Assess Your Energy Usage to Determine Your Wind-Energy Needs
Part of the Wind Power For Dummies Cheat Sheet
Doing a usage assessment to determine how much energy you need is a vital step toward getting a successful wind-electric system that meets your power expectations. These steps help you calculate how much energy you're using:
Review all energy bills so you can determine your overall energy use.
List all loads (electrical appliances) with wattage and run time to see specifically where you're using energy and how much you're using.
Measure phantom loads (loads that use energy when turned off) using a watt meter.
Inspect your building envelope (the shell of your house), sealing, windows, and so on by having a professional do a blower door test (which pressurizes your house and measures how leaky it is).
Have an HVAC professional inspect your space and water heating systems.
Consider your energy use habits and goals so you can look for ways to reduce your energy use and plan for future energy use.