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Supporting Businesses That Use Solar Energy

If you’re a consumer who is committed to the environment consider researching your favorite businesses and making purchases at places that support solar energy. Use the suggestions below to help you choose businesses that reflect your support of solar energy.

When you’re researching companies you should look for company-generated information about how the company incorporates solar energy into its business model which is readily available since it makes companies look good to consumers.

Tip: If you are planning to go greener, you should consider fixing any taps that are leaking. Doing this will decrease the amount of water you use, and as a result, you will have more hot water in your home.

In order to distinguish between corporate green energy adaptations companies make because they’re required to and those they choose to make because of a commitment to green energy, look for a company’s required disclosure about whether their solar energy is part of mandatory compliance or part of a voluntary commitment to solar.

Use your own understanding including features of solar energy that have prevented you from purchasing solar energy to determine why the companies are able to do so in order to calculate whether the cost of solar energy is likely being passed on to customers.

Tip: To help lessen the amount of energy used in your home, consider purchasing a new energy-efficient water heater. Although it will probably cost you more at first than a regular water heater, the savings you will get from energy will continue over the lifetime of the appliance.

Incorporating solar energy remains an expensive proposition so that you’ll want to understand whether companies have access to initiatives that aren’t available to ordinary consumers or whether they’ve made changes based on corporate policies supporting solar energy in spite of costs.

Solar energy is likely the source of less than half the energy usage of a particular company so that you should still put your own purchasing priorities first. As in the case of most of your purchases, your own commitment to supporting businesses that use solar power does not mean you shouldn’t pay attention to your own needs and financial constraints.

Tip: If you are seeking to save energy, try not to drive too fast. When a person drives fast, they use too much gasoline, which in turn, wastes energy.

You can find lists of companies using solar energy to meet their energy requirements on the Environmental Protection Agency website. If your commitment is to all kinds of green energy you will find some businesses that are using both solar and wind energy to meet 100 percent of their power needs.

Separate out marketing tactics from real benefits when you’re weighing the importance of patronizing businesses that use solar energy. You can use the EPA website to determine the advertised benefits of using solar energy that are describe for businesses which includes the positive impact it will have on you, the consumer.

Tip: Those looking to save energy and live a greener life may want to consider reducing the amount of lighting in their house. Ask yourself if you really need four lamps in a single room, or read with a book light rather than using your rooms lighting at night.

Consider whether your support of a business that uses solar energy is the best way you can accelerate the more widespread adoption of solar energy or whether more direct efforts such as purchasing stock from companies that are connected with solar energy, contributing to charities that work to install solar energy panels or volunteering with a solar energy non-profit that works to influence solar energy policy is a more meaningful way for you to support your commitment to solar energy.

Your commitment to a green lifestyle is likely to include support of solar energy and its use by business. Use the suggestions above to determine whether patronizing businesses that incorporate a solar energy policy is a way you might support the use of solar energy.

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How To Utilize Solar Energy Outside Your Home

Solar energy is a wonderful and innovative strategy for reducing your energy costs. Most people reduce solar energy to uses within their own home. However, solar energy can be used outside the home as well in your yard. Continue reading for some helpful tips on how to utilize solar energy outside your home.

Do you have land and cattle? Do you have a purpose for an electric fence? Maybe you already have an existing electric fence. As big as they are and as much as they’re needed, solar energy can greatly reduce your costs. Consider building a solar electric fence that will last a long time and will use the renewable energy resource costing you “nothing.”

Tip: Keep your fridge and freezer closed as often as possible. Refrigeration consumes about a third of your households total energy and constantly leaving your fridge and freezer open can increase the energy needed by up to 25%.

Solar outdoor lighting is another thing that is starting to catch on big time. Many people light up their sidewalks, porches, decks, and more. You can use solar lighting for all of the above, and it’s a great way to save even more money on energy costs with the use of solar energy. Get creative, and solar outdoor lighting is also very decorative. You can get all different types, and since it is solar powered, you can afford to get and operate more than you would have otherwise.

You can also get a solar water pump in order to save on your energy bill. This is something that if you have it, it runs pretty continuously. With solar energy, you’re eliminating the cost of having to do that. Consider getting a solar water pump to complement your goals for outdoor solar energy usage.

Tip: Are you still using oil heat? You could switch to a greener solution without replacing your furnace. Find a qualified technician to inspect your system and make sure you can switch to a biofuel.

