Monday, April 30, 2018

How Can Homeowners Save On Energy Costs in Summer?

How Can Homeowners Save On Energy Costs in Summer?

With warm and sunny weather just around the corner, homeowners should be thinking about how to save on cooling costs and energy use this Summer. Contrary to popular belief, saving energy doesn't have to be difficult! By working with a sustainable residential energy provider and doing a few things to reduce energy at home, homeowners can significantly cut back on energy use. To help you get started, this article is going to discuss a few easy ways to reduce energy costs at home this summer.
  1. Open the windows. While many people are tempted to crank up the air conditioner as soon as it gets warm out, this obviously increases energy use. Instead, homeowners should consider opening windows. Not only does this allow for some fresh air to get in the house after being closed off all winter, but it will allow for a cross-breeze and will naturally cool down the house. If homeowners do choose to crank up the AC, they should ensure they speak with their residential energy provider about heating and cooling costs.
  2. Keep the curtains closed. When the sun is out, most homeowners enjoy keeping their curtains and blinds open to let the sun into their home. However, this added heat inside the home can lead homeowners to crank up the AC. So by keeping window treatments closed, homeowners can reduce heat gain as the temperature gets warmer. This is one of the easiest ways to save energy and add a little decor to a home as well.
  3. Plant some trees. Summer is a great time to get some gardening done. And guess what? Planting trees can even help you reduce cooling costs! Shade trees and even appropriate painting can help homeowners reduce energy use and save up to 2.4 tons of CO2 emissions each year. Furthermore, each tree that's planted absorbs about 25 pounds of CO2 each year as well. So not only will homeowners have nice trees in their yard, but they'll enjoy reduced energy costs as well.
  4. Have the AC unit serviced. As the temperature rises, the AC unit will inevitably be turned on. After sitting idle for the winter months, air conditioner units will have to kick it into overdrive to cool the house down. By getting their AC unit serviced, homeowners can ensure their unit is running as efficiently as possible. If the filters are clogged or parts are going bad, the inefficient unit will increase energy costs. But a little regular maintenance can help homeowners with their energy reduction and keep their house cool.
  5. Cook dinner outside. With warm weather comes those yummy summer foods like burgers and hot dogs. But instead of cooking them inside, homeowners should consider grilling out. Not only will they get to enjoy the nice warm weather, but they'll keep the heat out of their homes and save electricity by choosing to grill out instead. In doing this, homeowners will be saving energy and getting yummy food, so it's a win-win.
Summer is a great time to start reducing energy use. With it being not too cold or not too hot, there are plenty of opportunities for homeowners to take advantage of the mild weather and not use their cooling systems too frequently. By working with their residential energy provider and making a few simple changes at home, homeowners can reduce their energy use, their energy bills, and do their part in saving the planet at the same time.

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 generated 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.