Half a century ago, 20 million people gathered to celebrate the first Earth Day. Fast-forward 50 years and Earth Day has matured from millions of people raising awareness of environmental issues to over a billion people taking action to actively reduce our global carbon footprint. Since 1970, environmental protection efforts have resulted in the reduction of pollutants in US waterways, enhancements to the Clean Air Act, and closing the hole in the world’s ozone layer. Despite this progress, the world still faces issues posed by climate change. As everyone stays closer to home in 2020, many people are considering how they can support environmental sustainability efforts this Earth Day from the safety of their homes.
Aside from putting solar panels on the roof, it’s not always clear how to change a household’s carbon footprint. Everything from the food on our shelves to the ink in our pens contributes to our carbon footprint. Even using the internet has a carbon cost. The challenges of reducing your carbon footprint can feel daunting, but they don’t have to. Utilities are making innovative strides to empower customers to reduce their carbon footprint from the comfort of their own homes. And it starts by transforming how electricity is generated, consumed, and controlled.
A Smarter Way to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Technological innovation over the last decade has opened the door for us to reduce our homes’ carbon footprints. Renewable assets, smart home technology, and energy management are transforming how we invest in and interact with our homes. As utilities build more wind and solar farms, they need to better match electricity supply with demand. Solar production only occurs in the daylight hours. There may be too little—or too much—wind for wind turbines to turn. As a result, we have to use renewable energy as it’s produced or store it for later.
Now, a new way to shift demand in our homes is helping us overcome these challenges. Empowered by utilities, customers are automating their homes and energy consumption – giving households the chance to do their part to shift to a clean energy economy. By combining the smart home with energy management, customers can shift their usage to better match the supply of energy, especially renewable energy.
By using renewable energy as it’s produced, we can create a cleaner world. Smart home energy management aligns our consumption to the periods of time when intermittent sources like wind and solar can be utilized, empowering the production of more renewables. This greening of our energy can accelerate as more energy-aware smart devices become prevalent in the home.
Just imagine if you automated your HVAC to preheat or precool your home based on when solar resources were available. What if you tried using a smart plug to make your electric vehicle charge during the daylight hours, as opposed to at night? How about if you could instantly see when your highest energy use occurs? And even better, what if you could optimize your whole home’s electricity use to take advantage of renewable generation on the grid? The energy savings would be significant. Renewable adoption would increase. And you would decrease your household’s carbon footprint.
This Earth Day, we have the chance to work together as a global community to make a difference. This might mean planting a tree in your yard, installing a smart thermostat, or getting a full smart home energy management platform for your house. It even could be as simple as adding a smart plug to your dehumidifier and automating it to reduce always-on energy usage. Although reducing your household’s carbon footprint can take time, we have the technology, the resources, and the support of our energy providers to move towards a smarter, greener, and cleaner lifestyle. Let’s make a difference from a distance.
Happy Earth Day!