Green Is Good: Save Money, Make Money, and Help Your Community Profit from Clean Energy
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Renewable energy is good for your wallet. Those who see that opportunity are already seizing it … all the way to the bank. Green Is Good is a no-nonsense guide to how you, the average American, can easily incorporate clean energy and energy efficiency into your daily life and in the process save money, make money, and help wean your community off fossil fuels. Renewable energy guru Brian F. Keane walks you through the cost-benefit trade-offs that come with the exciting new technologies and introduces you to the revolutionary clean-energy products on the horizon, making the ins and outs of renewable energy easily accessible. He shows what you can do on every level to seize the opportunity and profit from it. A renewable energy future isn’t just good for the environment; it’s good for the economy, and Green Is Good will show you how—before it’s too late.
energy-deficient home where my wife, our four children, and I live now. In this chapter, we’ll see a third house, although the word “house” hardly does the subject justice. Brampton, one of the prides of Orange County, Virginia, according to its nomination for the National Register of Historic Places, sits on land acquired in the eighteenth century by Col. James Madison, father of the president, whose estate, Montpelier, lay nearby. In 1844, John Hancock Lee purchased nearly 400 acres from the
But that’s not the case. As long as you receive a utility bill, you are taking ownership of the power and energy you consume every time you flip a switch or light a burner. You make ownership decisions with every bulb you do or don’t turn off when you leave the room, with every notch you turn the thermostat up or 74 GreenIsGood_Final_CS55.indd 74 7/23/12 12:08 PM Going Green at Home down—whether furnace or central air—or the hot-water temperature setting. Whatever your energy source, your
simply no big deal. That I find not just interesting, but amazing. To the people around Ainsworth, Nebraska, clean energy long ago ceased being an argument between greenhouse-gas decriers and greenhouse-gas deniers. It’s not futuristic or political. The clean energy in question is in their back yards. 102 GreenIsGood_Final_CS55.indd 102 7/23/12 12:08 PM Taking Clean Energy National It’s dependable and available. Accessing it doesn’t require blowing up mountains or laying pipelines through
That bowl of chips might be full of trans-fats and dripping with nitrates, xvii GreenIsGood_Final_CS55.indd 17 7/23/12 12:08 PM Introduction but whatever fuel was burned to produce it has been offset by whirling turbines rotating their way into clean energy way out on the Great Plains. That’s exactly why we began SmartPower: to bring reason to the energy debate, to move choices beyond ideology, to apply the Coca-Cola Test to everything from wind turbines to Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL)
talking relentlessly about monthly payments. Make sticker price seem like a trivial detail. Numerous solar “counseling services” like the Energy Trust of Oregon have adopted the same approach. Now, Internet solar-cost calculators need to get the religion as well. One popular online calculator (that shall remain nameless) asks for your zip code, power company, either your kilowatt-hour usage per month or your average monthly bill amount, and the percentage of that you want provided by solar. Then,