LizzieWeakley

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  1. Not only do new windows make your home look and feel updated, they can also do a lot for the energy efficiency of your home. If you upgrade your windows, your home could become more efficient and your bills could get lower. They Reduce Drafts Old windows can be drafty especially if they are not installed correctly. New windows reduce the draft and can make it easier for you to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It’s important to recognize that drafty windows can cause huge changes in your electric bills. Double Panes Are More Efficient When companies like Valley Glass Utility install new windows, they do so with double panes. This is the standard for replacement windows and new-build windows now. Double panes are more energy efficient because of the way they trap heat inside or cool air inside. They can help reduce your energy bill. Old Glass Isn’t Insulating There are not any insulating properties in old glass windows. Along with it being single-paned most of the time, there might also be issues with the way the glass was put into the windows. Even if you have a home that wasn’t built too long ago, the windows may not have all the insulating properties new windows do. It’s important to get new windows so they can act as another barrier against the outside. They need to be able to help your home stay warm or cool while also providing protection from the elements. Your Home Will Be Easier to Heat Heating a home with old windows might seem impossible. Since they don’t trap heat like they should and they’re not efficient, you might not be able to have the best heating system in your house. For this reason, many older homes feel like they’re cold all the time. Getting new windows might make it easier for you to heat your home. The right windows will allow your home to heat up and can make it easier for you to take advantage of a great heating system when you were unable to do so in the past because of drafts or other issues in your home. Not only are window replacements a good idea to change the aesthetics of your home but they’re also great for increasing the efficiency. If you want to see drastic changes in your energy bills, upgrading to new windows is the way to go.
  2. The amount you pay for energy can directly affect your profits. This is especially true if you own a small or medium-sized business because of the way the profit structures work. If you want to lower your energy bills, you can start out with focusing on the efficiency of your business. There are different things you can do to protect your business from huge spikes in energy usage! Fix Your Lighting Lights can be one of the biggest draws on energy. Harsh fluorescent lighting isn’t just hated by employees all around the country, it’s also expensive to use! You can switch your lights out for LEDs that are just as illuminating as their fluorescent counterparts. You will get more life from the LED bulbs too. Consider Your Climate Control Whether you have air conditioning in your office or not, it’s important to make sure the climate control works the right way. Using a system like a ducted reverse cycle air conditioning is a great way to make sure you’re getting the most out of the energy you use. Find a system that’s energy efficient and use it the correct way to get the most out of it. Use the Right Equipment Computers, printers and other office tools can use a lot of energy. You may want to switch your computers out for ones that are energy efficient. There are other things you can do to ensure you are saving energy with your computers and other equipment. It might be a good idea to make these changes so you don’t have to worry about the issues that come from having energy-draining computers and other equipment. Encourage Employees Get all your employees involved with energy efficiency. Encourage your employees to make small steps with you so they can help make the office more energy efficient. It may be a good idea to create small rewards so employees have something to work for when they’re taking steps toward a more efficient office. Make Small Upgrades Making huge changes all at one time will have a big impact on your office, but it can be costly and complicated. If you want to make sure you’re doing the best job possible at making your office more energy efficient, make small changes. By making your office more efficient, you’re setting yourself up for a better profit margin. The more energy efficient your office is, the more you’ll save on energy bills.
  3. Due to the stress that using oil, coal, and other resources has on the environment, finding ways to incorporate renewable energy solutions is very important. Today, there are many great renewable energy options, including solar and wind technology. Overall, there are five states in the United States that are continuing to make renewable energy investments a priority. Maine The state of Maine continues to be a leader when it comes to renewable energy. A very impressive 75% of the state's energy comes from some form of renewable energy. The state has a strong mix of hydroelectricity plants, biomass uses, and wind energy plants. All of these help to contribute towards the overall strong levels of renewable energy, which continues to make Maine one of the greenest states in the country. Montana Traditionally, Montana has been very well known for its high level of coal production. While five percent of the country's coal comes from this state, Montana has continued to invest in other renewal energy solutions as well. Today, the state continues to invest in hydroelectric plants that are able to use water to produce electricity. Nebraska While it is not normally considered an environmentally-friendly state, Nebraska has taken many steps to improve its reliance on renewable energy. Overall, more than 20% of the total energy used in Nebraska comes from renewable sources. This state has a huge amount of wind-energy production and also is a leading producer of ethanol. Washington Located in the northwest, the state of Washington is the national leader in hydroelectricity. Overall, more than 2 million households across the state are connected to energy produced by a few different dams. Even more impressive is that the state actually creates a surplus of energy, which they then sell to some neighboring states and even some parts of Canada. Oregon Oregon continues to be a leader when it comes to renewable energy production. This state does produce some hydroelectricity, but is also well known for producing a lot of wind energy. Overall, Oregon has more than 2,000 turbines that produce the most wind energy in the country. Oregon is also continuing to look for additional ways to invest in renewal and solar energy projects. Overall, all of these states are looking for ways to use more and more renewable energy. With help from technologically sound companies, like douglaselectrical.com, many other states can make headway on this hot-button issue. If more states are willing to make these types of investments, it could help to solve many current and future environmental challenges that we are having.
