Energy Efficiency

Freeelec

“Free nights and weekends” deals – those are for cell phones, right? Well increasingly they are also for electricity: since power tends to cost more at busy times, power companies are offering custom electricity rate plans that allow you to save big on your electricity bill. Here’s why, and how your washer and a little planning will help you save:

Tree

It’s finally warm outside – time to get out the old trowel and pruning gear for this spring’s landscaping…and the old checkbook for this summer’s air conditioning bills. We tend to get spoiled in April and May, where houses in most US climates need little heating or cooling and our electric bills are low. But when muggy summer months hit and our a/c causes the bill to rise again, we sit there wondering how we could save on cooling costs. Well it turns out one of the best ways to cut a/c use is something you can do with your trowel: plant a tree!

Batteries

Did you know? Solar-plus-storage has actually been around for decades. In fact, it was what kickstarted the solar industry in the early 1980s. A bunch of marijuana “farmers” in northern California who weren’t connected to the grid needed a way to get electric lights for their grow operations. A young hippie stumbled upon an ARCO solar panel at a consumer electronics show, and soon after founded AEE Solar and started powering off-grid homes with solar panels and car batteries, and his customers always paid in cash.

Solarroof

On this Independence Day, we at ClearlyEnergy are of course thinking of energy independence – not the national kind, with debates about fracking and oil prices – the consumer kind: independence from your electricity bill! In the heat of summer, solar power sure comes to mind as an abundant energy solution. Read on to find out if your roof and the sun can contribute to freedom from your utility.

Windows

With funding from the Energy Department, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory is working to develop a new insulating window film that preserves the view while increasing occupants’ comfort and saving energy.

Coolroof

Millions of dollars and massive amounts of fossil fuels are spent cooling homes and buildings covered by conventional roofs that absorb sunlight, get as hot as 185 degrees and radiate that heat inside. Add to that the fact that sunlight-absorbing roofs contribute to the urban heat island effect, which increases air pollution, and it’s easy to see the need for something new. Luckily, there is promise for reducing this burden to the environment and economy — in cool roofs.

Drought

When you think about the severe drought that continues to affect more than half the country, the first things that come to mind are probably brown lawns and restrictions on your local water use. In the bigger picture, those thirsty cattle and failed corn or soybean crops they're showing on TV mean we’ll see higher food prices in the near future. But extreme heat and droughts also have big effects on energy and on power prices - electricity is related to weather in a major way, and in this case it's an expensive relationship...

Renters

One in three. That’s how many U.S. households are occupied by renters. It is a population of 94.5 million people living in 38.8 million homes in cities, suburbs, and small towns across the country.

This growing population is taking advantage of benefits like easier mobility, minimal maintenance responsibilities, and the financial flexibility offered by renting. But if renters want to save energy – and save money in the process – there aren’t many places to turn for advice and ideas tailored to their needs.

Clean Energy

Over the last five years, American inventors and investors have delivered significant progress in developing and deploying key clean energy technologies, supported by Administration policies. Electricity production from solar and wind has doubled. Our cars and trucks go further on a gallon of gasoline, saving families money at the pump. And in 2012, U.S. carbon pollution fell to its lowest level in nearly 20 years. The simple fact is that key clean energy technology costs are continuing to come down, and these technologies are producing more American energy than ever before.

Bad Bathroom Habits

It is the subject no one wants to bring up: bathroom habits. Not what you might think, we are talking about how you use energy and water in the bathroom! It turns out, what you do in the bathroom makes a huge difference not only on your water and energy consumption, but also on the size of your utility bills.

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