Many of us are on the lookout for steps we can take to help the environment, from driving a more fuel-efficient car to composting and recycling. But what can you do to make your house more earth friendly? According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average American home uses 10,182 kilowatts of electricity every year. It can be tough to envision exactly what that means in terms of environmental impact. So let’s look at it in terms of how much pollution a home produces.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tells us that your home’s electricity for a year is equivalent to:

  • Greenhouse gas emissions from driving 17,150 miles per year. (That’s a lot further than most people drive annually.)
  • Carbon monoxide emissions from burning 7,636 pounds of coal. (Ouch.)
  • Carbon monoxide emissions from 293 home propane tanks. (That’s a lot of cookouts!)

What if you replaced your electricity usage with solar power? Not only would it be like not driving your car (and half of someone else’s) for a year, but it’s also equivalent to:

  • Saving 805 gallons of gasoline.
  • Keeping 16.6 barrels of oil from being used.
  • Growing 185 tree seedlings for 10 years, so they can sequester carbon.
  • The carbon sequestered by 6.8 acres of trees in a year.

Wondering what carbon sequestration is? It’s “the long-term storage of carbon dioxide or other forms of carbon to either mitigate or defer global warming and avoid dangerous climate change.” It’s been proposed as a way to slow the accumulation of greenhouse gases, which are released by burning fossil fuels. In other words, it’s one way trees help the planet.

Long words aside, our houses contribute to pollution. But the good news is that solar power can cut that down significantly, and save you money to boot.

In the Midwest, the average cost of a kilowatt hour of electricity is about 13.5 cents (and rising). It doesn’t sound like much, until you calculate that it’s almost $1,400 a year. And for many of us, our average monthly electric bill is much higher than $100 a month. Solar power can make your electric bill dwindle until it’s nearly disappeared, saving you thousands.

Give us a call to talk about how solar panels can help both the earth and your wallet.