Friday, March 9, 2007

Clean Green Energy for your Home

Are you worried about gas prices going up this year?  Yes, they probably will, but so will your energy bill, due to increased demand and the slow but inevitable exhaustion of natural resources.  Worldwide use of electricity is expected to double over the next 20 years, meaning electricity will be harder to come by and more expensive for consumers.  (and we all know how much we hate our electric bills in the summertime in Phoenix!).�
Besides prices being a factor, consider that electricity generation is the single most polluting industry in the U.S., and the U.S. produces more greenhouse gasses than any other country.  This is due to burning fossil fuels (usually coal), which are responsible for acid rain and mercury poisoning in lakes and rivers (which is then absorbed by the fish, some of which end up on our tables at dinnertime).
However, there is a bright side to all this gloom and doom and that is Renewable Energy Sources.  You know what I’m talking about – solar power, wind power, and water power.  It’s estimated that only 1% of households in the US and most of Europe participate in Renewable Power.  Only 1%!!  The Netherlands top out the charts at 13% with Sweden coming in a close second at 6%.  Still, that’s not much.
The thing about using Clean Energy is that it’s easier than you think.  Both APS and SRP have energy programs that allow you to choose how much energy each month you would like to purchase as renewable energy.
APS’ Solar Partners Rate Program costs only $2.64 more per month for each 15kwh, and you can choose how much you’d like to purchase.
SRP has a similar program called EarthWise in which you can choose $3 increments of renewable energy to be fed into the grid.  This means that even though you’re purchasing renewable energy, it won’t necessarily be directed to your house in particular.  It is fed into the entire grid, reducing the use of non-sustainable energy sources for all of us.�
Some of the funds are also used to help build more clean energy sources (such as solar power) in the future.
I think if we could all spare $2-3 per month extra on our energy bills, it would send a huge message to the electric companies that we DO care about where our electricity comes from, and would spur them on to create more renewable sources at economical prices.
But as long as we are complacent and accept things as they way they are, it’s unlikely that things will change.  Shake yourself out of your rut and call SRP or APS today and rack up a few more good karma points while you’re helping save the environment.