Renewable Energy SmartPod

Savvy Ways To Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

March 22, 2023 Sean McMahon Season 2 Episode 21
Renewable Energy SmartPod
Savvy Ways To Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
Show Notes Transcript

While most of the listeners of this podcast might work in the renewable energy industry, ALL of the listeners of this podcast are energy consumers. And let’s be honest … even some of the most die-hard members of the renewables industry probably have at least one or two things about their home that they wish were more sustainable.

With that in mind, Matt Ferrell joins the show to outline various ways everyday people can embrace cost-saving strategies that also make their homes more resilient and more sustainable.

Matt is the creator of Undecided with Matt Ferrell, where he has amassed more than one million subscribers on YouTube by applying his technology-focused eye to all things sustainability. Matt is also the co-host of the Still To Be Determined podcast. He tests smart and sustainable technology solutions and often offers advice to viewers who … just like you and me …  might need just a wee bit of help making decisions about which solutions are best for their home.

Matt and I will touch on batteries, solar panels, weatherization and various other topics, including … yes … even the Inflation Reduction Act. Matt is a real straight shooter, so you’ll appreciate hearing what he has to say.

Key highlights

(3:57) - The most common questions from consumers
(5:00) - The Do's and Don'ts when it comes to installing solar
(9:35) - The Do's and Don'ts when it comes to installing batteries
(13:47) - How to prioritize energy efficiency needs
(16:25) - The low-hanging fruit when it comes to energy efficiency solutions
(19:02) - How the Inflation Reduction Act impacts consumers
(21:47) - The role of Community Solar
(23:03) - Exciting tech of the future: Flow batteries for homes
(25:00) - Matt's bold predictions
(26:17) - Matt's take on the future of EV charging

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(Note: This transcript was created using artificial intelligence. It has not been edited verbatim.)

Sean McMahon  00:00

What’s up everyone and welcome to another episode of the REnewable Energy SmartPod. I’m your host Sean McMahon and today we’ve got a real treat in store for you. … Most episodes of this show feature experts from the renewable energy sector who talk about what’s going on in the industry from a business-to-business perspective. But today, we’re gonna pivot away from that B2B focus and talk about things on a much more consumer level. 

After all, while most of the listeners of this podcast might work in the renewable energy industry, ALL of the listeners of this podcast are energy consumers. And let’s be honest … even some of the most die-hard members of the renewables industry probably have at least one or two things about their home that they wish were more sustainable.

With that in mind, Matt Ferrell is gonna join me in a minute to outline various ways everyday people can embrace cost-saving strategies that ALSO make their homes more resilient and more sustainable. 

Matt is the creator of Undecided with Matt Ferrell, where he has amassed more than one million subscribers on YouTube by applying his technology-focused eye to all things sustainability. Matt is also the co-host of the Still To Be Determined podcast. He tests smart and sustainable technology solutions and often offers advice to viewers who … just like you and me …  might need just a wee bit of help making decisions about which solutions are best for their home.

Matt and I will touch on batteries… solar panels … weatherization …  and various other topics, including … yes … even the Inflation Reduction Act. Matt is a real straight shooter, so I think you’ll appreciate hearing what he has to say.

Looking ahead at the schedule for this podcast … in the coming weeks we will be joined by Kacie Peters from Pivot Energy. Kacie is gonna walk us through what’s cooking these days in the community solar sector. We’ll also be joined by Jill Blickstein, the Vice President of Sustainability at American Airlines. Jill will update us on the latest advancements in Sustainable Aviation Fuel, hydrogen-electric, zero emission aviation … and numerous other initiatives American is undertaking to reduce its carbon emissions.

Those should be some great conversations, so I hope you look forward to hearing from Kacie and Jill as much as I do. But for now, let’s kickoff my chat with Matt Ferrell about how YOU can save money AND make your home more sustainable.

Hello, everyone, and thank you for joining me today. My guest is Matt Ferrell. Matt is the creator of the Still To Be Determined podcast, and the popular YouTube channel Undecided with Matt Ferrell. Matt, how you doing today?

