In the last few months, we have focussed a lot on energy efficiency at home and the impact our everyday choices have on the environment.

We have encouraged you to reduce your carbon footprint and curb overall energy consumption by switching to LED light bulbs, investing in Energy Star appliances and upgrading your furnace.

But did you know that in addition to modifying how much power you burn through, you can also pick a more environmentally friendly electricity source? Mission buys from BullFrog Power, a company that generates energy for your home and business from 100% renewable resources.

These days, many Canadians are opting to support renewable energy by going green. Generated from the sun, wind, plants and moving-water, green power is a much more environmentally and socially responsible electricity alternative.

For centuries, communities around the world have burned fossil fuels to generate power. The problem is that these activities are linked to poor air quality, pollution and harmful greenhouse gases that are affecting the earth’s delicate atmospheric balance. Coal is the biggest offender in most countries; the way it is mined from the earth and then burned to create electricity is both taxing on our environment and our health.

Green power is different. It harnesses elements from the natural world to create clean and sustainable energy. And with climate change hot on our heels and global energy demands predicted to rise significantly as our population continues to grow, the need for this kind of next generation technology is clear. With that in mind, this week we are zeroing in on one of Mother Nature’s best electricity offerings: Solar Power.

Despite being 150 million kilometres away, the sun is an extremely powerful resource. In fact, the amount of solar energy falling on earth in just 20 minutes, could power the planet for a whole year. That’s pretty amazing.

The sun can be used to our advantage. Solar panels positioned on rooftops, also known as photovoltaic systems, can collect and convert sunlight into direct current electricity. This electricity is then transformed into usable power for our homes and businesses.

While solar power has many advantages, the biggest barrier for most consumers is price. The upfront cost of solar panels can be expensive; however, many provinces have incentives that help cover part of the costs.

The good news is, once installed your solar panels are low maintenance and won’t likely need replacement. Plus, in some countries, including Canada, if you produce power in excess of what you use, power companies have to buy it back from you at the same rate they charge, meaning, your solar panels could actually generate money.

If you are contemplating building a new home, and you are considering solar panels, be strategic about the position of your home to maximize light and warmth, and pick materials with good thermal mass – the ability to store heat.

But if a new home and/or solar panels aren’t in your future, don’t worry. Your existing energy company probably has a green electricity option available.

Last but not least, you can also make the most of that free energy source in the sky every day. The next time you do laundry, give your dryer the day off and hang your clothes out in the sun. You’ll not only save a bit of energy and money, your laundry will smell amazingly fresh!

About The Author

John Keirstead
John Keirstead
Serial Entrepreneur, Technologist and Inventor.
My objective is to develop useful products that have a net positive effect in the lives of those that use them and the environment that we live in.
CEO of Mission LED Lighting Company Ltd.

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