Green Energy–The Color of Money


What is “green” energy, anyway? Energy has no color.

The “green” implies that it is environmentally friendly energy from renewable and sustainable sources with little or no carbon footprint.

Lately, though, the green also stands for cold, hard cash. More and more, green energy actually makes you money. Only a few years ago, “going green” on home energy meant paying a premium to support an environmental preference. But more and more, the green solution IS the inexpensive solution–especially in the long term. Wal-Mart, for example, is well on its way to powering 50% of its operations with renewable energy by 2025. Wal-Mart isn’t doing this just to be nice; they’re doing it because it saves them money.

You may or may not have similar opportunities at home. The biggest determinant of whether going green will save you money is where you live. Wind power you can only buy from your utility. If it’s available, it’s a simple option. Unfortunately, most utilities charge 5-15% more for wind energy, not less. You can also get wind energy anywhere by buying wind offsets like those from Arcadia Power. In states with electric choice, like TX, wind energy is sometimes cheaper than fossil-fueled electricity, and sometimes not. To keep an eye on comparative prices check a site like Electricity Rates every month or so, and look for the “100% Renewable” options.

Solar Power Rankings By State

Rooftop solar is the other primary source of green energy for your home. Solar incentives vary a great deal by state, with some of the best being in MA, CT, RI, NY, NJ, C0 and CA. The federal tax credit is also significant, and it drops from 30% in 2019 to 26% in 2020. Rooftop solar pays out in 4-12 years, depending on available incentives–but solar systems last 25 years with little maintenance.

There’s never been a better time to go for the green!