Matt Ferrell  02:46

I'm very good. How are you doing?

Sean McMahon  02:48

I'm doing great, great, I'm really excited to have you on because a lot of the episodes on this podcast are kind of, you know, the corporate lens, looking at the renewable space. But every once in a while, I'd like to bring in someone who's going to kind of tell us, you know, what homeowners or small business owners, you know, look at, look at what's going on in this space from that perspective. And obviously, someone with your background is perfect for that. I know you have a perfect background for that. But why don't you tell some of our listeners a little bit about what you do.

Matt Ferrell  03:11

I create videos mainly on YouTube around sustainable technologies and kind of have been documenting my experience with a lot of these technologies like home batteries, going solar, having an electric vehicle, how energy storage is evolving over time, basically looking at all of these kinds of sustainable tech advances and how they're impacting us on our daily lives. So it's kind of the whole bread and butter of what I do.

Sean McMahon  03:33

All right. And so you have more than a million subscribers on YouTube. So you must know what you're talking about. Now, really, I think, the perfect guest because I want to bring someone in here to kind of look at these things from, like I said, the perspective of a homeowner or small business owner and things like that. So let's tackle the home front first. So what are some of the most sustainable technologies out there that homeowners are adapting? I know, we'll delve into things like solar and batteries and things like that. But just what are you seeing overall as some of the most popular trends, or what you get the most questions about, I should say.

Matt Ferrell  04:01

What I get the most questions about honestly, is solar and batteries. But outside of that it comes down to this like a slippery slope once he goes solar, it's like you start to become finely attuned to where's my electricity? Who's going, like, how can I optimize my home's energy use. And that's where I think a lot of people are starting to kind of catch on smart thermostats, smart home tech, things along the lines of like smart light switches and outlets and things like that they can work together to help you understand where your energy use is going inside your home and how to control that in a better way. Because like we have a lot of devices in our homes that are like drawing phantom power constantly. So you have a television set that even when it's off is pulling five watts of power. So it's like having systems that can just turn those off and stop that phantom drain. Little things like that. People are very concerned about and I see a lot more interest kind of growing around the smart technologies.

Sean McMahon  04:52

All right, well, we'll definitely circle back to some of that stuff. But I want to get back to the two things get the most questions about solar and battery solar batteries. You know, not a surprise So what are some of the do's and don'ts when it comes to deploying solar at a home or a small business?

Matt Ferrell  05:05

I would say for homeowners specifically, the financing can be really kind of weird. And a lot of people are feel like they're being taken advantage of by shitty installers that are coming door to door knocking on your door trying to get you to buy their solar panels and have an installation. So it's like my typical recommendation for homeowners is not to do PPAs is that you should be looking at loans, or paying cash. And there's a lot of incentive programs in different states to help you get solar loans or home equity lines of credit and things like that, they can help you with that. I recommend that over PPAs, mainly because PPAs add a layer of complexity when you go to sell your house, like if you do this, and three years later, you're like, Oh, now I have to move. It creates problems because the person buying your house either has to sign that PPA to take it over from you. Or then you're on the hook for having to get rid of it or have the panels removed, it creates a whole bunch of complication that typically a homeowner will want to avoid. So I'd recommend against that.

Sean McMahon  06:02

So we're talking PPAs. A lot of folks who are new to this, we're talking power purchase agreements, right? power purchase agreements, yes. Okay. We've got first time listeners, here's some of the stuff.

