Sunday, October 15, 2006

Paying for Clean Energy

I recently started to respond to a post on clean energy, and found that I had more to say than I thought. So, I decided to post on the topic here on my own blog.

I honestly think that if those of us with the means to pay for for cleaner energy don't opt to do so, we are dooming the ability for those energy producers to get to the point where they can make energy cheaper for the general public.

I would equate the need to pay more for cleaner energy in the short term less to a moral issue and more like the ability for more wealthy people to pay for a higher quality of health care. You get better health care if you can pay more, whether that's through your insurance or your own cash. Whether you agree with that or not, that's the way it is. As treatments become more common, and more sought after, they become cheaper and covered by more insurance plans, and they become available to people with less means.

For people with the means to pay for cleaner energy who choose not to do so, they are acting irresponsibly with the lives of those who come after us. It's sort of like knowing there is a procedure that would save your child's life when they are deathly ill, no moral or religious concerns about the procedure, and having the means to proceed, but just choosing not to have it done. Are we really that callous a people?

So, what is my family doing on this front? If we weren't doing something, that would make us awfully hypocritical. We have been trying to get on the City of Austin Green Power program, but it's very popular and nearly impossible to become a part of it. We have decided that solar energy the only way to participate in the immediate term from our location in the city, since we don't have enough land to produce our own wind or hydro energy. We've investigated the ability to sell any overflow power back to the energy grid, looked into the different technologies available for solar panels, and are saving up for the initial outlay for the equipment. We expect to have those panels in place within the year.

There are always other things to do to reduce your energy footprint, and other things that we are doing at our house, as well. I would submit that if you have a computer and enough free time to have read this entry, that you have the means to make decisions to help the environment with your money. And nothing speaks louder to our country than how you choose to spend your money. What are you doing?


James said...

You're right that 'voting with our dollars' sends the only signal people tend to see.

Monica said...

We pay extra for our power company to obtain an amount of power equivalent to our household use from renewable sources (mostly wind here).

We also want to get solar panels and a solar water heater at some point.