Renting? You have sustainable energy options, too.
If you're renting, it's not often worthwhile to devote time or resources to some sustainable options, from energy-efficiency upgrades to insulation to ecofriendly lawncare practices. Most notably, you're not likely to invest in rooftop solar panels for a home you don't own.
Here's the good news: Renters do have sustainable energy options — choices that can have a major impact on your carbon footprint and are easy to accomplish without making changes to the property itself.
Let's explore community solar, green electricity, and carbon-neutral natural gas.
Community solar is an option for those who are unable to install solar panels on their roofs — this may be because you don't own the property, aren't ready to make the investment in rooftop panels, or don't have the right conditions to support a rooftop system (due to shading, roof size or other factors). Either way — it's quickly expanding access to solar power for more Americans than ever before.
When you subscribe to a community solar project, you're investing in renewable energy for — and with — your neighbors. And in areas where solar power is less expensive than traditionally generated electricity, you can save money on your monthly energy bill.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, about one-third of states in the U.S. currently have policies in place that enable and support community solar. And as demand for access to solar grows, that number is expected to grow as well.
Green electricity is a cleaner choice you can take advantage of by simply choosing the source of your electricity.
When you choose green electricity, your energy supplier will offset the carbon impact of your energy usage with renewable energy credits (RECs), which support clean, sustainable projects — like wind, solar, and hydro power — in the U.S. and across the globe.
At home, the energy you receive from our shared grid may still be “brown” (meaning it came from a fossil fuel source, like coal), but the REC offsets your impact.
Carbon neutral natural gas
Just as you can offset the carbon impact of your power usage with RECs, you can offset the impact of your natural gas with carbon offsets.
When you choose carbon-neutral natural gas, your energy supplier will offset your usage with carbon offsets that invest in carbon sinks, like reforestation projects, and renewable energy and green innovation projects, in the U.S. and beyond.
It's simple: Your energy supplier calculates your carbon footprint by examining your usage, and then invests in offsets that remove CO2 from the atmosphere.
Start lowering your carbon footprint today
About a quarter of your energy footprint comes from your at-home energy use. (And this may be higher if you've made the transition to full- or part-time remote work, like many Americans.)
There are, of course, some energy efficiency upgrades you can make, and energy conservation habits you can take advantage of. Explore our list here.
But if you're looking to make a larger impact, look to your energy supply first.How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint