Feb 012010

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According to what the best historians tell us, since 1750 our reliance on fossil fuels has risen unabated as we turn to coal and oil for everything. As the years have gone by and as we have become smarter, we have invented new ways to use energy to make our lives easier. While this has been going on, we have ignored those scientists and environmentalists who tell us that the consequent greenhouse gas emissions are damaging the very world we live in.

It has only been fairly recently that we have actually woken up to understand what is going on. A lot of damage has been caused so far and if we don’t do something about it soon, our reliance on fossil fuels will stop us from repairing and reversing this damage. Now we can clearly see the benefits of renewable energy and know that helping the environment through tangible change is a necessity.

Unfortunately, only about 5% of our energy needs are satisfied by renewable energy forms such as solar, wind, water and geothermal. While it is definitely possible for us to make enough electricity from these sources for our own use, unfortunately it is very expensive and prohibitively so, for us to invest in home-based systems alone. If we look at solar energy as an option, probably the most well-known of solutions, as used by home owners in sunny climes, are energy panels that can be mounted to the roof to run certain appliances and heat water.

Some appliance manufacturers are working on the development of “smart” products that can be run individually from external, renewable energy sources. In certain cases, a solar panel may be able to run a refrigerator, for example.

All governments are waking up and taking notice of the problems and are providing appropriate funds to help pay grants and incentives. Home owners who are more willing to invest in taking steps to retrofit existing systems to replace energy hog appliances will likely get grants from the taxpayer. This is a good investment, as in the long run, a lower reliance on raw energy needs can only be viewed as a security enhancement from a wider point of view.

When it comes to ways to save electricity around the home, we can do this by using a type of renewable energy in its most basic form. If the climate that you live in allows this, why not consider using solar energy to dry your clothes? A typical clothes washer and dryer cycle can add to your energy bill considerably. Remember that individual steps can all make a difference and if we take concerted action, we can get there.

If you’re not able to take advantage of renewable energy in your home, insist that those companies that you pay money to make considerable efforts in the right direction. Deal with companies that are sustainable and favour renewable energy. As it is such good public relations, companies that do are falling over themselves to let us know that they are good corporate citizens. Make sure they pay attention!

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 Posted by at 8:11 am