What Is Personal Energy Independence and Why Does It Matter?

Energy independence — the ability to produce a sustainable amount of fuel to meet demands — allows for sufficient energy use without worrying about fluctuating global prices, power outages, or potentially harmful sources of oil, gas, or electricity.

A sustainable house where the owner is achieving personal energy independence with solar panels and a sustainable lifestyle.

While energy independence among some of the world’s largest corporations has certainly been a recent focus — including recent government reform for increased focus on renewable energy sources — individual energy independence is equally important from a consumer standpoint. Producing your own energy can mean freedom from energy providers and reduced or eliminated power bills.

The below information can help you eliminate the learning curve when it comes to individual energy freedom and accountability, identifying steps toward — and benefits of — total energy independence.

Benefits of Personal Energy Independence

From greater sustainability to reduced spending, personal energy independence can yield a wide variety of benefits for readers. Consult the below information for some of the chief benefits received when consumers successfully transition to a personal energy independence approach:

  • Improved savings as a result of reduced, or even eliminated, spend on energy bills
  • Budget stability, since energy bills are typically lower and more predictable after consumers adopt personal energy independence
  • Peace of mind from the knowledge that you’re promoting ecological sustainability and reducing overall third-party energy use and consumption
  • Safety from threats to public or shared energy sources, including local power outages, electrical storms, and power grid failures
  • Freedom from any politics, price inflation, or manipulation that results from our reliance on energy-providing companies and countries

Whether you’re looking to lower monthly bill payments or contribute to a more sustainable world, you can comfortably earn all of the above benefits simply from a transition to personal energy independence.

How to Become Energy Independent

Becoming energy independent begins with a transition in mindset, and a commitment to renewable sources responsible for providing sufficient energy without outside help.

Infographic outlines 6 steps to achieve personal energy independence: change your habits, make your home energy efficient, install solar panels, use energy when the sun shines, change your transport and shop local.

Change Your Habits

Changes to personal lifestyle habits can go a long way toward positively impacting energy usage. Once we begin to treat energy as a finite resource with limited reserves, we can slowly but surely reduce energy demands in our homes.

These habit changes don’t need to be complicated. More than anything else, changing energy use habits can mean changing the way we think about energy as a resource.

In an age with full refrigerators and water on demand, we often forget the consequences of resource use. Changing personal lifestyle habits — even if it’s simple as turning off lights when you leave a room, running the dishwasher on “low power” mode, or air drying clothes after they are washed — can go a long way toward total energy independence.

Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

Consumers who are serious about adopting energy efficient practices should also consider environmentally friendly home improvements. Many of the most popular home improvement projects already help improve energy efficiency to a certain degree, especially those which involve air conditioning, ventilation, water systems, and lighting.

Optimising for energy efficiency doesn’t mean compromising on your dreams for your residential space. Done correctly, environmentally friendly changes can improve the aesthetic and ambiance of your home setting. Whether it means sealing your ducts, refreshing your home installation, or creating a sustainable smart home, simple home changes can mean serious benefits for your energy bill and your global environmental impact.

Install Solar Panels

Solar panels can help you generate ample fuel without any environmental degradation. Better for your property value, your environment, and your wallet, solar panels help provide power without any of the associated air pollution.

With more than 2 million solar systems active across Australia, neighbourhoods across the continent have already taken steps to reduce total energy use. Most households only need a single, 6.6kW solar system to meet typical electrical demands, earning up to $1,415 in yearly savings. Once you decide on a solar inverter and one of the best solar battery options, you can have your entire network up and running in days.

Use Energy When The Sun Shines

Taking steps to optimise your home for peak energy independence also means patterning your energy use habits to follow the sun’s exposure patterns. The best time to use your home’s energy — especially if you’re depending on solar panel efficiency — is during the day, when fuel is readily available to help power utilities, appliances, and other electrical or gas-powered applications.

Solar panels work by converting the sun’s rays into electricity, to power your home’s appliances and utilities. Though they technically don’t work at night — since they require sunlight to create energy — your home can still use energy stored during the day. Prioritising energy use when the sun is shining helps you keep solar cell reserves full for cloudy days or winter months when solar output might be compromised or altogether paused.

Switch Up Your Transportation

It’s no secret that cars can use an incredible amount of energy, even on short-distance trips. In Australia, that dependence on cars is especially strong: more than two in three individuals drive to work, according to a recent countrywide census. Depending on your typical vehicle use, you may want to consider a different mode of transportation to achieve greater energy independence. You’ll save money on gas costs, and lost time is usually negligible.

Anyone looking to consolidate transportation and workout time should consider person-powered means of transit. Whether you’re biking to work or walking to the closest store, motorless transportation is the perfect excuse to exercise and enjoy the outdoors, while still accomplishing your everyday routine.

Shop Local

Choosing local shopping outlets can surprisingly go a long way toward promoting energy independence. Given how much energy it takes to produce and ship produce and commercial goods, purchasing items from local vendors helps to eliminate transportation costs and slash fuel usage.

A concrete approach to personal energy independence also contributes to the intangible value of benefitting locally-owned businesses. Shopping locally helps to stimulate the growth and sustainability of your regional economy. Shopping local also means more jobs closer to home, further helping to keep dollars in the community while you focus on establishing an energy-independent footprint.

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