eco, green, home, solar, energy

TODAY'S GREEN MANTRA: I'll invest where I can in green energy for me and for we

Day 68 / 365

For the upcoming theme on energy, I invited a company called MyDomino to do some guestposts for me on the economical and ecological benefits of green energy. MyDomino provides a service where they can personalise what programs are available and practical for you and your home and give you some financial projections on when you'll break even on any green energy investments you make. This isn't a sponsored post, I haven't received any money for posting their stories, I am instead happily taking a partial break this week to get after some freelance work outside this blog and share their expert insight. I've written the intros but the suggestions are theirs.

In 2014, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 10,932 kilowatthours (kWh), an average of 911 kWh per month. Our energy problem lies in the effects caused by CO2 produced when fossil fuels are burned and the harms to the earth that mining those fossil fuels cause. With an ever growing population around the world, the energy costs per person for food production and consumption as well as home energy usage (January was the hottest month on record around the world, February is breaking records as well, as the earth warms the air conditioners blast on full).  

With all this in mind, the idea of investing in green energy is just that, an investment, and the question isn't if you're going to do it, the question is when. According to MyDomino, the five actions below will bring you the most savings and you can save even more if you combine actions - like powering your electric car with solar panels.

- Here are Domino's Top 5 Ways To Save Big With Clean Energy - 

[ONE. Power your home with the sun by adding solar panels]
Solar is more affordable than you might think. In fact, the cost of solar has plummeted in recent years. Depending on your home and electric bill, you could save quite a bit of money with solar power.

Bringing solar even more within reach are the many financing options available now. Systems typically pay for themselves within 10 years these days — sometimes less. If you choose to lease your system, you can start saving on Day 1 with no money down.

eco, green, living, energy, bills
[TWO. Switch to green power]
If you can’t put solar on your roof, you may be able to get green electricity from your utility or through a national provider. Even if you can go solar, you may need power from the grid at times. With a green power program, you can ensure all your electricity is clean.

More and more green power options are popping up. Some of these programs come at a premium price, but these prices are coming down over time.

By switching to green energy, you’ll know the power you’re using is created in a sustainable, clean way.

[THREE. Switch from your gas-guzzling car to an electricity-sipping ride]
If you’re in the market for a new ride, consider looking at an all-electric car or plug-in hybrid. With an electric car you can say goodbye to gas stations forever, and save an average of $1500 a year on fuel. You’ll save even more if you fuel your car with solar power.

Think electric cars are too expensive? Think again. You can get a Nissan Leaf for under $30,000 — maybe even under $20,000 with incentives! Low-cost leases are also available for many electric cars.

[FOUR. Heat and cool your home for less — with one appliance]
Is it time to upgrade your old heating and cooling system? Then it’s also time to consider a modern heat pump. The beauty of this device is that it acts as both your heater and your air conditioner.

A heat pump is also more efficient. That’s because it doesn’t actually create heat — it just moves heat around. To cool your home, a heat pump moves heat from inside your home to the outside. To heat your home, it does the opposite and moves heat into your home.

You can choose between an air-to-air heat pump — which moves heat through the air — and a geothermal heat pump — which moves heat to and from the ground. A geothermal heat pump can save you up to 70% on your energy bill each month. And, of course, if you power your heat pump with solar, you’ll save even more.

Because a heat pump can last over 25 years, you won’t need to worry about replacing it anytime soon.

eco, green, living, energy, bills
[FIVE. Make hot water on demand]
Why pay to heat a giant tank of water all the time, when you can switch to a tankless water heater? These small water heaters don’t store any water. Instead, they heat it as you use it.
If you have an older hot water heater, you could be spending hundreds of dollars every year just to store that hot water. A tankless water heater is a much more efficient choice, since it heats only the water you use. This takes much less energy and can save you big over the system’s lifetime.

Tankless water heaters come in both gas and electric versions, but pairing an electric heater with solar power will give you the biggest savings.

[Why take the big steps?]
These upgrades are more involved than our free and easy recommendations, but they also give you the biggest bang for your buck. You can save the most when you combine options like solar and heat pumps, LEDs and green power, or solar and an electric car. And best of all, you’ll have the biggest impact! For more help ditching dirty fuels, get a personalized plan from MyDomino today.

photos: here