Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Hawaii College on Track to Run Completely on 100% Renewable Energy by 2035

Three years ago, Hawaii pledged to use renewable energy sources to generate all of its electricity by 2045. While the whole state is working towards this goal, the University of Hawaii (UH) is stepping up to do its part. Working with the Hawaiian Legislature, UH set a goal for the university to be "net-zero" by January 1, 2035. "Net-zero" means the total amount of energy that is consumed by the university will equal the amount of energy it creates.

University officials announced that UH's Maui College is set to be the first U.S. college campus to use solar systems to completely make the switch from fossil fuels. The university hopes the system will be up and running by 2019 and will consist of 2.8 megawatts of solar PV.

"We are proud to move the entire University of Hawaii System closer to its net-zero energy mandate, to celebrate UH Maui College's achievement and to position the Oahu community college campuses within reach of 100 percent renewable energy generation," said UH Vice President for Community Colleges John Morton.

Leeward Community College, Honolulu Community College, Kapiolani Community College, and Windward Community College are not far behind the Maui campus and are planning to see reductions of fossil fuel use by at least 70%.

This sustainable energy project is not only saving the state energy and money, but providing educational options for these college students as well.

How Can You Start Saving Energy?

When you see the bill you get from your electricity company, you may be wondering how you can reduce your energy use at home. Let's discuss a few energy saving tips you can try.

Change your lightbulbs: Homeowners can reduce their energy use by up to 80% simply by utilizing today's energy-efficient LED, CFL, and halogen incandescent light bulbs. If you're still using traditional light bulbs in your house, now is the time to make the switch. Your electricity company may even have some suggestions for which light bulbs would be best.

Install new windows and doors. The windows and doors in your house might not be doing their job as well as you may think. Hot and cool air both escape through inefficient windows and doors, costing homeowners money on bloated HVAC bills. By choosing energy efficient models that stop air leaks, you can ensure your home stays comfortable without racking up your energy bill. 

While it may not seem like these little things make a difference, they really do! In today's society, every little bit of energy reduction helps -- so do what you can to reduce your energy use at home.

Friday, April 13, 2018

How Are Big Businesses Contributing to the Renewable Energy Movement

Renewable energy has been a major topic of discussion over the past few years. From individual homeowners to giant corporations, more and more people are going green when it comes to getting electrical power. In fact, over half of U.S. renewable power sources are used for producing electricity, with about 13% of U.S. electricity being geneinrated from renewable sources in 2015 alone. But are big companies continuing to go green this year?
Despite the U.S. government seemingly going in the opposite direction, big companies are, in fact, investing more in sustainable sources of energy. In 2017, we saw a lot of companies head in the renewable direction, including Starbucks, General Motors, General Mills, and Target.
According to Kevin Haley, marketing manager at the Rocky Mountain Institute's' Business Renewable Center, "an increasing number of non-utility buyers ... believe they need to be part of the sustainability solution." Haley added that the decreasing prices of these renewable sources are sure to be a motivating factor as well.
Already this year, renewable energy deals are expected to surpass the 2.78 gigawatts worth of power last year's deals saw. Between 2008 and 2013, there were only four big companies that signed deals for renewable power sources. But between 2013 and 2018, 51 more companies jumped on the green train.
These companies recognize that climate change is a problem and that there is a relatively easy way they can help reduce their impact on the environment.

Benefits of Using Renewable Energy Options

So why exactly are people making the shift towards more sustainable options? For starters, these renewable sources produce little to no harmful emissions. Nonrenewable sources, like coal, produce harmful amounts of CO2 and are continuing to contribute to global warming. But by making the switch to sustainable choices, people can significantly reduce their CO2 emissions.
Additionally, these harmful emissions provided by non sustainable sources are impacting public health. The pollution emitted by coal and other energy sources has been linked to health issues like breathing problems, cancer, and heart attacks. Deciding to use wind, solar, or hydroelectric power doesn't have this same negative effect on public health.
With the numerous benefits sustainable energy sources can offer, like less harmful emissions and lower costs, there's no reason for people to not make the switch. These sustainable sources can constantly replenish energy sources and help the environment in the process.

Monday, April 2, 2018

T-Mobile is Making the Switch to Renewable Energy

T-Mobile has announced their pledge to use 100% renewable energy by 2021. By using their new wind farm in Kansas and other renewable energy sources, the company is committed to increasing renewable energy use.

Additionally, the mobile carrier is joining RE100, which is a group of over 100 global companies who are all dedicated to reducing energy use and instead utilizing renewable energy sources.


