Energy efficiency is not just a buzzword for cities in the State of Texasfor most have taken concrete steps in reducing Texas electricity consumption in homes through various energy efficiency programs. A great example is Austin’s Zero Energy Capable program which aims to reduce energy consumption in new homes by up to 65% by the year 2015. Homes that are zero energy capable produce the same amount of electricity as they consume.
While such goals can be achieved in part by radical changes in the energy and building codes in these cities, new initiatives and technologies in energy efficiency are being introduced that will help hasten energy consumption and optimize use of Texas electricity in homes. With these innovations, Texas homes can be built more energy-efficient, sustainable, and more affordable. Such technologies focus not only in making the home more efficient in its use of electricity and water, but also on the use of alternative but durable building materials and systems.
New Technologies and Trends for Energy Efficiency
To achieve zero-net energy for the Texashome, a variety of energy efficiency solutions and technologies are now made available for consumers to harness. To produce Texas electricity that will replenish the energy used in a home, renewable energy sources such as solar arrays can be installed to achieve fully zero-net homes. Aside from the arrays, homes can also be installed with a PV Solar Shutter. This device is an interior plantation shutter with louvers that are built and installed with solar cells which will then be used to harness the potential energy from the sun.
Zero-net energy homes consume less Texas electricity and this can be achieved by addressing the major sources of energy losses in a home, particularly lighting and heating/cooling. At the forefront is the extensive use of Energy Star qualified LED light bulbs either for main illumination or downlights. LED bulbs consume even less energy than compact fluorescent light bulbs or CFLs and has no mercury content that pose environmental risks. Now, there’s a new lighting system called Electron Stimulated Luminescence bulbs or ESL that are touted to be 70 percent more efficient than incandescent and even more energy efficient, and cheaper, than LED lamps.
Temperature loss during heating or cooling is a major source of energy loss in a home that will add up to the total Texas electricity consumption. Zero-net energy homes address this with the use of highly efficient low-E or low emissivity glass on double paned windows. The coating in low-E glass reflects or absorbs IR light from the sun, preventing solar heat gain that will increase the work of HVAC systems. Aside from the windows, homes can minimize heat transfer to and from the home using spray-foam insulation.
A zero-net energy home can also be considered a smart home as it can make use of technology that allows real-time monitoring of the home’s Texas electricity usage. The home can then be integrated into the smart grid, enabling homeowners to have full control of their energy consumption particularly for air conditioning, heating, and hot water requirements. Appliances and lighting systems are also equipped with sensors and programmable thermostats that will turn off when no person is detected within the premises.
Manufacturers and home builders are gearing up towards a green Texashome market, with technologies and innovations intended to increase energy efficiency and sustainability in these homes. Texas consumers have the power to choose these technologies and innovations for new home constructions on the road to achieving truly energy efficient and sustainable green homes.Tags: electricity consumption, energy efficiency programs, energy efficiency solutions, renewable energy sources, texas electricity