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Green Water Systems Can Cut Water Costs by 40%

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Americans are becoming more concerned about green living than ever before. However, many of them have a hard time taking the plunge, particularly when it comes to using green watering solutions. If you are on the fence, you should know that you can save a lot of money by finding a greener way to provide water to your home.

Green Watering Devices Are a Massive Money Saver

Do you know how much money you spend on water every year? According to the EPA, the average family spends $1,000. That is a noticeable chunk of your budget.

The EPA also estimates that some green watering devices can save you $380 a year. That is a lot of money to the average homeowner.

Green Watering is the Latest Way for People to Go Green, but Other Ideas Are in the Pipeline

A great number of us make conscious efforts to conserve the resources of our planet. We recycle our paper, plastic, and aluminum products; shut off lights when we leave a room; switch to compact fluorescent bulbs; take our own bags to the grocery store; carpool to work or walk instead of drive.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed with “green” information, but reducing our ecological footprint on earth is not as difficult as you may think. Going green simply means using what is necessary and no more. Small steps can produce big changes when it comes to the environment.

Creating a healthier, more planet-friendly home isn’t just a good deed, it’s an opportunity. Choosing energy-efficient appliances benefits more than just the environment; it can improve your quality of life and save you money.

If the goal is to use less energy, less electricity, and less water, what options do we have when it comes to our home’s appliances? We all use a great deal of water and energy in our daily lives. To reduce the environmental impact of your energy use, the best place to start is in examining how your appliances operate.

 

Energy-Efficient Appliances

As our reliance on machines increases, choosing energy-efficient systems has become particularly important. Updated technology, along with national standards, have contributed to vast improvements in appliance performance. Purchasing the right products, in addition to using appliances in an eco-wise manner, will save energy and money.

As people become more concerned with healthy living, new appliances will hit the market, such as tools to dispense nutritional information and water softeners to reduce mineral levels.

Many of these products will be more energy efficient. The average household appliance consumes about 1,000 watts, so energy conscious homeowners will be under pressure to find more energy efficient versions to minimize their carbon footprint.

There are dozens of types of energy-efficient appliances offering green solutions to reduce household consumption. A high-efficiency softener, for example, is a green water system. Given that hard water is a major concern in nearly 85% of homes throughout the U.S., many families turn to water softeners to supply cleaner, healthier water throughout their homes.

While all softening systems need water and salt to operate, not all are created equal when it comes to waste production and energy conservation. If a softening system is always using salt and water, how is it possible that water softeners are green water systems?

First, when you remove the hardness minerals from your water supply, your appliances can operate more efficiently. This saves water and energy. Also, when you eliminate hard water, you’re removing the build-up of scale which prolongs the life of your appliances and keeps them out of our country’s landfills.

Consequently, although softeners use salt and water to regenerate, a high-efficiency upflow system like the Genesis On Demand uses precisely the amount of salt and water necessary; it always runs as efficiently as possible, without waste.

Upflow Technology for High-Efficiency Usage

The capacity of your water softener, how you maintain it, and how it operates, all affect how much energy is used. For example, a water softening system using older downflow technology may use more than double the amount of salt and water than leading brands like the Genesis water softener using modern upflow technology.

A water softener uses resin beads charged with salt in a tank. As water passes through the resin, the hard minerals are removed and exchanged with sodium. After the resin loses its ability to dispose of the minerals, it must be “recharged” with more salt during a regeneration cycle. This cycle, when combined with a backwash cycle, can use a significant amount of water.

Systems using older downflow brining requires hard water to enter from above the resin bed and flow throughout the resin to complete the ion-exchange process for softening. This presents a problem, as the direction of the incoming water compacts the media and prevents full softening capacity. It also causes more frequent regeneration, creating far greater waste than necessary.

Green water systems, such as the Genesis water softener line, uses new upflow technology in which water is directed in an up-flow direction, entering the system tank and moving through the upper basket before traveling down again through a tube in the center of the tank.

The water then gets distributed throughout the lower basket providing a better discharge of impurities and eliminating the need for backwashing every regeneration on municipal water. That is a 90% reduction in backwash cycle water use. Upflow softeners reduce salt and water usage by regenerating the precise amount needed and producing significantly less waste.

On-Demand vs. Timered Softeners

The key to a greener water softener is in on-demand, up-flow technology. If you have an older, timered softener, replacing it with a new, high-efficiency on-demand softener will provide your family with a cost-effective answer to hard water troubles.

