Glacial Energy Blog

Cooking without power

The recent super storm Sandy left millions of Americans without power and energy. Getting prepared for home cooking without power for several days could be a big problem for some, but we’ll tell you how.

If you are in the path of a hurricane or other strong storm, remember to download a hurricane preparedness guide. It is also important to stock up on more than just bread and milk it is imperative to stock up on water, food and fuel.  When you are informed a major storm is heading your way, make sure that your car fuel tank is full, that your grill has fuel back up, you have a pantry full of bottled water and canned food.

Dried or canned beans, canned tomatoes and pasta don’t need to be refrigerated and you can make a variety of dishes with them. Should a hurricane strike your area, it is important to have enough non-perishable packaged or canned food to last three to seven days. It takes disaster relief at least three days to reach an affected area, so having the minimum on hand is very important.

Here are some hurricane-ready foods that require no cooking:

  • Cans or little individual serving cups of fruit — apple sauce, fruit cocktail, peaches, pears, pineapple, etc.
  • Fruit juices that require no refrigeration — tomato, V-8, grape, apple, etc.
  • Granola bars or any individually packaged snack bars.
  • Nuts — cashews, peanuts, mixed. Whatever is your favorite.
  • Dried fruits – bananas, apricots, raisins, etc.
  • Cereal and/or cereal bars.
  • Peanut butter and crackers.
  • Canned meats. Tuna is our favorite and those pouches make it so convenient!
  • Canned milk or milk in laminated paper cartons. Note that these have a shelf life of about six months.
  • Cookies, chips and other favorite snacks.

During days without power, just follow simple tips below to remain healthy and fit.

Make breakfast cereal with powdered milk

You can still enjoy breakfast in a healthy way, even if you’re powerless for weeks. Simply mix up some powdered milk in one of your extra canning jars. You can mix it in the container and prepare just enough to get you through breakfast. So it means that you don’t have to worry about finding room in your already-overflowing cooler. If oatmeal is your thing, you can always prepare it on a single-burner camping stove, toss in some raisins, and use this same milk-in-a-jar strategy. It’s actually great that way because you don’t have to worry about the milk being cold.

Bulgur for a perfect no-cook meal or side dish

The cool thing about bulgur is that you can put it in a bowl of water to cold soak. Add some freshly squeezed lemon juice along with your veggies and seasonings of choice. If you’re making the bulgur salad your full meal, then you may also want to consider tossing in some canned black beans for protein. You will have easy, cheap and healthy food.

Count on cured meats

Packs of turkey pepperoni and cured salami can be easily stored in your pantry without cooling at any time of the year for hurricane readiness or regular meal prep. Take some of it with veggies and greens for a simple salad with a zing, or mix up some pizza dough and toss on a creative pizza sauce along with some of your cured meat. Put the whole thing on a pizza stone inside a covered grill, and you will have a perfect meal without worrying about power.

Look for vegetables

There are some vegetables that can probably go a few days like cabbage. You can also make cabbage and ramen noodle salad.

Source: http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-without-electricity-hurricane-preparedness-with-style , http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/28/hurricane-irene-power-outages_n_939441.html; http://goflorida.about.com/od/floridaweathe1/qt/prep_food.htm

About Glacial Energy- Glacial Energy is one of the fastest growing national retail energy suppliers selling electricity and natural gas to residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional customers in deregulated markets across the country. Glacial Energy has the resources and market knowledge to provide customized quotes for your business or cost-saving opportunities for your home. Learn more about Glacial Energy by visiting: www.GlacialEnergy.com

Teaching children to conserve power

 It’s important for children to appreciate the environment and have an understanding of energy conservation. They can easily follow some simple rules to minimize their energy usage. There are various ways you can teach your children to save energy by making simple changes to their habits. It not only allows them to save energy, but will also make your children more responsible people.

Turn off TV and lights

Teach your children to always turn off lights. Televisions, DVD players, video games, stereos and other electronic equipment should be turned off as soon as they’re done using them. To make it fun, you can also assign your children a task: Whoever leaves the electrical appliances switched on or on standby mode will be fined. Teach them to make a habit of roaming around the house and checking if someone has left any lights on. They should be taught to turn the outdoor lights off when they wake up each morning.

