An Easy Way to Get Renewable Energy in New England

Not everyone has the ability, whether it is due to costs, home ownership, location, etc. to place solar panel or photovoltaic’s on their roofs or build a wind turbine in their yard, but there are options for you to buy clean renewable energy that can set us on a path for a future filled with energy that is affordable and sustainable. In RI, the path to that future is People’s Power & Light, a nonprofit organization that is leveraging consumer power for affordable heating oil and for clean, renewable energy through their New England GreenStart program.

New England GreenStart is based on renewable energy resources located in New England, such as the 660 kilowatt wind turbines at Portsmouth Abbey, Rhode Island and Hull, Massachusetts, along with hundreds of solar panels on rooftops throughout Rhode Island like those on Scituate High School. When your household becomes a customer, your household electricity usage will be matched to local renewable resources including solar, wind, biomass, and small hydroelectric plants from New England. View a map of their sources.

New England GreenStart costs a little more. For 100% of your electricity consumption, it’s 2.4 cents per kilowatt hour, or about 40 cents per day for the average home on top of your electricity you are buying from National Grid. But before you say no way, hear me out. There are two significant benefits here: the money you pay for New England GreenStart energy goes directly to renewable energy development (the path to a better and more affordable energy future) and it is 100% tax-deductible.

If you are interested, you can join here  — we already switched (it took about six minutes to fill out the application (make sure you have your National Grid account number) so the electricity as our LEED-H home project is being built is all based on renewable energy resources. The average home uses about 500 kWh per month so you’re looking at another $12.00 on your bill, if that’s just too much right now, and I do understand, here’s a list People’s Light and Power provides to save energy at home:

  1. Weather-strip a door or window with one continuous strip for best results.
  2. Turn your thermostat down 2 degrees: Most folks are still quite comfortable in a house that’s two degrees cooler.
  3. Use ventilation fans wisely .Bathroom fans can suck a whole houseful of heated air out into the cold in just a few hours. So make sure you turn it off or install a timer so the fan runs only as long as required.
  4. Set your water heater’s thermostat to 120 degrees: It’s safer and more efficient. Hot water for showers uses almost half of your heating budget a year. Reduce the heat and you reduce the cost.
  5. Install a low flow showerhead: A $15 low flow shower head could save as much as $100 of hot water. Not only do you save heating money, you save water.
  6. Replace old light bulbs with CFL Bulbs: Over 25% of your energy costs are consumed by light bulbs. A compact fluorescent light fixture can cut costs by 75% and they last longer. (And if you call National Grid for an energy audit, you will get free CFL’s. Also, ENERGY STAR has rebates for numerous CFLs so check online before you shop.)
  7. Make your next large appliance purchase an ENERGY STAR Appliance: New products are smarter and more efficient, particularly the ones with the ENERGY STAR label. Televisions, washer, dryers, refrigerators all offer energy dividends under the ENERGY STAR program. In 2009, you can get a $500 federal rebate for a new ENERGY STAR appliance so start shopping.
  8. Use the sleep mode on your computer. Using the sleep feature of your computer can make you a smart conserver and power down your monitor every time you are done.
  9. Turn off the light when you aren’t using them and save.

posted by KDL | follow me on Twitter: newscaster


One Response

  1. We have been collecting over the past year suggestions from hundreds of people across the U.S. on ways in which they conserve energy in their home.

    Of the over 240 home energy conservation suggestions on this list, a full 100+ cost absolutely nothing to do and a further 75+ cost next to nothing. Reducing a building’s consumption of non-renewable resources (electricity, home heating oil, natural gas), whether a shcool or a home, directly and immediately reduces the utility bills month after month after month which results in $$$$ savings month after month after month, and in after-tax $$$ at that.

    Doing the energy conservation steps which cost nothing or next to nothing to do will result in the $$ savings month after month after month to help pay for the next mortgage payment, groceries or the more expensive home energy conservation device.


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