Matt Ferrell  06:11

You do not own the panels. When is the PPA you, as the homeowner do not own it, it's basically like a utility has basically put panels on your roof, and then you've agreed to buy the electricity at a certain rate from that utility. What makes it very appealing is there's no upfront costs, you don't have to maintain the panels. So if something goes wrong with the panel system, they're on the hook for fixing it. So there's a lot of look like pros, but it's like, as soon as you kind of peel that back, it's when I'm like oh, for a homeowner, it gets kind of dicey after that, if you turn on businesses, that's something completely different. And I think there's a totally different equation when you're talking about PPAs and businesses. But for homeowners, I don't recommend it. The other thing that a lot of homeowners fall in the trap of they get one quote, and then they either make a yes or no decision off that one quote, always get multiple quotes, always look up the going rate of the cost per kilowatt of the system. So like, if you're getting a nine kilowatt system, you can take the total cost divided by that number, and you'll come up with it costs $2.60 per watt for this system, you can then look at that and do an apples to apples comparison across the quotes you're getting. You can look up on Google, just like what is the average cost per watt of solar in my area, and you will find out what that is for if you live in Kentucky or Massachusetts or whatever it is. So you can see if the installer is like gouging you or is in the ballpark or the right place. So it's like those are things I don't think most people know to do. And so that's for me is the please do that. Because you will save so much money. If you do that. I've helped so many people avoid that one issue, like they'll show me a quote, I'll do the little math, and I'll look up in their area. And it's like two to three times the average cost. And it's like, I'll let them know. And they go back and find a different installer that comes in at a better rate. And they're like, thank you so much, because it could sometimes be 10s of 1000s of dollars in difference. So you got folks sending you quotes. Yeah, I have people reach out to me and send me quotes from time to time saying can you please take a look at this? It feels a little dicey to me. Usually when they have that feeling. Follow your gut, because it's like it's like, yeah, you you had every reason to be questioning this quote. But yeah.

Sean McMahon  08:16

So you're a friend of the homeowners and maybe not such a friend of some of the installers out there.

Matt Ferrell  08:20

I know. I know. I've actually become friends with many installers. And so it's like, I know a lot of reputable installers and it drives them nuts too, is that there are certain companies out there that take advantage.

Sean McMahon  08:31

Alrighty. And then in terms of the technology for solar, are there any kind of you know, we talked about pricing and you know, what kind of deal structure to have for your home or your business? But are there any technologies out there that you highly recommend or say, Hey, stay away from this or hey, maybe wait a minute, develop more.

Matt Ferrell  08:44

There's a lot of buzz around perovskites, which really aren't a thing yet. perovskite solar panels, if you hear people telling you to wait for profs kites Do not wait. Those are still they still have some baking in the oven to do. I think your standard panel if you're buying from any kind of reputable company like rec or Kyuzo, there's these different solar cell technologies that have good warranties, 25 year warranties, if you go with any of those, you're going to be good. If you're trying to save money, oftentimes you're getting a lower quality sell that might only last 1015 years. So you need to do those equations understand that why one panel might cost half of another one comes down to this may need to be replaced in 15 years and this one will last you 30 plus. So you need to make sure that you're looking at the warranties, but for me, it's like Q Cell and rec tend to be kind of like that middle, the top tier of what you would want to look for.

Sean McMahon  09:37

Okay, you mentioned you also get a lot of questions about batteries. So let's kind of take that same tactic. What are some of the do's and don'ts when it comes to batteries?

