Lessons in Savings and Hope with DC Solar for All

School is out for the summer, but that doesn't mean that learning has to stop. I’ve compiled a few of my favorite energy-saving "lessons." I hope you will find these tips useful as you spend time with the children in your life, soaking up the sun and saving money with your DC Solar for All subscription this summer.

Lesson #1: Sun + Panels = Savings

Regardless of what time of year it is, solar energy is the way to go! In a perfect world, solar panels would produce the same amount of energy every day — no matter the geographic location, time of day, time of year, location, or atmospheric conditions. But that’s not quite how it works. All of the factors I mentioned make a difference. The good news is, it’s summer! Longer days with more sunlight mean the solar panels connected to your subscription will produce more energy and more savings for you.

Lesson #2: Lessons from our parents

I can still hear my mama telling me to stop running in and out of her house because I was letting the cool air out. Growing up, I loved playing outside, running through the sprinkler, and walking to the store. But — in the words of my mother — you were either in the house or out the house, and if you were out, you better be back in before the streetlights came on. To keep you out of trouble, here are a few energy-saving tips to help you save money this summer if you have a child or grandchild like me who loves the outdoors! 

Regular maintenance on your air conditioning unit is the best way to ensure your system is in safe working condition and can greatly reduce the energy required to cool your home. Vacuuming dust from air vents and making sure furniture or other large objects are not preventing effective airflow can also improve airflow.

Dirty air filters can cause your air conditioner to work harder, as they block normal airflow and prevent your unit from absorbing heat. Create a calendar reminder to check on your air filters every month and replace them when they are dirty.

Keep out unwanted heat by closing blinds and curtains. Additional heat created by using a conventional oven can be avoided by an outdoor grill, a slow cooker, or the microwave instead.

Lesson 3: There is still so much work yet to do

This month, we will celebrate what some call the second Independence Day: Juneteenth.

This holiday celebrates the freedom of enslaved people in Texas, who found out they were free on June 19, 1865 — two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. When I think of Juneteenth, it’s the power of knowledge. I’ve heard it said, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” A big part of the work we do at Groundswell is centered around energy justice and equity, and our goal is to educate communities on both the social and economic power clean energy options can bring.

There is still so much work to do. The fight for justice is often met with resistance and birthed out of the thought that enough is enough.

Thank you for joining the clean energy movement by participating in the Solar for All program. Please tell a friend and share the word, so we can all celebrate clean energy futures together.