Thursday, September 26, 2019
We all know that there are many hidden costs to owning a home. Property maintenance can put a dent in our budget. One area that can be particularly expensive is energy use. Here are six great tips on how to save energy and potentially save money on your energy bill.
1. Maintain Your HVAC System
Make sure that you have regular maintenance on your heating and air-conditioning system. During routine maintenance, Freon levels are checked. Freon is the coolant that helps run your HVAC system and if the level is too low the system will have to run harder. This will increase your energy bill. That is what is important to make sure the Freon level is correct. The other thing you need to do is change the filters in your system. Old filters block the flow of air, which causes the system to work harder. This will also increase your energy bill.
2. Check Your Freezer
A good approach on how to save energy is to check your freezer and refrigerator. Sometimes we tend to have our freezer temperature and our refrigerator temperature cooler than necessary. A safe rule of thumb is to set your freezer at 5 degrees Fahrenheit and set your refrigerator at 38 degrees Fahrenheit. This will keep all your food fresh and all your frozen items nice and solid. However, these temperatures will not make your refrigerator run harder than necessary to arrive at temperatures that are cooler than you actually need.
3. Avoid Peak Hours
If you are going to be involved in a household project that will use a lot of energy, try to schedule it so that you are not doing it in peak hours. Utility companies may charge higher rates during regular daytime hours. For example, these times would exclude the hours between 10 p.m. and 10 a.m., weekends, and holidays. It has been shown that some rates are 40% higher during peak periods, so adjusting your laundry schedule, for example, to work around these times may save you money.
4. Invest in a Smart Thermostat
Smart thermostats really are smart! They actually are programmed to work according to your habits, they can show you the amount of energy that you're using in real time, and can also be self-adjusting. For instance, if the humidity in your home rises, a smart thermostat will adjust automatically. If you have left the house for work and you forgot to turn your air conditioner off, you can use your smart thermostat to lower the temperature. This will definitely save you money and save energy as well.
5. Switch to LED Light Bulbs
As a consumer in today's market, we all have several choices in the types of light bulbs that we select. In prior years, the only option available was an incandescent light bulb. But now technology has addressed the matter of how to save energy by creating energy saving LED and CFL light bulbs. Switching to these models can add up to savings on your energy bill.
6. Seal Cracks Around Doors and Windows
It's a fact that up to 20% of your energy bill, whether it is heating or cooling related, can be saved by having the proper type of insulation around your doors and windows. This kind of proactive approach will make sure that leaks are eliminated, which will prevent cool or warm air to just drift out into your yard. You will also have the additional benefit of a more comfortable house. If that's not enough, you may even save money, too.
These tips on how to save energy can help with your energy expenses, potentially reduce your electricity costs, and make you part of the population that is involved in energy conservation. They really are easy ways to save energy in your home; plus, your budget can even see the rewards for using less energy!
Monday, September 16, 2019
The conundrum lies with the need to use energy for such reasons as heating and cooling homes, but this contributes to the carbon problem. There are many personal rewards for energy use such as staying warm during winter blizzards, keeping cool when the sun is sweltering, and being able to see indoors when the sun goes down. By altering a few behaviors to become more energy-efficient, people can enjoy the benefits of energy use while still being cognizant to carbon emissions.
Ways to Work Towards Energy Reduction Rewards
Energy reduction rewards can come in the form of self-satisfaction knowing you're helping the environment or in physical rewards such as reduced energy bills or benefits with energy suppliers for being more green with energy use. Below are a few things to consider that will help work towards whatever energy reduction rewards are best suited for you.
Check for Home Leaks
Check for any leaks in seals that could be allowing air to seep in and out. A house is supposed to be a contained unit where air temperature can be controlled. If there are multiple leaks, this makes it harder on the thermostat to regulate the temperature causing the heater or air conditioner to work more than it should. Be sure to check for leaks around doors and windows as well as any place that additions to a home have been added and the original foundation or framing was dismantled. Cracks and breaks in seals are likely to appear first in such locations. Ensuring the house is properly sealed and insulated could reduce heating and cooling bills by 20%.
Check the Thermostat
Break out the blankets instead of dialing up the heat. Turn the thermostat down a few notches in the winter to reduce carbon emissions from heat. A two-degree drop can reduce emissions by 6%, which is roughly 420 pounds of carbon per home. A minute drop can contribute to great rewards for energy use.
