There’s been a steady trend of diversification in our energy sources. Yes, coal and oil still serve as the world’s primary fuels, but the abundance and low price of other resources (natural gas, for example) is getting energy companies to rethink their approach to meeting the always increasing demand. So, they’re also bringing nuclear, hydroelectric, geothermal, wind and solar power into the mix. An interactive model developed by Shell can give you a good idea of the shifting global energy mix since the 1960s, a view of where we are now and projection of what the ratios will be in the coming years.
The point is that, just as energy producers are taking multiple avenues to providing energy, we as consumers can create a mix in how we consume energy to cut both the cost and our carbon footprint.
How You Can Get Started, Affordably
Many people want to “go-green” but they don’t know where to start. And the idea of overhauling their way of life, to the point of going off-grid perhaps, is overwhelming, not practical and just not affordable for everyone.
Installing solar panels, buying a Chevy Volt and putting in a pellet stove aren’t your only options. Instead of going “all in,” consider some other simple ways you can become more energy efficient and economically bring solar power into your day-to-day:
- Install Energy Star energy efficient appliances and light bulbs. The next time you need to replace your air conditioner or even the light over the kitchen sink, compare Energy Star ratings. And by the way, there’s a reason that you can’t find incandescent bulbs anymore – they just don’t make sense.
- Use solar lighting for motion-activated lights, dressing up your landscaping or making sure the steps to your front door are easy to see.
- Put in solar powered ceiling and attic fans. Did you know that fans can drive the warm air near the ceiling down when you need it during winter? Solar powered fans cost the same as what you’ll find at your home improvement store, but cost a lot less in the long run.
- Consider solar chargers for your “toys.” Let’s start thinking out of the box. Combine the cost for running the computer, charging your cell phones and tablets, juicing up a golf cart, and buying propane for the RV or camper. Over the course of a year, you could save 100s of dollars. I recently found an energy calculator that allows you to estimate what those types of devices can cost to operate.
Let’s Take it a Step at a Time
We can help you decide where to start building a more diverse energy mix into your life, at your own pace and budget. We’ve built the Solar Sphere catalog to include solar powered devices that help you save energy and money in and around your home, and while you’re away from home as well.
Thinking about diversifying your energy mix? Call us! We welcome the opportunity to talk with you about your best first steps, incentives and rewards for going solar, and the value and return on investment that the energy choices you make today can bring to you tomorrow.