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Baby Steps: The Key to Solar Powered Success

So, you’re an eco-conscious consumer who stays abreast of our society’s ever-growing emphasis on caring for the environment. You recycle, you opt for canvas bags over plastic, and generally do your best to make the most earth-friendly choices in your everyday life. Now you’re considering solar power – the ultimate switch to turn your home into an environmentally friendly abode that harnesses clean, renewable energy using pure sunlight, helping you to live the green lifestyle you’ve been dreaming of. Naturally the installation of a solar power system in your home will dramatically reduce your carbon footprint – but before you make the switch, it’s important that you start your conversion off on the right foot and take baby steps…

Your vision of a solar powered home won’t be realised overnight, but there are a number of steps you can start taking right now that will set you on the path to complete sustainability.

Step 1: Monitor

First, identify the items in your home that use the most energy; high consumption appliances include those with heat-generating elements, and those that are in use for long periods of time. The older an appliance is, the more energy it is likely to use and the higher your electricity bills will be. To weed out the problem areas, install an energy monitor and keep tabs on each appliance’s monthly consumption, and you’ll soon have the biggest culprits identified. (Chances are these will include old fridges, stoves, tumble-dryers and pool pumps).

Step 2: Budget & Prioritise

Once you’ve decided which high consumption appliances to replace, you may be tempted to rush right out to an eco-friendly supplier, but first it’s best to sit down and work out a budget. You won’t realistically be able to replace every inefficient appliance in one shot; write up a list of priorities and decide which you will first be replacing with more sustainable alternatives. This could mean finally replacing that ancient, noisy refrigerator, or treating your household to a range of smaller appliances like a new toaster, kettle or LCD-screen television! Don’t forget to include energy-saving light bulbs and water-saving shower heads on your list.

Step 3: Compatibility

It’s important to ensure that your home is suitable for a solar power system installation; there are a number of factors to take into account:

• Roof direction
• Roof size
• Roof shading

Solar panels must have adequate space and exposure to sunlight. A professional appraisal from a specialist sustainable supplier will help you determine whether your home meets these criteria, and what changes can be made to ensure your home is solar-ready. Determine a realistic budget so you can work towards an installation date.

Step 4: Purchasing

Now comes the fun part – choosing and buying those sustainable home appliances. To ensure that you make the best possible purchasing decision, speak to your sales rep about the A-rating of each appliance. These choices will reduce your carbon footprint and your electricity bill – so a greener home means more green in your wallet!

As consumer consciousness continues the shift towards an earth-friendly attitude, we all need to take steps towards changing the way we live – and by following these guidelines, you can take one little green footstep at a time to end up with a fully sustainable, solar powered home!

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