Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Easy and Inexpensive Ways to Create a Sustainable Home

While there are plenty of ways to save energy in your home, going green can actually be more expensive. Buying green cleaning products and investing in energy saving initiates can sometimes turn people off because of their prices, despite being an investment into the home's energy costs down the line.

However, there are plenty of ways to save on energy costs in your home. Follow some of these tips and tricks and your wallet will thank you!

Make sure to turn off all electronics when you are done using them. Even if they are turned off they can still be sucking energy from your home, so simply turn them all the way off when you're done. This includes your computer, your television, and your microwave.

Install a programmable thermostat. Doing so will save you up to 10% on cooling and heating costs as you'll be able to plan exactly when your home will use its energy efficiently.
Ditch your newspaper and magazine subscriptions -- you'll be able to read them online for a similar price but save loads of paper in the process.
Get rid of your paper towels and invest in cloth. It may take some time getting used to, but you'll be shocked at the amount of paper you use every day that just goes into the trash!
Time your showers. Play your favorite song and see if you can get in and out by the time it is done.
Buy a lunch box instead of using plastic bags every day. Not only will you reduce your plastic consumption, you'll be inspired to pack your lunch every day because of your nice new bag.
Contact your utility provider as they may have some sustainable energy options for you to try out including solar, wind, and geothermal.
Put a recycling bin on every level of your home so there is no excuse for your family not to recycle.
Pay all of your bills online. Less paper equals less energy used overall -- and direct deposit means you won't have to worry about a thing!

These simple tips and tricks will go far when it comes to investing in taking care of Mother Nature.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

There are 9.8 Million Green Jobs Around the World


9.8 million people were employed by the renewable energy industry during 2016 according to the Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review 2017 report issued by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

But not all types of renewable energy are growing at the same rate. Roughly 1.5 million sustainable energy jobs are in large hydropower plants, which did not see any significant growth over the last year. Instead, other renewable energy sources such as solar (3.1 million jobs) and wind (1.2 million jobs) grew considerably – doubling the number of jobs from four years ago.

The largest creation of these jobs was in Asia -- China saw a 3.4% improvement alone, now employing 3.64 million people. Africa also made great strides forward, with small scale developments proving particularly useful in helping to develop sustainable energy in regions that have never had the infrastructure for a utility provider before.
Domestically, the explosion is even more dramatic. Solar-energy jobs in the United States are growing faster than the United States economy.

According to another new report, published by the Environmental Defense Fund's (EDF) Climate Corps program, wind turbine technician is the fastest growing job in the country.
The same EDF report has fossil-fuel jobs in 2016 decreased 4.5% from 2015, as more and more people opt for green sources of energy. Solar energy use, for instance, replaces 75 million barrels of oil annually.

The two predominant causes of this surge are the increased affordability and a greater effort to create policies that removed barriers for green energy across the globe. The cost of producing solar panels, for instance, dropped 72% from 2010 to 2015. This has enabled a much higher amount of energy generated by solar means, growing from 876 megawatts in 2010 to 10,727.
One of the more interesting figures to come out of these surveys is that 70% green energy jobs are with companies that employ 10 or fewer people. The implication is that most energy efficiency companies tend to serve a more local client base.

But whether or not customers have access to greener technology is still largely determined by whether or not they live in one of the deregulated energy states. Those that do have a much broader choice of where they get their energy, and what types of renewable energy they would like to utilize. If they don't live in a state with energy deregulation, they likely have many fewer choices.
Still, it looks like all types of renewable energy jobs will continue to grow in the United States, with solar power being poised for the most growth.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Consumers Fare Better With Competitive Electricity Markets

Policymakers across the country are grappling with a stunning transition under way in the United States’ $380 billion electricity sector. Electricity consumption is flat, cleaner energy sources are dramatically increasing market share while nuclear and fossil fuel generation plants struggle to maintain economic viability, and new consumer-empowering technology innovations promise to transform how households and businesses use energy.

The U.S. electricity sector hasn’t seen such foment since 20 years ago, when state and federal policymakers began to introduce competitive reforms to the staid monopoly-regulated electric utility industry. While the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission acted to establish the wholesale power markets that now dominate most of the country, many states acted to open up retail markets so that for the first time in more than a century electricity consumers could choose from among competing suppliers.

