We all know that investing in green energy is a good thing to do for the health of our planet. We spend our dollars with a happy conscience and hope that we’re actually making a difference. Even more, we hope that our investments translate into tangible benefits in our own lives, although that is often harder to gauge.
But New York State is now transforming the green energy market by actually measuring the benefits of our investments. New data released by the state government earlier this year details the achievements that agencies have made by switching to renewable energy sources, as well as outlining the savings that existing efforts have made. Simultaneously, the state also released new purchasing specifications that will soon have a direct impact on consumers. However, even today these savings and innovations are affecting your household’s bottom line. They can provide the inspiration you need to keep investing in green energy for the state of New York.
How Going Green Is Already Saving You Money
According to the Greening New York State report, New York’s efforts are making quite the impact on residential consumers already. For example, agencies have reduced the purchasing of copy paper significantly since 2011, saving taxpayers nearly $20 million — and 57% of that paper was recycled post-consumer content in 2015. That improvement alone is a huge benefit for our pocketbooks and our local environment, and that’s only the beginning. Increased recycling and organic composting efforts have also reduced the amount of waste that state agencies produce each year by more than 30%.
As far as green energy is concerned, New York State is at the forefront among states on the east coast and around the country. Suffolk County is now home to the nation’s first energy-neutral state park thanks to the completion of a 693-kW solar installation. Even better, enough renewable energy was produced within state boundaries during 2015 to power 6,200 homes. These are costs that taxpayers no longer have to cover– and while your monthly electric bill may not be directly affected, these savings definitely impact your household’s bottom line by saving your hard-earned tax dollars.
New York’s New Purchasing Specifications
The new purchasing regulations will have a more obvious impact on our lives today. While most of the new purchasing regulations are in place to help schools and government agencies purchase lighting, furniture, cleaning products, and other items that are greener than their predecessors, these changes will have a big impact on local consumers.
New York is now the first state to eliminate food containers that are made from highly toxic plastics, which reduces the amount of chemicals you and your children are exposed to each day. Agencies are already winning awards for purchasing sustainable electronics, and are offering up even more categories of purchasing for public comment. We are being consulted to shape future policy.
What does this mean for us as consumers?
- We will see safer disinfectants being used in our local schools.
- Longer-lasting and environmentally friendly lighting will light our way in government buildings.
- Our agencies are no longer wasting money through purchasing expensive and environmentally wasteful bottled water.
- We get to help our government decide how to purchase and utilize batteries.
How You Can Join New York’s Green Revolution
When the entire state gets on board with going green, it can be truly inspiring for local consumers. It’s easy to support renewable energy initiatives when programs are already in place, and are well endorsed by both the government and the citizens around us, making significant savings. In an accepting and enthusiastic community, green innovations can really thrive.
At this point, you may be wondering how you can become more involved. Aside from creating your own compost bin and purchasing the newly-approved items with environmental impact in mind, there’s one more critical thing you can do to support the “greening” of New York State. Every single month, you can support local renewable resources by enrolling in a green energy plan with a third party electric supplier.
When you sign up for a green energy plan, your electric supplier purchases Renewable Energy Credits, or RECs, on your behalf. Each month, the same amount of energy you use in your household is sent back into the grid as clean and green renewable power. This renewable energy can be from a local solar, hydroelectric, or wind facility. Your home is powered with the same reliable electricity you’re used to, but you get the satisfaction of knowing that your dollars are directly taking part in New York’s green revolution. This is a great way to directly support the environmental cause. We’re all looking for a way to do our part– and the purchase of RECs makes our path a whole lot easier.
Not every electric provider has a green energy plan that allows you to purchase RECs. So if you’re looking for a company to partner with on the journey toward a greener state, you’ll want to look into partnering with Liberty Power. Reach out to us today to learn more about how.