Solar energy is everyday available on the Caribbean. The sun is giving us heat, light, life and electricity. These are the benefits of our big life source and it's giving us joy an the light of the world. We are anti (Pre) Solar Panels, let me explain what that means. We are not against solar panels but we are against the use of solar panels as the first option to save energy. One reason is that solar panels are not energy saving, but they are energy users. When you give solar panels a priority above the green methods to lower your energy demand, you will be forgetting the basics of energy saving. The first steps to start with green buildings before solar panels are:
1. Lower the energy demand, because when you lower the demand than you don't need as much solar panels.
2. Decrease your energy demand by the following basic steps:
- Use insulation, think of your house as a coolbox. Everybody uses coolbox to keep the ice cold, the same rule is meant for green energy saving buildings.
- Use night ventilation at night so you can cool your building with the night coolness. Also Cross ventilation with windows and doors in the same direction of the wind
- Use sun shading (or trees) to block the heat of the direct sun.
- Use insulated double Glass with a low U- Value, Energy efficient windows make your home more comfortable, dramatically reduce your energy costs and help to create a brighter, cleaner and healthier environment. Up to 40% of a home’s coolness can be lost and up to 87% of its heat gained through windows. You don't want that but in most of the houses this is neglected, most one glazed windows can reach a temperature of 40 degrees.
3. These green products and methods have a return on investment of 2 years. Against 6 year return on investment of a lot of solar panels. They don't need maintenance. You will also feel the effect of the use of green products and methods immediately in your building, because it gives you comfort and a healthy building environment., In other words no more heat and direct sun in your house. This is what we call passive housing. No energy in and no energy out. If you decrease the energy demand than you can use solar panels. The beautiful thing about this is that you will need less solar panels and you can save more and start winning money with the amount of solar energy you need. Isn't this great?
You don't need to start big by using solar panels, but start small like our great grand parents did, start with night ventilation or sun shading or a full green scan to know how much you can save. Step by step methods to lower your energy cost. We will save your energy and we will save your money.