Heat Pumps, Solar, and Storage: How We're Approaching 2022
In January of 2021, we started Supplied Energy with two guiding principles:
- Simplify the process so people can more easily build or renovate their home so it's energy-efficient and all-electric.
- Create an atmosphere for our team that rewards hard work, but still keeps our home life, family, and friends the number one priority.
Starting a new business isn't easy, and we definitely aren't the only ones who took a leap. There were 5.4 million applications for new businesses filed in 2021, which is a 20% increase from 2020. While it's exciting to be one of those 5.4 million, there were a lot of moments in early 2021 that left us biting our nails. Then, all of the sudden, opportunity seemed to fall upon us and our team rose to the challenge. Have we accomplished our goals? Maybe not every day, but we're well on the way with the help of planning meetings like the one happening here below.
Alongside our guiding principles, we've set some pretty aggressive goals for 2022. Our President, Kyle, shared in an email early this year, "How we reach our goals in 2022 is already clear to me. I feel confident in each of you to make good decisions, and complete the tasks/priorities at hand. What I’d ask this year is that you take an earnest stab at everything you do. Do it to the best of your ability like you have no one else to rely on. Once you’ve gone as far as you can, then ask for help and review from peers or myself. I’m saying, “take the ball and run with it,” or “take the bull by the horns." Don’t be afraid to step on someone’s toes to get started on anything. For example, open up the tools we’ve committed to such as HubSpot. Jump in with both feet to explore the tool and ask questions. This tool will help us acquire new customers, and continue to build a sales pipeline for us where we’ll have a full vision into our sales opportunities. The most important part of HubSpot is the follow up tools it gives us to make sure we win every job we design/quote. Follow up, follow up, follow up, and doing what we say we’ll do, is what will make us successful."
Why do we share this? It's important that you, our customers, know that we're going to work our hardest to help you achieve your goals, whether that be for your business or for your home. We're committed to doing what we say we're going to – simple as that.
We've said it time and time again, and we won't stop saying it because it works. Supplied Energy approaches buildings and homes from a holistic view. It doesn't matter how efficient your heat pump is if you've got air gushing out your windows or how robust of an energy storage system you have if your solar array can't produce enough to cover your load. This is why we follow a four-step process for each and every project.
Supplied Energy's 4-Step Process to Energy Independence
Step 1 (A): Gather Home Energy Use Data
So, if you're in an existing home, there's a "pre-step" to the 4-step process we recommend you take: energy monitoring. We recommend, use ourselves, and sell Emporia Smart Home Energy monitors. This allows you to see where you need to make small and large upgrades to make your home as energy-efficient as possible. While you may be able to make very educated guesses as to what you need to tackle and when to help your home perform the best, there might be things going on behind the scenes that you're unaware of. The Emporia Vue Energy Monitor turns "knowledge into to power." Or "data into justifiable investment," as some of our team members put it.
Step 1 (B): Make Your Home Airtight
This is the first step for any new construction home, and the second part of step one for an existing home. To make your home as airtight at possible, or ensure a "tight thermal envelope" as it's referred to in the industry, we recommend using a combination of spray foam and cellulose insulation. This keeps outdoor elements, like hot or cold air, from coming in, which creates the opportunity for the heating and cooling system to operate more efficiently. It also eliminates humidity or extremely dry air, overall maintaining the highest level of air quality.
Step 2: Install a Heat Pump
Because of the combustion process, you'll never have a fossil fuel furnace that operates at 100% efficiency. And, it you're chasing energy independence, it's impossible to create your own fossil fuels. To be the most energy-efficient possible, you've got to install a heat pump. When it comes to heat pumps, there are two different types, air source and ground source. Like the names suggest, air source heat pumps use outdoor air to heat and cool and ground source heat pumps (also known as geothermal systems or geothermal heat pumps) use the ground to heat and cool. Because ground source heat pumps pull from the consistent temperature kept underground all year long, they are typically two to three times more efficient than air source heat pumps. We can help you compare how much energy and utility cost-savings you'd achieve with both to make a more informed decision.
Step 3: Make Your Own Power
Because you've invested in making your home airtight, and you've installed an electric-powered, energy-efficient heating and cooling system, your electric load (the amount of electricity it takes to power your home) is significantly lower than the average home. This allows for a solar array to cover most, if not 100%, of the power it takes to keep your home running comfortably. We recommend looking into other energy-efficient options, like lightbulbs, electric water heaters, etc. to further lower the electric load. If you're in an existing home, use of the Emporia Vue Smart Home Energy monitor really comes in handy with guidance on these small upgrades that can add up to big savings.
Step 4: Energy Storage
If living off-grid is of interest to you, or you're looking for a reliant backup during a power outage, then an energy-storage system is the next and final step. If you're at all interested in storage, it's important to discuss this goal upfront during the design phase of the solar array, even if you won't be investing in storage right away. A solar system can generate some, most, all, or a surplus of power depending on its orientation and size. Batteries are a generator alternative, which allows you to be energy independent without using any fossil fuels, no matter the conditions. If a generator is more your speed, we've got that, too.
If you're ready to invest in your home and family, then we're the people to help. Call us today or fill out a form online, and we'll get started on your journey to energy independence. Or, if you stumbled here and are looking to join a team that works with heart, consider applying to see if we've got a good fit for you.
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