Watching TV

Watching TV, playing video games or watching movies may be fun for your children, but the hours of energy usage from a TV add up quickly. You should engage your children more in outdoor activities as opposed to watching TV. This way you help your children save energy while keeping them active and healthy.

Take short showers

Nearly all children love to play in water. They waste untold gallons of water as they splash in the bath for hours. Children can save energy by taking short showers instead of a long tub baths. Also educate children about turning off the water while brushing their teeth.

Turn the thermostat to 76 degrees

Teach your children to turn the thermostat to 76 degrees during warm weather and 68 degrees during cold weather. It not only decreases your energy consumption, but also reduces your electricity bills.

Energy Leaks

Teach your children to occasionally hold a ribbon up to the edges of your house’s windows. The ribbon will move if there is a leak in or out of the house. Also show them how to seal a leak with caulk or weather-stripping.

Recycle

Children can play an important part in recycling and bringing about great changes in the house. The activity of collecting cans, cartons, bottles and cereal boxes can be exciting for them and they will have fun looking for the items.

By teaching these simple steps, your children can become energy conscious for the rest of their lives.

For additional information and to learn more about energy conservation visit http://www.eia.gov/kids/

About Glacial Energy- Glacial Energy is one of the fastest growing national retail energy suppliers selling electricity and natural gas to residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional customers in deregulated markets across the country. Glacial Energy has the resources and market knowledge to provide customized quotes for your business or cost-saving opportunities for your home. Learn more about Glacial Energy by visiting: www.GlacialEnergy.com

Getting a new pet? How about energy pet- proofing your home first!

Similar to how you would proof a home before a baby starts crawling, it’s very important to ensure that all safety hazards are addressed around the house before allowing a pet to roam freely. Pet-proofing applies to all types of pets—from the usual indoor cats and dogs, to the more colorful birds. Some of the most common hazards include cleaning supplies that are left unattended, toxic plants and dangling wires and open outlets. Open sockets and electrical devices are a real threat to pets. Usually the cords that go to the television, and all related devices, are very appealing for a cat to chew on. If your pet is able to chew the wire, then there is a risk for severe burns or even electrocution.

One of the most common problems with pets is that they can easily strangle themselves in electrical wires, if they get tangled up in a mess of multiple cables it can be something serious. If you must leave your pet unsupervised, make sure any loose electrical cords are unplugged or installed out of sight. Moreover, if a pet can squeeze behind the refrigerator or stove, they can easily remove the cord from the outlet, causing damage to both the appliance and themselves.

One of the easiest ways to pet-proof a house is to start by gathering all loose, exposed wires together with a twist tie so they are not as tempting to play with. After they have been gathered together, exposed cords, cables and wires can be placed inside of an appropriately sized piece of PVC pipe to further minimize a pet’s desire of playing with them. You can protect your pet from the electrical outlets by simply covering the electrical outlets with the same plastic outlet plugs you would buy for childproofing your home. Make sure all plugs are inserted completely into their wall sockets.  Small paws, noses and tongues can easily find their way into the partially exposed prongs.

Lamps with exposed bulbs can reach very high temperatures. As a precautionary measure do not allow pets to play near lamps.  If the lamp is knocked over a fire could break out. Some pets will often seek out warm and isolated spots in the home. Just keep an eye on them and do not allow them to hide or sleep behind your computer or television equipment, where numerous electrical connections are housed.

By following these simple measures, you can keep your playful pet and your home safe!

Source: Suite 101

About Glacial Energy- Glacial Energy is one of the fastest growing national retail energy suppliers selling electricity and natural gas to residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional customers in deregulated markets across the country. Glacial Energy has the resources and market knowledge to provide customized quotes for your business or cost-saving opportunities for your home. Learn more about Glacial Energy by visiting: www.GlacialEnergy.com

10 ways to be thrifty and save energy

There are simple things you can do to save electricity, money and greenhouse gas emissions in your home or workplace that help reduce your impact on the environment.

