Fuel Switching: A Cleaner, Cheaper Alternative

What do you know about fuel switching? Before you navigate away from this web page to check on your friends on Facebook, stick with me for a minute or two.

This won’t be an ultra-scientific blog post using terms that are difficult to pronounce and theories that will make your head spin.

There will be none of that.

Fuel Switching in Simple Terms 

Let’s think about fuel switching in simple terms. For example, if you had a one-dollar bill in your pocket and I was willing to switch it for Morgan silver dollar, would you do that? I think you’d take my silver dollar. I would if our roles were reversed.

In essence, fuel switching is similar. It’s merely replacing one item for another, such as switching one method of heating your house for another. Or changing your gas water heater for an electric version.

It’s an easy concept, right?

By switching gas dryers and even cars to their electric counterparts, you switch to a renewable energy source. And when you add solar panels to your home, you draw your energy from the sun.

According to Plug-In America, the annual cost of gasoline for a car traveling 15,000 miles/year is $1400/year.

Plug-In America goes on to state that all of the electricity we use in America is domestically produced. And the average person driving an electric vehicle driving 15,000 miles/year would pay about $540 to charge the car versus $1400/year for gas.

When you switch to solar, the cost is even lower. Or you might even receive a check from your utility company.

Renewable Energy

Why would you want to replace your vehicle and some of your appliances? One reason is because electric power is renewable whereas oil is a finite resource here in the United States and elsewhere in the world.

The other reason is cost. Finally, when you use gas in your vehicle or use gas appliances, a byproduct is created known as greenhouse gases, which we know are bad for the environment.

Reducing greenhouse gases is important to slow the progress of climate change. According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), climate change is the change in rain and temperature for a community, a country, and the Earth. It could be a change in the Earth’s usual temperature, where rain typically falls, or where snow normally occurs.

Many factors can contribute to climate change. According to NASA, the Earth’s distance from the sun can change but humans can cause climate change as well.

After all, we drive cars and heat our homes and workplaces. Plus, we travel to and from the store and the beach. For most of these activities, we use a form of oil, coal, and gas and all of these items put gases into the air.

NASA says that the gases “cause the air to heat up,” which can change the climate of your community and the world.

The Department of Ecology at the State of Washington published a report, Preparing for a Changing Climate. It stated that “rising levels of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere have warmed the Earth and are causing wide-ranging impacts, including rising sea levels; melting snow and ice; more extreme heat events, fires and drought; and more extreme storms, rainfall and floods.”

According to the North Bay Clean Energy Forum in Sonoma County, approximately 50% of the greenhouse gas emissions in buildings is from the combustion of natural gas for heating. Switching to electric appliances can make a discernable difference.

Better for the Environment

This is why fuel switching is so important. Replacing non-renewable fossil fuels with cleaner, renewal fuels is better for our environment. And it’s not that hard to do.

There’s another benefit to fuel switching. Fuel switching is an approach to reducing costs for you, while also lowering carbon emissions. When you use the sun through solar power to create electricity in your home, the savings are even greater.

In fact, remember that analogy I used in the beginning of this blog post when I suggested giving you a Morgan silver dollar for a one-dollar bill? Guess what? When you switch to electric appliances in your home and add solar power to your house, you won’t be paying your utilities company every month. There will be times when they will be paying you.

So solar energy turns out to be a value that’s tied to a renewable source reducing carbon emissions. Now that’s a deal.