This blog was compiled by Kailie Melchior, Communications Intern with SACE.
Once again we are gearing up to celebrate the Fourth of July, which also means it’s time to declare your energy independence from fossil fuels! Improving energy efficiency in your home or going solar are just two ways to take control of your energy destiny while saving money.
Yes, you read that right. Becoming more energy efficient will save you money! A few simple ideas include using fans instead of air conditioning, changing the light bulbs in your house to compact fluorescents or LEDs, and wrapping your water heater with an inexpensive insulation blanket.
And homeowners aren’t the only people that are relying on clean energy and energy efficiency to lessen overall costs. The Department of Defense (DOD) has identified climate change as a key security risk facing our nation and those around the world. Therefore DOD has adopted a goal to source 25 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2025, while the Department of the Navy is seeking 50 percent by 2020. The Navy has also installed about one gigawatt of solar already!
This is important not only for military bases here in America, but it also reduces the risk for American soldiers fighting overseas. A recent documentary entitled The Burden profiled the casualties that result from protecting fuel supply lines to power military operations, such as fuel convoys and airdrops of oil. Between 2003 and 2007, one of every eight Army soldiers killed while on duty in Iraq lost their lives to protect fuel convoys. The reduced risk that clean energy helps provide for the military makes it a life-saving investment.
Clean energy and energy efficiency creates jobs — lots of jobs! Wind power is truly an American success story. Wind turbine component manufacturing or support facilities exist in all 50 states. Domestic content for wind farm projects is around 60 percent, meaning American jobs are helping build America’s domestic energy industry. The American solar industry is another that has been fostering tremendous job growth. According to the Solar Foundation’s sixth annual solar jobs census, over 35,000 new solar jobs were added in North America in 2015, bringing the total count of US solar jobs to over 208,000.
Becoming more energy efficient and growing our clean energy sectors are incredibly important steps that will help make our country safer, healthier and more economically resilient. This year as you celebrate the Fourth of July, also consider taking some steps to ensure we can celebrate energy independence, as well!