July 6, 2020

Mapping the History of Renewable Energy in America

Although renewable energy sources have recently made their way into the energy mix, they were not always so prominent or even so viable. To understand how the renewable energy movement has gained so much momentum, it is important to reflect on the progress that has been made since a time when the concept of renewables didn’t even have a name. The Wood Era The main energy source used by our distant ancestors is no mystery. From the discovery of fire through the end of the 19th century, wood was the primary resource used for heating living spaces and cooking food—and […]
July 6, 2020

How Humans Cause Permanent Disruption to the Water Cycle

Water’s critical role in plant and animal survival is highlighted by its prevalence in our surroundings. Humans naturally gravitate towards environments where clean water is easily accessible, often living near lakes and rivers. Many major U.S. cities have been settled near large sources of water. Even the air is filled with constantly fluctuating levels of water vapor. Our natural relationship with water and the modern conveniences that make it so easy to access drinking water put us at risk of taking it for granted. In reality, if we misuse this precious resource, we can lose it. Understanding how that could […]
July 6, 2020

Energy Disrupted: Why States Fail to Deregulate

At Columbia, we are big proponents of deregulated energy markets. That’s because our corporate values closely resemble those of deregulation: consumer fairness, market diversification, financial transparency, and freedom of choice—or what we call “energy choice.” In a sense, it is what our founding fathers also stood for when they opted for a state model. Their motivation in protecting states’ rights was ultimately to protect individual liberty. To explain what state rights have to do with individual rights, take the energy market as an example: if the federal government controlled every aspect of the nation’s energy market—across all 50 U.S. states—then […]
May 21, 2020

The Most Energy-Efficient Siding Materials for Your Construction

The first line of defense between your building and the elements is its cladding. Harsh winds, baking heat, torrential rain and freezing snow all make contact with your constructions first at their siding. The cladding is the logical place then to begin looking for updates and upgrades to your building’s energy efficiency rating. While the best siding won’t defend against the poorest insulation—quality siding will give you a head start on reducing consumption and saving on energy bills. Here we take a look at some of the most effective and efficient siding options to optimize energy savings, reduce energy bills, […]
May 21, 2020

How to Help Your Tenants Practice Better Energy Habits

Good energy habits work at their best when tackled collectively, by everyone at once. Even a single mindful user can have a notable impact, but by making responsible choices about the way we purchase and use energy, we can all have an exponentially greater effect. As an energy-conscious landlord, helping your tenants to create good energy habits can benefit both parties together as well as the wider community. Often, just the act of taking note of how energy is used and the impact of your own habits can be enough to motivate friends, neighbors, and tenants into action.[1] Taking definitive […]
May 21, 2020

Can We Depend on Renewable Energy Long into The Future?

Renewable energy is perhaps the single most critical and talked about topic in the world today. For over the last 170 years, energy for our vehicles, businesses, and homes have come almost exclusively from fossil fuels.[1] These same fuels have been driving climate change and polluting our air in increasing amounts over the last century.[2] Today, witnessing the effect these fuels are having on the environment around us, many are starting to make the changes required to halt and even reverse its impact. Renewable energy sources are playing the single largest role in reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and […]
May 21, 2020

3 Ways Small Businesses Can Take Advantage of a Deregulated Market

Since 1989, [1] more and more states have begun to deregulate their energy markets [2]. This has allowed individuals and businesses to choose the supplier that provides their gas, electricity, or both. The remarkable power in deregulation lies in allowing consumers to make energy choices according to the values that matter most to them. For small and medium-sized businesses, these choices offer you the opportunity to align the needs of your company and its mission statement with that of your suppliers, providing a potential competitive advantage you can’t afford to pass on. Whether looking to reduce your carbon footprint, promote […]
January 10, 2020

The Best Connected Devices for Energy and Indoor Air Quality Monitoring

The Internet of Things, a network of smart devices that monitors its environment and interacts with humans, is expanding every year. This network captures and processes incomprehensible amounts of data about us and our behavior, giving it the ability to learn about our preferences. This can be very helpful, and one of the biggest groups of products in this category is designed specifically to help with efficiency and safety within the home. Connected devices such as smart thermostats, energy monitors, and indoor air quality (IAQ) monitors are exploding onto the home automation scene. Major advantages of such products include the […]
January 10, 2020

Why Energy Deregulation is Better for Homeowners and Small Businesses

Energy deregulation has been expanding across states over the last few decades to include either a deregulated market in Gas or Electric, or both. Deregulated markets allow individuals and businesses to choose from several pricing options and suppliers depending upon their personal preferences and corporate values and requirements. Options are broad and can come as a result of increased competition, as well as the ability to satisfy any green power requirements, for example. The examples below illustrate the advantages of deregulation for homeowners and small businesses. The Average Homeowner Most people today can relate to the experience of using an […]