Glacial Energy Blog

Eco-Friendly Companies

For the fourth year in a row, Newsweek examined the 500 biggest public companies in the world to see just how socially and environmentally responsible they are.  Companies on the list are ranked by their overall “Green Score�, which is derived from three component scores: Environmental Impact Score, Environmental Management Score, and an Environmental Disclosure score.  For more about these, click here.  More and more, companies in every industry are realizing just how important it is to be green for their long-term survival.  They call it their “triple bottom line�:  people, planet, and profit.  Let’s take a look at a few companies and what they’re doing to be leaner and greener.

  1. McGraw-Hill:  Back in 2011, more than 95% of their paper purchases (about 77,703 metric tons) came through suppliers who produce paper in the most environmentally sustainable way possible.
  2. Microsoft:  In the spring of 2012, they announced they’d be making each of their divisions responsible for tracking, minimizing, and offsetting the environmental costs associated with electrical use and air travel.  Due to this, in the current fiscal year, they will be carbon-neutral for the first time ever.
  3. EMC:  According to their website, EMC means transformation and that’s just what the company started doing back in 2004 when they began moving their IT services and infrastructure to a virtual space (the cloud).  Their home office also includes a facility that treats wastewater for reuse in irrigation, cooling, and sanitation.
  4. Accenture:  This large consulting firm encourages employees to avoid nonessential travel and holds virtual conferences when possible.  By 2012, employees’ carbon footprints were 30 percent smaller compared to 2007.
  5. CA Technologies:  This software provider lets 30 percent of its workforce work from home, which cuts back on commuting pollution.  By 2015, it plans to buy 25 percent of its electricity from renewable sources.

If you’re curious how the companies rank and who came in at number one, make sure you click the source links for more!

Source 1, Source 2

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.

Electric Motorcycles Anyone?

Do you love the speed and the flexibility of a motorcycle?  These days, most people talk about electric cars since cars tend to be more practical, but if you’re in the market for a motorcycle, consider all your options.  In this age of technology, that now includes electric motorcycles.  Here are a few advantages to consider:

  1. Things you’ll never do again:  Fill up with gas, replace the clutch, change an engine oil filter, change engine oil, replace spark plugs, change a fuel filter, replace the timing belt…and much more.  Imagine the savings on these things alone besides the benefits to the environment.
  2. Charge at home: No more waiting in line to fill up at the gas station.  You can now charge your bike when you are home spending time with the family or even while taking a short nap.  A popular brand, Zero Motorcycles, depending on the model, will use approximately 650W-1300W while charging.
  3. Savings: Though tanks on standard motorcycles aren’t huge, gas is one less thing you have to pay for.  For some, a motorcycle is a secondary vehicle they enjoy riding on the weekend or for special trips and now they can enjoy it even more knowing their fun hobby won’t break the bank.
  4. Tax Credit:  Covering 10% of the purchase price, up to $2,500, the E-motorcycle Federal Tax Credit, also known as the 2-3 wheeled plug-in tax credit, was approved earlier this year by President Obama.  The credit applies to street-legal motorcycles with 2.5 kilowatt-hour (or larger) battery packs that can go over 45 mph.
  5. Other Benefits:  These include special access to parking, traffic lanes and riding areas and free charging stations so you don’t have to worry about just charging at home.

Just as with purchasing an electric car, there are things to consider such as driving range, upfront cost, maintenance, etc.  And because it is one more “gadget� that will be using electricity in your home, make sure you’re locked into a low electricity rate so you’re not overpaying every month.

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Image courtesy of Zero Motorcycles

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.

Be an Energy Efficient….Parent?!

As a parent, the first thing you probably think about when it comes to energy is how much it takes to chase your little ones around…and how little you’re left with at the end of the day.  But with all the new gadgets available today to make your life easier (and to entertain the kiddos), it raises the question of just how energy efficient are they?  Here are a few tips to help you save energy and cut costs on your utility bill.

