Former President Barrack Obama recognized the implications of climate change and took numerous measures to combat it. He passed strict regulations on carbon emissions, but his successor isn’t keen on keeping them. A few months ago, President Trump announced that he is tapering back some of Obama’s clean energy policies. This will have a number of implications for the environment. Many people also wonder how the new policies will affect demand for green vehicles.
So far, it seems that Trump’s new policies are not hurting demand for green vehicles. In anything, green vehicle sales are higher than ever. According to one estimate, sales rose 15% in May, nearly two months after Trump reversed his predecessor’s clean energy policies.
“In addition to Tesla, which continues to boost sales but doesn’t publish monthly metrics, Ford and General Motors each performed well in May. Green-car sales for the Blue Oval rose 56 percent from a year earlier to 9,221 vehicles, as Fusion Hybrid sales more than doubled, while Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid sales jumped 77 percent.
Up the road, General Motors increased green-car sales by 50 percent to 3,964 vehicles. Notably, the Chevrolet Bolt electric-vehicle model had a record month, tallying 1,566 unit sold in May. While the Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in sales fell slightly to 1,817 units, Chevy Malibu Hybrid sales doubled to 493 units.”
Fortunately, it is unlikely that Trump’s new policies will significantly hurt demand for green cars. Here are some reasons demand is likely to increase in the near future.
Consumer Concern About Environment is Stronger than Ever
Demand for green cars is driven more by consumer concern for the environment than government regulations. A recent poll from Gallup shows that 45% of citizens “worry a great deal” about global warming. Nearly four out of five customers agree that scientists claim humans are responsible for global warming.
Even though the Trump Administration’s new policies will allow vehicles that are less environmentally friendly, environmentally conscious customers are likely to choose more efficient vehicles on their own.
Greener Vehicles Are More Cost-Efficient Over the Long Run
A number of studies have shown that green vehicles save money over the long-term. One 2013 study found that the average hybrid vehicle saves $3,371 in gas over the course of five years. As gas prices continue to rise, they will be more economically viable.
One of the benefits of hybrid, solar and electric vehicles is that they shield customers against rising fuel prices. After Hurricane Harvey, prices rose sharply. Other natural disasters, crises in the Middle East and OPEC agreements could cause gas prices to spike further, which makes green vehicles even more appealing.
Customers that own green vehicles don’t just save money on fuel prices. They can also reduce their insurance prices as well. Many customers looking for green vehicles choose Toyota Priuses, because they are the least expensive green cars to insure.
Customers can get even lower premiums if they take advantage of green discounts. According to The Zebra, green discounts allow customers to save up to 10% on their premiums every year. One of the main reasons they are less expensive is that they are less likely to be involved in accidents.
“A car that’s good for the earth is good for the wallet, at least when it comes to car insurance (and fuel conservation). Instant discounts, typically up to 10%, may be available for drivers that own or lease hybrids or alternative-fuel vehicles depending on carrier. And since hybrid cars are often built with the latest features (research from the Highway Loss Data Institute shows people traveling in hybrids are 25% less likely to be injured in an accident than people traveling in traditional vehicles) you may qualify for additional discounts for newer safety developments like curtain airbags or Electronic Stability Control,” The Zebra websites states.
Green Vehicles Will Be More Popular than Ever, In Spite of Trump
Donald Trump has mocked the idea of climate change and tapered efforts to regulate it. However, customers are pushing for more environmentally friendly options on their own. They will continue to invest in green vehicles, regardless of Trump’s emission standards.
Is Wood Burning Sustainable For Your Home?
Wood is a classic heat source, whether we think about people gathered around a campfire or wood stoves in old cabins, but is it a sustainable source of heat in modern society? The answer is an ambivalent one. In certain settings, wood heat is an ideal solution, but for the majority of homes, it isn’t especially suitable. So what’s the tipping point?
Wood heat is ideal for small homes on large properties, for individuals who can gather their own wood, and who have modern wood burning ovens. A green approach to wood heat is one of biofuel on the smallest of scales.
Is Biofuel Green?
One of the reasons that wood heat is a source of so much divide in the eco-friendly community is that it’s a renewable resource and renewable has become synonymous with green. What wood heat isn’t, though, is clean or healthy. It lets off a significant amount of carbon and particulates, and trees certainly don’t grow as quickly as it’s consumed for heat.
Of course, wood is a much less harmful source of heat than coal, but for scientists interested in developing green energy sources, it makes more sense to focus on solar and wind power. Why, then, would they invest in improved wood burning technology?
Solar and wind technology are good large-scale energy solutions, but when it comes to small-space heating, wood has its own advantages. First, wood heat is in keeping with the DIY spirit of homesteaders and tiny house enthusiasts. These individuals are more likely to be driven to gather their own wood and live in small spaces that can be effectively heated as such.
