Tuesday, December 23, 2014

How to Green Your Household Energy - Even if Solar Panels Aren't for You

This post is brought to you by Xcel Energy.

In an ideal world we'd all create all the energy we consume whether it's from solar panels on our roofs or a windmill in our yards. Making our own energy doesn't work for so many of us, though, so it's great that companies like Xcel Energy make it easy for everyone to opt in to green energy solutions - no personal windmill required! 

What Is Wind Power?

Instead of generating electricity in coal or nuclear power plants, wind power is collected from groups of large turbines called wind farms. It's a clean, planet-friendly way to produce power that doesn't deplete natural resources (like coal). You can even go on a virtual wind farm tour here (I found this site to be super user friendly even for kids!)

Why Wind is Better

Compared to conventional energy systems like coal, wind power is a no-brainer. It doesn't require shipping on barges or trains. It doesn't need to be mined - so it doesn't come with the hefty health and environmental pricetag that coal mining carries. It isn't subject to price fluctuations like fossil fuels or nuclear power.

How to Use Wind Power at Home

While you could install your own personal wind turbine, it's not required! If you live in Colorado, Minnesota, New Mexico, Wisconsin or Michigan you can opt into the Windsource program through Xcel Energy, the top wind energy provider in the United States! Customers who opt into Windsource pay a small premium and Xcel will purchase wind power on their behalf. Because consumers vote with their dollars - every dollar you spend on renewable energy encourages companies to generate more renewable energy - which is a win for everyone! Xcel customers can even choose to purchase all of their energy or only some of it from wind power.

If you live in Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico or Wisconsin you can get more information and sign up for Windsource here.

Of course not everyone lives in one of those five states. If you live in another state, green power options may be available you as well! Be sure to call your home energy provider and ask about what kinds of sustainable energy programs they have available for you.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Xcel Energy. The opinions and text are all mine.

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