  1. Most homes today come equipped with televisions, DVD players, cell phones, laptops and a gaggle of other electronics. All these items continue to use electricity if they’re not turned off properly. People typically put these gadgets in standby mode, which ends up costing them money. Look for new appliances that are Energy Star compliant – they reduce the amount of power used when in standby or idle mode. Or, simply unplug the items when they aren’t in use.
  1. Computers, lamps or televisions placed near your room’s air conditioning vent can cause the air conditioner to work longer than necessary. The thermostat can sense the heat generated by the appliances and keeps the air conditioner running longer.
  1. Lights in your home are responsible for about 10 percent of your electricity bill. Save up to 75 percent of that energy by replacing incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.
  1. Run your air conditioner at 78°F instead of 72°F during the summer. This can save you a huge amount—between 6 and 18 percent on your electricity bill. You can easily save power in your home during winter by wearing warmer clothing and setting your thermostat lower.
  1. If you have an electric hot water system, it will consume up to one third of your household’s power use. Heating water can account for 14 to 25 percent of the energy consumed in your home. Lower the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F) and save energy.
  1. Your oven consumes more energy than a microwave, toaster or a counter-top grill. If you use the smaller, more efficient appliances, you’ll use less energy and avoid excess heat that increases room temperature.
  1. Swap your electric hot water system with a solar-powered heater and this could reduce your hot water system’s power use by 70 percent. You could save around $180 on yearly power bills.
  1. Using electricity for heating water is expensive. Shorten your shower time to save energy.
  1. Landscaping isn’t just for enhancing the beauty of your house. Properly placed trees can save between $100 and $250 annually.
  1. When you switch on your air conditioner or heater, make sure that no windows or doors are open. Even a small leakage can cause huge waste of electricity.

By simply following these steps, you save money and energy.

About Glacial Energy- Glacial Energy is one of the fastest growing national retail energy suppliers selling electricity and natural gas to residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional customers in deregulated markets across the country. Glacial Energy has the resources and market knowledge to provide customized quotes for your business or cost-saving opportunities for your home. Learn more about Glacial Energy by visiting: www.GlacialEnergy.com

Is hydrogen the answer?

The remains of plants and animals that died while dinosaurs roamed the earth formed fossil fuels and gradually transformed into coal, oil or natural gas.

This process took millions of years. The fossil fuels we are using now were formed millions of years ago. We cannot go back in time to produce more fossil fuels. What we can do, though, is minimize our dependence on these types of fuels by reducing our consumption and by discovering alternate forms of energy sources.

Fossil fuels cannot be used forever because their reservoirs will gradually deplete over time. In addition to other methods, scientists are working hard to find ways to use hydrogen as an alternate source of fuel.

Hydrogen is abundantly available in the earth’s atmosphere and forms 75 percent of its mass. It is a colorless and odorless gas and is found in combination with other elements such as oxygen, carbon and nitrogen. In order to use it, it must be separate from these other elements.

Hydrogen produces high amounts of energy and emits almost zero pollution. NASA has used hydrogen-based fuels for years in its rockets for trips into space. A hydrogen fuel cell combines hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, heat and water. Fuel cells are comparable to batteries in a way. Both convert the energy produced by a chemical reaction into usable electric power. However, hydrogen fuel cells produce electricity as long as hydrogen is supplied, never losing its charge. Hydrogen cells produce water as a by-product—so clean it is suitable for human consumption.

A helpful video that explains how energy is generated from Hydrogen Fuel Cells

It is possible in the future hydrogen could be used as fuel for vehicles and aircrafts as well as to provide power for our homes and offices. As a source of heat and electricity for buildings and as a power source for electric motor propelled vehicles, hydrogen fuel cell technology offers a lot of promise. Hydrogen can also be transported like electricity to locations as needed. Pure hydrogen is required for hydrogen fuel cells. Other fuels such as natural gas, methanol or even gasoline can also be reformed to produce the hydrogen required for fuel cells.

