Starting this month, January 2020, California’s energy code dictates that all new homes built in California must be equipped with solar panels. This is a significant step forward in California’s goal of reducing carbon emissions and becoming entirely energy independent. It is estimated that the impact to the environment of this change will be equivalent to taking 115,000 fossil-fuel based cars off the road. These systems are a win-win because, while they are more expensive upfront, the savings they generate over their lifetime is more than double their initial cost.
Achieving Energy Independence at Home
While the benefits delivered by solar panels are unquestionable, the goal of complete energy independence is not yet being tackled at either a national or a statewide level. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t possible to achieve. Thanks to in-home energy storage systems like sonnen’s ecoLinx Energy Automation system, it is still possible for individuals to achieve partial or complete energy independence for their homes.
The idea behind sonnen’s ecoLinx system is that energy storage is not enough to achieve energy independence. You need an intelligent energy automation system that can manage the energy usage in your home. In incorporates advanced software that monitors energy usage within the home and adjusts which devices are powered. This ensures that it can store energy during the day, when it is being generated by solar panels, and provide it back at night when it is needed. For systems that are connected to the grid, the system can reduce utility bills by storing energy when the price of electricity is low and provide it when the price is high.
Energy Independence in the Commercial World
While industrial grade energy storage solutions are still up and coming, there are steps that can be taken in the world of commercial construction that can reduce demand and work towards energy independence. Outdoor lighting is now easily taken off the grid with solutions like those offered by Clearworld and Soltech. These outdoor fixtures offer solar panels and battery storage directly in the fixture, meaning they are off-grid by their nature. These fixtures offer simple energy code compliance with the added benefit of reducing your overall energy bill.
Off-grid outdoor fixtures and an intelligent energy storage solution for the home are both great steps in achieving energy independence. But to realize the full benefits of energy automation, you need to go beyond simply turning appliances on and off. A home automation system, such as HomeWorks by Lutron, offers more granular control over how your energy is being used and more data about what is going on inside the home. Occupancy sensors that can tell you where people are in the home. Daylight sensors that can tell you how much light is available at the windows. You need to know when to lower shades to block heat and when to raise them to let the light in. For the next level of energy automation, you need to incorporate whole-home automation. You need a smart home. What is a smart home and what do you need to be aware of before building your next smart home? Check back for next month’s blog where we will dive into what it takes to build your next smart home.
About Western Lighting and Energy Controls
Western Lighting and Energy Controls is one of the leading Lighting, Controls, and Energy Management manufacturers’ representative agency in Southern California.
In business for over two decades, Western Lighting and Energy Controls offers an unparalleled level of service and support through dedicated teams. These teams work to ensure that project requirements and unique business needs are delivered on time and within budget. With its uniquely proactive approach, Western can serve customers in a way that achieved maximum growth and success. To learn more about Western Lighting and Energy Controls, visit www.westernlightingandenergycontrols.com.
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