Matt Ferrell  09:43

Batteries are dicey because they're still very expensive for homes right now. It really depends on where you live. It's like a hyperlocal decision because if you have cheap electricity rates, and there aren't good incentive packages in your area, a battery is just not Gonna make sense. But if you live in areas like Massachusetts, where I do, or California, and if time of use rates, where are you? The electricity rate is really expensive during the day and really cheap overnight, if you have those kinds of options. That's when batteries can really start to kind of sing and really kind of save you money. In addition to just give you that level of comfort, if there's an outage you're going to have, it's basically a backup generator. So we'll carry through the outage. For me when I when people ask me, Should you get a battery or not? The first question I'm always asking is, where do you live? Because that's like, I have to understand like, are you talking about like you live in Florida? Or do you live in California? Are there wildfires Do you have? Do you live in Fremont and get a lot of power outages over the wintertime, there's so many different things you have to take into the calculation. For me, that's the first thing I talk about. After that it's really comes down to it's maybe controversial, but don't buy into the marketing hype, or the brand names that you may think of like the Tesla Powerwalls, I have a Tesla Powerwall it's great, I have nothing against it. But they tend to be more on the pricey side. And there are cheaper options that you can get that will work just as well as a Tesla Powerwall there's nothing special about their technology that makes it a better battery than another one. It's you have to look at the underlying chemistries. I don't know how detailed we want to get here. But most of these batteries are either they're called NMC, nickel manganese cobalt batteries, or their lithium iron batteries, LFP batteries. Those are your two main options for home batteries. LFP tends to be the better for home use because it has a higher cycle life. Technically, it's a slightly safer battery. So it will last you a longer amount of time than an NMC battery will. And right now, power walls are NMC and other battery companies like end phase, the Sony eco batteries, those are LFP. And so for me, it's like if I was going to recommend somebody to battery, look at LFP batteries, and then just kind of shop around and see what's the best option for you in your area.

Sean McMahon  11:56

And so you mentioned a lot of the conversation starts with Where do you live? Which I think all those answers question is why they want to get it some folks wanted to just lower their monthly bills. Other folks like us, they got wildfires and power outages and they you know, they want to keep the lights on and keep the refrigerator running for, you know, as long as they can. So does the type of battery kind of determine your answer on those questions like these are better for just from a resiliency perspective. And these are better from, you know, regular use and lowering costs,

Matt Ferrell  12:21

I think that would come down to how big of a battery you get. So like if your goal is I just want to make sure that you know, we get power outages in the wintertime that you know, maybe last half a day, okay, you don't need a massive battery pack, just get an LFP battery that may be you know, like a 10 kilowatt hour system. And that will be all you need. Or somebody that's like I'm gonna go off grid, I want to be as self sufficient as I can, understanding how much energy they use and saying, Okay, you might want a 20 kilowatt hour system or a 30 kilowatt hour system. Again, I'm always, almost always recommending an LSP over an MC just because of that cycle life equation. So it's a cost wise, they're not that different. So it's like Tesla Powerwall versus the end phase IQ system. It's kind of six of one half a dozen other cost wise. So it just comes down to what kind of energy output you need. That's the other factor that we haven't talked about, because like not all batteries are created equal. Like if you're running your stove, you're charging an Eevee, you're doing all this stuff at once. How much energy it can output at once is an important factor as well. It's not just how much energy can store but how much can it deliver at once so that if your air conditioning kicks on, it doesn't trip a circuit and shut the battery off. You don't want that either. 

Sean McMahon  13:34

So let's dive into that. So I mean, obviously there are some folks who like you said, you got an Eevee going they got to a larger square foot house, we'll just say, I don't want to draw the demarcation line of what's big and what's small these days, but you know, a McMansion or something like that. But you know, how do you tackle or excuse me, how should the homeowners tackle something like that? Like, just identifying Okay, I got all these appliances, you know, a car or maybe two cars? Yeah. How do you help them sort through all that?

Matt Ferrell  13:59

The easy Well, I say easy and gigantic air quotes, it would be like, you just want to kind of create a list of all the main things in your home, like your HVAC system, your stove, your dishwasher, your, you know, the things that draw a lot of power, just come up with a list of all the main things, and then just, you find the spec sheets, and so you know how much wattage they pull just based on the spec sheets, you can just use back of the napkin math, and then go oh, there's a total of you know, 5000 watts. So it's five kilowatt draw, if I had all these things on at once, that kind of gives you a nice baseline. The next step up is what I was talking about before about how a lot of people like are concerned about like, well, how much energy Am I actually using. If you have smart outlets, a lot of these smart outlets track how much energy using you can buy cheap energy meters online from amazon for like 25 bucks where you just plug it into the outlet and plug the thing you want to track into it and it will show you how much wattage it's pulling. If you want to get really detailed you could actually put that on your you know electric dryer and see exactly how much energy it pulls when you're running it. So if you kind of To get this back of the napkin math understanding of like, my home is typically on a heavy load pulling for 567 1000 kilowatts, you'll then understand what you need to do for a battery. So it's like you'd want a battery that can achieve at least 6000 7000 kilowatts continuous output with a spike of 10,000. Because most of these batteries can handle a short spike to a higher load. So if the air conditioning kicks on, it has a huge spike of energy, and then it drops down to what it's going to run at. You just want to make sure that you can handle those spikes, and just look at the spec sheets on the batteries and what you have in your home.