A Genesis Premier Upflow On Demand system works on an as-needed basis, calculating the regeneration amount just before exhausting capacity, guaranteeing an uninterrupted flow of softer, cleaner water for a fraction of the cost.

Timered softeners regenerate at predetermined schedules regardless of water usage. Since we don’t use the same amount of water each day, it’s nearly impossible to program timed regeneration settings correctly, leaving homeowners with no choice but to either use hard water, or regenerate unnecessarily, wasting a great deal of water, salt, and energy.

When on-demand softening systems regenerate, it’s based on need instead of a preset schedule. Using innovative upflow technology in an on-demand system reduces salt usage by as much as 75% and water usage by 65% over standard downflow meter regeneration type models. It also requires less maintenance and fewer repairs. This superb energy efficiency goes a long way in saving money and the environment.

The savings in soap and cleaning products are also factors to consider. An added benefit is fewer chemicals into the environment. Using far less product to achieve cleanliness means less cost and less soap down the drain.

Most people choose eco-friendly products but that is not always an option, especially when trying to remove scale build-up. Calcium and lime removal can only be effectively done through harsh chemicals which are acid based. Installing a water softener eliminates the need for those products.

If you’re ready to make changes in your home to promote a greener lifestyle, and you’re in the market for an energy-efficient softener, you may be wondering: How much does a water softener cost and what size water softener do I need? Determining water quality and usage will help define the correct system for any home or business. A water quality expert can help guide you through the process.

Green Choices are Good Choices

Living green doesn’t just positively impact our planet, it also protects you and your family. Eco-friendly products like high-efficiency salt and water saving softeners deliver soft water to your home and prevent wasteful consequences.

Green systems lower energy bills, extend the life of your appliances, and preserve our natural resources. Environmentally conscious decisions add up. When we make responsible choices for our planet, we’re also reaping the long-term benefits for ourselves. The greener your appliances, the greener your wallet.

 

 

Energy

Responsible Energy Investments Could Solve Retirement Funding Crisis

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Energy Investments
Shutterstock / By Sergey Nivens | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/nivens

Retiring baby-boomers are facing a retirement cliff, at the same time as mother nature unleashes her fury with devastating storms tied to the impact of global warming. There could be a unique solution to the challenges associated with climate change – investments in clean energy from retirement funds.

Financial savings play a very important role in everyone’s life and one must start planning for it as soon as possible. It’s shocking how quickly seniors can burn through their nest egg – leaving many wondering, “How long will my retirement savings last?”

Let’s take a closer look at how seniors can take baby steps on the path to retiring with dignity, while helping to clean up our environment.

Tip #1: Focus & Determination

Like in other work, it is very important to focus and be determined. If retirement is around the corner, then make sure to start putting some money away for retirement. No one can ever achieve anything without dedication and focus – whether it’s saving the planet, or saving for retirement.

Tip #2: Minimize Spending

One of the most important things that you need to do is to minimize your expenditures. Reducing consumption is good for the planet too!

Tip #3: Visualize Your Goal

You can achieve more if you have a clearly defined goal in life. This about how your money can be used to better the planet – imagine cleaner air, water and a healthier environment to leave to your grandchildren.

Investing in Clean Energy

One of the hottest and most popular industries for investment today is the energy market – the trading of energy commodities. Clean energy commodities are traded alongside dirty energy supplies. You might be surprised to learn that clean energy is becoming much more competitive.

With green biz becoming more popular, it is quickly becoming a powerful tool for diversified retirement investing.

The Future of Green Biz

As far as the future is concerned, energy businesses are going to continue getting bigger and better. There are many leading energy companies in the market that already have very high stock prices, yet people are continuing to investing in them.

Green initiatives are impacting every industry. Go Green campaigns are a PR staple of every modern brand. For the energy-sector in the US, solar energy investments are considered to be the most accessible form of clean energy investment. Though investing in any energy business comes with some risks, the demand for energy isn’t going anywhere.

In conclusion, if you want to start saving for your retirement, then clean energy stocks and commodity trading are some of the best options for wallets and the planet. Investing in clean energy products, like solar power, is a more long-term investment. It’s quite stable and comes with a significant profit margin. And it’s amazing for the planet!

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Energy

What Should We Make of The Clean Growth Strategy?

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Clean Growth Strategy for green energy
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By sdecoret | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/sdecoret

It was hardly surprising the Clean Growth Strategy (CGS) was much anticipated by industry and environmentalists. After all, its publication was pushed back a couple of times. But with the document now in the public domain, and the Government having run a consultation on its content, what ultimately should we make of what’s perhaps one of the most important publications to come out of the Department for Business, Energy and the Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in the past 12 months?