Renewable energy sources, like the sun and wind, can’t produce energy at all times. But they could, for example, produce electric energy and hydrogen, which can be stored until it’s needed.

About Glacial Energy- Glacial Energy is one of the fastest growing national retail energy suppliers selling electricity and natural gas to residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional customers in deregulated markets across the country. Glacial Energy has the resources and market knowledge to provide customized quotes for your business or cost-saving opportunities for your home. Learn more about Glacial Energy by visiting: www.GlacialEnergy.com

Is there actually an electricity meter in my house?

Reading your meter can help you better understand your energy usage.

An electricity or energy meter is a device that measures the amount of electric energy a residence, business or electrically powered device consumes. Electricity meters are of various types. The most common are single-rate digital meters, variable-rate digital meters and dial meters. Your electricity meter is a reliable, accurate instrument that registers the amount of electricity used. Each electric meter works in a slightly different way. Reading your electricity meter is easy once you know how to do so.

  • Single-rate digital electricity meters

This meter gives direct information of the total amount of electricity used. The energy unit is kilowatt hours (kWh) for this meter. A single-rate meter refers to one set of numbers. Write down all the numbers before the decimal point, from left to right. Ignore any numbers after the decimal point.

  •  Variable rate digital meters

 If you get lower priced off-peak electricity your meter might have two rows. The row on the top records off-peak electricity usage. It is marked low or night. The bottom row records the normal rate electricity you use during peak hours. The meter rows may also be marked RATE1 or RATE 2. Make a reminder of these markings before you submit your readings.  To take a reading,  write down the numbers from left to right in both rows. These meters are also called Economy 7 or White Meter.

  •  Dial Electricity meters

 Dial meters have a series of clock-style dials with numbers from zero to nine. Each dial turns in the opposite direction of the dial next to it. Your dial meter consists of six dials. You read the meter from left to right. You only need to read the first five dials – starting with the 10,000kWh dial on the left and stopping after the 1 kWh dial. The dial on your extreme right is for testing purposes only. If the dial’s pointer falls between two numbers, always read the lower number. If the pointer is directly over a number, always record it. If the pointer on a dial falls between 9 and 0, reduce the reading already taken for the dial on the left by one.

A helpful video that explains on how to read your analog or digital meter.

Your electricity meter tells you how much electricity you’ve used and helps you conserve energy. Monitoring your meter can also help lower your electricity bills.

About Glacial Energy- Glacial Energy is one of the fastest growing national retail energy suppliers selling electricity and natural gas to residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional customers in deregulated markets across the country. Glacial Energy has the resources and market knowledge to provide customized quotes for your business or cost-saving opportunities for your home. Learn more about Glacial Energy by visiting: www.GlacialEnergy.com

Tug of War- Renewable vs. Non-Renewable Energy

Renewable energy and non-renewable energy are poles apart.

Renewable energy is energy derived from resources that will never run out. Wind, solar or water energies are renewable because they can be generated endlessly, when required. They are plentiful and by far the cleanest sources of energy available on this planet. Non-renewable energy sources are available on earth in limited quantity and will eventually be depleted. Coal, gas and oil are non-renewable because they take precise conditions and millions of years to be produced.

  • Energy Sources

Renewable energies utilize natural resources and can be replenished in a short period of time, whereas non-renewable energies cannot be replenished in a short period of time because they take millions of years to form. With many pros, the major issue with renewable energy is that sun can be used as a source of energy during the day, but not during the night or rainy season. To utilize wind energy, you have to rely on strong winds, therefore, you have to choose suitable sites to operate wind farms.

