We all use electricity to power our homes. Where you get your electricity from may seem like an insignificant point, but it is quite important. These days, many people are starting to get their electricity from renewable sources, and more and more companies are offering this option. If and when you are able, switching to locally generated energy is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint.
When you buy your energy locally, there is less distance that your energy has to travel to reach you, cutting down on energy itself. For example, when you are using gas, that gas has to be transported from its source. This transportation thereby results in an increased carbon footprint. Generally, the further your energy is sourced, the more energy it takes to transport it to you.
More Money Stays in the Local Economy
Buying anything local gives a boost to the local economy in which you live. When you buy locally grown produce, you’re supporting local farmers, producers and sellers. It is no different with energy. When you make the choice to buy local, you are supporting energy companies in your community and keeping financial investments local. This can give a massive boost to your community.
Security & Stability
You are much less dependent on big energy companies and all of the issues that come with it when you buy local energy. Large-scale blackouts may spare you, and many local energy companies buy energy from individual producers who can provide consistent and high-quality energy. Being dependent on other countries for energy, especially those that have political instability, can be a gamble. By switching to locally generated energy, the risk of blackouts is much lower.
Affordable and Ethical
Many clothes and other products that have a lower price tag are often of poor quality and are made under exploitative working conditions. However, this is not the case for locally generated energy. The price is lower because the resources being used are fewer and require less energy themselves. When you purchase local energy, you can be rest assured that you are getting affordable and ethical energy.
Photo by Karsten Würth
Make it Your Own
When thinking about locally generated energy, there is nothing more local than your own house. When you make the choice to install solar panels on your property, you are making the decision to invest in yourself and in your family. Not only will you have zero electricity bills, but in some cases, you can sell the excess energy you generate to electricity companies. Generating your own electricity is good for you: good for your wallet and good for the planet. Many cities, states and governments will even subsidize the installation of the solar panels by lowering or sometimes eliminating the initial costs for you.
The Bottom Line
When you invest in locally generated energy, you are investing in your community and in the planet. From reduced carbon emissions to lower costs, locally generated energy is a great way to both invest in your community and ensure the stability of your energy. If you are interested in switching, start by doing an online search for locally generated energy companies in your area. If you can’t find anything, contact your local town or city administration and see if they have any information on energy companies that produce local energy. You can also contact some people in your local community to see if they know anything on this subject.
For more tips on how to live a more sustainable life, check out our magazine.