How Adding Solar Can Improve Your Energy Savings

Posted Jul 14, 2023 by Garbett Homes

If you have been out to one of our Model Homes, or spent any time on our website, you’ll know we are proud to offer homes certified by the US Department of Energy as Zero Energy Ready. You might also have wondered what it would take for your new Utah home to go from Zero Energy Ready to just Zero Energy. The answer is simple on the surface, but a little more complicated when you dive deeper. That answer being: add solar panels! Especially because your new Zero Energy Ready Home from Garbett Homes is pre-wired for Solar Panels to be part of your new home’s electrical system. But why do Solar Panels make homes Zero Energy? How do you go about adding Solar Panels? And what should you keep in mind when considering this purchase? Read on to learn more about how to take this next step on your green living journey, the right way.

How Do Solar Panels Work?
Electricity is generated by electrons moving along a conductive material after they are “freed” from an atom’s orbit. One of the ways that electrons can get “freed” from an atom’s orbit is through absorbing photons. Something that sunlight just so happens to be full of. Solar panels are basically large glass panels full of wiring and electron rich semi-conductive materials. When sunlight hits the panels the photons energize the electrons to start moving around along the wiring generating electricity that your home can use. 

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How Solar Works
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Solar Cleanliness
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Proper Installation 

In Zero Energy Homes, the electricity produced by the home and the electricity the home consumes over a year should cancel each other out. Leading to your home consuming Net Zero Energy. You are putting back into the electrical system what you use or have used electricity generated by your home in place of electricity produced by fossil fuels. And Zero Energy consumed means you contributed Zero Emissions. On a net annual basis. Saving you even more money on your energy bill than a Zero Energy Ready Home from Garbett already will.

If I Get Solar How Do I Get the Most Out of It?
Living in a true Zero Energy Home is one part, what the home builder does to make your home as energy efficient as possible is another part, and the last part is the lifestyle choices of the homebuyer. Getting the most out of your solar array is no different. Remember, solar arrays rely on sunlight to generate electricity. While this does not mean they are producing no power on cloudy days, it does mean sunny days are the prime days to use electricity generated by your own array. Try to run your washing machine, dryer, and dishwasher during the day when the solar array is generating electricity. This is a place where wi-fi enabled appliances may be able to help. You can also just plan for these chores to be done on one of your days off. 

Two other things to keep in mind are shade and cleanliness. If you’re planning any additions or adding any trees consider where these items will be placed in relation to the solar array. Shadows on the solar array will make your solar panels less energy efficient and you will not get everything you could get out of your solar array.  The same can be said for your panels getting dust or dirt on them. Remember, solar panels are conductive materials encased in glass, if the glass gets dirty, less sunlight gets through which generates less power. Rain or just rinsing your solar panels off with a hose should do the trick. But exercise proper safety measures when cleaning the solar array by yourself.

Well That’s All Interesting! Is There Anything Else I Should Know?
Unless you get solar as part of buying a new home, you should remember that getting solar panels is buying a new construction project, not just getting a new gadget. And comes with the challenges that a new construction project can encounter. Just like you did during your home search you will need to practice diligence and caution when considering who to get your solar installation from. As solar has become an increasingly attractive option to live a greener way of life, many companies have formed, expanded at a rapid pace, and then died in less than five years. Make sure you go with an established installer with at least 5 years of experience, although 10 years of experience would be strongly encouraged.

Garbett Homes is proud to offer solar panel installation as an option in all of our Utah communities through our established solar installation partner, Dwelltek. Allowing these beautiful homes to save you even more money when you join one of our communities. If you’re curious about what we have to offer in Murray, West Jordan, and Midvale, please contact our New Home Specialist today! (801) 396-9095 &


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