19% of RI’s energy use is related to residential heating and hot water, and other activities in our homes use fossil fuels as well. We can reduce our emissions by reducing our energy use overall, and by speeding up the state’s transition to renewable energy sources.
Rhode Island has invested $80-100 million in helping people save energy. Fully utilizing those programs helps to preserve them and encourages the state to expand them, as well as nourishing a growing area of Rhode Island’s economy. Let’s get what we’re paying for, lower our utility bills, and reduce the state’s contribution to climate change.
Almost all of us depend on our devices and appliances: to earn money, to get chores done quickly, to be entertained. The manual sometimes recommends buying a new appliance or tool: this is because the energy saved by using a more efficient version will soon outweigh the energy used to run and make and transport that more efficient version. Generally, for appliances with long life expectancies, keep them going until they wear out; if they have shorter life expectancies, move as soon as possible to a more energy-efficient model. There are subsidies and rebates to help you afford this, and they’re listed under each topic.
Electricity can be generated in sustainable ways; gas and fuel oil always add to the planet’s greenhouse gas burden with CO2 (from burning) and/or methane (from extracting natural gas). That’s why the manual recommends switching to electric services and appliances.
Each of us—whether we rent, live with family, work in an office or on our own—can make changes in our lives and habits, and in some cases in the places where we live and work, to reduce our state’s emissions. We can also call on our public servants to make these changes easier and more available for all.