Turn off the swing: Every parent knows about the swing trick.  There’s something about the rocking back and forth motion that easily lulls a child to sleep and gives you some much needed rest as well.  But do you leave the swing on after your child has fallen asleep?  Next time, consider turning it off.  Some parents have found that their children sleep better and longer when they did.

LED Night light: Being a parent, you know about sleepless nights tending to your child.  Avoid turning on lights in the entire room and instead, strategically place night lights leading into your child’s room.  LED night lights are inexpensive, consume less power, and last much longer than non-LED night lights.

Unplug: You’ve heard of “vampire electronics� and they apply to your kids’ toys as well.  When not in use, it’s best to unplug any electronic toys.

Use Timers: Do you use products with sounds or lights with your baby?  Buy ones with timers so that you don’t have to worry about getting up to turn them off later.

Get old-fashioned toys: You can use old-fashioned toys which do not require any electricity or batteries and your child will be just as happy playing with them. An old fashioned rattle can be just as entertaining to a child as the toy with the loudest sounds and the flashiest lights.

As parents, we want what’s best for our children since they are our future.  Being energy efficient isn’t just about saving some money on your energy bill.  It’s about taking care of the planet for future generations.  We can all do our part starting today.

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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.

Did You Know….?

One of the best ways that you and your family can begin to conserve energy and save on your monthly electric bill is by looking at the current appliances and products in your home.  If you have products that are old – over ten years or so – then they are not likely to be energy efficient, and that means that whenever you use them, you are essentially tossing money out the window. It might be high time that you start to replace some of those old appliances and devices that you have in your home.

A great place to start is looking for the blue ENERGY STAR label that guarantees the products to be energy efficient.  It’s possible to find the labels on just about all of the appliances and products that you use the most.  You can even find ENERGY STAR qualified replacements for some of the items that you have around the workplace.

Products for the Home

ENERGY STAR certified products are available for just about everything that you might have around the house. You can find clothes washers, dishwashers, freezers and refrigerators, dehumidifiers, purifiers, computers, televisions, phones, and much more. Even the lighting and the ceiling fans that you have in the house could have an ENERGY STAR replacement.

With the right energy efficient products, you could start saving money on your monthly energy bills.  We know that replacing everything with ENERGY STAR certified products at once is not economically feasible for most people.  What you might want to do is to start with some of the larger products that tend to use the most energy, such as your refrigerator. You can then slowly replace other items in the home.

Products for the Workplace

Businesses can benefit quite a bit from ENERGY STAR products as well.  Again, computers and even refrigerators and commercial cooking and cleaning products are available.  The lighting, the plumbing, and other products can be a good way to save money as well.  Once again, some businesses may find it easier to replace items one at a time rather than replacing everything at once. This is especially true of small businesses.

You will find that new products are always in development and going through the ENERGY STAR rating process.  Each year, many new items are hitting the market with better levels of energy efficiency.  You should be able to find just about anything that you need, and if you can’t find it yet, you probably will very soon!

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Image courtesy of ENERGY STAR

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.

Don’t Forget About Your Air Filter

If you’ve scoured the internet for energy saving tips, you may have come across this one: change your air filter regularly.  Every air conditioning company emphasizes that air filters need to be changed once a month.  This is especially mandatory in the summer months when you use your air conditioner the most.

Benefits Your Home

A dirty air filter is the number one reason for heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system failure. A dirty filter restricts the air flow into your HVAC systems’ air handler which strains the air handler fan motor and could, over time, burn out the motor and cause your system to overheat and ultimately fail.  Dirty air filters can also cause your air conditioning ducts to get dirty which can turn into costly cleaning expenses.  A new filter is inexpensive and can save you money over time.

Benefits Your Family

The purpose of an air filter is to capture things like dust, allergens, mold, and even pet dander.  When it gets dirty from collecting these types of things and you forget to change your filter regularly, the air quality in your home takes a hit.  Poor air quality can aggravate allergies or even bring on an asthma attack. This means that changing your air filter has health benefits as well.

