FAMILY VALUE ALERT – For every $10 in monthly savings you can accomplish through energy efficient modifications to your home, you can save yourself up to $1,000 in PV installation costs. Try these 7 steps BEFORE installing a solar electric PV installation:

1. Install a Solar Hot Water Heater – This technology is over a hundred years old and it will almost always be your best value.

2.  Install energy efficient appliances – Over the life of an efficient clothes washer, you’ll save enough money to pay for the matching dryer.

3. Use CFL or LED’s – 95% of money spent on incandescent lighting goes to heat generation!  CFL’s or LED’s use about 75% less energy than a traditional bulb and last 6 times longer.

4. Prevent “Phantom Loads” – Appliances use “phantom” energy, even when they are turned off, which can be prevented by using a surge protector that you can turn off when not in use.

5. Solar dry your clothes – A dryer is the second-biggest electricity sink. Instead use our natural dryer – the Sun!

6. New Technologies – Got a pool or pond? Use high efficiency variable speed pumps and timers or go completely off the grid with a solar-powered pool pump.

7. Change your habits.    Wash the dishes by hand.  Turn the lights off when you leave a room.  Turn off ceiling fans when not at home. Turn off the AC, open a window and door to let the trades in!  Making small changes in your lifestyle can lead to big savings in your pocketbook!

When you are ready to install a solar electric PV system, don’t be fooled by offers that seem too good to be true, because they usually are.  You get what you pay for!!!  Read the fine print and consult an established solar company that will provide you the best overall value. If you are worried about costs, financing is available. Try HCRC’s Green Sun Program – a non-profit initiative to help Maui families go Green!

Josh Porter and Sarah McLane work for the Maui Solar Project, a renewable energy design and sales firm. Maui Solar Project aims to promote ways for our Maui families to save money through energy efficient lifestyles!

For more information on Maui Solar Project, please contact Josh Porter at 808-283-6079 or [email protected]