Indeed, until California’s well-intentioned but poorly conceived first-in-the-nation experience with electricity competition, it appeared that a majority of states across the country would restructure their electricity markets to enable competition. But after California, some states poised to enact restructuring declined to do so, and others that had adopted competitive reforms reversed course.

Nevertheless, slightly more than a dozen states and the District of Columbia, which account for one-third of all electricity generation and consumption in the country, persisted with the task. They learned from California’s mistakes and created vibrant retail competition programs that have grown and prospered over the past 20 years, benefiting consumers with abundant choices among increasingly innovative, clean and cost-competitive electricity product and service offerings.

So for two decades we’ve had what U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis described as laboratories of democracy at work, with one set of states preserving monopoly utility regulation while another set pursued competition and customer choice.

And as shown in a new white paper commissioned by the Retail Energy Supply Association, entitled “RESTRUCTURING RECHARGED — The Superior Performance of Competitive Electricity Markets 2008-2016,” the verdict is in: Consumers with competitive choice are disproportionately benefiting. Using U.S. Energy Information Administration data, the white paper by Philip R. O’Connor, Ph.D., former chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission, found that competitive choice jurisdiction customers fared demonstrably better in terms of price, investment and efficiency than did those who remained under monopoly regulation.

Weighted average prices in the group of 35 monopoly states have risen nearly 15 percent while in the 14 competitive markets total weighted average prices have declined 8 percent. Inflation-adjusted price changes for major customer classes in choice and monopoly states are starkly different, declining 18 percent for customers in competitive jurisdictions compared to the experience in monopoly states.

It is no surprise then that relatively sophisticated commercial and industrial electricity customers have widely embraced competition, and we’ve a seen a majority of customers in those classes benefit by purchasing electricity from non-utility suppliers in competitive choice states, particularly as competition enables access to cleaner energy supply options. But residential customers are increasingly benefiting from the competitive marketplace too.

Between 2003 and 2008, the number of residential accounts served in competitive jurisdictions by non-utility providers more than tripled from about 2.3 million to 7.1 million, and more than doubled again since to average more than 16.4 million annually. For jobs-producing commercial and industrial customers, between 2003 and 2008 those served by non-utility suppliers grew 240 percent, from 436,000 to nearly 1.6 million. Since then we’ve seen a near doubling again with competitive commercial and industrial accounts averaging more than 2.9 million and exceeding 3 million in 2016.

Dr. O’Connor’s analysis also found a sharp contrast between the two sets of states in terms of innovation. Competitive choice jurisdictions are enabling innovation in customer-empowering alternatives such as “green” energy options and smart thermostats that allow customers to better manage how and when they use electricity. Monopoly utilities, meanwhile, are inherently inhospitable to innovation, his analysis found. This is especially important when one considers the many innovative ideas emerging from Silicon Valley that will power the electricity sector and consumers into a clean energy future.

It is against this backdrop of growing evidence that competitive markets are delivering real and tangible benefits in terms of pricing and innovation that policy makers in several states are beginning to consider once again taking steps to introduce competition in electricity to retail customers. Given the demonstrably superior performance of retail choice markets, a coming second wave of retail electricity market restructuring has begun, as evidenced by ongoing debates in Nevada and California.

Consumers want and expect choices. Given the stunning economic and technological transformation underway in the electricity industry, it makes little sense to cling to a monopoly regulatory model for electricity that is a vestige of 19th century economic thinking and a barrier to the efficient 21st century clean-energy economy that consumers and policymakers seek to embrace.
Darrin Pfannenstiel, senior vice president and associate general counsel for Stream, a Dallas-based competitive retail energy supplier, is president of the Retail Energy Supply Association, a broad and diverse group of retail energy suppliers who share the common vision that competitive retail electricity and natural gas markets deliver a more efficient, customer-oriented outcome than the regulated utility structure.

Article by: DARRIN PFANNENSTIEL

Source: https://morningconsult.com/opinions/consumers-fare-better-competitive-electricity-markets/

Friday, July 14, 2017

Explaining the 3 Most Common Sources of Renewable Energy


Nowadays, homeowners are looking for ways to both save on energy costs in the home while helping the environment. The best way to do so is by investing in renewable energy sources, but since there are so many available for use, it can be confusing to differentiate between all the options available to you.
So, to help prevent some of the confusion here is a short and simple guide on the different types of renewable energy that are available.

