Self-sufficient energy and electricity has been an interesting topic for years. Back in the 1970’s people began to focus on energy consumption and conservation. Many studies show that American is one of the leading users of our natural resources, but did you know that America this year was 84.5% self-sufficient energy-wise?
America’s Goal, 100% Self-sufficient Energy
It has always been our dream as a country to be self-sufficient as far as energy was concerned. Thanks to new technologies such as, drilling and extraction methods (hydraulic fraction and horizontal drilling) we are now more than ever close to reaching our goals. It is estimated that by the year 2020 we will, in fact, be energy efficient.
Conserving energy with Self-sufficient buildings
Besides creating our own energy, a move toward conservation and self-sufficiency is emerging across the US. Some people are worrying about the collapse of the grid and being self-sustaining because of electrical failure. Other people are conserving natural resources and saving money by living off the land.
The International Energy Agency recognizes that buildings are one of the most cost-effective sectors for reducing energy use. 40% of our primary energy consumption is in our buildings and homes. This is also where a significant source of CO2 emissions is created. With the use of better forms of energy such as photovoltaic energy, wind turbines, geo-thermal systems and hydro turbines some are able to produce enough electricity to provide for their own needs and, also feed energy back into the grid.
How You Can Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
Self-sufficient homes or autonomous homes are built with green living in mind. By studying these homes and how they save electricity, we can learn some things we can do ourselves that will help with our energy consumption.
Unless you are starting from scratch or have lots of money to invest in solar energy or geothermal energy, you probably will find yourself doing a few things with what you have. One of the big assets or disadvantage a house can have are it’s windows. Self-sufficient houses are insulated well and the windows and doors are completely sealed. You can consider replacing windows that leak. Also you can use the location of your windows to your advantage. They can provide sunlight for lights and sun for heat in the winter. In the summer you can use awnings to try and reverse the effect. Window treatments can also help with energy efficiency at your windows.
Led lights offer another way to use less energy. They also put off heat which can help during the winter. Led light systems can be purchased too that are powered by solar, hydro or wind.
Water is another area where we can easily conserve. Many people today are using rain barrels to water their lawns or gardens. You can easily use solar water heaters for your roof to heat your water without using as much electricity. Some of these systems can be quite expensive.
Other people in an attempt to use less electricity will hang their clothes out to dry on the line. At one time this was considered normal and everyone hung their clothes outside, then it was only people who had no dryer and it was considered for the poor. Today, we see the tide reversing as people are beginning to once again use their clothes line out of choice to conserve and be more self-sufficient.
Some of the ways to conserve electricity are just common sense. Upgrading your windows or appliances are all good ideas. Other ideas are more a choice and a way of life. You can expect as we keep exploring new energy sources and ways to use that energy that people will become more energy efficient and homes and building will be built with energy and electricity offered in more self-sufficient ways.
To see how you can better use your electricity, call Rose Brothers & Sons Electric today.