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How To Switch to Renewable Energy
Inspire Clean Energy
May 21, 2020
8 min read
category: Clean Energy 101
If you live in the United States and use a public electricity supply, then your home is connected to a power grid. That power grid receives electricity that’s produced from numerous sources, including clean sources like wind power and harmful fossil fuel sources like coal. Think of it like a smoothie – you blend together all the different ingredients and get an electricity smoothie as a result!
In many areas of the country, you can actually choose your energy supplier, but you will still always receive your electricity from the same grid. So, if you want to make a positive impact by using green energy, you need to sign up for a renewable energy supplier that’s committed to creating a greener future.
How can I switch to renewable energy?
Using renewable energy is one of the best ways to tackle the problems caused by climate change and support the continued development of sustainable energy for our homes and businesses in the future.
We need to act now by looking for ways to reduce our reliance on the fossil fuels that are damaging our planet and switch to renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, and hydroelectric. In fact, nearly half of homes in the United States are in areas where they are able to choose their energy supplier!
If you happen to live in one of those homes, that means you can choose your supplier and it’s likely you can switch to a renewable energy company like Inspire. All you need to do is tell us a few details about your home and energy usage. We’ll then offer you a customized plan for unlimited 100% clean energy at a fixed monthly price. This typically takes less than five minutes, and then we’ll do the rest! And you can rest easy knowing you’re making a huge difference.
Why do I need to switch to renewable energy?
The use of fossil fuels, such as oil and coal, to produce electricity over the past 150 years has filled our atmosphere with gases that are trapping in heat and leading to a damaging greenhouse effect. This is causing increasing temperatures, rising sea levels, and more extreme weather all over the world.
We all need to make the switch to renewable energy before it’s too late. Renewable energy sources produce few or no emissions, bringing improved air quality and huge health benefits to those in urban areas and around the world. Experts also estimate that our supply of fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and oil) may only last us for another 50-150 years, so we need to make the switch to renewable energy not only to avoid environmental disasters, but also to ensure our electricity-driven world continues to thrive.
How long will it take to switch to renewable energy?
When you switch to renewable energy with Inspire, it only takes a few minutes! Once you’ve signed up, we take care of the rest, purchasing clean energy on your behalf for the duration of your membership. The switch usually takes around two weeks. You can learn more about the benefits of renewable energy here.
How much will it cost to switch to renewable energy?
There are no sign-up fees for switching to Inspire. We will calculate the price for your unlimited energy plan based on the size of your home, how much energy you typically use, and the cost of energy.
Is it worth it to switch to renewable energy?
Absolutely! When you switch to renewable energy, your supplier will guarantee that any energy you take from the power grid’s “energy smoothie” is replaced by more clean energy.
This means that from the moment you sign up for a 100% clean energy plan, you will be helping to cut down the use of fossil fuels and supporting the development of renewable energy sources in the future. And the more consumer demand drives renewable energy generation, the greener the power grid as a whole becomes!
Learn more about how to switch to renewable energy for your home today.
How do I start using renewable energy?
When you join Inspire, you're joining a movement dedicated to creating a world that uses cleaner, greener energy. And the increased demand you bring will encourage businesses and governments to invest more in clean energy resources and help create a cleaner world.
Is renewable energy cheaper in the long run?
We know that the Earth has a finite supply of oil and coal, and as the supply of fossil fuels decreases they will in turn become more expensive. Looking ahead, we will also find that as the infrastructure is developed to generate and transport more renewable energy it will become cheaper. Because that energy source is unlimited, once the infrastructure is in place it’ll be extremely cheap to produce, and this financial benefit will be passed on to consumers in the future. So, the more people that switch to clean energy, the sooner electricity prices will start to drop.
Power ingredients vary by region
The mix of this grid will change depending on which state you live in, and which grid provides your power.
Some states are highly dependent on a few particular energy sources. For example, if you live in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, then the energy that goes into your home comes from PJM, and the grid is primarily made up of coal, with nuclear coming in at a close second.
By contrast, if you live in a state like Maine or New Hampshire, then your power comes from ISO New England, and your mix contains much more natural gas, with coal representing a much smaller slice of the pie.
Who decides what goes into the power grid?
A lot of factors control the mix of power sources on your local grid, and given the confusing nature of utilities, you may be under the impression that you have no control over what goes into this mix.
However, regardless of where you live and what's in your grid mix, you can make a choice to switch to clean energy and move your grid toward cleaner and more sustainable energy, and in many cases, renewable wind energy is often going to be one of the easiest to switch to.
Choosing to utilize a clean energy source like wind power for your home is relatively simple, though, to be clear: you are not flipping a switch, and “Abracadabra,” powering your home with 100% wind power. Choosing wind power for homes involves calculating the amount of power you use on a monthly basis, and then having clean energy put into the grid on your behalf to balance that usage.
Confused? Don’t be. Think of it like this:
The grid is like a smoothie
A smoothie is full of all sorts of ingredients that may (or may not) be good for you.
Now, just imagine that those smoothie ingredients are all the types of power sources and that the blender is the grid. That smoothie liquid is essentially your power. It's always in your best interest to put the best and most wholesome ingredients into your smoothie as possible, so you want to add as many healthy options as you can into the mix.
If we were to break down the Maine and New Hampshire grid, and contrast that next to the New Jersey and Pennsylvania grid, then their respective mixes would look something like this:
There are lots of dirty ingredients within both of those containers, which doesn't make for the most appetizing of smoothie mixes. By purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), you are essentially diluting the amount of dirty energy that goes into this mix by making sure that more clean energy is added to the grid.
You can make the grid less dirty
The easiest way to do this is by working with renewable energy companies that will purchase a "Renewable Energy Certificate" or "REC" on your behalf.
What this means is that for every kilowatt-hour of energy you use from the grid, another Renewable Energy Certificate for that kilowatt-hour is purchased from a wind farm and placed onto the grid as clean energy. This is usually done in bulk as one REC is equal to around 1,000 kWh (or 1 megawatt hour), which is about 1/10 the amount of energy an average home will use in a year.
This is the easiest and most efficient way to switch to a renewable and more sustainable option like wind power. Wind power is not the only clean energy option available, as moving to solar power is also a great way to utilize a renewable energy source; however, as the technology and mechanisms of renewable energy become more advanced, it will only become easier to switch to clean energy.
Don't worry about climate change— do something about it.
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