Tuesday, November 21, 2017

5 Energy Conservation Tips For Homeowners


Life can be extremely expensive, and that's especially true for homeowners. Not only do these property owners have to stay on top of their home's maintenance, buy enough groceries for their entire family, and make regular car payments, they have to spend a significant amount of money on energy.

With all of that in mind, here are some excellent energy conservation tips that you should consider if you're a homeowner.

Do laundry using cold water

It might sound simple, but that's because it is! Doing your wash with cold water will actually save you plenty of cash. Washing clothes using only cold water can actually save you about $63 a year.


Clean your HVAC filters regularly

Cleaning your heating and cooling systems on a consistent basis will ensure they are working properly, thus saving you money. A dirty AC filter or furnace will slow down air flow and cause the system to work much harder, subsequently jacking up your energy bills.


Seal all air leaks inside your home

Sealing all your air leaks inside your home by properly insulating the walls and attic can actually save you up to 20% on heating bills. Not only will you be saving a tremendous amount of cash every month by not wasting energy, but your home will also be much warmer and you'll be more comfortable.


Consult with an energy company

A great tip for conserving energy that homeowners rarely think about is to actually call an energy company and see what they have to say.  It's important that you're actually working with a credible, experienced, and helpful organization.  If the company is experienced, they will likely offer energy options to try and reduce your energy usage and potentially your costs.  Rather than doing everything by yourself, stay in contact with your trusted energy company.


Turn on bathroom fans

It might sound like it won't make much of a difference, but it really will. Leaving your home's bathroom fans on for a few hours at a time can help improve comfort and save a few bucks. Bathroom fans actually suck out humidity and heat from your home, leading to a more comfortable home.

Saving energy can help lead to saving money -- so you should do all you can to make your home more energy efficient. To learn more, contact Starion Energy today.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

5 U.S. Cities That Run on 100% Renewable Energy


Cities across the United States are more committed than ever to their roles in reducing carbon emissions. Luckily, it's becoming easier and more affordable for cities to clean their air by using renewable energy. And because of this, five U.S. cities have successfully made the switch to 100% renewable energy over the past decade. Since "100% renewable" may be defined differently in each location, each location made the transition differently. The following five cities have undergone the process to become reliant on 100% renewable energy.


  1. Rock Port, Missouri - Rock Port became the first community in America to become powered entirely by wind power in 2008. The 1,300 residents rely on four large wind turbines, which are connected to the power grid. This small town produces more electricity than they can use.
  2. Kodiak Island, Alaska - Kodiak Island has been 99% powered by wind and hydro since 2014. The island's electric company decided that 95% of the community's power would rely on renewable energy sources by 2020 after relying heavily on hydro but still burning 2.8 million gallons of diesel every year. Kodiak not only met its goal but succeeded in meeting its target six years early.
  3. Greensburg, Kansas - After a tornado forced half the town's population to leave in 2007, the remaining citizens decided to rebuild with a focus on sustainability. Using wind and solar power along with geothermal technologies, Greensburg achieved 100% renewable energy in 2013. Although cost was initially a major setback, the town now saves $200,000 annually in energy costs for its largest buildings.
  4. Aspen, Colorado - In 2015, Aspen hit its goal using mainly wind and hydropower. While it was a struggle, the city accomplished their goal in a short eight years. The city already had two hydro plants and decided to buy wind power from other states to reach 100% renewable energy.
  5. Burlington, Vermont - After buying a hydro plant facility in 2014, Burlington reach 100% renewable energy. Even though it once relied heavily on coal, Burlington is now powered by wood chips, wind, solar, landfill methane, and hydropower.

Energy Conservation Tips to Help You Go Green

While it may seem impossible, you as a homeowner can go green too! Something as simple as changing your light bulbs to CFLs or LEDs, which reduce energy use from about a third to as much as 80%, can be a great place to begin. Check out these few energy conservation tips to help you get started:
  • Change furnace filters regularly
  • Use a programmable thermostat
  • Seal leaks around windows and doors
  • Use a tankless water heater
While this might not seem like a lot, following these simple energy conservation tips can make a huge difference in the long run and get you started on your green energy journey.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Apartment Renter? No Problem! Here's How You Can Still Go Green

It may seem impossible to save energy when you're living in a rental apartment. After all, you only have so much control over what you can do in your space. This is often why topics on saving energy and reducing utility bills are often directed at homeowners.

Fortunately, there are ways that you can reduce your electric bill and save energy as a renter too. Check out these nifty tips on how to save energy in your apartment:


Use LED light bulbs around your apartment. LED lights may be more expensive initially, but you'll thank your past self for making the decision to purchase a box.

