Why You Should Reduce Before You Produce
With so much attention devoted to renewable energy, it can seem like the only way to reduce your impact on the environment. In reality, renewable energy should never be your first step in an energy and cost-saving initiative. Although alternatives sources of energy should be part of your overall plan, there are many benefits to tackling the efficiency of your building first.
Energy efficiency remains the most cost-effective way to save money on energy. This is because you only pay for the energy you use and any up-front costs can usually be recouped in two to four years. While it is true that the cost of renewable energy has been decreasing since it was first introduced, the fact remains that the cheapest energy is the energy you don’t use. Just as with conventional electricity generation sources, the cost of renewable energy depends on the amount of energy you currently use. If you reduce your energy consumption before investing in the hefty up-front costs of renewable energy systems, you can be sure you are only purchasing what you need to meet your energy needs.
For example, suppose you currently use 2.4 million kilowatt hours annually and you decide to invest in energy efficient lighting, an hvac retrofit, window film, roof coating and power factor correction before investing in a solar power system. After implementing your chosen solutions, you now use 1.3 million kilowatt hours annually, a forty-six percent reduction. Now, instead of needing a system large enough to produce over 2 million kilowatt hours, you need one almost half the size.
Renewable energy certainly has a place in the market but in most cases, you will get the best return-on-investment by bundling energy efficiency and renewable projects together.
Click here to contact EES Consulting about beginning your energy and cost-saving initiative with the least expensive fuel source: energy efficiency.