Solar Sari Salon
Many thanks to all of you for joining the Solar Sari Salon at my home and studio! Special thanks to everyone for filling out the sign in sheet and the evaluation form for the event. It was so fantastic to have such a big turnout. I am so pleased that Benjamin was able to provide sign language interpretation so that deaf individuals could attend. I am hoping to arrange interpretation for my upcoming events in the area.
I hope you came away with a sense of the climate impacts that coastal Bangladesh is experiencing and that you also feel like it is possible to take steps to reduce your individual carbon footprint. We need to reduce fossil fuel use, so turn your heat down and turn off lights whenever you can. Taking a pledge to reduce driving is another big way to cut your carbon footprint. Buy a shopping trolley and do groceries by foot the European way!
One of the easiest things to do is to purchase clean wind or solar energy through a provider like Ethical Energy. Ethical is also available in New York and Massachusetts (but not Virginia). Anyone can switch to clean energy â€” apartment renters/owners and single family homeowners alike. All you have to do is find your Pepco or other electricity bill and your account number and sign up online through this link. Pepco (or your energy provider) is then required to purchase clean energy to equal the amount of your usage. All your billing is still with the same utility company you have now. I have done this and am still getting my Pepco bill, but they are purchasing wind energy from Ethical. It costs 5-10% more to switch to clean energy. So if you are paying $100 per month, you may pay $110 or so.
As for putting up solar panels if you are a homeowner, I encourage you to do so this soon while the federal and DC/MD tax benefits are substantial. There is a 30 percent federal tax credit for the cost of your panels. Then, in addition, if you live in DC or MD, you will get a rebate for Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs), which are tradeable currency based on how much solar energy you generate. The panels each have a micro-inverter which measures how much energy is generated and the total energy is first supplied to your house through the power lines. If there is any further energy left that you do not use, then Pepco (or your local electric utility) takes it and adds it to the grid, but you still earn money for that energy. I am happy to share what I know as well, so feel free to call or email. My panels are up and will be going online soon so I should soon have more information on the process.
Thanks again to all who attended. Here is a photo of the sari ribbon cutting for my panels, with my solar installer, Sumit Bhatnagar of Green Brilliance.