Very often, one of the first things you should do to prepare your home for a renewable energy installation like solar panels is work out exactly how much power you’re using, and if you’re thinking of using renewable energy to replace your existing energy supply, then you’ll want to slim down your energy usage as much as possible so that you only pay for an installation that meets your requirements.
It’s not always an easy task finding out what’s ‘hogging’ the power in your home though – there are obvious things like making sure your home is well insulated – loft and cavity wall insulation, double glazing and energy efficient appliances etc can all play a big part.
I’m indebted to Cool Planet’s Nate Law for posting this recent guide to what to look out for around your home. The site may be american and references to appliances are obviously to american lifestyle kitchen / laundry appliances but much of the information is still relevant and it’s an excellent place to start.
For example, did you know even small items like digital photo frames. mobile phone charges and laptop power supplies left plugged in – even when unconnected from the device – draw power?
photo credit: noahg