  4. Having a man cave is a great way to make your family life better. It gives you privacy and a place to be a guy without interruptions. However, it can also be an energy hog. From televisions to sound systems and more, you need a way to make your man cave more energy efficient so it doesn’t break the budget. Here are five great ideas to get your started. Lighting Your man cave might have a variety of specialty lighting. Some of it is for mood, while some of it is for being able to see well. This is true whether you plan on gaming with the guys, doing your own projects, or simply wanting a bright space. However, you should consider switching to more energy efficient bulbs that output the same amount of light without using up all of your electricity. Sound You don’t need to break the bank to get a better sound system. When you invest a little more, you are buying a better efficiency ratio while not sacrificing the sound quality. This means you can enjoy surround sound and integration of your phone, computer, and tv while loving the whole experience and especially the reduction of electricity costs that it brings. Doors and Windows Doors and windows are one of the main parts of your home that leak energy like crazy. Something from a provider that offers better sealing and energy efficiency like Edelen Door can do the trick of giving a beautiful entry without the leakage that occurs in most doors and windows in homes all around the country. Solar Power Installing solar panels on your roof is not for everybody. However, it can be a great way to make things more efficient. Not only are they green technology, but they pay you back year over year. Insulation Your walls in your garage are not very energy efficient. This is, unless of course, you have the proper insulation. Investing a little more in insulation now will save you a lot in the long run. When it comes to having your man cave in the garage, it is something that you can cherish for a long time to come. However, you don’t want to make the mistake of paying for more energy than you need to. Then, your getaway simply becomes another huge bill to pay at the end of the month. So save your wallet by using the simple tips above to get more energy efficiency out of your manly space.
  5. There are advantages and disadvantages to having a tankless water heater. The main advantage is that your home can be more energy efficient. There are also other benefits that you might want to consider. Here are some of the reasons that investing in a tankless water heater is better for your home. Less Overall Waste A water heater that has to hold your hot water in reserve is wasting a lot of energy in doing so. This is because it has to run frequently in order to maintain the temperature of the water, even when you aren’t using it. When you stop to consider the environmental impact that having an appliance constantly running has, the overall waste is significant. No Tepid Water You may have a problem in your home with running out of hot water on those busy mornings. This is because once you’ve depleted your supply of hot water in the tank, it takes time to reheat the water that’s refilling the tank. A tankless water heater is more of an on-demand type of system. What this means is that it heats the water as you’re using it. This makes it more efficient, and therefore, less wasteful. Lower Energy Bills By far, one of the greatest benefits to a tankless water heater is that your energy bills can be reduced. On the flip side, there is a larger upfront invest in the purchase and installation of the tankless system. Many homeowners find that the initial costs will pay for themselves with lower energy bills and the longer lasting lifespan of the tankless water heater itself. If you’re interested in installing a tankless water heater in your home, look into using a company like Ez Flow Plumbing to help you with this project. Reduced Floor Space Another benefit is that you can reduce the amount of floor space that’s required by using a tankless water heater. This can prove to be beneficial if you’re short of extra space in your home. A tankless water heater also tends to be safer. This is because there’s less of a chance of the tank becoming damaged or degraded. In some instances, a damaged water heater could present a safety hazard for your home and your family. Increased energy efficiency is only one aspect of a tankless water heater. There are numerous other benefits that you may not have taken into account. Consider these reasons when deciding if this is the right choice for you.
