When my wife and I created KCP Energy in 2007, we did so because we wanted to provide a better and cleaner future for our kids. We’d seen way too much smog and air pollution in Calgary and other cities, and wanted to do something about it.

The first thing we could do is lower our carbon footprint.

That’s the amount of carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds emitted through the consumption or burning of fossil fuels. Driving a gas-powered car produces carbon in the form of exhaust. So does flying and transporting goods via train. Our goal is to lower ours, and yours too. There are many ways to do so, including installing solar energy.

But that’s not the only way to reduce emissions and help everyone breathe easier. Offsetting our carbon emissions starts with evaluating our energy usage, taking steps to prepare our homes to make them more energy efficient, and install a solar energy system or other energy-efficient appliance. If you aren’t quite at the electric car stage, there are hybrids and even ZEVs (near zero emission vehicles).

Solar is especially important. Solar thinkers are generally much more environmentally aware, doing their part almost automatically as a lifestyle choice. They know that solar power provides a clean and reliable source of electricity that is non-polluting, quiet – and best-of-all – renewable.

They (we) know that when the sun is up, we become our own energy producer, reducing our impact on the environment.

Here are a few tips on how we can easily reduce our carbon emissions at home:

  1. Insulate and seal your home. Reduce drafts and air leaks with caulk, insulation, and weather stripping. Many communities offer programs and incentives to facilitate this, especially in BC and Ontario. Alberta has some efficiency incentives as well.
  2. Invest in energy efficient appliances. Make energy efficiency a primary consideration when choosing new appliances like furnaces, air conditioning units (do we really need these in Alberta?), dishwashers, and refrigerators. ENERGY STAR labeled products are recognized as having superior energy efficiency.
  3. Change your lighting habits. Turn off lights you’re not using and when you leave the room. Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent or LED ones.
  4. Program your termostat. Don’t set it too high or low. Install one of the newer programmable models that can turn off/down the heat/air conditioning when you’re not home.
  5. Install Solar. Add solar panels to the roof of your home. It’s an investment, but many providers offer financing options to minimize upfront costs.

Share your love of a cleaner, healthier environment with your friends and neighbours too!

You can shrink your carbon footprint, and have a positive effect on the air for everyone.

Become a role model to your family, friends and neighbours, and make efficiency – especially solar – a conscious choice today. Whenever you can, advocate for clean alternatives to fossil fuels, such as wind, solar, geothermal, and appropriately designed hydroelectric and biomass energy projects.

Your grandchildren and future generations will thank you for it. And we thank you for it.

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On a side note, the recent news that Alberta’s direct energy rates are going to essentially double this month has left us even more determined to help bring clean energy and efficiency to our lives, and yours.

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