America has begun the transition to a clean energy future, as more of the electricity we use is being generated from clean, renewable energy sources. Taking action now can help you prepare for a clean energy future, while enjoying energy savings and a more comfortable home today. This is good for the planet and your wallet.
Learn More About a Clean Energy Future
What is Clean Energy?
Clean energy is generated from renewable sources without producing any pollution, which helps to improve the health of the environment and reduces the amounts of harmful emissions people are exposed to. On the other hand, energy that comes from burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas results in greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming, as well as air pollution that impacts human health and the environment.
Shifting to clean energy is important to slow down global warming and protect the environment from harmful smog and toxic buildups in our air and water. Using renewable sources of energy also helps us conserve natural resources and reduces our dependence on foreign oil.
Electricity made from clean energy can power our appliances, heat and cool our homes, and fuel our transportation.
How Will the Shift to Clean Energy Happen?
States and communities around the U.S. have led the way in implementing policies that support the transition to clean energy. Forward-thinking electric utilities are increasing their investments in solar, wind and hydro power. Renewables are the fastest-growing electricity generation source in the United States. In just the last 12 years, the share of electricity produced from renewable sources has gone from 11% to 24%. At the same time, households around the country are beginning the process to switch from fossil fuels to efficient electric, for the equipment in their homes and the cars they drive.
Recent legislation (i.e., the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act) is expected to accelerate the transition with billions of dollars in financial incentives designed to make the needed purchases more affordable and other market support to make clean energy and efficient electric equipment more available. According to an analysis by Princeton University, the progress expected over the next eight years will drive down greenhouse gas emissions by about 42%, while also lowering U.S. energy expenditures by at least 4% by 2030.
Most experts predict that by as early as 2035, most of our energy demand can be supplied by clean energy. Energy efficiency will play a critical role in terms of reducing the amount of clean energy that is needed, thereby lowering costs and ensuring there is enough to power all our needs.
How Will a Clean Energy Future Impact Energy Use In My Home?
Over time, as equipment needs to be replaced, homeowners will switch out their gas products – things like furnaces, water heaters, clothes dryers, stoves and yard equipment - for electric. The increase in electricity demand that results from this switch will be offset by innovations in efficiency that are now broadly available for the electric alternatives. This includes highly efficient electric heat pump technology for heating and cooling, water heating and clothes drying, as well as electric induction technology which is an attractive alternative for cook tops that uses dramatically less energy.
Ensuring that your home is well insulated, with high performing windows or storm windows, will mean even more electricity savings by reducing the amount of work your heating and cooling system needs to do. All-in-all, these upgrades will benefit your home by making it healthier and more comfortable, while lowering your energy bill.
What are the Side Benefits of a Clean Energy Future?
Transitioning to a clean energy economy offers potential advantages to communities throughout the country. It is expected that millions of jobs will be created, not only to support new ways of producing energy but also as domestic manufacturing of efficient electric products and vehicles expands in the U.S. Demand for home contractor services will increase, just as targeted new initiatives are providing enhanced training on installing efficient electric technologies. Billions of dollars have been earmarked specifically to help low-income households upgrade their homes and lower their energy bills. And quality of life will improve as power plant, gas-powered vehicle, and appliance emissions are eliminated and the noise associated with internal combustion engines subsides.
How Can I Make a Difference?
Make energy choices that count by taking action to reduce your carbon footprint. Saving energy, switching to green power, upgrading your home with the latest efficient electric technologies, and switching to an electric vehicle are important steps that help our climate.
Save Energy with ENERGY STAR
Products that earn the ENERGY STAR label are independently certified to save energy and help protect the climate. The less energy we use, the sooner we can complete the transition to clean, renewable energy. Learn more.
Switch to Green Power
Choosing electricity generated by renewables such as wind and solar instead of fossil fuels supports a cleaner energy supply and makes a difference in the fight against climate change. Take advantage of opportunities in your community to choose green power as the energy source for your home. Many localities offer green power to residential customers, charged to their monthly electric bills. Explore options.
Start Planning Your ENERGY STAR Home Upgrade
This set of six high-impact, energy efficiency improvements for your home includes upgrading to electric heat pump technology for heating, cooling and water heating. Working together to deliver significant energy and cost savings, an ENERGY STAR Home Upgrade is designed to help you transition from fossil fuels for a cleaner, healthier and more comfortable home. You can choose the improvements that make the most sense for your home and implement them at your own pace.Count on ENERGY STAR to help you navigate the process. Get an ENERGY STAR Home Upgrade
Make the Switch to An Electric Vehicle
Driving an electric vehicle can save you money and benefit the environment. For every mile driven using electricity, you can save half of what it costs to drive a similar gasoline powered vehicle. On average, the savings can be $800 to $1,000 a year on fuel and $4,600 on maintenance over the lifetime of the vehicle. Fully electric vehicles are also quieter than gasoline powered vehicles and produce zero tailpipe emissions, helping you significantly decrease the level of toxic chemicals and greenhouse gas emissions emitted from your car. These benefits are amplified when you charge your vehicle efficiently - using an ENERGY STAR certified charger requires 40% less energy compared to a standard EV charger. Learn more about the benefits of EVs and EV chargers, here.
Will The Transition to a Clean Energy Future Be Cost Effective for Homeowners?
On average, U.S. households are expected to save about $500 a year on energy bills with an ENERGY STAR Home Upgrade. The costs associated with upgrading your home can be made more affordable by taking advantage of generous tax incentives and rebates that are becoming available in many parts of the country.