  6. Recycling scrap metal shouldn’t have to be a fulltime job. There are lots of different resources available in which you can dispose of unwanted metal. Here are some of the best practices that you can use in order to recycling your scrap metal and be kind to the environment. Understand Metal Types The type of metal that you’re looking to recycle will dictate the means in which you can recycle it. Ferrous and nonferrous materials are sometimes required to be recycled by a different means. You can check the type of metal that you have by using a magnet to see if it sticks to them. Nonferrous metals are more likely to generate a profit since they tend to be rarer and in higher demand. Use Curbside Where Possible Some communities offer curbside recycling programs. This is one way that you can get rid of those smaller items that would fit into a bin. In some cities, you can dispose of old appliances in a similar manner. Call your local recycling collection agency to determine the best means of recycling your old scrap metal. This may help to alleviate some of the metal that you have lying around. Look into a Scrapyard For larger items or even large quantities of scrap metal, you may need to look into using a scrapyard. Scrap metal services are a good way in which to unburden yourself of that extra scrap metal lying around your home or the job site. Many of these sites will sort out the different types of metal for you to ensure that it can be properly recycled. This not only benefits you, but it also benefits the environment. Generate Some Revenue In some areas, you can sell your old scrap metal to a resale lot. Some of the more valuable types of metals will include copper and aluminum. These types of materials can often be found in plumbing fixtures, old electronics, and gutters. You can have your old scrap metal generate a little bit of profit for you by taking it somewhere that accepts this type of material. The area in which you live will dictate the best method of recycling your scrap metal. You may have to think outside of the box a little bit in order to get rid of some of your larger pieces of metal in the most eco-friendly manner possible. Use these tips to get you started recycling your scrap metal around the house.
  7. Being a green office is more than just good for the environment. You can save your business some money be investing in these green and clean solutions. Here are some tips to get you started on making a greener workplace. Limit Your Paper Consumption Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to print out your emails. This practice is not only wasteful, but time consuming. The whole point of moving to an electronic, paperless system is supposed to be that you use less resources. This means that there’s less overall waste in the workplace. This is good because you have to purchase less paper as well as being a greener and cleaner solution for your workplace. Invest in Recycling Encourage your employer to invest in a recycling program at your company. The only difference is the type of can that items are discarded into by employees. This has the benefit of being better for the environment and making everyone feel good at the company. When you stop to consider the costs of disposing of all the waste that’s generated at a business, recycling just makes economic as well as ecological sense. You may be able to reduce the monthly cost on your garbage bill. Promote Green Solutions Start up a program in which employees use reusable cups for both water and coffee while at the office. This will also reduce the amount of waste that’s generated in the workplace. Another solution is to invest in greener cleaning products. These types of cleaners generally produce less air pollution and residual chemicals on surfaces. This is a good thing if you have employees that suffer from asthma and other types of lung conditions. Install Proper Filtration The second part of developing a cleaner work environment is to have proper air filtration that removes or eliminates the amount of contaminants in the environment. There are a variety of kinds of products that can be used to achieve cleaner air in the workplace. Employees that work in a healthier environment are less likely to take as many sick days during the year. This can start to add up to a real savings for the company. There are lots of ways that you can promote a cleaner and greener workplace. Look around you so that you can decide the best course of action when it comes to becoming more eco-friendly. There may even be tax incentives that you can take advantage of in your endeavors.
  8. Solar energy has become more popular in recent years because of its many advantages. Instead of getting power from electricity or gas, solar energy comes directly from the sun and can provide your home with adequate power. Here are five of the main reasons why you should consider switching to solar energy. Less Expensive Even though you’ll probably need to invest a large amount of money to have your solar equipment installed, solar energy will likely end up saving you a lot of money in the long run. Gas and electricity are more expensive power sources, and switching to solar energy can reduce your utility bills dramatically. Since the power comes from the sun, no additional expense is needed to harvest the energy other than the money that you put into your own equipment. Incentives and Tax Breaks Some states also offer incentives and tax breaks to people who choose solar power. This is done as a way to encourage and reward people for using renewable energy. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, a policy known as the solar investment tax credit (ITC) allows you to claim a deduction on your federal taxes. Better for the Environment Solar energy is considered to be a much cleaner power source because it doesn’t harm air quality or emit other pollutants that can harm the land and water. You won’t be releasing carbon emissions into the air and increasing your carbon footprint when you switch to solar energy. Since solar energy is renewable, you’ll be putting less strain on the planet’s resources when you use it. Increased Home Value The resale value of your home will likely increase significantly when you use solar energy. Your solar panels will give your home a more modern look and make your property an attractive investment for potential buyers who want to save money on energy costs. A solar panel installation company can install equipment in a way that will look aesthetically appealing for your home and possibly attract more prospective buyers. Job Creation You can even do your part to help your local economy by creating more jobs when you use solar energy. Other people in your community may be enticed to switch to solar energy, and this may increase the number of jobs by putting more demand on the industry. Many solar energy positions are highly specialized and can’t be outsourced, which can also help the American economy. You’ll be doing something good for yourself and the world around you when you choose solar energy. Switching to solar energy will be one of the wisest investments that you’ll make for your home.
