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Renewable energy options to lower your carbon footprint

Interested in lowering your carbon footprint? In using greener energy? Following up on the good OREC article posted on the community website, I wanted to suggest a few other ways you can go green on energy and lower your carbon footprint:

  • The most cost-efficient way is of course to lower your energy usage. There is a good website (switchhop.com) that is free and can help you monitor your energy use throughout the day and compare you to your friends. This gives you a good sense of what you use and when you use it (keep in mind peak rates) so that you can make smart choices about electricity use. Some other helpful sites on energy conservation:
  • Another very affordable option is to use Bullfrog (http://www.bullfrogpower.com/). Bullfrog provides green renewable energy to the Ontario grid. If you sign up with them you don`t need to change anything – you basically estimate (on their site, very easy or use your hydro bill) how much energy you use (electricity and natural gas or other) and then pay them an additional amount per month for them to insert that much green energy into the Ontario grid thereby offsetting your carbon emissions.
    Considering that about 25% of our electricity comes from fossil fuels you only need to pay Bullfrog to offset 25% of your electricity usage to be carbon neutral. Depending on your finances you can offset part or all, whatever you can afford. For as little as 20$-40$ per month you can be carbon neutral in your energy usage (they can offset both electricity and natural gas).
  • Two of the other options we are seeing more and more of (but require a bigger investment up front) are putting solar panels on your roof via the micfoFIT program (http://microfit.powerauthority.on.ca/) and using geothermal for heating your home (which is particularly interesting if you need to replace your oil or gas furnace).

Also to note, we are working with other neighbourhoods on an energy challenge, where we can compete between neighbourhoods to see who can lower their energy usage the most. Stay tuned, more details will be posted on the web site and on the listserv.

Good luck on lowering your carbon emissions and doing your part to fight climate change!

-nk
Nick Xenos
Champlain Park Community Association Environment Coordinator

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