The starting point, inevitably, is to decide what the document is and isn’t. It is, certainly, a lengthy and considered direction-setter – not just for the Government, but for business and industry, and indeed for consumers. While much of the content was favourably received in terms of highlighting ways to ensure clean growth, critics – not unjustifiably – suggested it was long on pages but short on detailed and finite policy commitments, accompanied by clear timeframes for action.

A Strategy, Instead of a Plan

But should we really be surprised? The answer, in all honesty, is probably not really. BEIS ministers had made no secret of the fact they would be publishing a ‘strategy’ as opposed to a ‘plan,’ and that gave every indication the CGS would set a direction of travel and be largely aspirational. The Government had consulted on its content, and will likely respond to the consultation during the course of 2018. And that’s when we might see more defined policy commitments and timeframes from action.

The second criticism one might level at the CGS is that indicated the use of ‘flexibilities’ to achieve targets set in the carbon budgets – essentially using past results to offset more recent failings to keep pace with emissions targets. Claire Perry has since appeared in front of the BEIS Select Committee and insisted she would be personally disappointed if the UK used flexibilities to fill the shortfall in meeting the fourth and fifth carbon budgets, but this is difficult ground for the Government. The Committee on Climate Change was critical of the proposed use of efficiencies, which would somewhat undermine ministers’ good intentions and commitment to clean growth – particularly set against November’s Budget, in which the Chancellor maintained the current carbon price floor (potentially giving a reprieve to coal) and introduced tax changes favourable to North Sea oil producers.

A 12 Month Green Energy Initiative with Real Teeth

But, there is much to appreciate and commend about the CGS. It fits into a 12-month narrative for BEIS ministers, in which they have clearly shown a commitment to clean growth, improving energy efficiency and cutting carbon emissions. Those 12 months have seen the launch of the Industrial Strategy – firstly in Green Paper form, which led to the launch of the Faraday Challenge, and then a White Paper in which clean growth was considered a ‘grand challenge’ for government. Throughout these publications – and indeed again with the CGS – the Government has shown itself to be an advocate of smart systems and demand response, including the development of battery technology.

Electrical Storage Development at Center of Broader Green Energy Push

While the Faraday Challenge is primarily focused on the development of batteries to support the proliferation of electric vehicles (which will support cuts to carbon emissions), it will also drive down technology costs, supporting the deployment of small and utility-scale storage that will fully harness the capability of renewables. Solar and wind made record contributions to UK electricity generation in 2017, and the development of storage capacity will help both reduce consumer costs and support decarbonisation.

The other thing the CGS showed us it that the Government is happy to be a disrupter in the energy market. The headline from the publication was the plans for legislation to empower Ofgem to cap the costs of Standard Variable Tariffs. This had been an aspiration of ministers for months, and there’s little doubt that driving down costs for consumers will be a trend within BEIS policy throughout 2018.

But the Government also seems happy to support disruption in the renewables market, as evidenced by the commitment (in the CGS) to more than half a billion pounds of investment in Pot 2 of Contracts for Difference (CfDs) – where the focus will be on emerging rather than established technologies.

This inevitably prompted ire from some within the industry, particularly proponents of solar, which is making an increasing contribution to the UK’s energy mix. But, again, we shouldn’t really be surprised. Since the subsidy cuts of 2015, ministers have given no indication or cause to think there will be public money afforded to solar development. Including solar within the CfD auction would have been a seismic shift in policy. And while ministers’ insistence in subsidy-free solar as the way forward has been shown to be based on a single project, we should expect that as costs continue to be driven down and solar makes record contributions to electricity generation, investment will follow – and there will ultimately be more subsidy-free solar farms, albeit perhaps not in 2018.

Meanwhile, by promoting emerging technologies like remote island wind, the Government appears to be favouring diversification and that it has a range of resources available to meet consumer demand. Perhaps more prescient than the decision to exclude established renewables from the CfD auction is the subsequent confirmation in the budget that Pot 2 of CfDs will be the last commitment of public money to renewable energy before 2025.

In short, we should view the CGS as a step in the right direction, albeit one the Government should be elaborating on in its consultation response. Its publication, coupled with the advancement this year of the Industrial Strategy indicates ministers are committed to the clean growth agenda. The question is now how the aspirations set out in the CGS – including the development of demand response capacity for the grid, and improving the energy efficiency of commercial and residential premises – will be realised.

It’s a step in the right direction. But, inevitably, there’s much more work to do.

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