Biomass

Simply put, biomass is the breaking down of organic materials and converting them into other forms of energy. This is the most popular form of renewable energy and the focus on using biomass is to cut down on the release of carbon dioxide into the air. Across the nation, the two most common forms of biomass include:

-Biofuel: Also known as biodiesel, this oil is produced from fats and oils and is used instead of fossil fuels such as gasoline.
-Bioethanol: This fuel is created by fermenting carbohydrates found in crops such as sugarcane or corn.

Wind Power

Considered a very reliable form of renewable energy, this is the simple action of harnessing the wind to create electricity. Many utility companies prefer to use wind power as it is an incredibly consistent source of power and can be almost unlimited with the construction of wind turbines.
Solar Power

Have you ever noticed homes with large sheets of window-like panels on their roof? If so, they are utilizing solar power as an energy source. This is when you use solar cells, created by crystalline silicon that absorbs protons from the sun's heat and transfers them into electrons. Solar energy is so versatile that it can be used for anything from a small residential home to powering a massive commercial plant.

Even if you choose to utilize one of these energy sources in your home, there are still small things you can do every day that will save you money on energy costs, while helping the environment in the long run. For example, planting trees near your home! The reductions in energy use from shade trees can save up to 2.4 tons of CO2 emissions per year!

Besides planting trees and incorporating renewable energy into your home, there are plenty of ways to save energy in your home!  Some quick internet research can help you find cost effective and eco-friendly energy solutions for you and your home.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

What Happens to Solar Power During an Eclipse?

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On August 21st, 2017, the United States will see its first full solar eclipse in a generation. While solar eclipses are an exciting time for parents and small children, who experience them with wonder, they can also pose a number of difficulties.

Utility suppliers and anyone working at a green energy company in California are particularly inconvenienced by the eclipse. According to California's grid operator, the net demand for energy will rise by 6,000 megawatts as the solar output collapses -- that's roughly the equivalent to the power needs of Los Angeles. 

While renewable energy is growing in popularity in the United States -- with more than 13% of energy generation coming from renewable sources -- it will take time for utility suppliers to learn all of the subtle challenges inherent in every energy source.

For instance, hydropower can be susceptible to both drought and flooding, whereas oil is dependent on large economic costs and dangerous working conditions. 

While solar power is necessarily variable thanks to its dependence on clear skies, this total lack of energy generating ability comes at a high cost. According to the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), the amount of lost energy generation could amount to 70 megawatts per minute. 

There is also the challenge of the rapid decline and reintroduction of the solar light, which is significantly more than would naturally be experienced.

In order to compensate for the loss, energy providers are taking steps to prepare themselves. The first step is to set aside energy reserves to be used during the eclipse. The second is looking for ways to maximize the hydroelectric generation. 

One small blessing, according to Amber Motley, manager of CAISO, is the timing of the eclipse, which comes after a historically rainy winter season. 

Friday, June 30, 2017

3 Ways You Can Afford Solar Energy


Solar energy has long been considered one of the cleanest, least invasive form of sustainable energy available to us. Yet as of 2016, only 1% of energy produced by U.S. electric suppliers is generated by solar power. However, even that small percentage provides major benefits, including reducing the amount of carbon dioxide emissions by 35 million tons.
But if solar energy is such a great source of clean power, why don't more electric suppliers utilize it? Simple. The cost.

Solar energy can be expensive in the short term. In fact, that is the primary reason most homeowners choose traditional electric suppliers over this green energy option.
But the news isn't all bad. As more and more Americans realize the importance of renewable energy sources, solar and other forms of green energy are becoming much more accessible.
If you're considering investing in solar energy suppliers but are concerned about the cost, here are three different ways to make solar power more affordable.

Purchasing
Even though the prices of solar panels themselves are dropping like a rock, solar installation for a single home can cost tens of thousands of dollars. While the costs for solar paneling is restrictive for some homeowners, there are programs that help to make owning and installing your own solar panels more affordable. The largest is the Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit, which offers a 30% rebate.

There are also a number of financing options that can help you spread the cost of owning your own solar panels out over the equipment's lifetime. Just like you make payments on your car loan or mortgage, these options let you invest in the future of green energy.

Leasing
If the upfront cost of installation is too high, you can consider leasing solar panels. While leasing does not qualify you for the same tax credit, it allows you to have access to clean, renewable energy at an affordable price.
Another perk of leasing your solar panels is that all maintenance is the responsibility of the company who is leasing you the panels. If you are uncomfortable with technology, and would prefer someone else maintain your equipment, this option might be for you.
This is a particularly attractive option for people who own several acres or more of unused property, which may be prime real estate for a solar array.

