If you can recall, June 20th officially marked the first day of summer this year. The sunny summer season has always been a very popular time to take vacations. Whether you are packing up for a tropical retreat, getting ready for your annual camping trip, or planning your next trip, keep in mind that you can continue to make green decisions before and during your trip. Maintaining a green lifestyle even while you are away from your home is not as hard as you think. Keep reading for a few tips on how you can stay clean, green, and environmentally friendly even while traveling. [read more…]
If you have been lucky enough to gaze upon the wonders of the Grand Canyon National Park, you likely remember admiring the varying shades of red, orange, yellow, brown, and even dark purple complementing the meandering Colorado River. But you probably didn’t notice that the Grand Canyon is turning green! Well, in the park’s practices at least. The national park has developed a strong commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainable management. An Environmental Management System, a continual cycle of analyzing, planning, and improving sustainability within the park, is used to ensure that the Grand Canyon National Park sets determined environmental goals and plans on how these can be reached. [read more…]
Many times, when people want a solar power system installed, there is a misunderstanding of what it means to be on-grid versus off-grid. A lot of times we hear people say they want to be “off the grid” thinking that is what it means to go solar. What they really mean is that they want to reduce their energy usage, but don’t realize you can do it and still be tied to the grid. On-grid systems stay connected to your power lines which are run by your utility company whereas off-grid ones only rely on the solar system and batteries.
For an off-grid system, in order to store the energy produced by your system, you would need a battery back-up. The batteries that off-grid systems require bring up the overall cost of the system, are bulky, unreliable, and are not as environmentally friendly. This usually defeats the purpose for many of you who are going solar with the incentive to save money and live a greener lifestyle. Since off-grid systems require a battery back-up system, it is not as reliant as it can only hold a certain amount of energy. Additionally, the battery typically has a shorter life span than most solar panels, which means you will eventually need to replace it. Any maintenance required for an off-grid system will not be covered by your utility company, but is dependent on you. Although there are advantages to having an off-grid system, like having power stored in the battery back-up during emergency situations like outages, the overall advantages in comparison to being on-grid are not as beneficial. [read more…]
As the U.S. solar market continues to grow, more people are becoming interested in the idea of switching to clean energy for their home. Not everyone can afford the upfront costs for solar power, but cost shouldn’t be the sole determining factor of whether you can go solar or not. Many solar panel installation providers now offer leasing options. This allows homeowners to avoid upfront costs and only pay for the power that is produced.
Given the options of owning or leasing solar panels, many people are choosing the latter. When leasing, the installers own, maintain, and monitor the solar panels while you pay a low monthly rate to use the energy that they generate. During this time, the solar energy produced is expected to offset 50-75% of your electric costs. Leasing has become preferred over owning due to the easy and affordable pay-as- you-go plan. [read more…]
Researching about solar power can be overwhelming. Not only is it a big investment, but it is important to decide whether or not it is right for you. Knowing the costs and benefits of solar power may help you make that decision. Whether you are just in the information gathering stage or ready for an installation, here are some pros and cons to take into consideration: [read more…]