Solar Power

Solar or Water or Wind – Renewable Energy

You have your choices which supplies your home’s energy: Solar or Water or Wind. they are all Renewable Energy. With the deregulation of the energy industry, consumers now have choices. And those choices include alternative energy sources such as solar, water and wind. These “green power” options are often available through your current energy supplier.


My story…


Although I have been conscious of environmental issues for a long time, I wanted to take more action and go more green. I wasn’t even sure where to start. I learned about the small things we can all do to reduce our imprint on the planet. But I live in a rented apartment in New York City and aside from changing my light bulbs to CFLs the rest of the ideas were not applicable to my living situation. I have no local control over the thermostat so adding a programmable one was out of the question. I do not have my own water heater, so changing the setting and insulating it was not going to happen. So aside from and asking my building manager to modify the hot water temperature and heating thermostat, I felt there wasn’t much more I could do.


So one day I started researching alternative energy sources and learned that since the energy industry has been deregulated consumers have a choice about both “who” and “how” their energy is supplied. As a result, I have been able to transition my home and business power usage to 100% wind power. I actually had two plans to choose from, including a partial hydro power/wind power package. I decided to go with all wind power because I like the idea of harnessing that particular natural force because it seems less disruptive to the environment than damming water sources. Of course that is just my opinion and either option is better than coal-burning and dependence on foreign oil.


How does it work? Well first of all, the power that comes into my apartment is not generated by the wind. My enrollment in the program funds wind projects and management so that more wind farms can be created. As more farms are added more and more power will be filtered to the grid that has been generated by the wind. With such support, there will be a tipping point where more of our energy is supplied by alternative energy sources than harmful sources. And that is my goal, to reduce my reliance on traditional energy sources and reduce my carbon footprint along the way.


Crunching the numbers – My enrollment guaranteed me a flat rate for one year. Although you may pay a premium for such usage (wind power is 2.5 cents per kwh higher than “traditional” power for my area), but the rate I agreed to was actually 2 cents lower than the most recent electric bill I had on hand. For a larger home the estimates are that your bill would go up by about $ 7 per month when you switch to renewable energy sources. For most of us that is a reasonable adjustment to make a positive contribution. My supplier also offered me a $ 25 energy credit for switching. So I encourage you to explore the energy options in your area and see if a more green option is available for you. And if it’s not, write a letter or send an email to your representatives to tell them that you want to be more green and need their help to make it happen.


In addition to using green power for my personal and business use, I also use a web hosting service for this website that uses 100% solar power to run their servers. I feel great knowing that this portion of my business is not reliant upon traditional, harmful energy sources.


It’s these kinds of choices, simple ones that have maximum impact, that define what it means to be Intentionally Green.


Julie Catzin is the owner of Intentionally Green offering eco-friendly, “green” consumer products for health and home.

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