How Efficient Is Your Home, and What Could You, or Should You Do About It?

Categories: Construction Methods, Education, Energy, Solar Energy

So yesterday I did this little experiment, and wanted to see just how out of control energy usage can get, and by offering up this competition, I managed to find out a little bit about you, and they way you use energy at home.  I'm not so sure if you use the most energy, that makes you a winner, but it does mean that you have the most potential to save money going forward.  If you are in that group that has $0 energy bills, or a very low bill, and there were a lot of those, kudos for the road you have been through to get there.  I'm impressed and proud of what you've managed to do! Energy heroes! 

Hi!  I’m David Webster, and I have been hosting the Facebook page, Living off the Grid for 5 years now.  During this time, I have enjoyed learning about different parts of the world and how people use or don’t use energy.  I have been privileged to travel to 49 States in the U.S. and lead teams that helped rebuild homes in Oklahoma and Florida after Storm Disasters came through. 

There are many factors that determine how much energy a home is going to use, and because of the internet we are more educated than ever!  However, it’s not every day that we build a home.  After the housing collapse of 2007, home construction pretty much came to a standstill.  Up 'til that point, energy usage wasn’t the priority that it is today.  Social media hadn’t yet brought the public up to speed with the wisdom of the world as it were, and self-generated renewable energy was expensive. 

What we’re left with is the discovery of how homes were built, and why they were built that way.  If your home was built in the mountains of California in the 1970’s, it might have a breeze coming through it when the wind blows, and it takes a mean wood stove to keep it warm!  Why?  Well, that may have depended on the builder, but as long as the wood stove is burning, efficient or not, it should stay warm.   But if you decided to install electric heat, you could be in for a rude awakening!

In Washington State out west, there are a lot of regions that don’t have natural gas.  Most homes don’t have air conditioning.  Once again, a wood stove can provide heat cheaply, but many homes have baseboard electric heat, and that, once again, is an inefficient energy-intensive method for heating your home. 


While in Oklahoma, I had a great opportunity to visit Mack in his underground home.  Energy bills were almost nil, because it was so incredibly insulated, yet most homes in Oklahoma are stick built, and even though energy is inexpensive, large homes are relatively cheap, and they use a lot of energy.  For that reason, there are a lot of homes with $300 electric bills there. 

In Florida, hurricane code was enacted to protect residents from the possibility of another Hurricane Andrew destroying the homes and harming people.  One fantastic side-effect of the cinder block and concrete construction is the insulation factor that happens with this type of construction.  Areas with lots of new construction quickly discover that you can buy an older home and have a $400 electric bill, or buy a newer home of the same size, and run a $100 electric bill. 

Above:  Efficiently built Florida Style Construction - built to Hurricane Code - Cinder Block and Concrete, well insulated

So firstly, we know that not all homes were created equal.  Since we can’t really go around tearing down our homes and re-building them to be more efficient, that puts many homes in the category of retrofitting for efficiency.  Many of the options at our disposal;  lower energy appliances, more efficient windows, more insulation are also quite costly. 

Older inefficient home

Solar cooperatives have developed recently to create group buying power in regions around the country.  A few of these co-ops have reduced the cost of installing solar on a home to half of what it was before.  But to make that possible, it requires an effort on your part.  It takes you and some of your neighbors to make the decision together, and you can save enough to make it very cost effective. 

I have used my experiences and the continuous flow of ideas to the Living off the Grid page to create a solution that absolutely makes dollars and sense for anyone willing to make the change.  We have created the Solar Buyers Club as a way for you to get the community involved, and for all of you to save lots of money on your installation…. So much so, that installing solar might be less expensive today than some of the other efficiency options available to you.  With the 30% tax credit still available, it makes it a no brainer, and because of financing options, with nothing down, you can begin saving today on your monthly expenses.  For that reason, it makes lots of sense to install solar, and then to work on other efficiency options. 


Above image is of Google's new program to test and see how efficient your home can be.  Note that the pricing they reflect is about twice the cost of the Solar Buyers Club!  But do check out your home to see how it rates as far as the sun's energy!

Not all homes are created equal when it comes to solar energy.  The position of the rooftop in relation to the sun has a profound effect on how much energy a rooftop solar collector will gather.  Also, some homes have trees in the way of the sunlight.  It’s not a good idea to cut them down in warm climates since those trees are a natural cooling shade against the sunlight.  You might cut them down and increase the suns heat upon your home, only to install solar to run energy to cool your home.  So remember that passive solutions come first when it comes to efficiency.    

Don't cut trees down to install solar in warm climates!  

We are looking for Solar Buyers Club leaders in your area who would like to make commissions just for referring others to the platform.  In fact, some leaders are paying for their own solar systems just by referring others!  This 7 level affiliate program is the most effective system I’ve ever seen, and I can’t wait to share the details with you.  It’s so simple…. If you are a solar candidate, you get a free solar quote.  We just ask for data from your utility bill to give you an accurate quote comparison as to how much you will be saving versus electricity.  With that information, we can be 97% accurate if you use the same amount of energy next year! 

The typical cost of installing solar in the U.S. is about $4.00 per watt.  Through the solar buyers club, a 10kw system has a basic installed price of $1.86 per watt in the Florida Marketplace with slight variances from State to State, and then you get the tax rebate on top of that!  That's less than half the going rate in most of the U.S! 

If you're in the category with high energy bills, please grab a utility bill and join the Solar Buyers Club for free and get your free detailed and engineered quote for your home.  I'll personally walk you through the process.  

If you've already got solar on your home, what better way to share your story and make an income by becoming a club leader in your area!  What have you got to lose? 


SolarBuyers.Club from David Webster on Vimeo.

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