Being Green is Easier and More Affordable than Ever!
Kermit the Frog weighed the pros and cons of being green, he ultimately decided that being green was the better choice. When people consider “going green” for home energy use, there are a bunch of renewable energy myths that get in the way. While some of them are real, many of them are just not true.
Going green means more green for your wallet and the planet.
You could be saving big money for years to come by making greener energy choices. Your wallet will thank you, and so will the planet! Moving away from non-renewable fossil fuels for home energy is one of the most important actions people can take in the battle against global warming and climate change! In this article, we bust 3 of the worst renewable energy myths:
MYTH #1 – Greener Energy Requires Huge Lifestyle Changes
One of the worst renewable energy myths is that going green for home energy means making big changes in your lifestyle that most people simply aren’t willing to make. You don’t have to become a crunchy-granola, hippy-dippy tree hugger to be an effective agent of change in the fight against global warming and climate change.
Even if you’re not ready to put up solar panels on your home, you can do some surprisingly simple things. In fact, a great place to start is by making your home more energy-efficient. If switching your home to renewable energy is not something you can do right away, then why not do what you can to reduce your overall energy usage?
Take your heating system, for example. If you’re burning a fossil fuel such as oil, propane, or natural gas, you can at least use less of it if you take two important steps:
- Improve the quality and/or quantity of insulation throughout your home
- Weatherize your home by sealing up all its leaky areas
Kick things off with a no-cost Home Energy Assessment where we’ll help you come up with a plan around improving your home’s insulation and weatherproofing (also called air sealing). Thanks to the Mass Save® program, you’ve already paid into a fund through your electric bill for a home energy assessment, so it makes sense to take advantage of it.
How much will insulation and weatherization improvements save you? It depends, of course, on your starting point, but…
The Environmental Protection Agency says homeowners could be saving an average of 15% on their home heating and cooling costs!
A major insulation improvement project can get expensive, but anyone can get 75% off through Mass Save, which means a $3,500 project will only cost you $875. Based on your household income, you might even be eligible for 100% off! You can also apply for 0% financing through the Mass Save HEAT Loan on eligible insulation upgrades. It all begins with your no-cost NEEECO Home Energy Assessment.
MYTH #2 – Green Power Isn’t Available Locally
Let’s talk about electricity for a minute. Right now in the United States, non-renewable fuels are used to generate 83% of the electricity used. Natural gas supplies 35%, coal supplies 27%, uranium in nuclear plants supplies 19%, and petroleum supplies 1%. The remainder?
17% of electricity is produced from renewable resources such as hydro, wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal.
Frankly, that’s pathetic! We could replace so much more non-renewable electricity with renewable sources.
The situation in Massachusetts is only slightly better than the national picture. There are no coal-fired or petroleum-fired power plants in the state. Renewable energy sources provide 21% of the state’s electricity, the rest is supplied from natural gas and nuclear plants. Every electricity supplier in the state is required to have a minimum amount of its power come from renewable sources. But the requirements simply aren’t moving up fast enough.
What if people want all the electricity they use to come from a renewable electricity supplier? That’s easier said than done, but you can make it happen. All electricity gets mixed together in the grid, so it’s not about the electricity itself, it’s about where your dollars go when you pay your electric bill.
Even if you don’t have a green power company in your area, you can support renewable electricity. If you want your dollars to specifically support clean electricity, stay tuned for a future article on how to make it happen!
MYTH #3- Green energy is not affordable
So many people still just assume that a solar system for their home is simply out of reach for them financially. But here’s the thing: According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in its 2017 solar cost benchmark report, the average cost for a residential solar panel system has dropped by 61% since 2010! And the prices do keep coming down. In other words…
Converting free sunlight into free electricity has never been more affordable!
Yes, installing a good, reliable system is still a big project with a sizeable price tag, but there are also lots of rebates and tax incentives that bring those costs down even further. Right now the Federal Solar Tax Credit (FSTC) is 30%, meaning it reduces your federal income tax burden by an amount equal to 30% of the gross cost of the system you install.
Unfortunately, in 2020 the FSTC goes down to 26%, in 2021 it goes down to 22%, and then goes away entirely in 2022. Hopefully Congress will get its act together and extend it further to help fight global warming and climate change, or maybe states will step up with their own incentives. Whatever happens, now is the time to get the job done!
But the federal tax credit isn’t the only program available to help pay for a home solar system. In Massachusetts, you could qualify for a personal income tax credit of $1,000. You can also apply for a low-interest, fixed-rate loan for your residential solar system from Mass Solar Loan.
On the NEECO Solar page you can find about how we offer a variety of ways for you to pay for a solar installation, including the following:
- No-money-down monthly lease: You don’t pay a dime for the system, but you purchase the electricity it generates each month at a locked-in low price way cheaper than your current electric bill for 20 years. System maintenance, monitoring and servicing is included.
- Full amount lease: Make one big up-front payment and enjoy 20 years of solar electricity. System maintenance, monitoring and servicing is included.
- Financed ownership: Apply for a no-down-payment low fixed rate loan from a NEEECO partner to pay for your system.
- Upfront payment full ownership: Pay for your system up-front and its yours for many years of free electricity.
If you’re ready to join the battle against global warming and climate change by busting renewable energy myths with green energy options that will save you big money, sign up for our home energy assessment now!