Green Utilities Explained

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Finding and Using Greener Utilities

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Green living is about more than environmentalism. Finding and using greener utilities can save you money through tax breaks and by lowering your energy bill. Whether you have just moved into a new home or are planning on renovating your old home, green utilities can benefit you.

What are your green utility options?

Finding greener utilities means that you are looking for ways to change how your home functions to make it more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. The great thing about greener utilities is that as you become less dependent on typical fossil-fueled power, your electric bill can drop. Green options for your home extend far beyond electricity, however. 

Change electric service provider: You may not be able to switch out your electrical cables/infrastructure, but you can switch the electric company that provides you power. A general internet search should provide you with a list of local service providers in your area. You can choose a company that uses renewable sources to create their power as opposed to ones that use the harmful burning of fossil fuels for power. Here are some green energy options:
  • Solar power: Converts radiant sunlight to energy. You can also install your own solar panels on your property to cut down on your electric bill. Be sure to place them in a shadeless area like the roof of your home.
  • Wind power: This energy option is considered the most efficient environmentally friendly power generating service. It is, however, relatively limited by location due to the fact that wind turbines must create power by being stationed in consistently windy areas.
  • Hydro-electric: The flow of water is converted into electricity. This form of power is renewable, but it is not as environmentally responsible as other green options because it usually involves the damming of a powerful river which could alter or damage the local ecosystem.
  • Nuclear energy: This is not always considered a green option, but nuclear energy is greener than burning fossil fuel because it creates no carbon footprint. Nuclear waste must be contained and can be extremely harmful if misplaced, but it does not really pollute the environment unless there is an accident.
It is up to you to compare the services and rates of these energy providers. Your location will limit the power company options you have, but it doesn't hurt to check and see if you can find a greener company that will give you cleaner energy.

Green home renovations
Renovating your home in specific ways can make your utilities more energy efficient and therefore help you live a greener life.
  • Temperature analysis. A detailed computer modeling of your home can help determine the air currents that naturally occur in your house and your air conditioning/heating will be much more efficient and cheaper after the initial cost of the renovation. Smart thermostats can also more accurately account for these features and help you heat or cool your home with the least amount of energy possible.
  • Insulation. Your home may be losing heat or coolness through poorly insulated walls. If that is true, simply adding insulation and plugging any holes will allow you to waste less energy trying to heat or cool your home.
  • Solar water heating can solve two problems at once. You can heat your water using solar energy rather than oil or gas and it helps make your plumbing more efficient.
  • Computer modeling can help you determine the energy efficiency of a home or help you build a new home that is more energy efficient. If you have just moved into a new home it may be a good idea to model your home for efficiency and see where you can save money and add efficiency in your house.

Finding green utility services

An internet search should yield results for all the necessary companies that can provide you with greener strategies and services for plumbing, electricity, heating, and insulation. The services vary from province to province, so be sure to look for area-specific companies.
You should also research what tax incentives green utilities carry within your province. Canada is a green country and the government has many incentives to encourage environmental responsibility.

If you just moved into a new home and want to learn more specifics about what you should do to make your home and its utilities green, visit

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on August 12, 2014 - Moving Expert
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