Solar Gardens
Solar Gardens are a popular option for groups of people who might not be able to afford solar on their own. In this co-op model, individual landowners, small towns, and municipalities pool their resources and invest in community-based solar harvesting equipment. An outgrowth of the cooperative culture, these gardens are especially effective for people who might not be able to afford their own solar panels, or who are prevented by trees or building limitations, like many renters and urban apartment dwellers.

Typically, a Solar Garden will work on a credit basis, meaning that the members of the solar garden will receive credits for their share the electricity produced at the garden, which will be deducted from their electric supplier bill.

Solar Energy is not as difficult to harvest as it has been in the past. And, hopefully, in the next decade we will see it become even more accessible to a wider range of people.
 

Monday, June 5, 2017

How Micro Hydro Can Help You Become Energy Independent


Hydropower has been harnessed by mankind dating back to the first waterwheels invented and implemented by the ancient Romans. In 2015, hydropower represented only 6% of the energy generated in the United States and 46% of the power generated by renewable energy sources.
There are many reasons why hydropower is less available than it could be. One of the main reasons is that utility suppliers are still heavily regulated in many states. In deregulated energy states, consumers often have the option of selecting renewable energy sources, using consumer choice to force an energy company to diversify more.
But what can you do if you live in a regulated energy state or your local electricity company has no green options? One good option might be building your own Micro Hydro system.

What is Micro Hydro?
Micro Hydropower is a low-impact form of harnessing moving water to generate enough clean energy to power either a single home or several closely connected modern homes. It works similarly to a conventional hydroelectric system: water passes through a turbine, which spins a generator to produce electricity.

What Do You Need
A sufficiently powerful stream and approval from your local authorities are the first two must-haves for a home micro hydro set. Then comes the matter of the intake, building an inlet for your system which funnels water in from the stream.
Other items you will need are a battery bank, a power inverter, and a transmission line leading to your home or other point of use.

Advantages
The biggest advantage is the regularity of the power source. Unlike solar or wind energy, there are few regular disruptions to the power generating like a cloudy or windless day would be, respectively. This also allows for a smaller battery bank, and more consumptive energy uses.
Another advantage is the price. While the initial cost of setting up a home micro hydro system can range from $1,000 to $20,000, over the life of the unit it will prove to be a cheaper, more reliable method for generating energy.

Drawbacks
Because hydropower is highly site specific, you must not only live in an area with powerful enough streams to spin the turbine, but you must also contend with local regulations, even if you own the land.
There is also the danger of drought or flooding. While drought would render your hydropower system moot, enough flooding could cause severe damage to your equipment.
Sustainable Energy can be hard to find if you don't live in a deregulated energy state. Building your own micro hydro system is just one of the many ways you utilize renewable energy sources to gain energy independence.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

What is Energy Deregulation?


In the United States during the 1930s, the energy market was so regulated that it created monopolies out of the utility companies. The government strictly enforced a rate cap on energy prices, leaving some users in energy plans that did not benefit them. Over the past few decades, however, that has begun to change.

Some state governments across the country are in the process of creating legislation to disband the monopolies and give consumers the right to choose their energy supplier. Though varying state to state, this is allowing some customers to choose their plans, prices and customer services options, rather than being wedged into scenario of having only one energy company to choose from.

Some deregulated energy states have all the various energy types broken up; while some, it is only a partial deregulation.  Deregulation or energy choice doesn't just help in choosing a better plan, it opens the doors for people to choose a gas supplier or electricity supplier that suits their needs and views. More people can now focus on conserving energy by choosing a company that offers specific plans that meet their everyday needs. And with over half of the United States' renewable energy sources being used to produce electricity, this is very welcomed news for some people.

The deregulated energy states also have another benefit in their efforts to try to provide customers more of a choice. Because people can choose their own energy companies, it helps create income for small businesses and larger companies. This can then be used to possibly invest in future renewable energy sources or the education of conserving energy.

While deregulation or energy choice increases to more states, there will be no drastic changes to a customer's energy services, other than a different energy supplier.  Energy choice can provide major benefits to consumers and businesses alike.

To learn more about deregulated energy states, please visit starionenergy.com.


Monday, May 22, 2017

How Can I Be More Energy Efficient?


