Home Energy Independence 101

Call it home energy independence, or a self-sufficient home, or “getting off the grid.” Whatever name you use, the result is the same: Lower energy costs, lower carbon footprint, and less reliance on others for powering your home. And, here in Kane County and the Fox River Valley, you don’t need to sacrifice your lifestyle or live in the woods or anything like that to do it.

Thanks to innovations over the last few years, you can take steps toward making any suburban home energy independent. Your heating and cooling system will play a significant role – those appliances use more power than anything else in your home. Just air conditioning accounts for nearly 20 percent of the average home’s electricity usage.

Compass Heating and Air can help you change all that. We’ve served homes and businesses from Elgin, IL to Crystal Lake for more than a decade. Our specialty is high-efficiency equipment including heat pumps, mini splits, and dual-fuel hybrid systems.

And, we (Compass owners Beth and Mike Gunderson) did it to our own home right here in East Dundee. We barely made any changes to our day-t0-day life, and we barely use any outside energy.

Want to learn more? Keep reading. When you’re ready, call use at (630) 504-8688 or click below for a free consultation.

What Does Energy Independence Mean?

Energy independence refers to the ability of a home or building to generate and sustain its own power supply without relying on external sources such as the grid or fossil fuels.

In the United States, a significant amount of energy comes from oil and natural gas. And, we often rely on foreign countries to provide it. That leaves us at the whim of nations and institutions that we, the homeowners, can’t control at all.

That goes for the local power company, too: We can’t control their rates. We can’t prevent outages. And, we can’t ensure they’re not sending “dirty energy,” or spikes of power that can damage appliances, into our home.

What we can do is make our homes self-sufficient.

An energy-independent home reduces its reliance on outside forces and non-renewable resources by conserving energy and generating its own clean power through renewable energy sources.

Benefits of An Energy-Independent Home

It takes some work to make your house self-sufficient. But, it’s worth the effort. Here are some of the benefits of an energy-independent home:

Lower (Or No) Utility Costs

One of the most significant advantages of an energy-independent home is the potential for lower or even nonexistent utility bills. By generating your own power, you can avoid paying for electricity and even sell excess energy back to the grid in some cases, offsetting your costs further.

Clean Power

By producing your own power through renewable sources like solar or wind, you contribute to a cleaner environment. Generating power from renewable energy sources emits little to no greenhouse gases, reducing air pollution and our reliance on fossil fuels.

Lower Carbon Footprint

Energy-independent homes help minimize their carbon footprint by relying on renewable energy sources instead of fossil fuels. This shift can have a significant impact on the environment, contributing to reduced global warming and preserving natural resources for future generations.

Peace of Mind

By achieving energy independence, homeowners gain peace of mind knowing that they’re less vulnerable to power outages, price fluctuations, and supply disruptions. This sense of security is invaluable in an increasingly uncertain world.

How To Make Your Home Energy Independent

There are a few ways to create a self-sufficient home. And today, you don’t need to sacrifice comfort to become energy independent.

Solar Panels

One of the most popular and effective ways to achieve energy independence is by installing solar panels on your home. Solar panels generate electricity from sunlight, providing clean, renewable power.

By producing more energy than you consume, you can even sell excess energy back to the grid. It’s called net metering, and can keep your rates down without a solar battery.


Electrifying your home means converting all energy-consuming appliances and systems to run on electricity. This process includes switching from gas stoves and boilers to electric induction cooktops and heat pumps.

By using electricity generated by solar panels or other renewable sources, you further reduce your reliance on fossil fuels. And by tracking your electricity usage, you can find ways to reduce your energy consumption by making small changes around the house.


Proper insulation is crucial for energy efficiency and achieving energy independence. By insulating your home correctly, you can minimize heat loss in the winter and maintain a comfortable temperature during the summer. This helps reduce energy consumption and contributes to overall energy production and usage efficiency.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are the lynchpin of the modern energy-independent home. The right system can provide better heating and cooling than a furnace and central air while using a fraction of the power. They work by transferring heat from one place to another, providing efficient temperature control while reducing your dependence on fossil fuels. In combination with solar power or other renewable energy sources, heat pumps can play a significant role in making your home energy-independent.

Converting your home to heat pump technology is an excellent for step toward a self-sufficient house and energy-independent lifestyle. If you’d like to learn more about how to make this work in your Fox River Valley home, call Compass Heating and Air at (630)504-8688 or click below to set up a free consultation.

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