  •  Carbon Emission

Renewable sources have low carbon emissions. Therefore, they are considered green and environment friendly. The sunlight falling on the United States in one day contains more than twice the energy we consume in an entire year. Green energy sources — such as solar power — can be harnessed to produce electricity, process heat, fuel and valuable chemicals with less impact on the environment. In contrast, non-renewable energy sources have serious environmental impact. They release highly toxic and dangerous gases in the air when burnt, which are the major cause for global warming. About 81 percent of all U.S. greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide emissions from non-renewable energy sources

  •  Effect on Economy

Renewable energy helps stimulate the economy and creates job opportunities. Countries that use renewable sources of energy may become energy independent. They wouldn’t have to rely on foreign countries to supply them with renewable sources, as is the case for non-renewable sources. In the long run, the price of electricity is expected to rise since it’s based on the price of crude oil. You may find that renewable sources could reduce your electricity bill. According to the federal government, The U.S. spent $109 billion to import oil in 2000. If we become fully energy independent by using renewable sources, we will keep the money at home to help the economy.

Be it renewable or non-renewable, energy needs to be conserved to protect our environment.

About Glacial Energy- Glacial Energy is one of the fastest growing national retail energy suppliers selling electricity and natural gas to residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional customers in deregulated markets across the country. Glacial Energy has the resources and market knowledge to provide customized quotes for your business or cost-saving opportunities for your home. Learn more about Glacial Energy by visiting: www.GlacialEnergy.com

 

Green Energy or Blue Energy? You choose!

Green energy is electricity generated from methods other than the conventional sources—such as oil, nuclear and coal–and has many advantages. Blue is the color that defines gloominess and pollution caused by the conventional methods of energy generation.

One major advantage to renewable energy is the sources of energy production are easily replenished. Therefore, it is a more sustainable form of energy production. Green energy production equipment generally requires less maintenance than conventional generators. Fuel derived directly from natural and available resources reduces the cost of operation. Green energy doesn’t produce pollution and is healthy for our environment. It brings economic benefits as the long-term costs involved in maintaining the plants for the energy generation is quite low.

Blue energy is energy generated from conventional sources such as coal, fossil and natural gas. It emits pollutants and waste that cause health and environment problems. Traditional power plants release carbon dioxide—a greenhouse gas–in to the environment. Greenhouse gases trap the sun’s energy in the atmosphere, rather than allowing it to escape into space. In addition, toxic and nuclear waste is also released in the environment, which damages marine life, the ecosystem and becomes part of the food cycle as well.

Conventional energy sources such as oil and gas are non-renewable. They will not last forever. New sources of oil and gas are constantly being required. Experts believe current resources under the North Sea will last about another 20 years and the world resources will last for about 70 years.

Our climate is changing due to pollution. It won’t just damage the natural environment, but will also be a risk to economic growth of any country. So what can we do to promote green energy and minimize the usage of blue energy? The simple answer is to conserve energy and make informed decisions. Choose a provider like Glacial Energy that uses a fuel mix, which is more green energy oriented. Make sure that your provider has a real focus on investment in renewable energy resources.

Remember, our actions decide the quality of life for our future generations. Our individual efforts, when combined as whole, can bring about major overall change. Start conserving and act smart today to bring about better change for our future.

About Glacial Energy- Glacial Energy is one of the fastest growing national retail energy suppliers selling electricity and natural gas to residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional customers in deregulated markets across the country. Glacial Energy has the resources and market knowledge to provide customized quotes for your business or cost-saving opportunities for your home. Learn more about Glacial Energy by visiting: www.GlacialEnergy.com

Nuclear Waste in Electricity Generation

Electricity generation in a nuclear plant results in many byproducts known as ‘nuclear waste’, which are extremely harmful for the environment.

During electricity generation in a nuclear plant—from uranium mining to reprocessing exposed nuclear fuel—high levels of nuclear waste are produced. This high-level radioactive waste remains hazardous for thousands or even millions of years. However, as part of the fuel mix consent, suppliers have to state only the amount of high-level radioactive waste created as a result of the generation of the electricity.

Nuclear electricity forms almost 15 percent of the global electricity production and as a result, tons of nuclear waste has to be managed. In a nuclear plant, there are three types of nuclear waste: high-level waste, intermediate-level waste and low-level waste.

