The Whole House Energy Approach
HelioPower is an energy solutions company that’s been in business since 2001 providing residential & commercial customers throughout the state of California with comprehensive customized solutions to their energy needs. The whole house energy approach that HelioPower uses is what attracted me to join the team in 2010 as a Residential Energy Consultant.
The whole house energy approach consists of a full analysis of a homeowner’s usage history and habits as well as an energy audit to determine how you consume power. By understanding how you consume power we can offer energy-saving solutions in conjunction with solar PV to reduce your consumption and help you gain energy independence with a faster ROI on your investment. We offer a wide range of products in addition to solar such as:
- Nest Smart Thermostats – The Nest Thermostat learns how and when to keep you comfortable and it knows how and when to save energy. On average the Nest Thermostat saves 10-12% on heating and 15% on cooling. Based on typical energy costs, with estimated average savings of $131 to $145 a year.
- Variable Speed Pool Pumps – For single family pool owners, a single speed pump or motor often uses more energy than any other appliance in a home. Because a variable speed pump’s speed, power and energy usage can be set to just what is needed, replacing a residential pool’s filtration pump or motor with a variable speed model can cut pool pump energy use by up to 75%.
- Whole House Fan Systems – The QuietCool whole house fan system cools the entire house by up to 30 degrees and the attic by up to 50 degrees. The system will make you feel 10 degrees cooler instantly. The Department of Energy (DOE) reports that whole house fans are the most cost-efficient way to cool your home. QuietCool saves customers up to 50-90% off their A/C related electricity costs by cutting down A/C usage, and maintaining comfort.
- LED lighting – Compared to traditional incandescent bulbs, energy-efficient lightbulbs such as light emitting diodes (LEDs) typically use about 25%-80% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs, again saving you money.
First, let’s start off with the Other Companies
Many solar companies don’t conduct an in-depth analysis like HelioPower, but you should insist on one. Solar-only companies often just install solar everywhere they can. Using this approach, they place PV modules in highly shaded areas, on less optimal pitches of the roof, and even counter-tilt the modules. We’ve all seen this type of installation as we drive around our residential neighborhoods. In many cases, applications like these can affect the aesthetics of your home and reduce potential re-sale value. Rooftop solar should be a thing of beauty to enhance a home’s appearance, not distract from it.
Now, the HelioPower Way
HelioPower's whole house energy approach enables us to reduce your energy consumption first, thereby requiring less solar while still offsetting most of your usage. This provides you with a better ROI while making your home more efficient. Solar is not a one-size-fits-all solution but should rather be a customized solution based on the individual needs of each and every customer. Solar should be the icing on the cake that adds to the beauty of your home's aesthetics and increases your property value. The HelioPower whole house energy approach provides better value enabling you to combine solar with energy efficient solutions in a complete package.
Look at it this way...the concept shouldn't be to “install as much solar PV as possible" to offset an inefficient home. Rather, let’s try to find ways to make your home more energy efficient and then install solar PV.
Whole House Energy Approach Example
My wife, two kids, and I live in a 3,200 sqft single story home in Murrieta, CA. Prior to going solar, our utility bills with SCE ran from $230 to as high as $450 in the summer. We wanted to keep modules off the front and sides of the house and maximize the back (south) roof pitch. To offset these utility bills we would have needed a 9.3kW solar system. Using the Whole house energy approach we changed out all of our 47 light fixtures (interior & exterior) from incandescent to LED bulbs. We installed smart thermostats for each zone of our HVAC system and a QuietCool whole house fan. With these energy upgrades, we reduced our consumption and only needed 6.2kw as opposed to 9.3kw to achieve maximum offset of 100%. The cost to make the minor changes and upgrades was far less than what the additional 3kw of PV solar would have cost.
There are the REST, and then there is the BEST (HelioPower). Please contact us today at 1.87.SOLAR.888, email firstname.lastname@example.org or click on our website http://heliopower.com/contact/ to schedule an in home consultation with one of our Energy Consultants to re-gain your energy independence.
Brad Schmehl (Residential Energy Solutions Group Manager)
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