Sean McMahon  15:38

I gotta tell you, man, I'm I'm really grateful that you're kind of teaching folks how to tabulate all the Watts they use in their house, because because I've mentioned this on a few episodes in the past on my soapbox here, like I don't think most people speak watts. No, I really think like that's in the context of, you know, these massive renewable energy projects like, Oh, it's this solar farm or wind farms going to generate a bunch of megawatts and I'm like, people don't know what that means. Like, they drive by a wind, you know, a wind turbine out there in the field. And they have no idea like, how many home? Yeah, one turbine power. So getting back to your recommendation, like, figure out how much you need it kind of educated them on how to speak the language a little bit. So yeah, I love the fact I love that you're doing that. So, you know, following on that conversation, you know, we're all trying to figure out ways to increase energy efficiency, you know, lose, use less power, or, you know, try to design the net zero house. So what's some of the low hanging fruit there for homeowners in addition to stuff we've already mentioned, right, you know, kind of the outlets that measure, you know, TV, pulling water, things like that, is there anything else that just in two or three moves, a homeowner can really see results in terms of reducing their costs?

Matt Ferrell  16:39

Oh, weatherization, that's like number one, like you should get an energy audit somebody to come out, help kind of audit your house, take a look at how airtight your houses if the insulation needs to be updated. Because, you know, insulation, your attic, if you have blown in insulation, it can settle, it can blow out, it may not be enough, and that may or may not be deep enough. So you might just need to have some additional insulation flown in my house, I had this done on my house, the current house is I had an energy audit done, they added I think it was like about a foot of blood and insulation, they re blue new insulation, the exterior walls. And it was covered by a Massachusetts program that covered most of the costs. So for me out of pocket, it didn't cost me much. And it had a huge impact on how much heating and air conditioning we needed to do to keep our house comfortable inside. So not only did it save us money, but our made our house more comfortable. So it's like it's kind of a win win on both fronts. So definitely get an energy audit and get some weatherization updates done to your house. Any other low hanging fruit, smart thermostats, things like that, they can be a very cheap and effective way just to kind of like a DIY project. It's like you don't need a professional to come in and change your thermostat, you can do it yourself, it's pretty easy to do. It's a simple upgrade. They're affordable now, and sometimes even utilities will give you rebates on the cost of a smart thermostat. So it's like there's also programs like my ecobee is enrolled in a local program called Connected solutions. So the utility during peak times where they're trying to shave electricity costs off the grid, they'll just like, it's fascinating to watch it happen. And over the summer, it's like they will crank up my air conditioning in the middle of the day leading a couple hours leading up to the peak demand, which usually happens around dinnertime. So like three o'clock in the afternoon, my air conditioner will crank up gets the house really nice and cold. And then the system shuts off. And so then during the peak shaving moment, which is like maybe six to seven o'clock, my house is just slowly warming back up. And by the time the peak demand is over my house, maybe up to like 76 degrees, 78 degrees, and the air conditioning kicks back on again, in there's rewards for these kind of programs. Not only does it save you money, but sometimes they'll give you money back like the utility will give you at the end of the summer, we'll give you a small cheque or a gift card or something like that. So easy ways to kind of save a little money. Very simple.

