Tag Archives: sustainable electricity

I Just Saved Seven Tons of CO2 per Year

Really! I did. A huge reduction in my carbon footprint. And it took less than an hour of my time. Here’s the story.

Good Hand Farm’s electricity is now 100% carbon free

On average, each human on earth is responsible for 4.9 tons of carbon-equivalent greenhouse gas emissions. As we know, that’s way too much. And that’s why every country in the world came together in Paris two years back to set goals for how much each one would reduce its greenhouse gases.

The United States promised to reduce carbon emissions by 26% by 2025. That might sound like a lot, but we start from a very bad place: On average, each American is responsible for 16.1 tons of carbon emissions every year. That’s more than triple the global average. So if anyone needs to cut emissions, it’s us.

How to do it? Well, you could insulate the house, or trade in the SUV, or install solar panels, or take the train, or eat less beef, or divest from fossil fuels, or hundreds of other measures. But if you pay your own electric bill, you can make a huge difference in just one single step: Select a sustainable source for your electric power. You keep your utility. They provide the same service they always have. You get your bills from them, as always. But now, instead of coal, gas, nuclear and whatever else, your electricity now comes from wind, solar or other carbon-free sources.

We live in New Jersey, one of many states where you can choose your source of electricity. I took some time recently to examine my alternatives. Is it wind? Solar? A blend of sources? What does it cost? Can it go up or down? Will it cost me if I decide to cancel? I settled on Green Mountain Energy, a wind power company. It costs a fraction less than my utility’s default choice. Call it even. And it’s carbon free.

So I made the call: 844-245-9582

We’re not the average utility customer. Our farm has greenhouses, irrigation pumps, and several residences, including our own. Hundreds of families own shares in our harvest. A dozen workers make their living here. We also have four sets of solar panels that cut our electric purchases by more than half. But still, we buy a lot of electricity. All told, we purchase 18,400 kilowatt hours (18.4 mWh) from the utility every year. And that electricity comes almost entirely from dirty sources – mainly natural gas. For our usage, it pumps 7.6 tons of earth-warming gases into the air every year, plus the smog that causes respiratory illness. That’s nearly double the emissions of the average human, just for our electricity.

So I just had to do something. Well, it took about 30 minutes on the phone. But if I hope to leave our kids a livable world, it might be the best 30 minutes I could ever spend.

So, grab a copy of your electric bill, and make the call, like I did. Or if you want to find out first what your state offers first, go to this website and find out.

http://competitiveenergy.org/consumer-tools/state-by-state-links/

Once you do, leave us a comment about what you did. We can’t wait to hear how you’re changing the world!

Clean Wind Electricity for Your Home

It seems the landscape for national and global climate policy just changed pretty significantly this week, didn’t it? With the new Senate leadership, efforts to kill climate-friendly policies are already in gear. And “greatest-hoax” climate denier Sen. James Inhofe is set to take the reins of the Environment and Public Works Committee.

From one point of view, US environmental policies are now largely in the hands of the man who has written: “I stood alone in saying that anthropogenic catastrophic global warming is a hoax.” Not the National Academy of Sciences, or the EPA, or the American Geophysical Union, or the American Meteorological Society – but James Inhofe, who claims that the 97 percent of the world’s climate scientists have simply conspired to pull the wool over the eyes of mankind.

Now, maybe this makes us mad. Maybe we’re depressed. Maybe we’re ready to give up.

Switch your home electric from coal to clean wind!

Switch your home electric from coal to clean wind!

Well, if so, maybe it’s time for us to actually DO something about it. Here’s a suggestion: Let’s stop complaining about oil-funded politicians complicit in the abuse of God’s creation, and take action ourselves. And here’s one big – and easy – thing we can do: SWITCH FROM DIRTY COAL TO WIND ELECTRICITY FOR YOUR HOME RIGHT NOW.

I just did it, and it was simple. Some of you know that solar PV provides lots of our electricity here at Good Hand Farm. Eight years ago, we installed panels that basically run the farm, and that provide about half of our house needs. Earlier this year, we took advantage of an essentially free program to solarize two of our neighbors’ homes.

But the balance of our electric needs – not covered by our solar production – was still filthy. The power we had to buy from our New Jersey utility (JCP&L) comes from coal (43%) and gas (17%) – that’s 60% from fossil fuels. And most of the balance is nuclear.Picture1

So instead of just fuming about oil-funded politicians running congressional policy, I decided to do something. With a few clicks – and one phone call – I found a 100% wind-power producer that my utility accepts, and made the switch. There were a range of options and prices, but I like the choice I made. My previous dirty electricity cost me 9.63 cents per kWh. My new provider, Stream Energy, charges 9.98 cents, fixed for one year.  That might run me about $2.00 per month more than I was paying for coal. Nothing changes on my bill, and my electric utility continues to service everything just as before.

Except for one thing: We no longer use any fossil fuels and greenhouse gases to power our home and farm.

Want to give it a try? Details will vary depending on where you live, so go to this page to find out who covers your area. And if you want to try the choice I made, then just click here, and then choose the “Enroll-Now” option. (If enough of you go this route, I’ll start to get further savings on my bill, and then you can do the same thing with your friends.)

And in the bargain, maybe you can look in the mirror tomorrow, and stand a little taller. Maybe our politicians are bent on the unfettered abuse of our Father’s world, but you don’t have to follow them.

You are not powerless. It may feel that way sometimes, but you can affect what happens on God’s good earth. Take the step, and join me on the road to a cleaner, more sustainable world.