LED lights last significantly longer than halogen lights and don't give off as much heat. Not only does this reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses let out into the air, but it also reduces the risk of fire in your home.

Purchase a power strip.
Power strips are a great way to save energy in your apartment. By plugging most of your electronics into one place, you can turn them all off at once when you're not using them.
This can help to reduce carbon emissions as well as reducing your electricity bill. By turning off your unused electronics in one spot, you keep them from sucking energy from the wall when they're not in use.

Use fans.
A lot of an apartment's electricity goes to the HVAC system during the summer and winter months. By placing a fan in your apartment, you can keep your air conditioning or heating at a lower temperature and circulate the air with the fan.

Invest in a programmable thermostat.
If you live in an apartment where you can install your own thermostat, consider investing in a programmable thermostat. You can reduce up to 6% of the carbon dioxide emissions from your home by lowering your thermostat only two degrees during the winter. You can also keep the heating or air conditioning off while you're away from your apartment to reduce energy use even more.

Going green isn't just something homeowners can do; you can save energy in your apartment too! By making simple changes around your home, you can make your utility smaller and reduce the impact you have on the environment around you. Contact Starion Energy today with questions or energy options.

Monday, October 30, 2017

GM Increasing Use of Renewable Energy to 20%

General Motors made a recent announcement that its manufacturing facilities in Ohio and Indiana will now use 100% renewable energy. GM is purchasing 200 megawatts of wind energy and by the end of 2018, 20% of GM's global electricity use will be powered by renewable energy.

Rob Threlkeld, global manager of renewable energy, told Energy Manager Today, "The first step in meeting our 100 percent renewable energy commitment is reducing the energy intensity of our operations overall. All seven facilities that will have their electricity needs met through this wind deal have achieved the ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry, meaning they reduced energy intensity by at least 10% in five years or less."

GM has been one of America's biggest purchasers of renewable energy for decades. The company has saved approximately $5 million annually in doing so. They use solar power at 26 facilities and are continuously working towards using 100% renewable energy at all of their facilities.

Easy Ways to Save Energy At Home

There are multiple easy ways to save energy at home and contribute to the planet becoming more environmentally-friendly. If you don't know where to begin, read the list below to get some ideas on how to start saving energy.

Reduce, reuse, and recycle -- purchase minimally packaged goods, choose reusable products when possible, and recycle, recycle, recycle.

Insulate your walls and ceilings and update your windows. While this might be one of the more expensive ways to save energy in your home, it will pay off in the long run when you have to spend less on heating and cooling. You can also consider installing a programmable thermostat to save up to 10% on your cooling and heating costs.

Replace and clean your air filters. Energy costs can go up when air conditioners or hot-air furnaces have to work harder to get air through dirty air filters. Simply cleaning your air filters can save up to 175 pounds of CO2 each year.

Switch out your light bulbs with energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs. These bulbs use one-fourth the energy of a normal incandescent bulb.

Make sure your dishwasher and washer are always full before running them to avoid wasting water.
If possible, walk, carpool, or ride your bike instead of driving your car. In doing this, you will reduce your carbon footprint.

There are many easy ways to save energy at home, and these are a few good places to start. Over time, it will become easier for you to go green and hopefully, the rest of the planet will join you.

Source: https://www.energymanagertoday.com/gm-power-20-global-electricity-load-clean-energy-0172057/

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Who's in Charge of Energy Regulations in the U.S.?


Regulating the energy industry in America is not done by just one regulatory organization, but rather many different organizations that each focus on something specific. These organizations can either be created by federal law or be part of government agencies and provide varying levels of energy regulations. This article provides a brief introduction to the companies that oversee the energy regulations in the U.S. energy industry.

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)

DOE was created in 1977 and has the broadest responsibilities in the energy regulations of power generation and electric suppliers and distribution at the federal level.

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)

The NRC was created by Congress in 1974. After the passing of the Energy Reorganization Act, NCR was to oversee the growing nuclear energy industry. The commission is led by five commissioners selected by the U.S. Senate and is in charge of regulating the creation of nuclear energy, as well as the use of nuclear materials. In addition to inspecting and licensing nuclear power plants and reactors, the commission also has the responsibility of regulating uranium mining and nuclear waste.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

After the Federal Power Act of 1920, FERC was created. This organization oversees the electricity, oil, and natural gas industries. Some additional responsibilities include:
  • Reviewing electricity project proposals
  • Inspecting public and private sector electricity plants
  • Providing licenses for electricity plants
  • Regulating interstate wholesale electricity agreements
  • Monitoring the electricity markets
  • Enforcing regulations

Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE)

Surface coal and related environmental affairs are regulated by the OSMRE. In 1977, the Surface Control and Mining Act created the bureau. A prime duty of OSMRE includes working with Americans to confirm land and water quality after a mining project has been completed.