Wood heat is also very effective on an individual scale because it requires very little infrastructure. Modern wood stoves made of steel rather than cast iron are built to EPA specifications, and the only additional necessary tools include a quality axe, somewhere to store the wood, and an appropriate covering to keep it dry. And all the wood can come from your own land.
Wood heat is also ideal for people living off the grid or in cold areas prone to frequent power outages, as it’s constantly reliable. Even if the power goes out, you know that you’ll be able to turn up the heat. That’s important if you live somewhere like Maine where the winters can get exceedingly cold. People have even successfully heated a 40’x34’ home with a single stove.
Benefits Of Biomass
The ultimate question regarding wood heat is whether any energy source that’s dangerous on the large scale is acceptable on a smaller one. For now, the best answer is that with a growing population and limited progress towards “pure” green energy, wood should remain a viable option, specifically because it’s used on a limited scale. Biomass heat is even included in the UK’s Renewable Heat Initiative and minor modifications can make it even more sustainable.
Wood stoves, when embraced in conjunction with pellet stoves, geothermal heating, and masonry heaters, all more efficient forms of sustainable heat, should be part of a modern energy strategy. Ultimately, we’re headed in the direction of diversified energy – all of it cleaner – and wood has a place in the big picture, serving small homes and off-the-grid structures, while solar, wind, and other large-scale initiatives fuel our cities.
7 Benefits You Should Consider Giving Your Energy Employees
As an energy startup, you’re always looking to offer the most competitive packages to entice top-tier talent. This can be tough, especially when trying to put something together that’s both affordable but also has perks that employees are after.
After all, this is an incredibly competitive field and one that’s constantly doing what it can to stay ahead. However, that’s why I’m bringing you a few helpful benefits that could be what bolsters you ahead of your competition. Check them out below:
One benefit commonly overlooked by companies is offering your employees financial advising services, which could help them tremendously in planning for their long-term goals with your firm. This includes anything from budgeting and savings plans to recommendations for credit repair services and investments. Try to take a look at if your energy company could bring on an extra person or two specifically for this role, as it will pay off tremendously regarding retention and employee happiness.
While often included in a lot of health benefits packages, offering your employees life insurance could be an excellent addition to your current perks. Although seldom used, life insurance is a small sign that shows you care about the life of their family beyond just office hours. Additionally, at such a low cost, this is a pretty simple aspect to add to your packages. Try contacting some brokers or insurance agents to see if you can find a policy that’s right for your firm.
Dedicated Time To Enjoy Their Hobbies
Although something seen more often in startups in Silicon Valley, having dedicated office time for employees to enjoy their passions is something that has shown great results. Whether it be learning the piano or taking on building a video game, having your team spend some time on the things they truly enjoy can translate to increased productivity. Why? Because giving them the ability to better themselves, they’ll in turn bring that to their work as well.
The Ability To Work Remotely
It’s no secret that a lot of employers despise the idea of letting their employees work remotely. However, it’s actually proven to hold some amazing benefits. According to Global Workplace Analytics, 95% of employers that allow their employees to telework reported an increased rate of retention, saving on both turnover and sick days. Depending on the needs of each individual role, this can be a strategy to implement either whenever your team wants or on assigned days. Either way, this is one perk almost everyone will love.
Even though it’s mandated for companies with over 50 employees, offering health insurance regardless is arguably a benefit well received across the board. In fact, as noted in research compiled by KFF, 28.6% of employers with less than 50 people still offered health care. Why is that the case? Because it shows you care about their well-being, and know that a healthy employee is one that doesn’t have to worry about astronomical medical bills.
Unlimited Time Off
This is a perk that almost no employer offers but should be regarded as something to consider. According to The Washington Post, only 1-2% of companies offer unlimited vacation, which it’s easy to see why. A true “unlimited vacation” program could be a firm’s worse nightmare, with employees skipping out every other week to enjoy themselves. However, with the right model in place that rewards hard work with days off, your employees will absolutely adore this policy.
A Full Pantry
Finally, having a pantry full of food can be one perk that’s not only relatively inexpensive but also adds to the value of the workplace. As noted by USA Today, when surveying employees who had snacks versus those who didn’t, 67% of those who did reported they were “very happy” with their work life. You’d be surprised at how much of a difference this could make, especially when considering the price point. Consider adding a kitchen to your office if you haven’t already, and always keep the snacks and drinks everyone wants fully stocked. Doing so will increase morale tremendously.
Compiling a great package for your energy company is going to take some time in looking at what you can afford versus what’s the most you can offer. While it might mean cutting back in other areas, having a workforce that feels like you genuinely want to take care of them can take you far. And with so many different benefits to include in your energy company’s package, which one is your favorite? Comment with your answers below!