Being aware of your energy use and where it comes from are great ways to reduce your environmental impact and support renewable production and smart grid expansion. Read on to find out what you can do no matter where you live.
The best energy for the environment is energy that’s never used. Becoming more efficient is the simplest, most cost effective and greenest way to reduce your energy use. Swap out your incandescent light bulbs for LEDs, turn things off and seal up leaks, these are easy changes with big impact and are the first steps to reducing your carbon footprint. Purchase Energy Star rated appliances, upgrade to smart thermostats and check to make sure you have adequate insulation in your home. Wash you clothes in cold water and hang to dry.
The climate has changed and if anything can be done to slow the change, we have to change the way we generate electricity. We need to move from coal and fossil fuels to renewable clean energy. Home solar energy has arrived in Illinois. Making your own energy from your roof is an empowering action and part of the change we need to make. Not only is solar renewable and clean, but it will save you thousands of dollars in energy costs. There is virtually no maintenance, no need for batteries and doesn’t change the way the power works. Prices have come down dramatically in recent years. State and federal incentives will typically cover more than half the cost of going solar. There are many financing options available from outright purchase to low cost loans and leases that allow you to go solar for less monthly than your current electric bill.
Do you live in a rental home or condo? Is your roof shaded by trees? Maybe you plan on moving in a few years. Rooftop solar may not be an option. If this is your situation, you can still take advantage of clean energy by subscribing to a community solar project or purchasing energy from an alternative supplier. Any residential customer can subscribe to a solar development anywhere in the ComEd service area. These “solar farms” may be located outside of Highland Park, but send clean energy to the power grid. These are projects typically cover many acres in rural areas. The energy generated by the panels you subscribe to get credited to your energy bill. Another option is to get your energy from an alternative energy supplier. In this arrangement you buy your energy from a company that sources from wind or solar farms rather than ComEd. Costs can be variable with this arrangement so make sure to read the details of the plans.