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Typical U.S. Homes Reduce Energy Bill Most With Rooftop Solar Energy Systems | Solar Energy USA Blog Archive

Typical U.S. Homes Reduce Energy Bill Most With Rooftop Solar Energy Systems

Posted on Tuesday, November 9th, 2010 at 1:16 pm by Solar Energy USA

A White Paper entitled “Reducing Home Energy Costs by Combining Solar and Energy Efficiency” was released today showing that typical U.S. homes will reduce their energy bills the most by generating their own power — rather than implementing energy efficiency measures.

The results of these 30 different home simulations are that climate, local utility rates and home condition are the biggest factors in determining what are the most cost effective energy savings measures. Lighting retrofits are always cost effective. Weatherization and insulation energy efficiency measures are most cost effective in old homes in cold climates, but are not cost effective in newer homes or in temperate climates. Basic building shell and ventilation energy efficiency measures are most cost-effective in cold climates, but have long paybacks in more temperate zones. Rooftop solar power systems have good paybacks regardless of home condition in sunny areas and in areas with either high electric rates or high solar incentives. Solar thermal systems have good paybacks when the fuel source for hot water is electricity. Upgrades to Energy Star appliances and equipment are generally cost-effective when replacing broken or obsolete equipment, but are generally not cost effective when the existing equipment is still functional (analogous to not upgrading to a new, higher mileage car if the old one still works).