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Renewable Energy From Your Local Utility

By Tracy Crawford
April 13, 2009
File under: Alternative Sources, Electric Sources, Energy Sources, Heating Sources, Solar Energy


Apartment dwellers and other renters may wish to take advantage of such renewable energy sources as solar and wind to power their homes, but feel unable to do so since they can’t make permanent changes to their homes.

What they may not know is that many utility companies across the country allow subscribers to purchase renewable power through their existing electric service.

These programs allow household customers to purchase alternative energy for an extra fee added to their monthly utility bill. Businesses may also purchase renewable energy for an additional monthly fee.

These fees are not at all prohibitive and can be purchased in increments of 25%, 50%, or 100% of energy coming from renewable sources with fees starting as low as $3 per month.

This monthly contribution covers the added expense of harvesting renewable energy. And of course you won’t have to buy any special equipment or make any lifestyle changes by enrolling in one of these programs.

And is this extra cost tax deductible as it currently is for homeowners to solarize their homes? Sadly, no. This contribution is considered a more expensive product and service and not an actual donation.

While you won’t be able to say that your home runs entirely on renewable energy, enrolling in one these programs creates demand for renewable energy and this is definitely a benefit. We’re using more renewable resources and creating more jobs in the renewable energy sector.

When you enroll in a renewable energy program, utilities use your contribution and estimate how much power is used by the community, how many of these households contribute to the renewable energy sources, and then they add more power from the wind and solar sources to the pool of electricity they use depending on how many users have contributed to the program.

If more people subscribe to the renewable energy programs, the utilities will purchase more of the power they use from renewable energy sources.

Eventually renewable energy won’t be a more expensive option. It will be cleaner and cheaper to access than it does to make and use conventional energy sources. And it will always be available for use.

So check your local energy companies for alternative energy programs and enroll in one for Earth Day!

Click here to learn more about the Cap and Trade system.

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Biomass: A Renewable Resource and Green Solution

By Loretta White
March 23, 2009
File under: Alternative Sources, Biofuel, Carbon Emissions, Energy Sources, Green Economy, Heating Sources, Research and Development, Reusable Energy, Waste Reduction


When I think of biomass, I think of the silver DeLorean in “Back to the Future” where the professor was able to turn garbage into fuel for his time machine.

When that movie came out, the idea of using banana peels to power your engine was probably thought of as ridiculous. But today, humans can use all sorts of natural, renewable vegetation and substances.

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Solar-What Are My Options?

By Loretta White
January 2, 2009
File under: Alternative Sources, Energy Sources, Heating Sources, Research and Development, Reusable Energy


There seems to be a plethora of companies and methods, some creating a new system with each site.  That is true because so much goes in to getting off the grid; location, how much sun, how the temperature ranges in that area, (like New England-can you use solar there?), what is the consumption, how far away is the collection from the use and so much more.  The most important to us, I believe, is lowering our dependency, your carbon footprint and your ghastly heat & energy bills.

Since I am doing a series of alternative ways to heat/cool, provide energy and heat water, I thought it best to do an additional overview of Solar.

Not only do Solar systems provide clean energy, they are considerably quieter and can meet the entire heating needs of a home or business. These systems are a way to collect, store, and disburse the sun’s heat and energy and two basic main categories; Passive and Active Solar. …read more of Solar-What Are My Options? here

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New Year’s Resolution: Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

By Cherl Petso
January 1, 2009
File under: Heating Sources, Reusable Energy, Waste Reduction


As the New Year begins, people begin to consider making changes in their lives.  The vast majority of people make resolutions around fitness and weight loss.  While health and fitness goals are resolution-worthy, what about making a resolution around your individual impact on the Earth?

The term carbon footprint is one that is thrown around and sometimes not understood.  It’s a measurement of the impact our daily activities have on the environment in relation to climate change, measured in carbon dioxide units.  Essentially, what are you doing day-to-day that is harming the planet?  According to the EPA, the average carbon footprint for a two person United States household is about 41,500 pounds.  Different calculators take different measurements into account.  For instance, my footprint is average on calculators that don’t take food into account; however, if the calculator accounts for the fact that I’m vegan, the decrease in emissions is amazing. …read more of New Year’s Resolution: Reduce Your Carbon Footprint here

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Geothermal Me! Heat from the Earth for your Home

By Eytan Krasilovsky
November 27, 2008
File under: Alternative Sources, Energy Sources, Heating Sources


Geothermal energy is a proven method for small and large scale heating and cooling applications as well as large scale electric generation. It is also a very low carbon approach, though it is not without its drawbacks at each of the scales of operations.

The shallow (10-20 foot) method for geothermal heating and cooling schemes happens to be the most economical entry point for homes and small businesses, though it does require baseline electricity for pump and fan operation. The drilling is minimal due to the shallow access and far less electricity (and natural gas, oil, or propane) is used compared to traditional heating and cooling systems. Additionally, if electricity is sourced from renewables, then additional fossil fuel use is displaced and a lower carbon footprint is achieved.

The major drawback to “shallow” geothermal heating and cooling is if you live on a small plot of land or in the heart of a major city where …read more of Geothermal Me! Heat from the Earth for your Home here

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Stay up-to-date with ecomii’s latest discussions in new sources. Find out about new developments in wind, solar, biofuel, geothermal and the impact on reducing greenhouse gases.

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