  9. The earth is currently going through a lot of challenges. This includes global warming, extreme weather, pollution and more. If these challenges are to be overcome, it’s going to require action from everyone. This certainly includes homeowners. There are steps you can take as a homeowner to lessen your impact on the environment. Below are four strategies for making your home more energy efficient. Upgrade Your HVAC System One of the biggest drains on your energy efficiency is your heating, ventilation and cooling system, also known as an HVAC system for short. According to Derek Sawyers Smart Energy Heating & Air, your system should probably be upgraded if it’s older than 15 years. Newer HVAC systems run much more efficiently. This means increased energy efficiency and lower utility bills every month. Upgrade Your Light Bulbs Another idea you should consider to increase your home’s energy efficiency is upgrading your light bulbs. Traditional incandescent light bulbs run very hot. This means they use a lot of energy and also wear out much faster as well. Newer compact fluorescent bulbs, on the other hand, run much cooler when producing the same amount of light as incandescent bulbs. According to the US Department of Energy, compact fluorescent lights use 25 to 35 percent of the energy that incandescent lights do. They last significantly longer as well. Upgrade Your Windows Another source of energy inefficiency in your house could be your windows. Older windows especially tend to leak a lot of air. This means that your furnace will have run much harder to keep your home heated during the winter. It also means your air conditioner will have to work much harder to keep your home cool during the summer. If your windows are significantly old, consider upgrading them to more energy efficient windows. Program Your Thermostat Many people run their HVAC system too often. This wastes energy and results in high utility bills. Instead of running your system all the time, program your thermostat so the heat or air only runs when it’s needed. You, for example, don’t need to run your air conditioner as much when you’re at work and your kids are at school. The carbon footprint of homes certainly has an adverse effect on the environment. If everyone took the steps outlined above, however, some of that negative impact could be curbed. Don’t stop here. There are plenty of more strategies you can use to increase your home’s energy efficiency.
  10. There are lots of perks to installing more energy efficient windows in your home. Some of the benefits provide more of a cost incentive than others. Here are just a few of the reasons that having more energy efficient windows will be good for your home. Lower Heating and Cooling Bills One of the best benefits that you can receive from a monetary standpoint from new windows is that your heating and cooling bills can be lower. New windows tend to be more energy efficient. This means that you’ll most likely notice less drafts around your house. Older windows often allowed air to enter and exit your home freely. This meant that it was costing you more to maintain the temperature in your home. Maintained Home Comfort Newer windows are better at warding off temperature fluctuations in your home. What this means for you is that you can more easily maintain a consistent temperature throughout your home. A comfortable home is more of a luxury when it comes to the costs associated with installing more energy efficient windows. Look into using a company like Edelen Door and Window to help you through the process. Decreased Sound Pollution You may be surprised to learn that energy efficient windows can also make your home quieter. This is because they’re better sealed and tend to be better at dampening the sound. That means that not only does less sound enter your home, but less sounds will leave your home as well. You don’t have to worry about the neighbors complaining about your loud movie night with the family. Protected Home Finishes One of the new features on energy efficient windows is that they provide better shielding from solar radiation. You can even add an extra layer of shielding to reduce solar radiation from entering your home. It’s the solar radiation that can cause your flooring to become discolored over time. This is even more apparent if you have wood flooring in your home. Areas that are protected from the sun tend to be lighter in color than those that are exposed to the sun. There are of course the better known reasons that installing energy efficient windows is the right choice for your home. Consider some of these lesser known perks if you’re torn about whether to spend the money on new windows right now. Your home is an investment, but you should also enjoy living in your home for years to come.
