Today is Blog Action Day and the focus is the environment. It is hard for me to imagine there is much I could add about the environment that hasn’t already been covered by the *15,000* other blogs participating, but here goes!

Mike and I have been thinking for a while that we would love to put solar panels on the house and drastically shift/reduce/change the way we use electricity. In the last couple of weeks we have just been turned on (get it? electricity? turned on? mwaahahaha) to a company that essentially rents solar power systems to consumers.

Citizenre’s Renu program “pays for, installs, owns and operates the solar installation.” For the cost of what you are paying for electricity now, plus a small deposit, (a tiny deposit really, in the grand scheme of solar power systems) you can have solar energy, and your monthly payment will stay the same for the term of the contract – up to 25 years.

When I used the Solar Savings Calculator to figure out how much money we would save and how much environment we would save, here is what I got:

If you were to invest all of the money that you saved over the term of a 25-year contract, and you received the investment grade bond yield average of 9.44%, then your decision to participate in the REnU Program would yield $39,818.42 by the end of your contract.

Additionally, over that same time period, your REnU will eliminate 416 tons of CO2, 2127 lbs of NOx, 6111 lbs of SO2, 267 lbs of PM, 15 lbs of VOC, and 93 lbs of CO. That is equivalent to taking approximately, 73 automobiles off of the road, or planting 1220 trees.

Almost $40,000 and over 1200 trees? That means we could send Emma to college for at least a year or so AND go camping after we drop her off. Doesn’t get much better than that.

We are going to keep researching it, but our friend Katie told us about it and Ed Begley, Jr. is on the website, so really, how many more awesome people need to tell us about it for us to know it is a good thing? If we do decide to take the plunge, I’ll report back on how it goes.