My Home Energy Project: Step 4 – Green Energy

Over the past two years, I have been working to reduce the impact of the energy consumed by my home. From creating an energy baseline, to minimizing heating/cooling and lighting loads, I have been able to reduce my energy consumption by over 20% for the household.

Plug loads were planned to be the next main area of focus for further reducing my energy consumption. However, there is a fine balance to be played between the waste created by discarding old appliances and the energy savings available. These trade offs should be weighed individually.

I lucked out that when I purchased my home as it came with recently replaced energy star appliances – and so, although there may be more efficient models available, I have decided to make responsible energy choices for these appliances only when they are in need of being replaced. Additionally, lets face it, new appliances can be expensive – and as someone who recently finished a MBA in September, my bank account is not prepared to make any major purchases unless it absolutely needs to.

In the meantime, I wanted to make progress on reducing the impact in regards to the source of my energy. My energy (including heat) comes solely from the electric grid. Depending on where you live, the energy fed into the grid can come from a variety of sources, including many heavily polluting one such as coal, oil or gas.

totalgenerationbyfuel

The above table shows Canadian provinces and how their energy is generated. Provinces with more energy generated by higher polluting sources will benefit the most from switching to renewable energy – however all provinces will benefit.

Many people think about renewable energy being only onsite (such as rooftop mounted solar panels), but it doesn’t have to be. Options exist (such as Bullfrog Power) to purchase renewable energy remotely, allowing less upfront financial investment or ongoing maintenance with similar environmental benefit. Renewable energy certificates (REC’s) ensure that the same amount of energy you purchase is provided to the grid from a renewable source.  This money helps to fund new green energy projects increasing the amount of green energy on the grid, which helps to fight climate change and air pollution.

The best part? I was able to do this for less than $15/month. 

What are your thoughts on switching your home over to renewable energy? Do you have any experience with onsite or remote renewable energy? What do you think the largest road block for you would be?

Check out previous entries about My Home Energy Project.


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9 thoughts on “My Home Energy Project: Step 4 – Green Energy

  1. Reblogged this on Not Something Else and commented:
    Here’s a bright idea – Bullfrog Power (watch the video). It’s a Canadian thing but we have the same (different company) going on in Australia too. Well, to be fair, it started in New Zealand and a couple of years ago landed on Aussie shores.

    Anyway, it’s a great idea which anyone who agrees with the need to do something about climate change could make part of any positive action plan that they may already have. And it won’t cost an arm and a leg. If you know about the dangers of climate change then you also must know that we all must change our lifestyles, perhaps in major ways, otherwise those changes will be forced on us by natural events. Here’s a way to do something.

    I have been paying extra for 100% green energy in my electricity consumption, among other things, for around five years now, and until the normal Aussie energy retailers realised that this was not in their best interests and stopped offering the option to do that (I guess with Tony Abbott as PM they thought they could get away with that. So, for the last two years I have an account with Powershop (http://www.powershop.com.au/) our ‘Bullfrog Power’ if you like.

    Yes, I may be paying a little extra for electricity, but …and it is a big but… with the standard discounts they offer, and frequent ‘specials’, I am actually paying less than before. Why not check it out.

    If you decide this is for you, then let me know. We can both get a $75 credit that way. Just saying.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tony, great questions! I did my own research for the most part. There is a lot of helpful information already available, with a bit of digging. However, on my previous initiatives (such as reducing heating and lighting) I was able to save money on upgrades through incentive programs from our energy supplier (Hydro Ottawa).

      Speaking to my neighbors is a great idea! I’d love to try to engage other condo tenants.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I would like to see about installing some solar panels to help reduce my electrical. the south side of my house gets a lot of sunlight and I think it would be a great way to maybe cut down on what I pull off the grid.

    Liked by 1 person

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