Sunday, April 22, 2012

Practical, Affordable Renewable Energy Options

PhotobucketIn honor of Earth Day, I'm going to slip back into my days in the energy industry to talk about renewable energy. Often, people assume that powering their home requires a hefty investment in solar panels or a wind turbine, but that isn't the case. Using renewable energy in some cases is actually free and will save you money!

Here are four affordable options for making use of renewable energy.

  1. Buy renewable energy - Most electric companies offer programs that allow consumers to pay a little extra on their bill to have their power generated by renewable energy. These programs allow consumers to share the cost of a wind or solar farm, meaning they are extremely affordable (you can usually participate for less than $1) and you don't have to worry about maintaining a complicated energy system. Additionally, you can usually decide if you want to purchase all of your energy from the renewable energy program, or only a portion of your energy. This allows you to do what is best for your budget.
  2. Take advantage of absolutely free solar power - Open your windows in the winter to take advantage of the sun's warmth to reduce your heating bill and use natural light whenever possible.
  3. Purchase solar powered products - Thanks to technology advances, you can get Christmas lights, yard lights, radios and more that are all powered by solar energy.
  4. Use less energy - Want a larger percentage of your energy to come from renewable energy? The easiest way to achieve that is to use less energy in the first place. When it comes to saving energy, the options are endless - switching to energy-efficient lighting (CFL or LED), participating in off-peak programs from your utility company, switching off lights or adjusting your thermostat by a few degrees. Get some more ideas in the video below:

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