Between computers, data centers, lighting, appliances, heating and air conditioning, businesses require a high amount of energy to function. This can lead to steep energy bills from the electric company and a significant environmental footprint. Energy saving technology and techniques can curb this cost, leading to a greener, more energy efficient home and workplace. Follow these simple tips to save energy in your business and home.

Schedule an energy audit. An assessment of your current energy consumption is a great place to start, as it will point to your specific problem areas. Depending on the nature of your business, you might only need to update specific aspects of your space to be more efficient. Be sure to take the energy professional's advice seriously.

Use natural light. By installing skylights and windows, you can rely on sunlight rather than electricity to light your office or commercial space. Reducing energy costs and consumption, natural light will also create a more pleasant working and living environment.

Control air leaks. If you have skylights and windows, be sure to check them for air leaks. You might find that inefficient seals are causing you to waste heating and air conditioning energy. Basic window repair and inspection can keep as much air inside of your home/building as possible.

Switch to solar energy. In addition to providing natural light, the sun is also a great renewable energy source. By installing solar panels, your home and business can cut down on energy costs significantly. This will make the initial investment worth it.

Install energy efficient appliances. By switching to energy star rated appliances, your home and business' savings will add up over time. Consider switching your traditional light bulbs for halogen incandescents, as these can reduce energy use by a third to 80%. When making the choices about which appliances to install, be sure to keep your energy audit in mind.

By making small changes to the way your home and business consumes energy, you will notice lower electric bills overall. Being mindful of your energy use will lead to a more energy efficient home and workplace.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Keep the Energy in! Three Different Types of Energy Saving Windows


We're always looking for ways to conserve energy and lower utility costs in our homes. Not only that, but we want every dollar to go towards keeping us warm and cozy in the winter and cool in the summer. One of the solutions we don't typically consider has to do with our windows. We know we can shut them and keep the heat in, but not many of us know there's a way to go beyond that to save on energy costs even more.

It was easy about 150 years ago for wood to supply nearly 90% of the nation's energy, keeping costs down nice and low. In the modern age, that just isn't feasible. However, when you consider switching to energy saving windows, you may be able to cut down your personal energy costs. Here are three treatments you can give to your windows to save on your next energy bill.

Triple Glazed Vinyl
Using triple glazed vinyl windows is an excellent way to save energy inside your home. Not only do they keep the heat in, but they actually draw in solar energy from outside to lock into your house as well. These energy saving windows are well-made and strong, keeping your house warm during cold weather and cool during hot weather. They provide top of the line energy conservation for your home.

Gas-Filled Windows
While this concept of gas trapped between glass panel windows may seem odd to people, these treatments make energy savings go through the roof. The gases used are either argon, xenon, or krypton, and they are sealed between the panes to prevent condensation. These windows are excellent when it comes to storing energy, though their costs might vary depending on what type of gas is used.

Triple Glazed Wood Frame
Similar to triple glazed vinyl and gas-filled windows, the wood is treated to prevent any excess energy from leaving the house and costing you more money. Also, wood frames tend to have a lot more character, and you can never go wrong with an attractive wooden frame.

No one wants to find out their well-earned cash is flying out the window. If you're trying to find some new ways to save a couple extra bucks this season, give energy saving windows a shot and see if you like them.

Thursday, May 4, 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, school administrator, or even a student, simply 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. As a reminder 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 all your students and colleagues can understand it better. The more people understand its importance, the more serious they'll take turning off the lights.

Heating and Cooling

Set the 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.  Turn off monitors if the computers are not going to be used again for a while. And 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 limiting their energy use anyway 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 many energy saving ideas, even as insignificant as they may seem, can help make your school and the environment more energy efficient.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

10 Ways to Reduce Your Energy Consumption at Work


Energy conservation is a very important thing in today's world. We are getting smarter as we realize how much energy we actually need to support our daily lives and are becoming more concerned about conserving energy we don't need. Nowhere is energy consumption bigger than in the world of business.
Here are 10 energy saving tips that can help make a dent in energy conservation at work.

Switch Bulbs: LED and CFL lights last longer and consume less power than commercial light bulbs.

Use Sleep Mode: Computers use a lot of energy and sleep mode allows you the freedom of not needing to completely shut down your computer while saving energy at the same time.

Get Programmable Thermostat: You can save 6% of CO2 related heating emissions by just turning your thermostat own two degrees.

