It took hold nearly 50 years ago on April 22, 1970. The first Earth Day celebrations sprang forth at 2,000 colleges and universities along with roughly 10,000 primary and secondary schools and hundreds of communities across the United States. More importantly, it brought 20 million Americans out into the spring sunshine for peaceful demonstrations in favor of environmental reform.1
Today Earth Day includes events in more than 193 countries, coordinated by the Earth Day Network.
And Xcel Energy has been part of this storyline for decades. Back in the 1970s, Xcel Energy started exploring generating power with wind by piloting some of the first utility-scale wind farms. And gaining that knowledge early on has served us well as the company continues its dramatic growth in new wind farms and development of new technology like forecasting software that helps bring wind energy onto the grid in the most affordable and effective ways.
Our wind leadership and fast-growing solar energy development are enabling Xcel Energy to make a bold move by being the first utility to announce a vision to provide its customers with 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2050.
So you might say Earth Day is in the Xcel Energy DNA.
But let’s get back to earth. Let’s look at everyday things we all can do to make Earth Day more meaningful each year.
It’s easy to start when you keep it simple
It doesn’t take a significant effort to save energy, which helps the environment and your pocketbook. Most energy efficiency efforts can begin at the source – your business or home. The simple act of dialing up your self-awareness about the way energy is used every day around you can make a difference.
Here are some ways you can save energy and celebrate the promise of Earth Day, all year long.
Lights out – Becoming more diligent about turning off lights is an easy way to save energy. You can even get reminder stickers to help your employees or family remember to flip the switch. Better yet, add motion sensors or timers to help reduce electric use.
LEDs on – The science of LED bulbs is transforming the way we use lights. LEDs not only offer amazing energy use savings and longer lifespans which reduce maintenance costs, but they can also be tuned to provide a spectrum of color options. You can use warm settings for calmer environments like restaurants or cooler or brighter settings for retail, sports or outdoor applications.
Degrees of savings - Your Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems are often the largest energy users in a household or business. So look into cleaning, tuning up or even updating your systems. Newer, more energy-efficient equipment will keep paying off year after year. Also, by setting your thermostat a few degrees up or down, can save on energy use immediately!
Go paperless. Save time and paper by setting up Paperless Billing through My Account. You can then view and pay your bill online or through the mobileapp.
Drive Electric. Electric Vehicles (EVs) are growing in popularity because they are going further on a charge and can be charged up for the equivalent of about one dollar per gallon of gasoline. Also, lower maintenance costs and new off-peak charging programs are helping EV drivers save even more. See if an EV is right for you by trying our free EV Advisor tool which asks a series of questions to help you determine the best EV options for your lifestyle.
One of the many EVs available today, The Nissan LEAF®
Reduce your carbon footprint by adding more renewable power – As an Xcel Energy customer, 27 percent of the energy you use comes from renewable sources. If you’d like to power your home or business with even more renewable energy, select from one of our renewable programs and make it happen.
With all these options available to your business, organization or household, Earth Day is easy to celebrate with real savings, comfort, and convenience.
To find out more about Xcel Energy programs and services available in your area, visit xcelenergy.com