Benefits Your Wallet 

Did you know that a dirty air filter can increase your energy costs by 35%?  This happens because dirty air filters make your unit work harder and run longer to maintain the proper temperature.  A clean air filter prolongs the life of the unit by keeping harmful particles from the blower motor and coil.  Replacing a blower motor can cost you $200 or more to replace!

Life gets busy and it’s easy to forget about all the little maintenance projects that come with your home or business.  If it helps, set yourself a reminder on your phone or through your e-mail so you can avoid any issues that come with a clogged air filter.  The benefits really add up!

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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.

Do Renters Use More Energy?

Why would anyone buy inefficient appliances, such as refrigerators, washers, and dryers?  There are several possible answers to this question but today, we’re exploring one of them: They are not buying these appliances for themselves.  Landlords rent out their property to a tenant and, in most cases; the tenant is responsible for the energy bill.  Having inefficient appliances is just one factor that could be affecting a tenant’s rising energy costs.

According to research done by the University of California, Berkeley, an owner-occupied dwelling is far more likely to have ENERGY STAR rated appliances than a rental unit is.  In their study, they discovered that 45 percent of owner-occupied dwellings have a washing machine that is ENERGY STAR rated versus only 17 percent of tenant-occupied dwellings.  What’s the big deal about ENERGY STAR rated appliances?  Well, they use approximately 10-30 percent less energy, which can result in energy bill savings.

The results of this research would seem to argue that the Energy Department should ban appliances that are the least efficient instead of awarding their seal of approval to those that are the most efficient.  Since that won’t be happening any time soon, it’s in the best interest of the tenant to do their research before deciding on a place to rent.  Maybe a “must have� on the tenant’s checklist should be that the unit has ENERGY STAR rated appliances.  When deciding on where to live, it’s about so much more than location, location, location these days.

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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.

A Day without Electricity

You know the saying, absence makes the heart grow fonder?  Or perhaps, you don’t know what you have until it’s gone?  Well, those same principles could apply to electricity.  Imagine just one day without lights, televisions, phones, and the internet (sadly, no blog reading!)…it might be a hard concept to grasp considering how accustomed we are to such conveniences.  But taking just one day to leave these behind could be good for you (and your family).

Consider all of the things you do on a normal basis that use electricity and plan ahead so you don’t have to do them on your electricity-free day.  Things like laundry, paying bills online, checking/sending email, and even cooking.  Do laundry, pay bills, and such the day before and take a day off from cooking and make sandwiches and cut up fresh veggies for lunch.  Dinner could be cooked on the grill outside (again, remembering to plan ahead by keeping your meats in a cooler instead of your refrigerator).

It’s a good idea to conduct this “experiment� on the weekend.  That way, you won’t miss work and your kids won’t miss school.  Choose a day where the weather’s cool but not too cool (winter time is probably a bad idea) and make a trip to the park (a great place for a picnic with those sandwiches we talked about earlier, right?).  Remember to leave your phone behind (or, at least, try not to use it but have it on hand for emergencies).

Maybe you’re wondering what the benefit of this experiment could be.  How about more family time and fewer distractions?  Play board games by candlelight after your delicious grilled dinner.  Have a family discussion about your next vacation without a phone ringing or the background noise of the TV.  You’ll surprise yourself with just how peaceful it can be to get back to the basics every now and then.  You might even want to do it more often!

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.

What’s So Special about LED Lights?

Energy efficiency isn’t a new concept, but every single year there seems to be a new advance in the area.  Light emitting diodes, or what you know as LEDs, for example, aren’t new but their prices continue to drop and more and more people are using them.  And why not?  Some LEDs have a lifespan of up to 25 years!

Out With the Old

2013 marks “year two� of an ongoing transition to energy-efficient lighting in the U.S. market.  Have you realized that 100-watt incandescent bulbs have been phased out due to their inefficiency?  The same will be done to 75-watt incandescent bulbs.  Meanwhile, LEDs are now available in 100-watt equivalents in addition to the existing 40-, 60-, and 75-watt versions.

Let’s not forgot the other options that are available, though.  These include compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and halogen incandescent bulbs.  LEDs and CFLs use 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs while halogen incandescent bulbs use 30% less.