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Founded more than 100 years ago, NIST promotes scientific innovation within areas including:
  • Nanotechnology
  • Computer Chips
  • Energy Production

Research is sponsored by the institute and it also recognizes achievements in areas it supports. It also focuses on sustainable energy development. Renewable energy sources are becoming increasingly available. In fact, about 10% of U.S. energy consumption was from renewable energy sources in 2015.

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)

With offices in California, Alaska, and Louisiana, BOEM's main focus is environmental protection. The agency's responsibilities include management of oil and gas leases, environmental reviews, as well as additional renewable energy projects.
Another key responsibility is managing marine energy exploration and mining in Alaska, the Pacific regions, and the Gulf of Mexico.

All of these organizations work together in ensuring that all organizations in the United States are following regulations and working towards keeping the country productive yet safe.

Monday, October 9, 2017

3 Energy Saving Tips To Prepare You for Fall


Fall and winter might bring their own wonders like foliage, snowfall, pumpkin spice, and peppermint, but they can be killer when it comes to your energy bill. In this post, we will discuss how to prepare yourself for the coming cold of winter and provide some handy energy conservation tips.

Switch Your Light Bulbs
You've likely already noticed the days are getting shorter. While we're still a ways from the shortest day of the year, it won't be long before the decreasing amount of sunlight will have an effect on your utility provider bill. One of the easiest energy conservation tips is to consider replacing your old light bulbs with more energy efficient offerings. Today's halogen incandescent, LED, CFL lights can save you between a third and 80% of your energy usage.

Check for Leaks in Heating Vents
While a lot has been said about the importance of improving the insulation in your home (especially the attic), people are surprisingly silent about one of the largest contributors to heat loss, and therefore energy waste. Take the time to have your metal heating vents checked for any leaks and remember, metal constricts when it is cold, so a venting system that's sound in summer might have sprung a leak by the time October or November rolls around. It could save you as much as 20% with your energy company.

Set Your Thermostat Modestly
What feels better than stepping in for a chilly autumn evening and being enveloped in the warm air of your home. But if you're interested in saving on your electricity or concerned with your environmental impact, then you might want to reconsider your thermostat setting. Even setting your thermostat two degrees lower during the winter can save the typical homeowner 420 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions each year. It can also have a big impact on the total cost of your electricity bill. So stock up in advance on cozy sweaters and blanket in order to help you keep warm without using as much energy, or consider a small solar powered space heater to help maximize the amount of heat you take in from the sun during the day.
Fall and winter can be killer if you're someone who cares about reducing energy use. But with these energy conservation tips, you'll be able to start preparing for the cooler half of the year.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Follow These Tips to Conserve Energy at Your School Today


Every day, we are looking for more ways to save energy to help our environment. We turn off lights when we're not in the room, shut off faucets when we don't need water, and recycle things for various uses so they don't go to waste in landfills. About 10% of the total energy consumption in the U.S. was from renewable energy in 2015. That may seem acceptable, but there is definitely room for improvement. So, if you are a teacher or school administrator, follow these tips to help conserve energy in your school today.
Electricity

The most obvious thing you can do when it comes to electricity conservation is to turn off all lights when they're not in use. To remind your students to turn off the lights, try hanging up little signs next to light switches. Use energy efficient or LED bulbs instead of the traditional bulbs. Run lessons and experiments on energy conservation in your classroom, so your kids can understand it better. The more they understand its importance, the more serious they'll take turning off the lights.
Heating and Cooling

Set your thermostat to a reasonable temperature to ensure a level of comfort for both teachers and students. Fans can also help cool a room down. This way, you are saving energy by not relying on air conditioning. Programmable thermostats can also help you keep track of a temperature in a room.
Tech and Computers

Assure your computers are able to go into sleep mode when not in use. Doing this makes saving energy a lot easier. Have students turn off monitors if the computers are not going to be used again for a while. Always check to be sure all the computers are off at the end of the school day. Computers take up a lot of energy, so cutting down any way you can is good.
Schools are a powerhouse of energy usage, from lights to heating to the various tools of the trade used to teach a child. It can be difficult sometimes to figure out how to reduce energy costs, but providing a good, quality education to kids is an excellent way to start.