you reduce your energy costs, enhance your home’s comfort and control your energy needs, contact our SES experts at 301-944-5222 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Last week marked a major milestone for the state of Maryland. Standard Solar, with our partners Konterra and Solar Grid Storage, were happy to officially dedicate the Konterra Solar Microgrid Storage system located at Konterra’s headquarters in Laurel, MD. The 402kW solar microgrid system, a grid-interactive energy storage system co-located with a new 1,368 panel photovoltaic (PV) canopy array, is Maryland’s first commercial solar microgrid system and is also recognized as one of the first commercial solar microgrids in the nation. We were joined by a number of special guests including Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff both of whom were in attendance to support the celebration of this innovative achievement in technology for the state of Maryland.
After a week of rain, we enjoyed a great solar day with our guests who were greeted by the large solar canopies as they arrived on site. We had the honor of commencing the ceremony with salutation from Kingdon Gould III, one of Konterra’s top executives, who welcomed our speakers and guests. The program proceeded with SSI CEO Tony Clifford hosting as master of ceremony – thanking the partners, talking about the history of the project and introducing the speakers. Governor O’Malley lead the group of speakers with great comments on the state of Maryland making solar energy a priority and the Maryland Energy Administration’s (MEA) investment in modern and innovative technology that contributes to the rapid increase of solar power on the state’s grid. “We invested in this project through our MEA Grant Changer Program because in Maryland we know that if we want better results, we have to make better choices. Better choices like making solar energy a priority,” said Governor O’Malley. “Since 2007, we’ve multiplied by 1,500 the amount of solar power on the state’s grid. In the process, we’ve created 2,000 new jobs”. The project also brings Maryland closer to reaching its goal of increasing renewable generation to 20 percent by 2022. Chairman Jon Wellinghoff supported the Governor’s comments stating the importance of distributed storage to the development of new resources to generate energy. “Energy storage not only provides substantial value to the electric grid, it makes the integration of solar PV and other distributed generation systems reliable, efficient and cost-effective as well,” said Chairman Wellinghoff.
After comments from all our speakers which also included Tony Clifford and Tom Leyden CEO of Solar Grid Storage, the group continued to tour the main components of the system. The tour consisted of three stops: The Solar Carport and Electric Vehicle Charging station, Inverter Enclosures and the Electrical Room and System Monitoring Station.
The system will offset the generation of about 20 percent of the annual building power for the Konterra headquarters and will also provide electricity for two electric vehicle charging stations and LED parking lot lighting. Producing over 516,000kwh of energy, the power is equivalent to the electrical usage of about 57 American homes for one year, or removing 90 passenger vehicles from the roads per year. The Konterra project is also a part of SSI’s two-pronged commitment presented at the Clinton Global Initiative America meeting this year.
Overall, the dedication ceremony was a major success. Thanks to the planning committee team- Konterra, Gould Property, MEA and Solar Grid storage that collaborated to make this event remarkable and memorable.
Standard Energy Solutions (SES) invites you to attend the 23rd Annual Metropolitan Washington, DC Tour of Solar and Green Homes.
The 23rd Annual Metropolitan Washington DC Tour of Solar & Green Homes is finally here and Standard Energy Solutions (SES) excited to be one of the sponsors. The self-guided tour will be held October 5-6th from 11:00 am to 5:00pm and will feature over 50 Maryland and DC residents that have implemented solar and energy efficiency technologies on their homes.
For the past 18 years, the Annual Tour of Solar and Green Homes has been organized by a staff of dedicated volunteers to educate the public on the positive aspects of the solar industry. As part of the National Solar Tour organized by the American Solar Energy Society (ASES), the tour provides a variety of educational opportunities for tour goers interested in green solutions. The 2012, the ASES National Solar Tour drew more than 90,000 people in 38 states to 578 registered solar tours.
SES has several customers participating in the tour this year and we would like to thank all of them for opening up their homes to help educate interested individuals on the benefits of solar and energy efficiency. For folks in the Western Maryland area, be sure to also check out the 4th Annual Maryland Tour of Solar and Green Homes. Whether you’re interested in reducing your carbon footprint, generating your own solar power, reducing your energy costs or supporting your local green economy, come out and see how local residents have implemented clean energy technologies in their home.
Ready to see some homes?
Here’s what you need to know:
As both tours are self-guided, you have the opportunity to map out the homes that you would like to see. With the tour booklets, you can select the homes of your interest and create a tour schedule that best fits your interests. The Metropolitan Washington DC tour booklet can be downloaded here or purchased for $5 at any MOMs locations. Visit the Maryland: Tour of Solar and Green Homes page to download your free tour guide; books are also available for a $2 purchase at these locations.
SES Featured Tour Spots