Thinking about getting a fountain in your backyard? Maybe you already have a fountain or even more than one? Fountains sound and look beautiful, but again, they are something else that runs continuously. Installing a solar powered fountain can eliminate the cost of that continuous running. You will be overjoyed at the savings, and the view of your fountain and trickling water sound will mean much more.

Want to talk an even larger item than a fountain? How about installing that solar powered pool! Think about the energy savings cost this could provide to you and your family. This is a wonderful way to make a pool more affordable. Enjoy your pool more as you make it more affordable to own.

Tip: To help you improve the green energy efficiency of your home, consider installing solar panels in your home. Solar panels are a good source of renewable energy and can be installed at a relatively low cost.

It doesn’t stop there. How about getting that outdoor solar powered oven? Think about cooking at no additional cost. What a wonderful way to accessorize your outdoor solar powered devices, and think about showing it off to the neighbors.

Solar energy is something you can utilize to save you much money over time. While many people think of indoors, its uses extend to the outdoors as well. Remember you’re helping the environment, and you’re saving yourself tons of money over a period of time. So get into the craze of a solar powered outdoor setting, and enjoy yourself as you make the improvements. Remember the tips you’ve read here as you bring solar power to your outdoor setting.

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Going Green Before Getting Solar

When you buy a solar energy system, you have to make sure that you have an idea of what your power requirements will be. This is important because you really want to make sure that you have enough power when you run your home on solar energy. The best way to do this is to cut your energy usage, and the best way to do that is to “go green”. Here are some great ways for you to go green so that you can better use solar energy.

1. Change your light bulbs. If you aren’t already using the new light bulbs, start! The old bulbs use a lot more energy and they do not last as long. Not only that, but they don’t even provide that much more light, if any. The newer energy-efficient light bulbs are much harder to break, and they are much more likely to last for years. They are a great way to cut your energy costs so that you need less energy when you start looking at solar panels.

Tip: Lower the temperature on your drinking water heater. Keeping your drinking water heater set to 120 degrees or lower is an easy way of using green energy technology to help lower your energy costs and conserve energy.

2. When you are not in a room, the light should not be on. This is a hard lesson for people to learn, but it really makes all the difference. Just turn off the light when you leave! If that is too hard for you to remember, think seriously about getting “the clapper” so that you can remember it for the fun value.

3. Use cold water to wash your clothes. This is a great idea because hot water really isn’t’ necessary for most laundry. Check your clothing, and you will only rarely read that it must be washed in hot. That is something that we as a culture learned that has no real value. The detergent you use is much more important that the temperature of the water. Make sure you do what you can in order to only use hot water rarely and only when you need to.

Tip: Buying energy-efficient light bulbs is a great way to save money and use green energy in your home. These light bulbs take a couple minutes to use their maximum brightness.

4. Take one shower a day. A lot of people take two or more showers a day, especially in the summer, and it is incredibly wasteful, for so many reasons. Stick to one shower a day. IF you are too hot or have exercised, take a shower after you exercise and skip the regular one in the morning.

5. Get the family on-board. Have a talk about your plans to get more energy-efficient. Make sure the entire family is helping out and thinking about being energy-efficient. Make sure everyone understands why it is smart and conscientious to do these things. If you can get everyone on board, then your costs will go down that much more quickly.

These are just a few of the things you can do to be more energy-efficient. Energy-efficiency will help you use less energy so that you need fewer solar panels, and you pay less for your solar energy upfront costs. You can always add panels in the future if you need to, but when you go green and get solar energy, you are doing the right thing.

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Solar Power Means Cash Savings

Green energy is much in the news, and offers many alternative energy systems. But what is more reliable than the sun? The solar rays that fall on us are free. They are more sustainable than wind or water. Harnessing them has become a vast industry. If you are intrigued by solar power, read the following tips. They will tell you more about these systems and whether they are right for you.

Where you live is a big factor in whether converting to solar power will be cost efficient for you. If you live on the Arizona desert, the quick answer is “yes.” If you live up near the Canadian border, you will need to give the question more thought, but solar power can still be a good solution for you. Germany is a northern country that has invested in solar power in a big way, and is reaping good results. Technology keeps improving. Solar panels are more efficient, less costly and longer lasting than in earlier days.

Tip: If you want a great green energy source that does not cost a dime, simply look to your legs for power. If you have to make a trip to the grocery store, use your bike or walk instead of driving.

Solar hot water is recommended for anyone. It uses not PV panels but solar water panels. Water is piped into panels on the roof and heated using the sun’s energy, then made available for your use. This system may meet all your hot water needs, or you may need to augment it with some use of electricity for heating water.

