Can’t Afford Solar Panels? Do This Instead

With our recent dropping out from the Paris Climate Agreement, the green at heart may be, well, disheartened.

But we don’t need to wait for change to happen. We can make positive changes happen, one small tick at a time.

One excellent example of this is solar. Solar energy is, without a doubt, the way of the near future. Who wouldn’t love to sustain their lives and needs off the energy of the ever-present sun? But, solar panels are also a huge initial investment. Sure, they save you money over time, but the upfront costs are prohibitive to many people. So does that mean clean, affordable energy is only for the upper classes? Absolutely not!

Across the country, there are companies who actually provide solar electricity into the grid, and others who offer renewable energy credits (popular for businesses). Take Green Mountain Energy, for instance. This New England-based company has a grid supply program. Depending on how much electricity you use, the company pumps the same amount of clean energy into the grid.

While that particular energy might not make it directly to your house, it does reduce the amount of traditionally produced energy in the grid. You have the option of choosing what type of renewable you’d like to support wind, solar or a combination of the two. Plus, you don’t have to switch electricity providers, which makes it really convenient. And it seems to be effective. As a company, they claim to have avoided production of over 58 billion pounds of CO2. And the cost? On average, your electricity bill will only increase by $5 a month—a hugely reasonable price for more responsibly generated electricity. If you go to a coffee shop once a month, then you can afford renewable energy.

Buying renewable energy in this manner is an option that is especially great for those who rent homes, have shady property, cannot afford solar panels or live in apartment buildings. Green Mountain Energy currently provides to Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Texas. Hawaiian Electric, in a similar vein, provides services to Hawaii. Look for an option in your area, either with your current provider or beyond. If there is nothing like this in your area, consider looking into renewable energy credits, which means you pay for an equal amount of clean energy to be produced somewhere in the country in order to offset your own production.

As climate change presses onward, this is a relatively easy swap that can push our country more and more towards renewables. Even though we are no longer in the Paris Climate Agreement, that doesn’t mean we should each individually shrug off our end of the deal. Remember, big change only happens only after a lot of nearly imperceptible changes have occurred.

What are you waiting for? Take your fate into your own hands. For the price of a trip to the coffee shop every month, you can clean up your energy usages while creating unstoppable momentum into a greener future.

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156 comments

Marie W
Marie W7 days ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Sian R
Sian R2 months ago

AmANDA - I understand there are now solar energy shingles/tiles. While these cost a little more than regular ones I seem to remember reading that this is a much more energy-efficient way to go than simply installing solar panels.
Do your research before starting work. You may be very pleasantly surprised.

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill3 months ago

interesting

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Amanda M
Amanda M4 months ago

My husband and I are looking into programs like this since we live in Maryland and our house has a south-facing roof with no shade interference, making it ideal for solar. Once we get the roof replaced next year (the shingles desperately need replacing), we want to move forward on going solar. Wish us luck!

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Alexis M
Alexis Miller5 months ago

Very cool!

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Lorraine A
Lorraine Andersen5 months ago

Great idea, I will have to see if we have anything like that in KY.

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Richard A
Richard A5 months ago

Thank you for this article.

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Janis K
Janis K5 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Paula Lambert
Paula Lambert5 months ago

Thanks!

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Janet B
Janet B5 months ago

Thanks

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