Convincing environmentalists or eco activists to adopt clean energy is on par with selling ice water in the desert. It isn’t a hard sell. They put a high value on reducing greenhouse gases and an extremely large percentage are willing to do whatever it takes to install solar panels, wind power or geothermal systems at their homes or businesses. They’ll do it simply because they believe that it’s “the right thing to do.” In fact, most of them have already done it. But as we work to expand the pool of solar, wind and geothermal energy users, is “doing the right thing” the only acceptable motivation? Continue reading
Most of us are completely unaware of how the electricity we use is generated. We just put the plug in the outlet and forget about it. Unfortunately, this is one of those situations where ignorance is definitely not bliss! Understanding where your power originates is crucial in an energy efficiency standpoint.
For anyone wondering where their energy comes from, the chart above displays the sources of our power usage nationwide and can offer insight about output sources. No surprise: the decisions that determine this mix are made by your utility company with their best interests in mind. Sources are chosen on the basis of factors such as cost, availability, and reliability of supply. That’s how coal came to fuel almost half of the U.S.’s electrical needs. It’s cheap, it’s plentiful and it’s relatively easy to mine. What didn’t factor into the utility’s decision were things like the environmental impact of their choices–costs not borne by them but by you, me, and the communities in which we live. Nonetheless, the recent ITC extension and Paris Agreement are two reasons pointing to an approaching overthrowal of fossil fuels by the renewable industry. Continue reading
Solar Lease/PPA vs Viridian vs EverSource Green
In Part 1 of Going Solar with No Money Down we introduced four ways to power your home with renewable energy for little or no upfront costs: solar leases, solar power purchase agreements (PPAs), Viridian Energy, and EverSource Green. So, now that you know what your options are, let’s weigh them against one another to see how they measure up. Continue reading
For now, solar seems to be winning the popularity contest among clean energy systems. While solar is a great option, it’s by no means the only one, and it isn’t the right choice for everyone. There’s a wide array of clean energy technologies to choose from, and most homes and businesses are suitable for more than one of them. So, what do you need to know to determine which one is best for you? Continue reading
On some level, we all know we should do something to reduce our energy costs, but where to start to achieve that goal is less clear. Should we reduce our consumption by making efficiency improvements (e.g. installing energy efficient lighting, replacing old windows, adding insulation, etc.)? Or, should we focus on reducing the cost of the energy we’re using by installing a clean energy system such as solar, wind or geothermal system? Both approaches make a lot of sense. Here are some points to consider that may help you to decide.
What are your goals for better energy efficiency? Continue reading
There’s nothing as immutable as the basic laws of supply and demand. Right? Well, a recent CNN blog post is saying not so fast. With worldwide demand for oil low, CNN’s blogger asks, “so why is oil trading high at $113 a barrel, more than twice the price it was trading at five years ago when the global economy was booming? What in the world is going on?” Continue reading
There are a lot of things that motivate people to switch to clean energy systems. Energy independence doesn’t usually top the list, although it’s usually included in the mix. Lately, though, it looks like Energy Independence may start to mount a strong challenge to other motivators such as cost savings and environmental benefits for the top spot. Continue reading
This recent blog post “For Retirement Savings, Solar Power Is a Better Bet Than the Stock Market” from thedailygreen.com shows how one octogenarian couple is using renewable energy to stretch their savings and contain costs in retirement. While this post focuses on solar photovoltaics, any clean energy system—solar, wind, geothermal or biomass—can produce the same benefits. Continue reading
When Eliot lured E.T. out of hiding with a trail of Reese’s Pieces, sales of the peanut butter candies shot up an amazing 65% (some estimates actually put it at 80%!). Suddenly, the four year old brand, a relative new comer on the market, hit the big time. With a success story like that, we can’t help but wonder what a little help from Hollywood could do for clean energy. Continue reading
There are a lot of different motivators that drive property owners to consider clean energy systems such as solar energy panels, small wind or geothermal systems. When you think about alternative energy, how do you approach the decision? Do you take an Ed Begley, Jr. approach rooted exclusively in the environmental benefits? Or, is your approach more akin to someone like Warren Buffet who weighs the pros and cons from an investor’s point of view? Continue reading