The orientation of your roof is important. A south-facing area is usually desired, but some experts prefer an east or west-facing area. The north-facing roof area will not yield much solar power, unless you live in the tropics. Also take a look at shade cast from trees or buildings onto your roof. This will decrease the sunlight available and make solar power systems less attractive.

Tip: Geothermal heating may be something for you to consider. If you live in the right kind of area, you are going to be able to take advantage of the heat that the earth naturally produces.

A benefit of installing a solar power system is that, in many areas, you can sell the surplus energy generated on bright sunny days back to the power company. When your back-up storage batteries are fully charged, you can make money from the extra power your solar panels generate.

Once you have assessed your situation and decided that installing solar power makes sense for you, there are a number of other things to take into consideration before you start. If you belong to a home owner’s association, check first about their rules. There may be limits on how much solar array you can install, and where it can be placed.

You will also want to check with your local government about any limitations, and building permits.

Tip: Consider the possibility of selling some of the green energy you generate to the utility company in order to cover the cost of your initial investment in the energy generating equipment. Many utility outfits today will buy energy directly from consumers and this can really make going greener pay off for you today and well into the future.

You can check with government agencies online to find out the requirements to qualify for tax credits. The federal government offers a 30 percent tax credit on your costs when converting to solar power. To qualify, the equipment you use must be Energy Star rated. State and local governments may offer additional tax credits. These can go a long way towards countering your initial installation costs.

These tips have started you on your way. Weigh all the costs and benefits of solar power over the long term. They may add up to substantial energy savings. Converting to solar power will also make you one of the good folks helping to counter global warming.

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Is Solar Energy Right For You?

You have probably heard about solar energy. Did you know that switching to solar energy could help you save a lot on your bills? Keep reading to learn more about solar energy and make sure it is a good option for you.

You should know that solar panels will function correctly only if you live in a very sunny area. Arizona homeowners are able to produce enough energy to power their entire home easily, but if you are located in a state where your solar panels will be covered in snow during the winter or where you cannot count on clear blue skies every day, your solar panels will produce considerably less power. Get a professional to assess the sun exposure of your property if you want to make sure solar panels are a good investment for you.

Tip: One way to help with reducing energy is by using solar panels in your home. Solar energy harnesses the power from the sun which is then used to provide energy to things like getting hot water, drying clothes and keeping your home warm during the winter.

There are different types of solar panels to choose from. The photovoltaic technology is very popular because of its affordable price. Photovoltaic panels include mono-crystalline and polycrystalline ones: the mono-crystalline panels are a little more expensive but they are also more efficient. The polycrystalline panels are the most affordable model but they produce less power since some of the energy produced is lost while it is transferred from one cell to the other. There is a third option: thin-film solar panels. These panels are more expensive but they are more efficient because of their higher sensibility. A few clouds in the sky will not impact the performance of these panels. They are also a lot easier to install because of their lighter weight and flexible texture. You should research different solar panel vendors in your area to compare models and prices.

Learn to take proper care of your solar panels. You will have to clean them regularly and learn to inspect them without damaging them. If you are not comfortable with getting up on the roof, you can hire a solar panel technician to come inspect your panels regularly and make sure everything is functioning like it should. If you notice that your panels are producing a low amount of power in spite of a good exposure to the sun, contact your technician immediately. You also need to insure your solar panels: insurance is an additional cost but it is the best way to finance repair and maintenance.

Tip: Replace your appliances with energy-efficient appliances. Not only will you save energy and cut down on your electricity bills, but you can get a tax break for using these appliances.

Keep in mind that you do not have to purchase a full-scale system: if you cannot afford to cover your roof in solar panels, get a couple of solar panels and use them to power a few of your appliances. You can purchase solar-powered outside lights, water heaters, water pumps, battery chargers and generators. Contact your local energy provider and ask about the different financing program they offer: the best way to finance your solar panels is to sell a part of the power you are producing to the main grid. This will allow you to make a small profit and be able to draw power from the main grid if your panels are not producing any electricity.

Getting some solar panels could help you power your home at no cost once your panels are paid off. Take the time to do more research about this technology and consider purchasing a different kind of green energy system if solar panels are not your best option.

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Solar Energy For Your Cabin

Many times people look for a rustic get-a-way vacation cabin, and find just what they want, but beyond the reach of electrical power. Now they must find a way to get light and heat into their wilderness retreat. Solar energy is the answer, and this article provides information about how to make use of it.

