One of the benefits of 21st Century living is that we can be as environmentally conscious as we like. With the democratization of energy-saving technologies, we are no longer held back by a lack of resources in order to have any real positive impact on the environment. As more corporations buy into not only making their green products available but accessible, we can count ourselves as part of the solution, instead of part of the problem.
Going Green is an Active Pursuit
When one makes the move to live a greener lifestyle, many of the trappings of that change are reflected in the actions and behavior of the person; cutting down on plastic, a bigger focus on recycling and composting, and trying to have more things fixed instead of replaced, are just a few of the ways people take action to save the planet. An environmentalist thinks about what they’re buying, how they use what they buy, and eventually how that gets thrown away.
It takes a lot of work, but before the blessing of electronic technology and the advent of the processed food revolution, mankind largely lived this way. It didn’t make sense not to compost, because the yield of the crops determined how well your family would eat. Whole food was just called food. With the total use of electricity rising in the average household year-over-year (a 2019 study determined Americans were consuming up to 877 kilowatt-hours a month; that’s 10,649 kWh a year), we have the unique responsibility of doing more for energy conservation than any other people in history.
While it is always admirable for a person to pick up the cause of environmentalism today, and do whatever they are equipped to do, the goal is to have energy conservation in mind right from the beginning. That means as soon as we start designing and building our homes and offices. There are a number of ways project foremen and building owners can plan for green initiatives as they work:
- Account for heating and cooling demands: Heating and cooling account for over half of an average home’s energy consumption. Even the newest HVAC systems run multiple times an hour, and that only goes up during the winter and summer months. Purchasing energy-efficient systems and adequately insulating the walls (and especially the roof) will not only save energy but money as well.
- Shop for smart appliances: Today, many of the common household appliances come equipped with power-saving features like bathroom faucets and toilets that reduce water consumption, or thermostats that provide more robust programming for temperature control.
- Outfit the building with solar energy alternatives: The amazing thing about solar energy is that not only can it decrease power consumption drastically, especially in states that get a lot of sun, but they pay for themselves in only a few years. They are also fantastic for powering all sorts of landscaping features, from garden lanterns to outdoor kitchens.
The Revolution Has Already Begun
Happily, the desire to go green has already begun to sweep the nation, as large corporations and residential homes alike are beginning to incorporate energy conservation techniques into their buildings. The government, too, is getting on board. As of tax season 2021, there are a few incentives offered to households that embrace green initiatives. Such incentives include:
- Renewable energy installation credit: Currently the government offers a 30% credit for the installation of renewable energy systems like solar panels, wind energy, and geothermal heat pumps. These credits have no upper limit.
- Fuel cell motor vehicle credit: As tax experts remind us, most electric vehicle credits have been phased out, but certain parameters do still qualify for particular cars. These credits range from $2,500 – $7,500.
- Charitable donations: Just like write-offs for donating clothes, one may qualify for a tax break on electronic donations to specific non-profit organizations.
There are other tax incentives that are available for home and business owners. As exquisite new residential developments spring up, especially in more arid states, homeowners should not be surprised to see more and more of these energy-saving hallmarks.
What about those who wake up to the desire for conservationism, but who aren’t in a position to start a new green build? Happily, there are companies who are more than ready to help get you started on the right foot. If one is planning to invest in renewable energy systems, or if they simply want to store some backup power, they will need to look into battery towers and power inverters.
These systems, which are being perfected even now for residential use, are the perfect receptacle for the energy runoff of these renewable systems, especially solar panels. In an effort to make this technology more accessible to everyone, these units are becoming increasingly more affordable and lighter.
Starting Where You Are
No matter where one finds themselves on the journey﹘if they’re considering buying a new home, building one, or simply want to renovate their existing property to be more energy conscientious﹘there are options. The beauty of starting today is that the resources currently available are always being innovated upon and there are increasingly more monetary incentives to jump on board.