Simple Ways to Go Green at Home
Faced with rising energy costs, many families are becoming more energy conscious. Many households want to go green, become more efficient, and use clean energy — but sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. What energy decisions do you have control over? How do you know whether a “green” energy source is actually better for the environment? And, most importantly, what can you afford to change? While it’s not always easy to cut through the noise and make smarter choices, there are some steps you can take to go green at home and make an impact on your personal energy footprint.
Steps to Reducing Your Carbon Footprint
The first step toward a greener home is knowing where to go to get started. The following easy steps can make the process a bit easier:
1. Understand Your Energy Use
Before you can begin making cleaner, greener energy decisions, it's a good idea to understand your current energy usage. Ask yourself some questions:
- Know where your energy come from? The grid? Solar? Wind?
- Think about how do you heat your home?
- When do you use the most energy? Are there peak periods during the day?
- Does your energy usage change when you’re not home? What about when you’re sleeping?
Grab a copy of your utility bills and take some time to understand each line item. Often, energy companies will also send you customized reports that let you know how your energy usage compares to others. Once you have a better understanding of how your family uses energy, you can begin to make changes.
2. Use Less Energy
The easiest way to be more green is simply to use less energy. There are some easy ways to do this — such as turning off lights when you leave the room, washing your clothes with cold water, and unplugging appliances when not in use. Other methods, such as replacing your light bulbs with energy-efficient LED bulbs can save the average household $225 a year, according to a recent U.S. Department of Energy Blog Post. Additional energy-saving devices for the home include:
- Programmable, Smart Thermostats
- Advanced Power Strips
- Low-Flow Shower Heads (if using an electric water heater)
3. Choose Sustainable Energy Sources
Some of the most common forms of clean energy include Solar, Wind, and Water. While it's may not be feasible to build a wind farm or a hydroelectric dam in your back yard, one energy source is readily available for homeowners - solar. Installing solar panels will allow you to generate your own clean, green energy on your own roof. Solar panels gather clean, renewable energy from the sun that is sent to an inverter that makes the power usable in your home. Solar power reduces your overall demand on the electrical grid ad helps the environment — and can reduce your household energy costs.
4. Go Electric (Where Possible)
Think about your energy use. Are there places where you are using gas (even natural gas) that you could switch to electric? Upgrading to electric can help cut down on your carbon footprint and help you save money in the long run. Some areas to consider making the switch to electric include:
- Home appliances. Does your stove use gas? What about your water heater or dryer? By running these appliances on gas rather than electricity, you’re burning fuel and putting more carbon into the atmosphere. Switching to electric appliances is a fast, simple way to cut your emissions and save on your monthly bills.
- Cars. Electric vehicles are becoming more popular every day — and for good reason. They are more efficient and environmentally friendly, and you don’t have to worry about skyrocketing gas prices.
- Home heating. If your home is heated by gas, you’re burning fuel all winter long. You may be able to switch to an electric furnace or heat pump to keep your home warm, safe, and environmentally friendly. In some cases Energy STAR may even offers rebates to help offset the cost of such energy efficient upgrades.
Going Green with PosiGen
PosiGen is here to help the make the process of going green and reducing energy cost more attainable for all homeowners. We work with homeowners to install affordable, efficient solar panels, helping them use clean energy, reduce their impact on the environment, and save money along the way. In addition, our trained energy efficiency technicians will audit your home to and may install no-cost energy efficiency upgrades to maximize your energy savings and reduce your carbon footprint.