Great Solar Starts with Energy Efficiency
We Start Every Project with a Free Energy Efficiancy Audit
The Foundation of Your Project
Insane Promises of Extreme Savings from Small Changes Are Always a Warning Sign for the Consumer
Andrew Ferring, CEO
Every Solar Project Should Start With Energy Efficiency
The Solar Elite is focused on energy efficiency of your home before we even start your solar project. Solar installation is really the last piece of the energy efficiency puzzle. We perform a free in home energy audit. After we analyze your home we will be able to identify the high energy consumption appliances and other areas your home is consuming more energy. These can energy vampires can include leaky windows, poorly insulated spaces, legacy lighting, and inefficient appliances. We'll help you make a plan to increase your efficiency.
Many solar companies come in and design a solar system for your current consumption, even though the home may not be up to our standards for efficiency. THIS COST YOU MONEY! They will instead build you an oversized solar system and never get to the root cause of what is making the electricity bill so high in the first place.
OUR STANDARD - EFFICIENCY FIRST - SOLAR SECOND
So What Do We Mean By Energy Efficiency?
A hot water heater swap to a Hybrid hot water heater reduces the number of solar panels that you need, on average, by 7 or $7000 off the cost of the solar system. The hybrid hot water heater is far cheaper than additional solar panels. This means the hybrid hot water heater makes for a more efficient home, as well as a reduced cost to the solar system.
WE ARE NOT FOCUSED ON SELLING YOU THE MOST EXPENSIVE SYSTEM POSSIBLE - WE ARE FOCUSED ON SAVING YOU MONEY
We often see false promises on energy efficiency reductions from our competition. The window and door salespeople love to say that changing your windows to impact glass will save you 30% on your electric bill. The insulation guys love to say that changing or adding to your insulation will save you 30% on your energy bill.
Look Out for Outlandish Lies We Believe in Honesty Above All
These outlandish claims of savings are not backed up by scientific evidence! Rather they are cooked up by marketing departments for these various industries to make their product seem like a greater financial value than what it truly is and they do not care if you get the results they promised.
Solar is the ONLY household product that PAYS you each and every month - but only if it is done correctly. The Solar Elite believes the energy efficiency model we have generated is the most effective way to approach solar energy and the best value for homeowners.
Below we will outline some of the ways that we increase your efficiency to save you money before we even install your system. We want each Solar Elite customer to have the most efficient home possible before we install solar so we can size them an affordable solar solution.
Number One Efficiency Risk HVAC UNIT
The HVAC unit is the largest consumer of electricity in the US home, especially in Florida. We are always looking to stay cool during those hot summer months. Many people have HVAC units that are old and outdated. HVAC technology has drastically improved in recent years. If you are using a 15 year or older unit you are paying more for Kwh of energy. Your system may be undersized or leaking refrigerant. Undercharged or undersized systems can cost you significant money as they have to run longer and more often to produce the same cooling effects. We’ll calculate the correct size of your unit for the square footage of your home. We recommend you have your HVAC unit checked at the beginning of every heating and cooling season to ensure it is running at maximum efficiency. We're always happy to refer you to a trusted partner company you can trust.
Below is a chart showing the energy consumption of the average American home.
Ductwork The Silent Energy Vampire
People never think about their ductwork. It is out of site and out of mind.
The counterpart to the HVAC is ductowork. You can't see it. You don't even really think about it. But it is an essential part of your efficiency. Ductwork is normally metal piping that is joined together using seals and tape to create an air-tight seal. The seals degrade over time. We often see ductorwork that wasn't installed with care in the first place. Leaky joints and crazy runs are very common.
Leaking Ductwork Means Energy Loss and an Overworked HVAC System
The current standard is R8 for efficient ductwork. Most home have ductwork with a R3 or less. (Rn is the efficiency value where the higher the n the higher the efficiency) We often see ductwork with no Rn value at all. HVAC companies do this to give you a low quote so you'll sign the dotted line.
