17 March 2016

#GoneGreen2016 | Day 71 | How to Power Your Home with Clean Energy, Even if You Can't Go Solar


For this week's theme on energy, I invited a company called MyDomino to do some guestposts for me on the economical and ecological benefits of green/clean energy in your home. MyDomino provides a service where they can personalise what programs are available and practical for you and your home and give you some financial projections on when you'll break even on any green energy investments you make. This isn't a sponsored post, I haven't received any money for posting their stories, I am instead happily taking a partial break this week to get after some freelance work outside this blog and share their expert insight with you. For this piece, I've rewritten the article they sent me using their explanations.
                                                                                                                                

Before this series by MyDomino, I didn't know green energy's official name is clean energy. And clean energy is exactly what you'd expect green energy to be: it comes from the cleanest sources available and doesn't create carbon emissions. Generally, it is produced from wind, solar, geothermic, hydroelectric, biomass or renewable energy certificates (RECs), or any combination of these.

In places with less than reliable sun, for example, the United Kingdom and the North Western coast of North America,  you might not be able to power your home with solar alone. Even in sunny states and provinces, this might not be enough for you and your family, so if you still want to keep yourself on clean power, there are other options for you.

There are companies which offer what they're calling 'green power plans' where you pay them to provide you with the additional green power you need and they ensure that power is clean power, instead of power coming from the use of fossil fuels.

[REC's]
This is where REC (pronounced "reck", mentioned above) comes in. REC is a mechanism to track green energy coming from various sources. All electricity is physically identical, regardless of its source. RECs is on of the ways to track green energy that’s produced by a renewable source. Businesses can purchase RECs as a way of certifying they are using clean power. Similarly, when you pay for power from RECs, you know it’s renewable, clean power.

Now there's no way to physically send only the green electricity to your home, so what you're doing is paying for that clean power to be added into the mix. You may not specifically receive it in your home, but you’re helping to get renewable energy projects built. So you’re helping all separate ourselves from energy derived from fossil fuels.

Basically, the green power company you sign up with will make sure they are producing (or buying) enough green electricity to satisfy the demand of everyone who’s paying for it. So you're paying to have the power you're using produced renewably ... if that makes sense. You're basically voting with your dollar for the type of energy you want your home, and other homes to be receiving.

[COST]
The cost for clean power varies by area, as well as by which company you choose. But with a green power plan, you may be able to lock in an electric rate that doesn’t go up, since you’re not dependent on volatile gas or coal prices. The price may be slightly higher than traditional electricity today, but could become cheaper in the future.

[HOW DO I GET IT]
Green power is offered by a number of companies in several different states. In general, all you need to do is sign up for it. Most will incorporate any charges right into your electric bill, so you don’t need to worry about paying a separate bill.

Typically, clean power providers work with specific utility companies, which can make it harder to find out what’s offered in your area. That’s where MyDomino comes in. Your personal MyDomino energy concierge can figure this out for you, and even help you estimate how much you’re likely to pay each month, making the switch to green energy easier.

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