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Unless you are blessed with an unlimited supply of money, anyone interested in renewable energy systems quickly realize the value in exploring energy conservation as a first step prior to planning or designing their system.  Unfortunately, when most hear the words "energy efficiency" or "energy conservation" they have an uncontrollable urge to start singing a popular tune... 

There's no phone, no lights, no motorcar
Not a single luxury
Like Robinson Caruso
It's as primitive as can be...

Thanks to today's technology, you don't have to live like a cast-away from Gilligan's island.  Some of the benefits of implementing energy efficiency or energy conservation include:

  1. Some items are low cost and offer a quick reduction in your monthly energy bill.
  2. Every kilowatt avoided reduces the size (expense) of your renewable energy system.
  3. Some of the items may qualify for tax credits further reducing the cost of implementing energy conservation.

Below is a short list of suggestions and technology one should consider to reduce your monthly utility bill:

Limit Waste

  1. Water especially hot water is a major problem.
    • Install low flow faucets and shower heads to reduce your water bill or electric usage if you are on a well.
    • Install a solar hot water heating system.
    • Install a tankless hot water heater.

Streamline Heating and cooling.

  1. Install a geothermal heat pump.

Adjust Lighting

  1. Replace incandescent lights with compact fluorescent light bulbs.
  2. Save even more by replacing them with LED bulbs.

Seal cracks

  1. Replace drafty single pane windows with new energy efficient ones.
  2. Replace old doors with new energy efficient ones.
  3. Install smart windows which allow you to tint in summer yet let in winter sun.

Look for the energy star

  1. Replace your old inefficient appliances with ones which contain the energy star logo.
  2. Don't forget to replace your old computer monitor.  New LCD monitors consume significantly less energy than their CRT counterparts.