Sean McMahon  19:01

Alrighty, so now on the policy front, obviously, the the passage of the inflation Reduction Act, that thing is chock full of all kinds of incentives, tax incentives for various technologies that can be deployed in a home. And I was joking earlier. I'm not sure if a lot of people speak what I'm not sure if more or fewer people speak taxes are specifically tax incentives. So you know you're in, there's incentives for heat pumps, and solar and batteries and things like that. What did you think about those incentives? And if you're a homeowner, how should you prioritize these things, if you've got budget limitations,

Matt Ferrell  19:33

I love the incentives they put in the IRA. It's like it they're hitting all the right notes. When when it came out, I was very impressed with what was in there. I was also very impressed with how they had taken not all people were gonna like this, but they take income into account so like the more income household income you have, the less of a rebate you'll see cuz they're trying to make it equitable based on you know how much money you make every year. I'm a big fan of that as well because oftentimes, these programs only help the people who are wealthy in the first place, it's nice to have programs are going to help as many people as they possibly can. It covers everything from heat pumps to, he mentioned electrification of your house, because some of these things are gonna take more electricity in your home. So it's making sure that your home can handle all the electricity needs is going to need all these kind of rebates, it makes your head spin, how much is in there? And then even when you look at Oh, it's a heat pumps? Well, it's no, it's actually how much I'm gonna get me heat pump. Oh, well, it's how much do you make. And it's like, there's all these different ways to calculate it, which makes it difficult. But if you're going at this, and you're trying to kind of see how you should prioritize things, it's kind of similar to what we just talked about, I would prioritize the energy audit and the weatherization, because that's part of the IRA is they will help homes improve their efficiency, that's where I would start, because that's like the lowest hanging fruit biggest bang for your buck. That's where you're gonna go. And then after that, I'd be looking at things like hot water heaters, if your water heaters kind of old, and might be a year or two away from being needing to be replaced, I'd be looking at the hot water heaters, heat pump, water heaters are fantastic. And then the heat pump systems for your home for the H vac system would be the next place that'd be tackling. It's kind of like the way I'm looking at it. It's kind of like the return on investment. It's like, what's the biggest bang for your buck. And it's like, the more expensive the ticket of the item is the lower on my list. So it's like the cheapest stuff is the weatherization, the next most expensive item would be the heat pumps, which would be the next place to hit. And then the last place I'd be looking at it would be solar, and home batteries to home battery should be the last on the list. I'm a huge fan of solar, a massive fan of solar, I would still put it down the list because it is such a up front expensive system to put in place where the other ones are going to give you immediate benefit for a lot less money. 

Sean McMahon  21:47

Yeah, and you mentioned the upfront costs with solar. You know, a lot of businesses are being approached about community solar, you know about that? What's your what's your take on the benefits or the drawbacks of those kinds of programs.

Matt Ferrell  21:57

I'm actually a big fan of community solar projects, mainly because a lot of times somebody can't afford to put solar on their home, or they live in a multi family home, they have no control, they rent, they can't put solar on their house, what do they do they want to get solar, but they can't. And so for me community solar answers that question, because it puts some of the control in your hands of I want to get clean energy, I want to save a little money on my my bill. How do I do that? And community solar interest? That question, depending on this is one of those, this is the Wild West, it comes comes to solar, each project is handled differently. So you kind of have to be wary when you go in to understand are there early cancellation fees when you're going into it because that could be a potential con where you're, you're locked in for a certain number of years. And if you cancel early, there's some kind of like, you know, 500 bucks for early cancellation. So you want to make sure that there's no early cancellation fees that the rates that you're gonna get are competitive and are gonna save you money. But if you kind of do the basic due diligence, community solar is a fantastic option for I would say the majority of people, the United States,

Sean McMahon  23:03

You're obviously someone who's pretty tech savvy, specifically when it comes to all these energy efficiency things. So we've talked about a lot of things that exist now. Yeah. Are there any technologies out there on the horizon that you've read into there maybe being developed that really got you excited?