  11. If you want to have a beautiful community, then you should find ways to keep it clean. Unfortunately, there are people who don’t care about taking care of the environment. However, you can overcome the problems associated with having dirty public areas, especially during the summer. Helping a Senior Citizen Clean a Property There are likely senior citizens who have a lot of trash on a property, but without any help, the items will degrade, creating additional pollution in the groundwater and soil. You can talk to this neighbor about cleaning up a property to meet certain health codes, and you can find volunteers who will remove the piles of trash. Local Park Cleanups When your community’s local park has become a disaster zone after a public event such as a free concert, it needs a thorough cleanup. Notify the public about a community cleanup at the local park so that it will become an enjoyable place for children to play. Both children and adults can help clean a local park. Remove Trash from Empty Lots If your community has numerous empty lots where there were once houses or businesses, then the sites can become locations where people dump excess trash. In some cases, paper trash and beverage cans also collect on abandoned properties when there are rainstorms during the spring. Arrange a Saturday morning cleanup of volunteers who can pick up this accumulation of trash so that an entire neighborhood looks better. Clean a Waterway in Your Community There are individuals who will throw trash into the local waterways, filling up the streams and ponds with old tires, rusty appliances and other items. The trash that collects in waterways will destroy the natural environment. However, you must choose a time when the weather is dry so that you can remove heavy pieces of trash from the water in a lake or river. Create Community Recycling Stations When you want to encourage recycling in your community, you can teach your neighbors how to sort different types of trash. First, you will need to arrange dumpster rental so that you can separate plastic, glass and paper items. Your neighbors should learn how to clean and prepare trash for proper recycling. What Else Do You Need for a Community Cleanup? You will need an assortment of supplies while cleaning anything in your community. In addition to trash bags, you should make sure that volunteers wear protective gloves to prevent cuts on the fingers. A volunteer can also use a mechanical grabbing device to pick up trash from the ground.
  12. When you want to save money while using your home’s furnace this winter, you must make sure that the climate-control equipment is operating efficiently. In some cases, you can fix a heating system on your own with a do-it-yourself repair, but alternatively, there are times when you should contact a professional heating and cooling technician. Here are five ways to make sure that a building’s heating system is operating efficiently. Learn More from a Professional Technician You can read a heating and cooling company’s website to learn more about furnace repair. Companies such as Logan A/C & Heat Services Inc., often have informative blogs that will help you determine why a furnace costs too much to operate. When you notice that your heating bills are increasing, read the information at the blog to troubleshoot the problems with your furnace. Change the Furnace’s Furnace Each Month It is essential to change a furnace’s filter once a month to have clean air, but this will also help the warm air to circulate optimally through your home. Make sure to understand the correct size of filters for your heating system. When you are shopping for filters, buy extra to have throughout the winter to avoid any trips to a home improvement store during a snowstorm. Clean Your Home’s Venting System Every Week In addition to mopping floors and vacuuming carpets, you should clean your home’s venting system each week. Use a dust wand to reach inside the vents to remove cobwebs and household dust that collects inside the items. You may also need to wash the vent covers to remove a buildup of debris that prevents proper airflow. Verify that a Home’s Windows Are Closed Walk through your home to check all of its windows are closed completely. If the windows have latches, then make sure that the items are turned in the correct direction to seal out cold drafts that can lead to a colder home. When the caulking around the window frames are degraded, use liquid caulking to fill the openings to make your home’s furnace more efficient. Make Sure that a Home’s Vents Aren’t Blocked It is important to uncover all of your home’s vents by removing any furniture that is in front of the items. You should also make sure that long draperies or rugs aren’t covering the vents in each room. If you have piles of clutter covering the vents on the floor or walls, then you should clean your home. Is the Furnace Making Strange Noises? When a furnace is making strange grinding or squealing noises, this indicates that the equipment requires lubrication or a new part. Without a fast repair, you might spend more money on your monthly heating bills because the furnace is not operating optimally. Working on a furnace’s mechanisms and components is complicated, so calling a knowledgeable technician is the best plan for fixing your home’s heating equipment.
