Friday, February 9, 2018

Why is Renewable Energy Important?

Conserving energy is important to not only save homeowners money on energy expenses but also to protect the future of the environment. One way to conserve energy is to utilize renewable energy sources. This article is going to discuss the importance of renewable energy and what it means for our future.

First off, what is renewable energy? Renewable energy sources are those that are replenished constantly. Renewable energy is reliable and plentiful compared to non-renewable energy. Sources such as coal, natural gas, and oil are only obtained by costly explorations and possibly dangerous drilling. Furthermore, these sources will continue to become more expensive as supply decreases. However, renewable energy will become less expensive once the technology needed to access it improves.

Common types of renewable energy include:
  • Solar
  • Wind
  • Hydropower
  • Biofuels
  • Geothermal
  • Tidal
One of the biggest factors in the importance of renewable energy is that these sources produce neither greenhouse gases nor harmful emissions. Unlike non-renewable energy, renewable energy causes no harm to the planet. With this lower impact on the environment, the earth will be better off in the long run.

Because of the immense benefits renewable energy sources can offer, more and more people and agencies are investing in these sources. In fact, hydropower accounted for around 6% of total energy generation in the U.S. and 46% of electricity generation from all renewable energy in 2015. Along with it's reduced harm to the environment, renewable energy can offer other benefits as well.

Compared to non-renewable energy resources, renewable energy prices have slowly been decreasing. Because of this price reduction, the world has seen significant advances in ways to utilize renewable energy. More energy efficient equipment, better engineering designs, and technology have all been a major focus of implemented renewable energy.

Furthermore, renewable energy offers long-term certainty. Because renewable energy as a long lifespan and one solar or wind farm can last for around 30 years, this allows users to have time to further increase efficiency by the time the equipment is ready to be upgraded. Unlike non-renewable sources, renewable energy will continue to become more effective while becoming less expensive.

And lastly, renewable energy can offer security. Renewable energy can be utilized anywhere, anytime. This leaves endless possibilities for harnessing this energy. On the other hand, most gas and oil sources are found in certain regions. These areas can prove to be technically challenging and can be expensive to access.

Choosing to diversify the nation's energy supply and realizing the importance of renewable energy will allow for a secure energy future. It's important to have long-term, sustainable energy options in order to continue harvesting the amount of energy we need.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Do You Know the Uses of These 3 Renewable Energy Options?

All around the world people are utilizing renewable energy options in order to do their part in energy conservation. But how are these renewable energy sources actually used? This article is going to discuss a few of the most common uses of the most common renewable energy sources in use today.

Geothermal: Geothermal energy is derived from the heat of the earth. This heat can be sourced close to the surface or even from reservoirs of hot water miles beneath the surface. This energy is harvested on a large scale by geothermal power plants, which are becoming far more popular with each passing year. However, for smaller buildings, a geothermal heat pump may be used to heat the building and even help keep it cool using the earth's natural energy.

Geothermal energy is also being used to heat water at fish farms, aid with a variety of industrial processes, help to run greenhouses and grow plants, or simply heat commercial buildings and reduce energy use.

Ocean Power: The ocean is able to produce two types of sustainable energy, mechanical energy from the motion of the waves and thermal energy from the sun's heat. Systems that rely on warm water temperatures can easily convert ocean thermal energy into electricity. And ocean mechanical energy utilizes the tides caused by the rotation of the earth and gravity.

Unfortunately, use of ocean energy is limited by geography and regulatory guidelines. However, cold water from the ocean can be used to keep buildings cool and areas near the ocean can utilize the ocean energy for energy needs and power generation.

Hydrogen: Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe but does not actually occur naturally as a gas on earth. However, this element can be found in organic compounds and water. Additionally, hydrogen may also be produced under certain circumstances by some bacteria or algae. Fortunately, this element is high in energy but produces little pollution when burned. But until costs come down and the durability of using hydrogen improves, there will be little commercialization.

Hydrogen is commonly used to refine petroleum, produce fertilizer, treat metals, and process foods. It can also reduce energy costs when it powers marine vessels and remote buildings. Car companies are also experimenting with hydrogen fuel cells, which emit water vapor instead of harmful greenhouse gases, and the first U.S. hydrogen fueling stations are currently being tested in California.