In addition to turning down the thermostat, invest in proper insulation for walls and ceilings. If all cracks are sealed, insulation can cut down on the need to heat the house reducing energy bills by 20-30%. Insulation helps contain the heat that is produced, cutting carbon emissions by 140 to 2100 pounds per year.
Check Home Décor
Two things can help contribute to managing house temperature: foliage and paint color. Foliage such as shade trees can help shade the house from the sun's rays in times of warm weather, reducing how much the air conditioner might have to work. The same goes for paint. Depending on the climate, lighter pastels are better at deflecting the sun's rays and keeping the house cooler, while darker colors are more useful in absorbing the sun's rays to keep a house warmer. Either way, the strategic use of foliage and paint in climates can save 2.4 tons of carbon emissions per year. The trees also help take some of the carbon out of the air.
No matter what rewards for energy use you are looking for, personal or environmental, careful attention to how energy is used and managed in the home can result in maximum energy reduction rewards for all involved. Check for leaks, monitor the thermostat, install insulation, and use appropriate décor to curb unnecessary carbon emissions.
Tuesday, September 3, 2019
Renewable energy refers to energy sources that naturally replenish. This energy is flow-limited. However, it can potentially reduce your household or commercial building energy use by 33% to 80% if you use energy-efficient halogen incandescent, LEDs, and CFLs. There are seven types of renewable energy you can invest in. These include:
- Bioenergy: This type of energy is derived from biomass, which is used to create heat and electricity. It is also used to produce liquid fuel that is used in transportation (ethanol and biodiesel). Biomass is any organic matter that comes from living plants or animals. This type of power generation process produces the same amount of carbon dioxide as fossil fuels. The replacement plants are grown as biomass work to reduce carbon dioxide. This cycle keeps the environment relatively neutral.
- Geothermal: These renewable energy options are derived directly from the earth's heat. It is sourced close to the surface or from heated rocks. It is also derived from reservoirs of hot water beneath the earth's surface. In mass production, a geothermal plant is used to harness these renewable energy sources and to generate electricity. In smaller scales, the pump is installed by a local energy company about 10 feet under the ground. The electricity produced is used to supply heat to a nearby building.
- Hydroelectric energy: Hydroelectric energy is one of the most familiar types of renewable energy. Power is generated by installing a system near dams that have water reservoirs. The water is released to flow through turbines and electricity is produced in the process. The water cycles between lower and upper reservoirs, controlling generation between high and low pick demand. This process is called pumped-storage hydropower. Run-of-river hydropower, however, channels a portion of the river through funnels to produce electricity. This type does not require a dam.
- Hydrogen: Hydrogen is the simplest and the most abundant element in the universe. However, it does not occur naturally on earth but resides in organic compounds such as gasoline, natural gases, propane, and methanol as well as water. Some algae and bacteria can also be used to produce hydrogen through solar energy. If you are thinking of saving energy through a high power renewable energy source, this is your option. Best of all, though it's high in energy, it produces little to no pollution when burned. The cells are used to convert the potential chemical energy into electricity. Water and heat are the only byproducts in the process. The cost of production is, however, relatively high, which has made its commercialization decrease, at least until the price decreases.
- Solar energy: When you hear of the different types of renewable energy, the first thing that comes to mind is probably solar. This is the most commercial renewable energy source. Heat and electricity are generated by capturing the sun's rays directly on panels. The electricity produced is then channeled to be used as electricity for heating and cooling systems, lights, and general residential or commercial use. This type of renewable energy source is the most versatile and has made its way to over 9.1 million homes and businesses across the country. All other types of renewable energy used the sun except hydrogen and geothermal.
- Ocean: The motions and tides of the waves can be used to produce heat and mechanical energy. Also, thermal energy can be generated from the ocean. This energy is converted into electricity by different systems that make use of the warm surface water temperature of the sea. This energy can be used to reduce electricity cost of a building near the ocean current.
- Wind energy: Wind energy is captured by turbines and converted into electricity, which is then channeled into your home or commercial building. Wind power is used to pump water on farms, but it is making its way to homes through commercial-grade wind generating systems. Wind flow is typically captured by turbines and converted into electricity.