Matt Ferrell  23:15

Oh, yeah, I think once it's kind of the Home Energy front. Again, I don't know if you've ever heard of flow batteries, redox flow batteries. But they're typically batteries that are meant for grid scale storage, like when you we read news articles about flow batteries, it's typically like, Oh, they're building this massive flow battery installation in China, they're building one out in California somewhere. It's a very new technology, even for the grid. But it's a battery system that will last decades, and is going to be competitively priced. There's a company that's working on a model that will be built for homes, it's about the size of a refrigerator, it would give you gobs of energy storage, and it's a system that would last you 30 years. So it's like, here's a battery storage system that will last as long as the solar panels that you put on your roof. So if you're getting solar panels and one of these flow batteries, it's like it's like a lifetime system. So it's that's a technology that I'm really keeping my eye on. It's not on the market yet. But it's very, I've talked to one of the companies that's working on it, and they have a model ready to go. There's just some hurdles they have to get through. So it sounds like it's gonna be a system that will start to hit the market in the next two or three years.

Sean McMahon  24:23

That's great. So residential flow batteries, because a couple of months ago, we talked to Hugh McDermott from ESS and their main line of businesses is like you said, utility scale and kind of large, large commercial operations, but I'm gonna look into residential and the size of a refrigerator you say, power, my power my whole place.

Matt Ferrell  24:40

Yeah, I did not think that was going to be possible. And I talked to this company and they showed me what they were doing. I was like, oh my that's kind of a mind blowing thing. I did not know that was going to happen. That's the part that bothers me about batteries today's are too expensive, and they don't last long enough. But there are technologies on the way that are going to solve that problem. They'll be cheaper in the last few decades, which is what we need. Okay.

Sean McMahon  25:00

And now, you know, one of the things I'd like to do on this show is I asked guests for their bold predictions. We've already talked about those new technologies looking forward to but what are some of the new technologies you think will be commonplace in the next five to 10 years, you know, be it utility size that we're all kind of benefiting from or residential scale, where it's just individual folks can just one day go to their local, I don't know, Lowe's or Home Depot and bring it home.

Matt Ferrell  25:25

I think it's gonna be energy storage for homes, honestly, it's like, right now, it's too expensive. But there are so many systems coming on market that are modular, that will be DIY friendly, that you could go to your local Walmart and pick something up and just slap it in your garage next to your electric panel and hook it in. Those are coming that kind of plug and play. Affordable. Battery tech is going to become commonplace, along with what I think is like virtual power plant systems for the grid, where if every home has a battery in it, and the utility is able to tap into that mass group batteries and use them as like one giant battery, it's going to really, really kind of make the grid sing. And it's going to really kind of unlock a lot of possibility not just for us as homeowners, but for the community as well. For me, that's kind of what I think is the big thing that hopefully plays out over the next decade.

Sean McMahon  26:17

And one of the questions I want to ask you is about EV charging. So we're seeing we're seeing more and more EVs out on the road? Is that technology kind of just where it's going to be for the next five to 10 years? Or do you think there might be game changers coming along? in that market? It's a good question.

Matt Ferrell  26:32

I think it's kind of where it is, for the time being, there's kind of like a, the more kilowatts, you're pumping through that cable, the hotter that cable is going to get. And so it's like there's, it's only going to get so fast before at some point, it just melts itself. So it's like there's, I don't think there's like a huge game changing thing that's going to happen in the next five years. For that I just hope the infrastructure gets built out because right now it is, depending on if you have a Tesla, it's a pretty good experience. If you don't have a Tesla. It's kind of a crapshoot. So I'm really hoping that the infrastructure kind of matures over the next few years to make it kind of ubiquitous and easy to charge no matter what car you have.

Sean McMahon  27:11

Okay, Matt? Well, hey, thank you very much for your time. Today. It sounds like you're also helping a lot of homeowners out there separate the signal from the noise when it comes to building a more efficient home. So appreciate all your insights.

Matt Ferrell  27:20

I appreciate you having me on. It was a lot of fun.

Sean McMahon  27:25

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