A Healthy Dose of Enlightened Self-Interest

Thankfully, the “Me” generation is in decline. Today’s forward-thinking energy consumer understands that enlightened self-interest is the quickest and most sustainable path to a cleaner, healthier environment and a longer, more prosperous life.

The way in which this self-interest manifests itself – renewable energy, often known as “renewables” – is simply the latest in a long line of progressively ambitious ideals benefiting both individuals and the greater good.

From the Tennessee Valley Authority’s rural electrification and the Marshall Plan, to the 2016 Paris Accords, enlightened self-interest has been behind some of our greatest public and societal achievements. Recycling, hybrid cars, electric scooters and replacement LED bulbs demonstrate that same line of thinking on a personal level.

And the latest passion from today’s most enlightened and opportunistic consumers? It’s renewable energy that won’t pollute the neighborhood or planet.

Experts agree that the decision to use solar or other renewables is a decidedly collaborative one based on peer pressure and personal ROI. Simply put, people are more likely to be impacted by others looking out for their own interests. Neighbors can’t help but notice who’s installing solar panels on their street before researching their own options. And solar enthusiasts able to slow (or reverse) their electric meters are the most reliable renewable-energy ambassadors of all.

Against this backdrop are traditional carbon-based energy users who pay increasingly close attention to the added personal and community costs of not making the switch to renewables. Clearly, a little environmental swagger can be a good thing.

Naturally, solar-aware consumers will gravitate toward solar energy solutions since they align with their core mantra: De-carbonize your footprint to save the environment and your money.

But what may be more surprising is the fact that this thinking isn’t limited to die-hard environmentalists alone. According to a Washington State University study published in the academic journal Energy Policy, people of all ages, genders and political affiliations will opt for renewable energy to power their homes if given the choice. 

In fact, an increasing number of consumers are working directly with their energy suppliers to replace 50%, 75% or even 100% of their carbon-based power needs with renewable alternatives.

Colorado even offers an incentive for the development of community solar gardens, which allow residents to share renewable energy costs and benefits.  

Fortunately, industry is joining the fight. Solar panel farms are popping up around the world – including those being developed by CSDR International that feature patented technology that will track the sun to get maximum energy with limited degradation in even the highest of high-heat environments.

At the end of the day, we applaud the enlightened consumer who isn’t afraid to add a personal intrinsic or even financial benefit to the obvious planetary advantages of solar and renewable energy.

Because it’s exactly this win-win-win arrangement that will result in the widest public adoption of a clean, carbonless world.

Allie Collins