  13. The warehouse environment can be really hard to be energy efficient. If you’re running a warehouse, it’s so important to focus on energy efficiency so you don’t have to worry about all the issues that could come from overheating and wasting energy. Think of Electric Usage If there are areas in your warehouse that would benefit from lowering the usage on them, take advantage of that! There are so many ways you can lower your energy usage just be thinking about what you’re using it for and what you’re doing that’s causing you to use more energy. It’s a good idea to always keep energy usage in mind. Upgrade Machinery If Necessary By upgrading your machinery, you can save a lot of energy. The chances are you probably need to upgrade different machines anyways. Many new systems come with features that make them easier on energy. They could actually boost the efficiency of your warehouse overall instead of just helping you save on the energy you use to run it. Check Your Cooling System If you use a cooling system in your warehouse, the chances are it might not be up to date. If you haven’t done regular maintenance or if the system is simply old, you might need to do something about that. Using a company like MTA Australasia can help you determine whether the cooling is working or if it’s just sucking out all the energy you have for the warehouse. Recruit Employees to Help Get your employees on board with your energy efficiency goal. If you recruit employees to help you lower your energy usage, it might help you save energy and money in the long run. By doing this, you’ll make sure you’re helping yourself run a company that is successful. Take Small Steps at First Don’t get overwhelmed with your own energy efficiency goals. Just taking small steps toward a more efficient warehouse can help you save a lot of energy. It’s a good idea to always keep this in mind when you’re starting out with energy efficiency. If you know what you want to do, figure out a plan to take small steps to get there. Energy efficiency should be an important part of any warehouse. By focusing on what you need to do with your warehouse to make it more energy efficient, you can save yourself a lot of trouble that could come from not having an energy efficient warehouse.
  14. Keeping your office cool when it needs to be and hot, when it needs to be, is important. You might not know, but your roof can have a huge impact on the energy efficiency of your office. A properly maintained roof will help your office become more energy efficient. Maintenance Keeps Debris Away If there is any debris on your roof, it could be hurting the efficiency of your building. In addition to this issue, it could also cause your roof to be at risk of collapse. There are things you can do to ensure your roof doesn’t have debris on it, but regular maintenance will almost always help you keep it away. You Might Need Parts Replaced There are some parts of the roof, like shingles, that might need to be replaced regularly. Companies like Melton Industries LLC can help you determine whether or not parts need to be replaced and what you can do about it. If you need to fix your roof, it’s important to hire experts who can fix it the right way. The Roof Could Not Have Proper Insulation If your roof has not been regularly maintained, the insulation could be lacking. Proper insulation can help keep your office cool or warm and can make it easier for the entire office to stay comfortable. It’s a good idea to talk with a roof specialist who can find issues with the insulation. Problems with the Roof Could Affect Heating and Cooling If there is anything wrong with your roof, your heating and cooling will not work the right way. There could be major problems with the heating and cooling operations if you don’t have regular maintenance on your roof. Regular Maintenance Is Necessary Regularly maintaining your roof is a necessary part of your office building. You need to use a professional who can help you understand the right way to maintain your roof. With the help of a professional, you can make sure that your office building is in the best condition possible so it will be able to heat easier. After you make the right decision to use regular roof maintenance for your office, you’ll notice that your office is much easier to heat and cool. The energy efficiency will increase as a result of roof maintenance and it will help you see there are things you can do to ensure your office building is much easier to handle.
  15. The price of electricity seems to be going up every year. Energy usage is a variable cost that the vast majority of Americans are responsible for. The cost of energy can vary by region, time of year, and how the electricity is generated. There are a few ways that homeowners and renters can take charge of their electricity use. We will go over some of the best ways to do so in this article. Reduce Your Total Energy Usage In order to reduce your monthly payments to the energy company, you must reduce your total energy usage. This will ensure that you are less dependent on outside energy if you decide to make the switch to self-generation. A good way to cut your energy use is to install a smart system. This system will help you to monitor your energy use and find out where you are expending the most electricity. A smart system can also self-manage and turn off lights, thermostats, etc. When not being used. Replacing older appliances can also go a long way towards reducing energy use. Many states and even the federal government offer rebates and discounts for people who opt to replace their old, inefficient appliances with more energy efficient versions. The power reductions are nice and many people take advantage of these programs to get an upgraded unit at a subsidized price. Invest in a Solar System Upwards of 80 percent of the United States is currently considered viable for solar power, and that number is growing. The cost of solar panels, installation and maintenance has dropped over the past decade, largely due to consolidation at the top of the market and emerging technologies. Solar panel installation is now as common as a satellite dish or roofing job. A solar system has never been cheaper to install, or more efficient at generating and storing power. The only way to truly take charge of your electricity usage is to become independent of the grid. Solar power allows you to use sunlight to generate power for your home instead of drawing from the grid. In some states you can even send energy back into the grid for a payment or credit towards your next bill. If you want to become truly energy independent solar power is your best bet. The sun showers our planet with massive amounts of energy 24/7, it makes good ecological and financial sense to use that energy to become less dependent on the grid.