You may think finding some used appliances for your cabin is a good idea, but older appliances are not as energy efficient. Look for new appliances in a small size, but large enough to meet your needs while you are staying at your cabin. Many times appliances intended for an efficiency apartment are ideal for a vacation cabin. You can also search for a small, wood-burning stove to provide a way to cook and heat your cabin. Most of the time, a wilderness cabin is located in or near a forest, and plenty of firewood is available.

Tip: Some energy can be saved by using less water. One way to cut down on water use is to install a toilet which uses minimum water with each flush.

You are going to need energy from at least two sources, one to provide heat and hot water, and another to provide electricity for your appliances. If you install just a couple solar panels, the energy they collect can be stored in batteries and will provide electricity. It is a good idea to have a back-up generator available in case the sun does not shine for several days in a row.

You will need hot water for bathing, cooking and cleaning. Most of the time, a solar water heater can provide all you need. If you need very hot water, it can be heated on your wood fired stove. If you do not want to spend money on a solar water heater, consider installing a gravity fed shower that uses water from an overhead tank that you can fill with warm water before showering.

Tip: Do not assume that green energies are too expensive. The initial cost can be high, but most states will give you interesting tax incentives if you invest in green energies.

Before you even purchase your wilderness cabin, determine how expensive it will be to provide the amount of energy you will need. If the cost is too high, perhaps you should consider finding a vacation cottage closer to civilization. Solar panels can be expensive to install, and take a long time to recoup the cost. This is true even on a house you are living in all the time, and even more so for a vacation cabin.

While you are investigating the cost of fitting your cabin with energy producing products, you will also be locating the least expensive sources. Many items can be found locally, but some good deals may be available online.

Tip: Responsibly recycling electronics is a great way to maximize resources. When people think of green energy they think of alternative energy.

Once you have determined the full cost of purchasing and supplying your vacation cabin, proceed with the purchase if it is within your budget. Once you have spent some time in your cabin, you will discover new ways to live comfortably without electricity. Remember, the pioneers did not have electricity for many years.

A wilderness cabin can truly be a retreat away from civilization, but it also means a vacation from convenience. Once you have made the decision to purchase your cabin, use the information in this article to help provide energy for the most necessary conveniences.

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Using Solar Energy In Your House

So, you don’t have enough money right now to install an array of solar panels on your roof. However, you still want to take advantage of solar energy to help bring down your overall power bill. There are some tips in this article that will help you figure out small ways to use solar energy around the house.

There are a variety of outdoor lighting solutions that depend on solar energy. Some of these are the small lights that you just slide into the ground, making a nice border for your path to the front door from the sidewalk. Others are somewhat larger and allow you to light a whole area of the backseat. Also, there are some larger, free standing lamps that rely on solar power as well, and you can place them strategically around the yard to create a groovy ambiance.

Tip: If you are still using a more traditional source of energy, invest in a programmable thermostat. This will let you pre-set your temperatures for both day and night times.

Temporary lighting is also a great idea for a summer party. Your guests will be able to follow each other around the yard, and if you also put out some citronella candles, the insects will stay away. Using these lights will make you look like you’re green at heart — and will make your part of the house very cool.

While solar-powered cars are not yet a realistic method of transportation for a family, new advances are made each month in this area of technology. It certainly makes sense that one day, a solar-powered car could carry people around, but right now the prototypes are small — and do not have a lot of room inside them. The closest thing right now is an electric car that you could plug into a wall outlet inside a home with solar panels on top of it.

Tip: A raised floor can be a great way to save energy. Install your heating system in the raised floor: the heat will circulate much better and every room of your house will be warm.

The power that these would generate might well be negligible, but a solar powered attic fan would bring some relief to the summer nights. Using these appliances to cool the house and get rid of unnecessary moisture would drive bills down — as well as temperatures.

If you want to install some panels but not a full array, you can still hook it up to your hot water heater. This way, your energy has a dedicated appliance to go to, and you haven’t gone to the full expense of a major array. Connect a small array of four to eight panels directly through the roof to your hot water heater. Excess energy will still enter the grid for you, but if you need the rest of the energy for your own needs, it will be there for you.

If your family does not have the money for a solar energy project right now, you can start smaller. You can put some lamps in the back yard, or even install a smaller array dedicated to one or two of you appliances. Once you build up some savings from your electric bill, you can go back and buy the rest of the array, or mix up your energy sources in another way. Either way, it’s possible to start solar savings without a full array of panels.

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