Over half of renewable energy in the U.S. is used for producing electricity, and around 13% of all electricity generation in the U.S. came from renewable energy options in 2015. While this is certainly a great start, more and more people are trying to figure out ways to utilize more renewable energy options. Using renewable energy options can not only save people money on energy costs, but it's better for the planet too.

Friday, January 12, 2018

3 Reasons to Invest in Clean Energy

Did you know electricity is one of the main causes of air pollution in the U.S.? Much of the electricity in the U.S. is made from non-renewable sources like coal. On the other hand, more people are choosing to invest work with a utility company to in clean energy. Clean energy is pollution-free and produced from renewable energy sources. These sources are virtually inexhaustible and can include things like the sun, water, and wind. If you've been considering investing in clean energy but aren't quite sure, this article is going to discuss some of the undeniable benefits of clean energy.

Environmental Benefits

Clean energy doesn't emit harmful pollutants like carbon dioxide or sulfur dioxide. Because of that, the air, water, and soil aren't affected by these pollutants. Additionally, because clean energy is made from unlimited renewable resources, it doesn't damage the land like fossil-fuel extraction does. Furthermore, many forms of sustainable energy use little to no water and other natural resources, which in turn helps preserve the environment for future generations.

Health Benefits

All of those harmful pollutants that dirty energy emits can have a severe impact on public health. Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide can trigger asthma attacks and can increase the risk of respiratory infections. Additionally, particulate matter, also called soot, can be especially harmful to those who suffer from asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and heart disease. And furthermore, when mercury is ingested, it can cause permanent damage to the liver and central nervous system and has also been known to cause birth defects.

Economic Benefits

Overall, green energy is supporting a homegrown energy source, which in turn is helping to secure America's energy future. Additionally, clean energy is creating employment opportunities in the U.S. Whether it's working on implementing renewable energy in buildings or working for a utility company to help provide customers with green energy, more and more jobs are being created every day. It also helps bring development to rural areas because renewable facilities often choose these areas for the open space and resource potential.

The U.S. is slowly but surely making its way to going green. In fact, about 10% of energy consumption in 2015 was from renewable energy sources. However, you can do your part by investing in clean energy with your utility company and help create a greener future for everybody.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Light a Fire This Winter: Need to Know Info About Gas, Electric, and Wood Burning Stoves

The snow is falling now, it's cold outside, and while your electric suppliers are preparing for you to turn up the heat, few things are quite as cozy as cuddling up next to a fireplace. A good fire draws the mind back in time and is so delightful to be around when the weather outside is frightful. These days, we have a few options when it comes to adding the warmth and ambiance of fire to our homes.
Over 150 years ago, wood had fueled almost 90% of the country's needed energy. Now we have fireplaces that provide heat from a few different energies: wood, gas, and electricity. If you're keen on conserving energy this winter, let's take a peek at the different styles of keeping that living room toasty.

There's something comforting about the traditional nature of a wood burning stove. They've been effectively heating homes for thousands of years at this point and continue to today. A constant source of energy, they cannot be foiled by limitations in gas supply or power outages.
While the wood-fueled fireplace may be the most attractive option, you may not reduce energy costs without thoughtful care. Chimneys are culprits of heat escape during the winter and fireplaces often centralize heat instead of being able to circulate it through your home. There is also annual safety inspection that must be considered. A wood fireplace can be a liability if not adequately cared for.

The bill from your electric suppliers will likely be the lowest with this option. Gas is convenient and you'll save on energy costs by having the ability to redirect the heat from your gas stove to the rest of the house. If you're looking for ways to save energy in your home, gas fireplaces are a great choice. They work during power outages and there's little cleaning or maintenance to be done, other than inspection once a year.
As with wood-burning fireplaces, installation can be pricey. It can be even more pricey if your gas supplier has to install an additional gas line to connect to your fireplace. Even the price of natural gas, depending on how much the fireplace is used, can be cause for concern.

As far as immediate installation goes, electric fireplaces are the easiest to install and use, and they're also inexpensive. They don't require the space that wood-burning or gas fireplaces need and some are even portable, able to be plugged into power outlets. They're incredibly convenient.
They can be the least appealing as far as visual aesthetic. Most electric fireplaces look like you're watching a fire burn on television. They eat up electricity and don't heat beyond the room they're situated. If there's a power outage, electric fireplaces are completely useless.

