Just in time for Earth Day 2008, we’ve made the commitment to purchase electricity that is 100% renewable, so our home (and home business!) now have ZERO EMISSIONS! If you’re a Maine resident, click here to find out more about renewable energy options. If you’re “from away” (as we say here in Maine), do a web search that includes your state and the term “renewable energy.”

The cost per kWh for electricity from renewable sources is often a bit more than for standard offer, but we’ve made some changes to reduce our consumption which will help to offset these costs. If you’re looking just to reduce the amount of electricity you use (and your bill), try some of these yourself.

1. Use fans to reduce or eliminate your need for air conditioning.

2. Dry laundry on a line or drying rack.

3. Replace all of your old light bulbs with compact fluorescents.

4. Turn off lights, fans, and air conditioners when you aren’t in the room/house.

5. Use the sleep mode on your computer, or shut down completely when you aren’t working. Better yet, eliminate the “phantom load” consumed by appliances when they aren’t even on: plug TVs, computers, DVD players and other equipment into power strips and flip the switches when you leave.

It’s a popular and persistent myth that lights, computers, etc. use more electricity to power up and should therefore just be left running all the time. And lots of people think that PCs are damaged by powering up and shutting down repeatedly. The wear and tear caused by shutting on and off is negligible, so remember to turn these items off when they aren’t in use.

For more tips on saving electricity, check out “Mr. Electricity“. This site is an amazing resource that helps you calculate your consumption and figure out how much you’re saving by making these changes.