Archive for January, 2011

Solar at no Upfront Cost…on the East Coast!

Posted on January 24, 2011. Filed under: News | Tags: , , , , , , |

Sure we’ve heard about how residential homeowners in California and other West Coast states have gone solar thanks to generous incentives and creative financing programs (not to mention abundant sunshine!)

But now, Marylanders and other East Coast residents will have the opportunity to reap the benefits of solar without having to pay for the installation up front. California based SolarCity, the country’s largest residential installer has entered the market by purchasing the solar division of Clean Currents.

SolarCity was the first company in the US to introduce the solar lease option in 2008. SolarLease allows homeowners to pay for their solar installation in monthly lease installments instead of all at once. Most of the time, the savings on the customer’s electricity bill outweigh the lease payments resulting in an overall decrease in energy costs. Also, as electricity rates rise (which is the usual trend), the savings increases. So its a pretty cool option for homeowners that want to go solar, but don’t have the cash for an upfront payment.

SolarCity’s East Coast operations will be based in the Clean Currents Solar offices in Silver Spring Maryland. For more details see the official press release and coverage in the Washington Post, Bloomberg, and the Washington Business Journal.

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Effectively Educating on Climate Change

Posted on January 12, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Today Clean Currents hosted its first webinar of 2011. Three wonderful guest speakers joined us to discuss the theme: “Effectively Educating on Climate Change”.

Lori Wark, founder and editor of the website, spoke about connecting individuals to the fun and interesting aspects of environmental science through internet technology.

Daisy Pistey-Lyhne, Senior Educator with Alliance for Climate Education, discussed how to engage young people in learning and doing something about climate change.

Linda Schuck is a Senior Advisor and Director of the Behavior, Energy and Climate Change Project at California Institute for Energy and the Environment (CIEE). Schuck explained that while we can never truly understand exactly how individuals are motivated to change his or her behavior, there is a great deal of research regarding the economics and social norms that influence people on a daily basis. Understanding these social phenomena can help us be more effective communicators about climate change and environmental issues in general.

See the PowerPoint Presentation here: Effectively Educating on Climate Change
Or email us for the recorded file of the Webinar:

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A Green Start to the New Year

Posted on January 4, 2011. Filed under: Questions, Recommendations | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Its that time of the year again…time to make a resolution and stick with it (at least this week!!) You’ve probably already made your personal resolution, but this year, why not also make an environmental resolution too? Keep it simple and small or think big!

Here are some suggestions:

  1. Support wind power at home. If you live in Maryland, DC, DE or PA, you can choose to support wind power by purchasing Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) at home through your electricity bill. Sign up for Clean Currents and choose 50% or 100% wind power. Signing up takes 5 minutes, and our rates are competitive with utility rates, so it’s a pretty painless resolution. Learn more about wind power for home here.
  2. Get a water bottle.  Toting a BPA-free water bottle  is a great way to stay hydrated and reduce your use of plastic water bottles and disposable cups.
  3. Cut out disposable coffee cups. Use of those gift cards to get a reusable mug you like and carry it around with you when you think you’ll need to stop for coffee (so definitely Monday morning).
  4. Commit to reusable shopping bags. The fold-away ones are really portable and fit in your pocket or purse. If you’re driving keep them in your car for unexpected grocery runs. Also, even when you forget your bag, just ask yourself if you really need one. It seems like most cashiers just toss your items in a bag, no matter how small it may be. Just say “no thanks” if you’re going to throw the bag away in 45 seconds anyway.
  5. Embrace the CFL! If you havent already done so, switch out your old incandescents and commit to buy CFL bulbs instead. These use 75% less electricity (which saves you $). Done that already? Here are lots of easy ways you can save money by cutting back on usage.
  6. Research a solar install at your home. By installing a solar system at your home, you can generate your own power and cut your electricity use, as well as your carbon footprint. This option is definitely not for everyone, as the up front costs of solar are still significant. However, if you are in the position to make an investment, the payback might be better than you think. With government incentives and financing options, solar is becoming a more affordable option. Ready to go? Start with a free solar evaluation.

What are your environmental resolutions for 2011?

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