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!
In recent years, companies have made great strides in offering third-party financing to bring solar and energy efficiency to residential consumers with little or no money down. What if they paid you to put solar on your roof?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
Wired magazine calls America’s power grid the largest machine ever built. Over the past few decades, this grid has been expanded throughout the country to ensure that even remote areas have electricity. Although this is an incredible accomplishment, the grid should also strive to keep pace with the latest technological advances, becoming not just the largest machine ever built, but also a more efficient and resilient one.