In With the New

Here’s a tidbit you might not have known.  The famous ball that drops in the middle of Times Square in New York City on New Years’ Eve is comprised of 32,000 glowing LEDs!  According to the Times Square Alliance, each LED module contains 12 blue, 12 green, and 12 white for a total of 8,064 of each color.  It’s no wonder it glows so bright.

Don’t Forget about ENERGY STAR

ENERGY STAR puts their stamp of approval on a great deal of products, even light bulbs.  They’ll even show you what your annual estimated energy cost would be right on the product label!  With some bulbs costing approximately $1.00 per year in energy costs and the amount of bulbs you use in your home, choosing the right bulb is easier than ever.

So you may never use 32,000 LEDs in your lifetime but you don’t have to be the Times Square Alliance to take advantage of the energy saving benefits of light emitting diodes.  Choosing energy efficient lighting has the potential to save you money, especially when you realize just how much lighting accounts for on your energy bill.

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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.

The Benefits of Solar Energy

Using the power of the sun for energy is nothing new, but it is certainly starting to become more popular.  The traditional forms of energy that we use today – mainly fossil fuels – are finite. These forms of energy will run out sooner rather than later, so it makes sense to look into better, alternate methods of energy such as solar energy.

Better Technology

The photovoltaic cells in solar arrays today are high quality, and work better and more efficiently than their predecessors . They gather more energy from the sun and convert that energy into usable electricity. With some systems, it’s possible to store excess energy, or sell some back to the power company.

Reducing Grid Dependence

In an ideal situation, you could eliminate your need for the power grid entirely.  How?  Take a look at the larger solar arrays and other products available today.  The larger your configuration, the more energy it produces for your home.  If you’re thinking that such a concept sounds pricey, you’re right but the future is full of possibilities.

If you don’t mind relying on the power grid for some of your energy, solar power offers a solution for you as well.  You can have a few panels installed to offset costs and see how well they work for you before putting in more of an investment.

Is It Your Solution?

Is solar power the right solution for you? Because there are many different options with photovoltaic cells and configurations, it could be. The cost of panels is dropping as the technology becomes more affordable and more companies are competing for your business.  Take the time to research and see what’s available where you are and if it’s not something feasible for you now, perhaps it will be in the future!

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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

Energy Saving Tips for the Kitchen!

The kitchen has long been the symbol of family gatherings and welcoming aromas.  For many, this can be the busiest, most used space in their home.  With this in mind, doesn’t it deserve to operate more efficiently?  We think so!  This blog breaks down just a few tips to make your kitchen work for you…for less.

  1. Use ENERGY STAR products.  ENERGY STAR products tend to consume 10 to 30 percent less energy than non-ENERGY STAR rated products.  Look for the blue label the next time you’re shopping for appliances.
  2. Let your dishes air dry. The dishwasher uses more energy to dry dishes than to wash them. If your dishwasher doesn’t have the option of automatic air dry, simply open the door after the wash cycle and either let them air dry or dry them by hand with a towel.
  3. Utilize energy efficient settings.  Dishwashers, for example, sometimes come with options to make the rinse cycle shorter or to change settings based on the size of the load inside.  Make sure you’re familiar with the settings available to you and use them accordingly.
  4. Use the dishwasher for full loads.  Try not to run the dishwasher when it’s not full but also be sure not to overload the dishwasher.  Overloading a dishwasher could result in dishes not being washed and rinsed properly.
  5. Avoid extra appliances.  For some, it’s a necessity but it’s a good idea to avoid having a second refrigerator or a freezer if they are rarely full.
  6. Clean refrigerator coils at least twice a year.  You might have to clean them more often if you have pets that shed.  Condenser coils are located at the bottom or rear of your fridge.  Unclean coils can result in higher energy usage than actually needed.
  7. Allow foods to partially cool.  Allow any hot foods time to cool before you put them in your refrigerator.  It takes more energy to cool hot food. Also make sure to cover foods and liquids for added savings.

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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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