For members of the public, homeowners, green congregations, earth stewardship groups, environmentalists, businesses, and local governments wanting to reduce pollution and waste, save energy, and save money there are anumber of free resources available on the Internet. The following list can provide a good starting place for solving energy problems.
If you have a web site, please consider posting some or all of these web resources on your web site for others to use. The more available this and related information is to the public and the business community, the more rapidly we can convert to an energy efficient economy. An energy efficient economy can mean improvements in prosperity, security, energy independence, and health as we reduce pollution, waste, expense, and dependence on imported fuels.
Money saved on energy means more to save or spend on family needs. It means more money available to support local economies and higher profits for local businesses, which can mean more local jobs. Reduced waste and pollution mean a healthier environment for all of us. A healthier environment is also better for the biological and hydrological resources that are the basis for our economy and our existence.
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Web Sites
The South Carolina Energy Office, through the Plan for State EnergyPolicy, provides a broad range of resources designed to help citizens, businesses, and public entities save energy – and money – through greater efficiency, better information and enhanced environmental quality. http://energy.sc.gov/
U.S. DOE Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Home Page
US Department of Energy website for information on energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. http://eere.energy.gov/
Energy Star for information on products, home improvement, assessing problems, greenbuilding, and other aspects of energy efficiency. http://energystar.gov/
EERE Energy Savers http://energysavers.gov
Home Energy Saver http://homeenergysaver.lbl.gov
ZIP Code Insulation Program http://ornl.gov/~roofs/Zip/ZipHome.html
Roof Savings Calculator (RSC) Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory http://roofcalc.com/
White Roofs Cool the World, Directly Offset CO2 andDelay Global Warming, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory http://coolcolors.lbl.gov/assets/docs/fact-sheets/Global-cooling-2pp.pdf
PV Watts Solar Energy Calculator The National Renewable Energy Laboratory developed PVWATTS to permit non-experts to quickly obtain performance estimates for grid-connected PV systems within the United States. http://pvwatts.org
U.S. Solar Radiation Maps Resource Maps http://nrel.gov/gis/solar.html
Database of State Incentives for Renewables &Efficiency (DSIRE) http://dsireusa.org/
Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) http://irecusa.org/
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy http://aceee.org
PACE NOW For information about property assessed clean energy(PACE) legislation. http://pacenow.org/blog/
APACE bond is a bond where the proceeds are lent to commercial and residential property owners to finance energy retrofits (efficiency measures and small renewable energy systems) and who then repay their loans over 20 years via anannual assessment on their property tax bill. PACE bonds can be issued by municipal financing districts or finance companies and the proceeds can be typically used to retrofit both commercial and residential properties.
The PACE bond market has the potential to dramatically accelerate the energy retrofitting of America’s building stock.
PACEImpact: Property tax lien oriented financing that dramatically improves the economics of energy retrofits (efficiency measures and micro renewable energy)
Scientific American Magazine for articles on science, including energy and energy issues.
http://scientificamerican.com [search by topic or article title]
‘Tools for doing your own energy audit,’ Scientific American
‘Green Buildings May Be Cheapest Way to Slow Global Warming,’ Scientific American
U.S. Green Building Council, S.C. Chapter http://usgbcsc.org/
Green Building Council of Greater Columbia http://columbiagreenbuilders.com/
The South Carolina Solar Council http://solarbusinessalliance.com
American Solar Energy Society http://ases.org/
Build it Solar http://builditsolar.com
Find Solar http://findsolar.com
Home Power Magazine http://homepower.com
North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners http://www.nabcep.org
Building Green http://buildinggreen.com
Rocky Mountain Institute http://rmi.org
Some local governments have web sites that provide information on energy efficiency and renewable energy. See what information your state and local governments provide and what incentives and tax advantages are available in your area. If your local library or government do not provide this kind of information, please suggest that putting it on their web sites would be a low cost way to help many members of the public and the business community. Please encourage energy efficiency and renewable energy for public buildings and facilities to save tax money and as examples for residents and businesses.
A good energy audit of your home, business, or workplace can help you decide how to proceed.
Since 1977, the price of solar panels has dropped approximately 100 times over, and solar power is now cheaper than power from the grid for billions of people. ConsumerAffairs created a guide that helps consumers determine whether or not “going solar” will work for them. Here are a few topics our expert, Zachary Shahan, covers in the guide:
- What are the different types of solar energy companies – and which one will meet your specific needs?
- Going solar can be expensive, so what are your financing options?
- Does the company offer service beyond installation?