When your business wants to go green, or you want to save on power bills, you are likely to choose from one of these renewable energy options. Installation is typically costly, but the long-term savings you make, not just in money but also in the environment make it worth it.
Wednesday, August 28, 2019
Renewable energy is a great way to harness natural energy and save on electricity bills. Roughly 90% of the nation's energy was supplied through firewood 150 years ago. It's important to note, however, that you must ensure that you follow the energy regulations in your state -- no matter how you're harnessing energy. Most renewable energy providers, whether it's solar, geothermal, biomass, biogas, or wind power, are aware of the regulations, but it would help if you were familiar with them as well. This summary shows the energy regulations you must adhere to when using renewable energy:
- Renewable portfolio standard: Renewable energy is an easy way to save energy, but this regulation states that every electric utility must provide a specific percentage with an eligible renewable resource. Other electric providers must also offer a particular amount of electricity with an available renewable resource. Many of the states across the country have incorporated renewable portfolio standards because of their effectiveness and because they have an approach that looks at the market and helps achieve the electricity policy objective. You should expect to find variations in the renewable portfolio standard depending on the state you reside.
- Public benefit fund for renewable energy: Energy companies understand this regulation, and they will willingly explain it to you as they would other laws. In a nutshell, these energy regulations refer to a pool of resources the state uses in clean energy projects. The funds are ideally created by charging a small amount on every customer's electricity rate. The green energy company you use will explain the different state policies that affect the economics of energy efficiency, renewable energy, as well as combined heat and power.
These policies are vital because they make investments in renewable energy more attractive. They attempt to lower the risk, reduce the regulatory compliance costs, and reduce the cost barriers. Different states offer diverse programs that target specific markets and customer groups through a broad set of programs.
- Output-based environmental regulations: These energy regulations seek to establish the limit per unit of emissions that come with energy output processes, that is electricity, thermal energy, and shaft power. This is vital for energy saving as it encourages fuel conservation efficiency and the use of renewable energy as a means to control air pollution. This policy looks explicitly at Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and the Environmental Guide to Action. CHP gives you an alternative to purchasing electricity from the local utility. The increased system efficiency has seen CHP produce the same amount of energy while using less fuel, producing lower emissions, and separate heat and power systems.
- Net metering: This energy regulation states that every time a residential or commercial customer takes the initiative to generate their own renewable energy, they should receive compensation for the power they make. This is an energy reduction reward. The state ensures that the energy meters track to precision the amount of energy you generate and how much of this energy is returned to the electric grid. When the energy produced is not sufficient to meet your needs, energy is pulled from the network to supplement what you need. You will, therefore, receive an electric bill indicating how much power you produce, how much was returned to the grid, and how much you used from the network. If the amount you used from the grid surpasses the amount you sent to the grid, the bill will indicate how much you need to pay the electric company.
- Feed-in tariffs: These regulations tend to encourage the development of renewable energy by sending the obligation of electric utilities to pay pre-established above-market rates for the renewable power they feed into the electrical grid. These tariffs provide renewable with an income from their project and vary depending on the source of energy used. They are most common in Europe, but California, Washington, Hawaii, and Vermont have established this feed-in-tariffs.
Energy regulations work in favor of the government and your favor as well. They bring a balance that encourages more residents and commercial customers to use renewable energy because of the positive impact it has on our environment.
Friday, August 23, 2019
According to statistics, in 2015, about 10% of total U.S. energy consumption was from renewable energy sources. According to published reports, production of renewable energy is relatively cheaper compared to fossil fuels, making it a more affordable energy source.
Renewable energy sources are found naturally in sunlight, underground, air, and in the oceans. They are renewed continuously, typically, and it is impossible to exhaust them. They are the best choice when compared to traditional fossil fuels because they are more environmentally friendly. Renewable energy sources are relevant because they lead to less pollution and are an ideal way for power generation.
There are different types of renewable energy sources that generate electricity directly or indirectly and help in the fight against global warming. Some of these sustainable energy forms include:
- Solar energy: Sunlight is one of the most commonly known sources of renewable energy. The power generation is achieved by harvesting the sun's energy and light and converting it into heat. Once the energy is saved, it is used for lighting, water heating, and cooling systems inside homes or businesses.
