Summer is here, and Californians are going to be turning their air conditioners on en masse to keep their homes livable. This is an understandable impulse, but it’s one that is fraught with consequences. Air conditioners are one of the most energy-intensive appliances in the home, which means power consumption skyrockets in the summer months along with the associated expenses and pollution from burning fossil fuels.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) states that air conditioning (AC), which can be found in two-thirds of all homes, accounts for five percent of energy consumption in the United States and costs Americans $11 billion a year. As a result of these numbers, the DOE and environmentalists advocate for reduced use of these appliances by homeowners and apartment dwellers, or even simply getting rid of them, to avoid the economic and ecological effects.

According to GreenTech Media, a site that tracks the clean technology industry, utility companies are trying to mitigate the spikes in energy usage by providing incentives for small improvements in efficiency, such as encouraging people to install better thermostats that learn a person’s living habits so as to predict when AC should be on or off. But these programs will have only a slight impact on overall electricity use.

The fact remains that many Americans live in areas where AC is simply a necessity for living healthfully and comfortably. So what is the solution for a resident who wants to cool their home without creating an environmental and financial hazard?

The answer is Northern California solar energy, which produces no greenhouse gases or pollution and provides a steady, affordable source of energy that will make air conditioning more responsible and less costly. Contact West Coast Solar for more information about how your home or business can benefit from going solar.