What is Smart Energy and its Benefits for Homeowners?

Woman using smart home thermostat to control heating in her home

Smart energy is the more efficient utilization of energy through improved design, high efficiency technologies, and conservation, along with the use of clean renewable resources to create electricity, heat, and transportation fuels. Efficient use of energy is central to attainment of smart energy goals because reduced energy use results in long-term cost savings, reduced need for new generating plants, and enhanced odds of meeting our future energy needs through renewable sources. The focus is on renewable energy sources that are sustainable and environmentally friendly, while also reducing costs.

What are the benefits of Smart Energy solutions for our communities?

Today, smart energy is becoming increasingly important, with companies, our country, states, and cities that are ahead of the curve making smart energy systems a top priority. Ideally though, a home and buildings are entirely electrified and doesn't need any carbon emissions.

  1. Green buildings can save water, energy, and building materials while providing healthy indoor environments that increase worker satisfaction and productivity. This promotes sustainable development through the use of green building best practices, like Net-Zero Buildings, Green Star Certification, LEED Certification, and the use of Distributed Energy Systems. Distributed Energy Systems can oversee and observe a building’s performance, including heating, cooling, lighting and more — as well as offer suggestions for cutting costs and improving reliability — through the use of sensors, meters and actuators.
  2. Reducing fossil fuel use and the associated environmental impacts through enhanced technologies and use of alternate fuels in buildings, homes, and the transportation sector is a major component of smart energy. Implementation of smart energy practices decreases global warming emissions and other pollutants, enhances public health, advances environmental justice, and reduces spending on fossil fuels.
  3. There are economic benefits to promoting smart energy use. Most of the value from using fossil fuels leaves your community and state, while energy efficiency and renewable energy create more jobs in research, development, and implementation of smart energy technologies.

Are solar energy systems suggested as a smart energy measure?

Solar energy is one example and way to save big in the long-term while supplying up to 100% of electricity needs for your home with solar. It is an example of a Distributed Energy System, which is a big part of Smart Energy strategies.

Solar energy system installed on a home with American flag

What is the most cost-effective way to reduce energy use?

Energy efficiency is the most cost-effective way to reduce energy use. Now, what makes a home energy efficient is that it is properly sealed and insulated against air leaks, with a whole-house strategy and approach that takes into account all weather and energy usage factors. This includes upgrading outdated HVAC systems and appliances.

How can I calculate my energy savings today?

Conducting a home or energy audit is the first step to saving energy and money. An audit will provide a clear picture of where energy is being used and how much it costs. Before the audit, calculate your potential savings using this energy savings calculator. You'll get energy savings estimates in just 60 seconds. After getting your savings calculated online, get in touch with a local company or your electric utility company to get a residential energy audit.

For more information, explore energy efficiency FAQs which also list financial incentives like tax rebates here.

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