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Phoenix Energy Blog
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How Do I Offset My Electricity Usage?

Microsoft, Intel, Cisco, Apple, Google, Starbucks and hundreds of other companies, municipalities, and homes throughout the United States are offsetting their usage. Should you do the same?Offsetting your electricity usage involves reducing the carbon emissions from the amount of kilowatt hours (kWh) you use in a year through renewable energy.The process of offsetting your usage depends on where you live and what your budget is. The costly way is to directly offset your usage by installing solar panels or even a wind turbine on your roof or on your property. The cheaper and easier way is to purchase renewable energy credits, or RECs. A REC is a market instrument that represents the environmental benefits of electricity generated from a renewable source.  Currently, only 18 of the 50 states have deregulated electricity markets. In deregulated states, you choose who you get your electricity from, but in regulated states you can only get your electricity from the utility. In regulated states, you can offset your usage through the purchase of renewable energy credits (REC’s). In deregulated states, there are energy service companies that supply your electricity. There are some suppliers that give their customers the option of paying a little extra to choose renewable. These companies do the REC purchasing for you on top of the electricity purchasing.

solar-panel-renewable-energy-RECMany people are confused by RECs. They think that if one day the sun doesn’t shine or that the wind doesn’t blow then they are not going to get any electricity. Fortunately, that is not the case. All the electricity that is generated in the state of New York is sent to the grid. This electricity comes from all different sources meaning that the electricity you receive to power one lightbulb contains some energy from all the sources (natural gas fired, nuclear, renewable, hydroelectric). You will always receive electricity even if the sun doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow, because the other sources are still generating.

The RECs are purchased on top of the electricity that you already buy (or a company buys for you).
The reason that individuals, municipalities, or organizations want to offset their usage is to do their part in reducing carbon emissions. It is obvious with the extreme changes in temperatures, the rising of ocean water, and the melting of the polar ice caps that something abnormal is going on. If everyone can do their part to support reducing their own carbon emissions then the benefits will go a long way to make sure that our kids, and our kid’s kids have as a great a world as we do now.If offsetting your electricity usage is something that you believe in doing check out our page to schedule a free consultation!

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