Use Lighting Wisely: Keep a close eye on how long lights in hallways, bathrooms, and meeting rooms are left on. Use as much natural sunlight for as long a possible.

Host Virtual Meetings: Choosing instead to host virtual meetings instead of using gas from cars or planes works in reducing energy.

Plant Trees: Trees can protect your building from hot sunlight in the summer and cold, icy winds in the winter.

Consider Renewable Energy: A lot more options exist out there to help power a business with renewable energy. Solar panels, for instance, can really make a huge difference.

Invest in Skylights: Skylights allow natural light open to your business. Allowing it, the sun can be the ideal lighting for your office.

Monitor Drafts: Having a lot of drafts occur in your business could mean your hard earned cash is flying right out the window.

Lower Paper Uses: Only print something out if you need it. Otherwise, you're just wasting paper.

There are many more things in the office you can do that can help you with reducing energy. These are just some of them. For more ideas, get a team together and brainstorm.



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Corporations Go Green, Rural Communities Stay Clean


According to a recent article by Forbes, corporations are increasing their investments on renewable energy sources and the benefits are mostly going to small, rural communities. Despite the government continuing to heavily rely on fossil fuels, many governors and corporate America, in general, are looking towards the future, towards sustainable energy.

The cost of investing in green energy, such as wind and solar power, has decreased incredibly, leading to an uptick in businesses using them instead of fossil fuels. This not only is incredibly beneficial to their businesses but, according to Forbes, the ones really profiting are rural communities.

To just give a few examples, it has been stated that around 70% of the United States' wind farms are located in low-income areas, with wind energy companies employing 100,000 workers across the U.S. last year.
Solar energy has seen its fair share of positives around the country as well. It's estimated that around 75 billion oil barrels are being saved each year by solar energy users. And solar energy companies have employed double the number of people that wind energy companies have over this past year.

More big businesses are getting into energy conservation each day. Places like Walmart and GM, two giants in the world of industry, are actively searching for ways to reduce their emissions and invest in safer ways to find their energy. It is an encouraging sign to see big businesses begin to take responsibility for the future of energy across the nation.

Going forward, we can only hope this sets precedents for an ongoing forward momentum for research into energy conservation for the whole nation. We hope to see big businesses continue to invest more in renewable and safe energy choices in our country and around the world.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Five Easy Ways to Reduce Energy Use In Your Home


The energy we use in our own homes can easily turn into one of our biggest monthly expenses. That's why we are always looking for ways to save on energy costs, whether that means obsessively turning off lights or lowering the thermostat no matter the temperature outside. If you're interested in saving on your electricity bill, then keep reading to learn about five ways to save on energy costs. And for certain areas of the country, these tips are also great opportunities to build up your Reduce Your Use Rewards and save even more!

Check Your Windows
During the winter months, you may not even realize that your windows are a huge source of energy loss. They are one of the most common places for air to leak out, and if left unsealed these air leaks can cost you 20% more on heating and cooling bills. Choosing to change out your windows for energy saving windows, like vinyl framed or tinted windows, can drastically save you money through energy reduction over time.

Update Appliances
Many new appliances were designed to conserve energy. Though they tend to initially cost a bit more, they will ultimately save you more money in the long run than the alternative, while also increasing your Reduce Your Use Rewards at the same time. Be sure to check to see if the next appliance you are thinking about buying can save energy, because that also means it can save you money.

The Great Outdoors
Planting just a couple trees in your yard can actually result in saving money on energy costs. A tree's branches and leaves can shade your home from the hot sun during summer months and break up the wind and snow during winter. While it may seem small, even two or three trees can actually make quite an amount of difference.

Thermostat
Installing a programmable thermostat can pay for itself in a couple months time. While you're away from the house, you can set the temperature to a lower degree that can save you a lot on energy costs in just those few hours that you'll be away. They are relatively inexpensive and provide a huge return on investment by saving you money.

Gadgets
Nearly every gadget in your home runs on direct current. This means, even when not plugged in, their charger is still consuming electricity. It is a good idea to not only turn off all laptops, printers, and coffee makers when not in use, but to completely unplug them and their chargers from the wall. This can save you a lot on energy costs.

Saving energy is often easier than we realize, especially in the home. We hope these little-known tips helped you find new ways to lower your energy costs and save you money.
For more information about your energy options, please visit starionenergy.com.