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This simple, interactive app can help you save money on your energy bill by switching to renewables

"Even setting aside the climate crisis, the health benefits of switching to renewables can more than pay for the entire energy transition."

Green Neighbor Challenge; home solar

Photo Credit: iStock

Now more than ever, most of us are looking for ways to save money on our living citations — and some of us want to take care of the planet while we're doing it. 

When it comes to utility payments, that change can feel daunting. But The Green Neighbor Challenge wants to change that.

What is the Green Neighbor Challenge?

The Green Neighbor Challenge is a non-profit initiative that offers a free online tool that helps people find local clean energy options. 

The non-profit's website just asks for your zip code — no other personal info necessary — and from there, it connects you to the closest reputable programs. You can then select and finish enrollment on your chosen program's website. 

The Green Neighbor Challenge is the renewable energy industry's ultimate wingman.

Why you should care about the Green Neighbor Challenge

Most of us don't give a second thought to our utility bills. We just use what's easiest or what our parents or even grandparents used before us. The industry lacks a way for the average person to access renewable energy options, and the Green Neighbor Challenge wants to fill that gap. 

According to the non-profit, 73% of homes have access to a clean energy program. But only 14% of people are aware of these programs, and only 2% have signed up for them. 

Amid that knowledge gap, clean energy is only getting cheaper. According to Lazard's most recent Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) analysis, wind energy prices have fallen 70% in the last decade, while solar energy has fallen 89%. 

Why are people making the switch to clean energy?

Heating and electrifying homes have a major impact on our planet. In the U.S., 38% of the planet-heating gases produced by homes comes from heating and cooling systems, which are often powered by carbon-based dirty energies. 

The pollution issue goes beyond that, though. Many states have laws surrounding choices for cleaner air, calling their residents to find ways to put fewer toxic gases into the atmosphere.

Household air pollution can lead to a number of health issues, including strokes, heart disease, and cancer. By switching to clean energy sources like solar and wind power, people can do their part to make their neighborhoods safer. 

"Even setting aside the climate crisis, the health benefits of switching to renewables can more than pay for the entire energy transition," Andrew Butts, the founder and executive director of the Green Neighbor Challenge, told StarTribune

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