“It’s the Un-carrier way to do the right thing by our customers, and moving to renewable energy is just a natural part of that,” CEO John Legere said in a statement.


Legere also explained that the mobile carrier expects to reduce energy costs by about $100 million over the next 15 years by making the switch to green energy.


The company's first wind farm started being used in December and a second 160-megawatt contract with Infinity Renewables' Solomon Forks Wind Project is expected to be running in 2019. These two wind farms will fulfill 60% of the company's electricity needs. The remaining energy will be bought from early-stage wind projects rather than nonrenewable energy companies.


Why Should People Invest in Renewable Energy?

T-Mobile is one of many companies who is making the switch to renewable energy. It's big brand names like T-Mobile who are showing the good in using renewable energy. Unfortunately, many people don't believe in the harm nonrenewable energy is causing to the planet. But for those who do understand the impact our choices have on the planet and want to do something to help, let's talk about a few reasons everyone should make the switch to renewable energy.


For starters, using renewable energy significantly reduces energy costs. Nonrenewable energy types, like fossil fuels, are finite resources. So as they supply goes down, prices continue to increase. Luckily, renewable resources will never deplete. Because of this, as technology continues to be developed to harvest renewable sources, the cost to use them will keep going down.


Along with lower energy costs, renewable energy sources cause no harm to the planet. Energy companies and businesses that continue to use non-renewable sources are contributing to pollution and emissions of other harmful substances. This is leading to climate change and lower quality air. That alone is a vital reason to make the switch.


While not every single person is going to be able to fully utilize renewable energy, every small step helps. You can even start by insulating your home, which can save up to 30% of your heating costs and reduce CO2 emissions by up to 2100 pounds each year. So consider talking to your energy companies about using green energy and making small changes around your house to be more energy-efficient.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

3 Renewable Energy Trends to Look for in 2018

In recent years, more and more people have begun to realize the importance of sustainable energy options. Continuing to use non-renewable energy sources is not only bad for the planet, but it's bad for the economy as well. It's because of this that each year there is an increase in innovations regarding sustainable energy sources. Big companies, and even entire countries, are taking action and doing their part in conserving energy by making the switch to green energy sources. Experts believe 2018 will be no exception. With that in mind, let's discuss a few renewable energy trends we can expect to see this year.


Decreasing renewable energy costs. While prices for nonrenewable energy sources continue to rise as supply continues to dwindle down, prices for sustainable energy options will continue to fall. Because more people are beginning to invest in renewable energy options, the technology needed to harvest these resources is adapting and becoming more efficient. Experts believe country-level auctions for renewable capacity will help prices for solar and wind energy decrease.


Popularization of wind plus storage. Solar plus storage has been popularized by big companies as well as homeowners due to the benefits it can offer. Now, experts believe utility-scale wind plus storage is beginning to follow the solar plus storage trend. Renewable energy developers around the world are starting projects that implement batteries with wind power projects. Operators of wind farms are continuing to look for ways to make their projects last longer and be more efficient in time and cost.


Efficient waste management. Worldwide, waste management continues to be a significant problem. Because of this, many governments are turning to waste-to-energy facilities to help control landfill expansion. However, there is still a lot of progress to be made when it comes to putting waste-to-energy policies in place. This is why 2018 is expected to see an increase in the number of new project announcements and integration of policies.


Over 150 years ago, 90% of the nation's energy needs were supplied by wood. While this is no longer the case, there is still a lot of progress to be made when it comes to utilizing sustainable energy options. Fortunately, many countries around the world are actively making changes to the resources they use, saving money, time, and the planet in the process.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Hawaii College on Track to Run Completely on 100% Renewable Energy by 2035

Three years ago, Hawaii pledged to use renewable energy sources to generate all of its electricity by 2045. While the whole state is working towards this goal, the University of Hawaii (UH) is stepping up to do its part. Working with the Hawaiian Legislature, UH set a goal for the university to be "net-zero" by January 1, 2035. "Net-zero" means the total amount of energy that is consumed by the university will equal the amount of energy it creates.

University officials announced that UH's Maui College is set to be the first U.S. college campus to use solar systems to completely make the switch from fossil fuels. The university hopes the system will be up and running by 2019 and will consist of 2.8 megawatts of solar PV.

"We are proud to move the entire University of Hawaii System closer to its net-zero energy mandate, to celebrate UH Maui College's achievement and to position the Oahu community college campuses within reach of 100 percent renewable energy generation," said UH Vice President for Community Colleges John Morton.

Leeward Community College, Honolulu Community College, Kapiolani Community College, and Windward Community College are not far behind the Maui campus and are planning to see reductions of fossil fuel use by at least 70%.