At the end of the day, it's all about the space you have, the look you want, and what you're trying to save on. Each option has advantages and disadvantages, but while your electric suppliers are gearing up for you to run the furnace, remember an old fashioned heating option that'll warm you, hearth, home, and heart.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Its Never Too Early to Start Teaching Your Kids About Energy Conservation

When it comes to reducing energy use, you should try to include your whole family. While kids may not fully understand the importance of energy reduction, it's important to get them involved when they're young to ensure they grow up with an environmentally-friendly mindset. With that in mind, let's take a look at a few ways you can teach your children eco-friendly values.

Educate your kids. In order to help kids appreciate energy conservation, they have to understand it first. By having a discussion with your child about energy, you'll be able to help them understand where energy and electricity come from. You should consider telling them about your local energy company and explaining how energy is received from the local energy company. Additionally, there are online resources and books to help explain the concept in a fun, easy way.

Plan activities that don't use electricity. Consider dedicating a certain time, whether it be an hour a day or a whole day out of the week, to do activities that don't use electricity or energy. Exploring outdoors is a great way to do this because oftentimes you don't require energy to do stuff outside. Planning these activities can be a great way to bring the whole family together without sitting in front of a screen.

Use energy-efficient transportation. When possible, you should encourage your family to be creative when it comes to transportation. It's important for kids to know that there are other modes of transportation that will help you reduce energy use. With that in mind, you should consider biking or walking when possible.

Keep your children involved. If you're making lifestyle changes to help increase energy savings, share these behaviors with the whole family. Whether it's taking shorter showers or ensuring all the lights are off when you leave a room, the whole family should be participating. Additionally, if you're doing projects around the house, make sure to include your children. By explaining to them what you're working on and how it's going to help you save energy, you'll be helping them further understand the importance of saving energy.

Start a garden together in the early Spring. Not only do gardens naturally help the environment, but they can also instill a sense of responsibility in your children. Additionally, they'll be able to learn about different types of plants and natural resources. You can choose to grow produce, flowers, or even plant some trees. In fact, trees are a great addition to your property. When trees provide shade, reductions in energy use can save up to 2.4 tons of CO2 emissions annually. Also, each tree can absorb about 25 pounds of CO2 from the air each year on their own.

No matter what age your child is, it's never too early to start teaching them how to save energy and minimize their impact on the environment. Whether it's talking to them about your local energy company or growing plants, there are plenty of ways to educate your children about the importance of reducing energy use.

Monday, December 4, 2017

A Few Renewable Energy Options to Consider for Your Home

There's been a lot of talk lately about green energy and renewable energy options. While most of it may seem out of reach, the truth is that there are renewable energy options for every home.
Have you ever considered making your home a more sustainable, clean place to live? The renewable energy sources below will take you to a level far beyond installing a programmable thermostat and saving a mere 10% on cooling and heating costs.

Solar Roofing Panels
This might be one of the most obvious choices, but its benefits are practically endless. It's worth mentioning as one of the most easily accessible renewable energy sources out there, too! Depending on your roof and the orientation of your panels, it's possible to generate more than 10 watts per square foot of coverage. And solar power doesn't just mean electricity, either. In fact, you have the option of using solar power for household things like heating water and powering your air conditioning, as well. Bid your traditional electricity supplier goodbye!

Wind Turbines
Wind turbines are most typically found offshore or on large, empty plots of land, but nobody said you had to have a mammoth wind turbine in your backyard. In fact, any wind turbine powering your home would need to be scaled down to fit on your property. One of the biggest advantages here is that wind power is a bit more reliable than solar power in most cases. Where the sun may hide behind a cloud, it's a rare day that's without a good breeze.

Hydro Power
If your property houses a stream or any kind of running water, you're in luck. It may not be Niagara Falls, but a micro hydro power system can make powering your home an environmentally friendly breeze. Even a small stream can help you generate power at a price point that's lower than both solar and wind.

If you're looking to get involved in a cleaner, greener lifestyle, these renewable energy sources are excellent places to start. Who knows what other renewable energy tools may become available in the future? It's best to get started now.

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.