Want to go green? These 3 energy choices have big impact

(BPT) - This Earth Day, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is celebrating climate action, partnering with companies and organizations that are leading the way to a clean energy future and a healthier planet by investing in energy efficiency with ENERGY STAR and green power with the Green Power Partnership. Companies that partner with EPA through these programs make investments that are good for their bottom line and good for the communities they serve. Earth Day is the ideal time to follow their example and join the celebration by exploring ways you and your family can make a difference.

Purchasing renewable energy, choosing ENERGY STAR certified products, or driving an electric vehicle (EV) are three ways you can make smart energy choices that help the environment. Learn more at energystar.gov/earthday.

1. Tap into green power

Green power has never been more available with options expanding every day. Wind power provides the largest renewable generation capacity in the United States today, creating enough electricity to offset the energy consumption of 29.5 million average American homes. There is currently enough solar power installed in the U.S. to power over 12 million average American homes.

Because green power has become increasingly accessible nationwide, many homeowners can now make the choice to switch to renewable, sustainable energy sources. Interested in tapping into green power for your home? Research local green power options or contact your utility provider directly. Even if nothing is available, you will have taken an important step in voicing your interest in future options, which supports investment in expansion.

2. Choose energy efficiency

The typical household spends nearly $1,900 each year on energy bills. Products that earn the ENERGY STAR label are independently certified to save energy. A home outfitted with these products can save 24% or about $450 on household energy bills. Plus, you will avoid more than 4,100 pounds of carbon pollution.

ENERGY STAR certified products include not only kitchen and laundry appliances, water heaters and HVAC systems, but also doors and windows, consumer electronics, ceiling fans and light bulbs. You can search for certified products at energystar.gov/productfinder and purchase many online or at local retail stores.

3. Explore electric cars

In the market for a new vehicle? An electric vehicle is Mother Nature approved. Thanks to technological advances, the number of plug-in EVs on the road in the United States is rapidly increasing — as are charging stations nationwide. Fully electric cars produce no tailpipe emissions, plus for every mile driven, the average cost to drive an EV is typically less than half the cost of driving a standard gasoline vehicle.

In addition to saving on fuel, fully electric vehicles also have fewer moving parts, so typically require less maintenance — and no emissions testing. All-electric vehicle driving ranges are increasing, with some models able to drive over 300 miles on a single charge. Depending on your driving needs, you may be able to rely completely on plugging in only at home. And when you do plug in at home, make sure you have an ENERGY STAR certified electric vehicle charger for even more cost savings and environmental benefit.

What you do now will impact the wellness of the planet for generations to come. Make your energy choices count this Earth Day and every day.

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