This sustainable energy project is not only saving the state energy and money, but providing educational options for these college students as well.

How Can You Start Saving Energy?

When you see the bill you get from your electricity company, you may be wondering how you can reduce your energy use at home. Let's discuss a few energy saving tips you can try.

Change your lightbulbs: Homeowners can reduce their energy use by up to 80% simply by utilizing today's energy-efficient LED, CFL, and halogen incandescent light bulbs. If you're still using traditional light bulbs in your house, now is the time to make the switch. Your electricity company may even have some suggestions for which light bulbs would be best.

Install new windows and doors. The windows and doors in your house might not be doing their job as well as you may think. Hot and cool air both escape through inefficient windows and doors, costing homeowners money on bloated HVAC bills. By choosing energy efficient models that stop air leaks, you can ensure your home stays comfortable without racking up your energy bill. 

While it may not seem like these little things make a difference, they really do! In today's society, every little bit of energy reduction helps -- so do what you can to reduce your energy use at home.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Start Your Spring Cleaning with These Energy Saving Tips


With Groundhog Day behind us and winter (hopefully) coming to a close soon, it's time to start looking forward to warm breezes and spring cleaning. But that also means ditching your energy-consuming winter habits! Say goodbye to your heated blankets and hello to a brighter, cleaner, energy-saving spring.
Not sure where to begin? Here are a few tips on how to reduce energy use this coming season.

Adjust Your Water Heater

When spring rolls around, so does warmer weather. While you may lament not being able to soak in a steamy shower every morning, rising outdoor temperatures are certainly worth knocking a few degrees off of your daily cleaning rituals. Rather than doing this manually every time you hop in the shower, consider lowering your water heater's temperature by a few degrees. If you perform this action as it gets warmer outside, you could be saving your water heater some work and saving yourself a little bit of summer vacation money.

Let the Breeze Work for You

Green energy might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about spring cleaning, but it may be simpler than you think. After all, have you ever performed spring cleaning without airing out your house? When you turn off the heat and open the windows, you're letting the breeze take care of circulating air and maintaining the temperature in your home. It's nature's very own air conditioning!

Update Your Thermostat

Of all the easy ways to save energy, this is probably the most common. A programmable thermostat can actually save up to 10% of annual cooling and heating costs! With that in mind, it's not hard to see why this is one of the most popular ways to rack up energy savings. Instead of lugging your window units in and out every spring and fall, a centralized AC system with a programmable thermostat can make shifting between seasons as easy as pressing a button.

If you're wondering how to reduce energy use this spring, look no further than these three tips. For more information on how to help reduce your energy use at home, contact Starion Energy today.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Study Suggests U.S. Could Run Almost Entirely on Renewable Energy By 2050

The U.S. is slowly but surely making efforts to implement renewable energy nation-wide. Now, a new study has found that it may be possible for the U.S. to run almost entirely on renewable energy by the year 2050.

The Renewable Electricity Futures Study found that with current technology, an 80% renewables future is possible. The technology that could make this happen consists of wind turbines, solar power, biopower, geothermal, and hydropower.

Many areas in the United States are already investing time and money in renewable energy, which is further showing the positive impact of these energy efforts. In fact, 75 million barrels of oil are saved each year by people and businesses that use solar energy.

Researchers made sure to include results that detailed how potential for renewable energy sources would vary by region. For example, some areas in the country have substantial wind resources, while others have more solar potential. To show these results, interactive visuals were created.

The study looked at 134 regions across the country on an hourly basis. It was assessed by 140 peer reviewers and used state-of-the-art modeling to gather the data. The final report includes assessments of costs, challenges, and opportunities for the individual renewable energy technology.

By using renewable energy, the U.S. will be providing benefits for the climate, public health, and the economy. Not only does it drastically reduce global warming emissions and increase jobs, it can also reduce the necessary water amounts for power production compared to fossil-fueled power plants.

This Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) study clearly shows that while an 80% renewables future is possible, it can only be achieved with the right policies in place.

What can you do to help?

With a little effort and by working alongside your local energy supplier, you can help contribute to this sustainable future. One thing you can do is look into easy ways to save energy in your home. This can be as simple as investing in a programmable thermostat, cleaning your furnace filters, and even talking to your local energy supplier about what kind of technologies they were using to supply energy to your area.

More and more energy providers are investing in renewable energy, saving themselves and their clients money. Because of this, it's important to fully understand what technologies are being used to generate your energy. With time, patience, and commitment, we could be on our way to a more sustainable future.