High-level waste is the most dangerous one as it consists of fuel and the processed fuel. Comprising only three percent of the volume, it has 95 percent radioactivity. It contains highly radioactive fission products and some heavy elements with long-lived radioactivity. It also generates a significant amount of heat and requires cooling as well as special shielding during handling and transport. Medium and low-level waste requires storage or controlled disposal, but the fuel mix disclosure regulations are valid only for high-level waste.

Uranium is a non-renewable resource that is used in nuclear reactions for electricity generation. Neutrons from uranium atoms collide with each other, releasing heat and neutrons in a chain reaction. This heat is used to generate steam, which powers a turbine to generate electricity. In doing so, nuclear power generates a number of radioactive byproducts, including tritium, cesium, krypton, neptunium and forms of iodine.

Uranium tailings are the radioactive materials that remain after uranium is extracted from the earth. The most important radioactive component of uranium mill tailings is radium, which decays to produce radon.

What to do with America’s Nuclear Waste- An informational Video

All parts of the radioactive cycle in electricity generation produce hazardous radioactive substances. The main objective in disposing of radioactive waste is to protect people and the environment. This means isolating or diluting the waste so the rate or concentration of any radionuclides returned to biosphere is harmless. To achieve this, all nuclear wastes are contained and managed properly and many of them are buried deep in earth.

About Glacial Energy- Glacial Energy is one of the fastest growing national retail energy suppliers selling electricity and natural gas to residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional customers in deregulated markets across the country. Glacial Energy has the resources and market knowledge to provide customized quotes for your business or cost-saving opportunities for your home. Learn more about Glacial Energy by visiting: www.GlacialEnergy.com

Heard about Cake mix? How about Fuel Mix

When buying food from the grocery store, we read food labels to know about ingredients, nutrition and calories. Similarly, we should also know what our electricity suppliers are using to produce electricity with details of the mix of fuels used to produce the electricity supplied to them.

Since October 2005, it has been mandatory in the UK for all electricity suppliers to label their products with the fuels used to generate electricity, carbon emissions and nuclear waste produced. There is no single source of fuel for electricity generation. That’s why energy companies use a number of fuels, known as a fuel mix, to produce energy. With the fuel mix, companies are also showing their carbon emission rates and levels of nuclear waste produced.

The national fuel mix for US is shown in the table below:

Coal 44.9%
Natural Gas 23.8%
Nuclear 19.6%
Conventional Hydroelectric 6.2%
Other Renewables 4.1%
Petroleum 0.9%
Other 0.3%
Other Gases 0.3%

Source: EIA, Annual Energy Review, October 2011.

It shows the share of supply generated by coal, natural gas, nuclear, renewable and other energy sources.

Using energy more resourcefully through more efficient products or through more efficient generation reduces the amount of fuel required to produce a unit of energy output, which reduces emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases. Electricity produced from renewable resources such as solar, geothermal and wind technologies generally do not contribute to climate change or local air pollution since no fuels are combusted in these processes.

A simple info-graphic that shows what renewable energy sources is the world using.

Pinned Image

 

A diverse mix of fuel is used across United States to generate electricity. Several factors affect an electric company’s choice to use particular fuels. These include the price and the availability of supply. However, to lower carbon emissions, the fuel mix should have a good amount of renewable energy sources.  These sources are fuels that can be naturally replenished. Hydropower is our nation’s most prevalent renewable resource, providing 5.9 percent of total U.S. electricity supply. Non-hydro renewable energy sources—such as solar power, wind, geothermal, and biomass—now generate 3 percent of the supply.

As a responsible citizen, you should know about the fuel mix and should be promoting renewable energy resources. Promoting renewable energy resources will help expand the use of renewables as part of our nation’s diverse fuel mix and reliable electricity supply.

 About Glacial Energy- Glacial Energy is one of the fastest growing national retail energy suppliers selling electricity and natural gas to residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional customers in deregulated markets across the country. Glacial Energy has the resources and market knowledge to provide customized quotes for your business or cost-saving opportunities for your home. Learn more about Glacial Energy by visiting: www.GlacialEnergy.com

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