Your insulation should be tightly sealed with exterior and interior insulation. Especially if it is in your attic. Rust is a sign you have a problem. Degraded or rotten tape and seals are a very bad sign. That means air is leaking and heat is coming in.
If your ductwork is over 20+ years old you likely need to have it replaced because it has no Rn value at all or is seriously degraded.
If your HVAC system is always running you have a serious efficiency problem that is sucking money out of your pocket every day.
We'll find it. For FREE. We'll get a trusted partner company to solve your problem and increase your efficiency.
Hot Water Heater Your Hot Shower May Be Costing a Fortune
Keeping your home's hot water at a temperature is an expensive proposition. It is the second-largest use of electricity in your home. Gas is also expensive. Imagine keeping a pot of water on your stove boiling all day.
Many people believe that switching to an instant hot water heater is an efficient alternative. The truth is that electric instant hot water heaters are extremely inefficient and require a tremendous amount of electricity. They are notorious for not performing and most qualified plumbers will not install an electric on-demand hot water heater system.
When you have an electric instant hot water heater, the system usually requires a high amperage and uses a lot of electricity to get the water hot very fast.
The Solar Elite Recommends installing a Hybrid Hot Water Heater system with a high Energy Star efficiency rating.
Hybrid Hot Water System
A Hybrid hot water heater has a compressor that absorbs hot ambient air in the room. Because of this heat exchange, it is a requirement that it is a hybrid hot water system be placed in a room without air conditioning.
Aquanta Hot Water Heater Controller
An Aquanta Controller turns your traditional hot water heater into a smart hot water heater. The controller allows you to see how much hot water is available, gives you the ability to remotely turn the unit of and on, and set a schedule. We have seen a nice reduction to the current consumption on a standard hot water heater.
Insulation If Your Insulation is Old - It Needs to Be Replaced
Summers can be brutal here in South Florida's tropical climate. Our homes utilize insulation in the attic space to help the home cool more effectively. Insulation will help you keep the desired temperature in your house all year round, protecting it against cold in winter and excess heat in summer. Be mindful of your insulations' R-value, which measures a material's capability of resisting heat conduction.
Currently, it is recommended that there be 17 inches of insulation in the attic space. Out of all the attics we climb into, most of them do not have that amount of insulation. Insulation breaks down over time and our standards for insulation have greatly increased over the past 20 years. Even if your home is newer the builder likely cut cost by only doing the minimum required insulation according to code in your county.
If you've ever suffered a roof leak you should also check your insulation for mold. This can make you and your family very sick.
If you insulation looks dull or gray it is time to replace it. If it compacted it is time to replace it. When you have poor insulation your HVAC unit will work far harder to keep your climate at the desired temperature because radiant heat is being transferred into you home.
Radiant Barrier Heat Shield
With the immense heat of the South Florida sun, our combination of radiant barrier and blown-in insulation is a great remedy to combat ever-increasing FPL energy costs.
A radiant barrier is a layer of aluminum placed in an airspace to block radiant heat transfer between a heat-radiating surface (such as a hot roof) and a heat-absorbing surface. An aluminum foil radiant barrier blocks 95 percent of the heat radiated down by the roof so it can't reach the air space below it and raise your energy costs.
This NASA-derived metalized material is a great addition to our energy efficiency line up and we have seen cooling costs drop significantly after the introduction of the radiant barrier into the attic space.
Advantage of Spray Foam
- Fills Tiny Nooks and Crannies
- Significant Noise Reducation
- Eliminates 98% of Air Leaks
- Reduces Allergen Causing Particles
- Prevents Bug & Rodent Infestation
- Prevents Mold & Mildew
- Improves Structural Integrity
- Last a Very Long Time
- High R-value
- Increases Fire Protection
Advantage of Blown-In Insulation
- Easy to Install
- High R-Value
- Energy Saving
- Many Options Available
- Often Made of Recycled Content
- High Coverage
- Low Environmental Impact
- Noise Reduction
- Flexible Installation Methods
- Low Odor
- Increased Fire Resistance