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Clean Energy Solutions for Your Home

kitchenA recent national poll found that a majority of American homeowners not only support renewable energy solutions, but are actively searching for ways to integrate clean energy products into their lives. The nationwide poll, released in March of this year, found that 88 percent of homeowners support renewable energy solutions such as solar power, while 69 percent are seeking even more choices when it comes to their energy and electricity supply. The report, “U.S. Homeowners on Clean Energy: A National Survey,” is available for download at http://cleanedge.com/reports/homeowner-clean-energy-survey

When clean energy products first debuted, high prices and difficulty in understanding how to install or use them kept demand low. Today, though, as designs have improved, products are easier to use, and prices drop, it’s much easier to integrate products into your home and garden that are both friendly for the environment and for your bank account. Here are a few ideas to get you started: 

Water Recycling: Rainwater harvesting systems have become sleek, easy-to-use and easy-to-install solutions for those looking to lower their water bills while keeping their landscaping lush. Check out the models available from Bushman, with prices started at only a few hundred dollars. 

Electricity Consumption: Did you know that in the average home, 75 percent of the electricity used to power electronics and appliances is consumed while the products are turned off? Depending on where you live, this can end up costing you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars per year. Shut down those energy vampires by using the new breed of powerstrips with timers that can be programmed or manually shut on and off as needed.  

CFL Light Bulbs: For every CFL you install, you’ll save around $30 in electricity costs over the bulb’s lifetime. While CFLs originally were quite bulky, GE recently debuted CFL bulbs with miniaturized components that look more like the light bulbs we’re used to and fit almost anywhere an incandescent can go. And here’s a bonus: The new 15-watt bulbs, with light output equivalent to a 60-watt incandescent, will last up to 8,000 hours.  

Solar Panels: The cost of solar panels has decreased by more than half over the last 3 years. Solar energy can be used to heat and cool your home, and it has almost no impact on the global climate. By comparison, electricity generated by power plants produces carbon dioxide emissions that scientists say pose serious threats to the environment. And don’t forget the tax credits and incentives offered by the U.S. government, as well as reduced utility bills.