Editor’s Note: In 2020, SunPower announced the completion of the strategic spin-off of its manufacturing division into a separate business named Maxeon Solar Technologies, Ltd. As a result, SunPower has expanded its offerings to drive future growth. The SunPower Equinox® system now offers multiple panel options, including front- and back-contact panels, all of which are responsibly and rigorously quality tested to provide the best energy solution for your home.
For many, the holidays are one of the most exciting times of the year. From seasonal decorations to cozying up by the fire, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the season. But most of these holiday traditions don’t exactly help with your electric bill. While it’s easy to get wrapped up in the holiday spirit, a few simple changes can help you enjoy the unexpected savings of a more efficient home.
Use LED lights
We all know that house down the block. The one that everyone congregates to during the holiday season due to its incredible display. It’s the one that often encourages the rest of the neighborhood to get into the holiday spirit. But as magical as those lights are, they can consume quite a bit of energy.
If decorative lights are a staple at your home, it might be a good idea to invest in the more efficient version. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, LED lights use up to 75% less energy and last about 25 times as long as traditional incandescent light bulbs. And, don’t let the slightly higher price tag fool you, LED lights can help save your utility rates from hiking up during this time of year.
Skip the fireplace
We realize this may be hard for some of you to hear. There’s nothing better than curling up to a warm fire but fireplaces are not an efficient way to heat your home. Drafts can pull all of that warm air up your chimney, leaving other rooms in the house to feel colder. The result is a central air heating system working overtime to maintain a set temperature, leading to higher utility rates.
Worse yet, fireplaces that are not EPA-certified can create up to 20 times the amount of air pollution. So, while the tradition of lighting a fire for the holidays may seem like a great idea, you may want to give it a second thought.
Weatherproof your home
Putting a little effort into weatherproofing your home could help keep you from the temptation of using that fireplace we just talked about. Most weatherization methods are fairly economical and don’t take a lot of effort. Here are a few minor things you can do to prevent unwanted drafts from seeping in.
Buy a door draft stopper.
Caulk and weatherstrip windows.
Insulate your home, including electrical outlets.
Power up with solar energy
Due to a solar panel’s ability to harness energy from the sun, a solar installation can produce more power than you might use in a given day. Because of this, solar power is a highly efficient source of electricity. Better yet, SunPower’s solar panels are the most efficient panels on the market*Based on datasheet review of websites of top 20 manufacturers per IHS, as of June 2020., producing 55% more energy over a 25-year period than conventional panels in the same space.*SunPower 400 W, 22.6% efficient, compared to a Conventional Panel on same-sized arrays (280 W multi, 17% efficient, approx. 1.64 m²), 8% more energy per watt (based on PVSim runs for avg US climate), 0.5%/yr slower degradation rate (Jordan, et. al. Robust PV Degradation Methodology and Application. PVSC 2018). The unique design of SunPower’s solar cell is unobstructed by gridlines and features a light-trapping surface that enables it to absorb more sunlight than conventional solar cells.*“Conventional Panel” is a solar panel made with Conventional Cells. “Conventional Cells” are silicon cells that have many thin metal lines on the front and interconnect ribbons soldered along the front and back. This allows homeowners to generate a greater amount of power with less space, helping them to offset their electric bill and enjoy more savings.
And since we’re officially in the holiday season, any amount of savings is welcome. But the great thing about solar energy is that it can help you save on utility bills all year long, not just during the winter.