Steve Saunders, US-EcoLogic
Steve Saunders: Hi, I'm Steve Saunders, the CEO of US-Ecologic. We're standing here on top of IKEA superstore in front of a solar array that generates two million kilowatt hours of energy every year. Have you been to IKEA recently? It's a big store, and this solar array powers 60% of all the energy it needs. What they're showing us is that solar can be business smart and energy efficient all at the same time.
We have an air quality problem in our metropolitan area, and a big part of that problem comes from the pollution that comes from our power plants. The best way to reduce emissions from our power plants is to reduce the power use in our homes and buildings.
So the most energy efficient thing you can do is to have an energy audit and have a professional come and give you a comprehensive evaluation of what you can do to improve the energy efficiency of all the different elements in your home. Weatherize your home, seal up all the cracks, seal the ductwork from your HVAC system, and buy efficient air conditioning.
Energystar.gov can tell you exactly where to go to look for rebates, and even where to look for contractors who will install Energy Star appliances, windows and air conditioning. You can also look on your local utilities’ website. Almost all the utilities have some kind of energy efficiency incentive, there are utility rebates in many cases.
So in the early 2000s, the Texas legislature created the Texas renewable portfolio standard, which essentially unleashed wind power in Texas. Today wind power generates close to 20% of all the electricity in Texas. It is the cheapest electricity we have in the state and it operates very efficiently and many people use exclusively wind power. Facebook's new data center in Fort Worth is 100% powered by renewable wind energy, the GM plant in Arlington and the Toyota headquarters in Plano is 100% renewable energy as well.
Renewable energy sources are deeply infused with technology, and as we see technology continue its rapid advance and rapid improvement, we're going to see the cost of renewable energy sources continue to decline. We're on the forefront of change in our grid from non-renewable fossil fuels to renewable energy and a new technology world. That's the future of where we are and that's the future of where we're headed.