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What is energy independence? To many, it might mean no importing of oil into their country, while others expect lower prices at the pump. If you are a homeowner, you will definitely think of a reliable source of energy that is entirely independent of utility companies. It’s a key goal for many to be energy dependent, and we have often heard of this term being thrown here and there.
In this blog post, we explore the concept of energy independence in more detail, including its benefits for homeowners.
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Understanding Energy Independence
We have seen fuel prices skyrocketing lately. This is not happening in the U.S. only, but worldwide! When this happens, it leaves everyone wondering whether there is an energy-independent country. But what is energy independence?
In a nutshell, energy independence refers to a situation where a country or home can meet its energy needs without relying on imported energy sources. This can be achieved through various means, including developing domestic energy sources, enhanced energy efficiency, and improved energy security.
Since 2019, domestic energy production has exceeded U.S. energy consumption, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EPA). Also, it has been leading in oil production worldwide, followed by Saudi Arabia and Russia. So, does this mean the U.S. is energy independent? Energy independence is a complex issue, especially when concerning a nation. However, based on our definition, the U.S. is still not energy independent even if it tops the world in oil production. Anyway, that will be a topic for another day.
Why Is Energy Independence so Important?
When a country becomes energy independent, it will eliminate the need to import oil and other sources of oil. This will make it more immune to global energy supply disruptions. By this, we mean:
- Strengthening national energy security
- Creating jobs and stimulating the economy
- Increasing energy efficiency
- Investing in renewable energy sources
- Conserving the environment
Energy Independence in Homes
As said previously, a nation’s energy independence is complex, but you know what is not so complex? Energy independent homes. Most homeowners are looking for a way to make their homes energy-independent. So what is energy independence in homes? An energy-independent home is a home that can meet all of its energy needs without relying on municipal electricity. This means the home can generate its own power and go off-grid (not connected to the electrical grid). While energy sufficiency is the goal, many homes only achieve it partially. For example, a home may generate its power from solar but still depend on the generator or municipal electricity.
How to Make Your Home Energy-Independent
Electricity has become crucial to today’s modern lifestyle and a nation’s economy. As a result, most homes use a lot of energy to keep their electrical appliances running, from heating and cooling to deep freezers and lighting. According to the US Energy Information Administration, the average annual energy usage per customer in 2020 was 10,715 kWh, about 30 kWh per day. Relying on grid power to provide that amount of energy can be expensive. One of the best alternatives is using renewable energy. Here are some ways that you can generate electricity that can be sufficient to run your whole home.
Solar energy is one of the most commonly used and abundant types of renewable energy. All you need is a roof and solar panels to harness the free electricity from the sun.Solar panels are effective during the day when the sun is at its peak. This enables you to use the electricity directly. However, since the sun is not available 24 hours a day, solar panels alone cannot provide you with enough energy to run your whole home. This necessitates the use of an effective solar battery system.
A solar battery system comprises a solar panel, batteries, inverter, and controllers. This system helps store excess energy for later use. It’s important to let professionals install a solar power system for you. This way, they will ensure that the system is customizable depending on your energy needs.
When wind turbines are mentioned, most people think of the enormous turbines they see on wind farms. However, when it comes to your home’s electricity, you don’t need the big turbines since there are small ones meant for residential use. A wind turbine allows you to generate your electricity using wind power. They have been around for a long time but are now becoming increasingly popular as people continue to embrace clean energy. Like a solar system, a wind-electric system requires a storage system to store excess power. In addition, it needs a professional installation for the best placement of the turbines.
Solar and Wind Turbines Hybrid System
Even though the wind may decrease as the sun sets, there’s always a chance of still getting it at night. On the other hand, when the sun fades in the evening, it will be available the following day. Combining solar and wind electricity can be an excellent way to become energy independent. However, installing such a system is costly; it’s worth all the money. This is because you’ll be able to save money in the long run, as the power you will use is free.
On top of these options that can help you become energy dependent, there are a few simple things you can implement in your home. Most of these things boil down to your habits. For example, if you cut down on the unnecessary stuff you do with your home’s electricity, you can save a lot of energy.
- Switch off lights during the day or when not in use
- Use energy-efficient appliances
- Air dry dishes and clothes
- Take short showers
- Install insulations
- Install a smart thermometer
- Switch off the power for devices you’re not using
- Wash full loads of dishes and clothes
- Close windows and doors when cooling and heating your home
What Are the Benefits of Having an Energy-Independent Home?
Now that you know what is energy independence, it’s important to note that the cost of having an entire energy-independent home is high, but with fulfilling results. There are many benefits to energy-independent living, and here are some:
Having a reliable energy source in your home that helps you eliminate any dependence on the grid gives you energy security. In addition, you will not be a victim of utility rate increases, so you can use power without worrying about the bill.
Although the initial cost of installing solar energy systems or any other renewable power system can be high, there’s always a brighter side. First, you will stop receiving bills, meaning they will offset the upfront costs even though they’ll take time. In addition, the government will offer tax credits and rebates, which help offset your costs. Furthermore, some utilities offer incentives and rebates for installing renewable energy.
Peace of Mind
Having power you can depend on can give you peace of mind. Peace of mind is when you know you’re not making your home a beacon for pollution. You can sit back and relax knowing that your loved ones are safe and won’t have to worry about having enough electricity in a disaster.
Improved Preparedness for Emergencies and Disasters
Being energy-independent means being more prepared for emergencies and disasters. This is because you’ll have an uninterrupted supply of electricity that can power anything during an electrical blackout.
Renewable energy sources help keep pollution levels down, and they also help reduce CO2 emissions. Besides carbon emissions, you also help reduce the effects of global warming. Furthermore, you’re also ensuring that more of our natural resources are saved for future generations.
Increase in Home Value
You’re increasing your home’s market value when you make it energy-independent. This means if you ever want to sell your house, you’ll be able to raise its cost by hundreds of thousands of dollars. When it comes to energy, efficiency does not happen overnight, especially if you cannot afford an extensive system. The best thing is that most renewable energy systems are expandable. So, for example, you can start small and increase your energy output by installing more solar panels and your storage system.
Make Your Home Energy Independent with ONIT Home
Hopefully, after reading this article, you now know what is energy independence and its benefits in detail. No matter where you need energy, home-wise or country-wise, energy independence is essential in all aspects. If you’re a homeowner, you might look for a way to eliminate grid dependence and welcome a reliable energy source. Look no further. ONIT Home can help you install the best solar power system in your home. With this system, you’ll never know when your neighborhood has a blackout. Our experts can help you install any size of a solar power system in your home or business. You only need to tell us your energy needs, and we will help size up your system. We also provide energy audits to ensure your home is energy sufficient.