Are you looking to improve energy efficiency at home? There is a multitude of ways to do it. Some examples of ways are to turn off lights when you aren’t home, replace regular incandescent lightbulbs with LED ones, and purchasing energy-efficient electronics overall. However, would you like to take your efficiency to the next level? There’s another way to do so.
One of the best ways to help out with conserving energy and one of the least known is to sign up for your local renewable energy program. Over the past couple of years, Long Beach has been working towards a city with 100 percent renewable energy.
First off, what is renewable energy?
Sometimes referred to as “clean energy,” or “green energy,” renewable energy is the kind that comes from natural resources such as the sun or wind or water. This means that solar power, wind power, and even hydro power are all forms of renewable energy.
Next, what is a renewable energy program?
According to the EPA, renewable energy programs “encourage efficient, clean technologies such as combined heat and power and green power from renewable resources.”
If you enroll in a renewable energy program, how does it help?
- It helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from your home.
- According to Southern California Edison, it ” Supports clean energy for a brighter future in Southern California.”
- It can save your money in the long run, namely operating and maintenance costs.
- Green energy helps provide more local jobs.
- It doesn’t pollute water resources like fossil fuels do.
While each state has its own program, California has been a leader in advocating for renewable energy. Right now, in the Long Beach area, energy is provided by Southern California Edison. Long Beach has not yet joined the region’s Clean Power Alliance (the newest and most prominent renewable energy organization in the area), but it is still working towards improving energy usage for residents.
If you are interested in your local renewable energy program, Southern California Edison offers two options. One is called the “Green Rate” and the other is called the “Community Renewables Program.” Both programs utilize solar power. However, what are the differences between the two?
The Green Rate program Southern California Edison purchases renewable energy from independently owned solar farms. Then, you would purchase the solar power equal to 50 or 100 percent of your electricity use.
The Community Renewables program allows you to enter into an agreement with your provider to buy energy from a share of their output. After that, the provider purchases up to 120 percent of the load forecasted to meet your monthly usage needs. You’d be paid directly via bill credits.
But wait a minute…Can it be expensive to convert your home to solar-powered energy? Not necessarily! Southern California Edison’s programs don’t require you to install solar panels. However, there is a small cost in switching to the more green options. With the switch, the increase in cost amounts to about a one percent increase which “translates to about $3 to $6 extra on a $100 bill” based on the county’s rate calculations.
So if you’re still interested in joining a program, how do you sign up?
You can visit the Southern California Edison website to join and learn more, or you can call 1 888-701-7867.