One of the key benefits of using solar power at home or at a company is the ability to save on energy costs. The initial cost of installing solar panels can be slightly high, but in the long run, many households and businesses report a reduction in their energy bills.
- Wind: Another renewable energy source is wind. The flow of the wind is captured by turbines and then converted into electricity. The electricity generated by wind turbines can be used to supplement energy in already existing establishments, and some cases can offset the need for energy from electricity providers. Farmers have also been known to prefer using power generated from the wind reducing their energy expenses.
- Geothermal energy: This is another source of sustainable energy. The energy, in this case, is generated from the heat of the earth. The heat can be found either close to the surface of the earth or from heated rock and hot water reservoirs that are deep in the ground. Geothermal power plants are then able to generate electricity from these sources and supply power to various establishments and homes. Manufacturing plants, heating water at fish farms, as well as helping with growing greenhouse plants are some of the ways that geothermal power is used directly.
- Hydroelectricity: This is energy that is from water or the kinetic energy from flowing rivers. Commonly, hydroelectric power is generated when water stored in dams is released and flows through turbines and produces electricity. This type of system is known as pumped-storage hydropower.
Run-of-river hydropower is another system where energy is generated from a flowing river requiring no dam or water reservoirs. Hydroelectricity can also be used to run big manufacturing plants as well as power households and is considered to be environmentally friendly.
- Energy from the ocean: The ocean can produce two types of energy; thermal energy generated from the sun's heat and mechanical energy produced out of the waves and motions of tides. Electricity is generated from ocean thermal energy by using different systems that depend on the temperatures of the water on the surface. Ocean mechanical energy, on the other hand, depends on the ebbs and tides that result from the rotation of the earth and the influence of the moon.
Renewable energy sources are not only friendly to the environment but are also a cheaper source of electricity. Various green energy providers can offer advice on the best source for your home or industry depending on the cost and available sources available locally.
Monday, August 19, 2019
At this point, we have all heard of fast, effective, and easy ways to save energy at home and at work. We know that conserving energy is very important for the environment. And many times we hear of the same suggestions on ways to save energy. Things such as installing energy-saving windows, for instance, or other energy-saving tips such as lowering the thermostat. It's working, too: for example, every year the people who use solar energy to reduce the use of oil by 75 million barrels. However, there are also some other ways to save energy, too. Here are some green ways to save energy which also may end up saving you money as well!
- Work From Remote Locations - Working from remote locations allows you to save resources from both personal and the office. While visiting a new coffee shop or shared work space, you may find that those locations are using significantly greener options to reduce their energy footprint. Many new establishments are building in ways to save on energy use. Patronizing your local community helps them, helps you, and helps everyone save more.
- Use Homemade Cleaning Products - One fantastic way to help the environment and save yourself some money is to make your own supplies for cleaning. Natural products such as lemon and vinegar are so good for the environment and so refreshing in your home. Natural ingredients are also much better for the quality of your indoor air.
- Use Your Electronics - Resist the temptation to turn in all your electronics every time a new, updated model appears on the market. If you can keep all of your cell phones and computers as long as possible, you are doing the environment a great service. When the time comes that you absolutely do have to replace them, make sure that you donate them or recycle them properly.
- Use Secondhand Stores - Buying items from second hand stores or thrift stores, garage sales can be like finding a treasure chest! Some items are barely used at all. And some are so unusual that they will be definite conversation pieces in your homes. Gently used clothes are so much better for the environment the new clothing. Purchasing from secondhand merchants definitely has an effect on the environment. And it will have an effect on your wallet as well!
- Use Locally Grown Foods - This is a green option that has wonderful results! First of all, when you buy from your local farmers and retailers, you are helping the economy in your neighborhood. Secondly, locally grown food is often more organic, and sustainable seafood tastes absolutely delicious. Third, if you try this option you may find that you can give up having meat one day a week. And this will definitely make your grocery bill less expensive. What a win-win!
These suggestions will definitely make a difference in your budget and in the environment, as well. Naturally, you want to save electricity, you want to reduce energy use in your home—you want to do all you can and find ways to save energy in your home. These homegrown green energy tips are fun, too, because they can all be done as family projects. Filled with common sense, they will actually help yield great energy conservation results and make you feel good that you are doing your part to save energy.