WHAT IS CLEAN ENERGY?
Clean energy is energy derived from sources that are both renewable and zero-emission. Renewable means that the energy is continuously replenished through natural processes, such as from the sun or wind. Zero-emission refers to fossil fuel emissions, which is the result of a chemical reaction by burning ancient, fossilized carbon for energy through a process called combustion. The burning of fossil for fuels emits greenhouse gases, which we have learned is harmful to our atmosphere (and thus Earth systems) in large quantities. Common examples include driving gas-powered vehicles and running our homes on electricity generated from a coal-fired powerplant. Zero-emission means there are no greenhouse gases emissions released into our atmosphere for the process of creating energy to run our communities! Harnessing energy from the sun, or solar energy, is an example of a source that used zero fossil fuels and releases zero greenhouse gas emissions.
AND WHY DOES IT MATTER?
Clean energy is the most sustainable form of energy we can create. Sustainable is akin to renewable, meaning that we can continue to create energy from that source... forever! Creating energy from a fossil fuel source is not sustainable because the Earth has a limited supply of that source, such as coal and oil. The beginning of burning fossil fuels for energy spurred the Industrial Revolution over 260 years ago, so fossil fuels are an important chapter in our story of evolving the way we run our civilizations. We are thankful for carbon, a main element of fossil fuels - the human body is about 18% carbon, after all! However, we know that as a source of energy, carbon is a limited, finite source that won't fulfill our energy needs forever. Today, we have grown smarter and have innovated technology that allow us to tap into these "forever" sources of energy, such as solar panels and wind turbines. Now it is time we turn the page from how we created energy hundreds of years ago to a new chapter for a clean, sustainable world. Think about it this way: If you had to choose between sending messages to your friends and family through carrier pigeon or virtual video for the rest of your life, which would you choose?
Learn more about our Clean Energy future in Apex:
Solar Energy Savings
To establish Apex as a regional leader in clean energy production, the Apex Town Council made a commitment to become a SolSmart-designated community in 2019 and struck gold! Apex achieved the SolSmart Gold level designation, and our dedicated staff continues to work to improve solar deployment conditions, making it faster, easier, and more affordable for our residents and business owners to install solar energy systems. Additionally, to remove obstacles and encourage the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in our community, Town council enacted some of the best solar energy policies in the state of North Carolina, including electric metering that enables customers to install their own solar PV system and benefit from all of the energy generated at the current electric rate. In other words, the more you generate, the less you buy, and any excess generation is "purchased" from you at the rate you pay the Town for power.
Learn more about how to get solar for your home or business and join us in our effort towards a more solarized, sustainable Apex on our Solar page.
- LEARN MORE about how to purchase a solar PV system and take full advantage of the Federal incentive program at the Energy.gov page.
- WHY IT MATTERS: Discover the trend of atmospheric carbon dioxide and how it relates to climate change at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate.gov page.
LED Street Light Replacement
In addition to Clean Energy, the Town is committed to smart energy efficiency strategies. In 2018, the Apex Town Council approved an amendment that would help modify outdoor lighting rates and classifications to reflect the Town's transition to light-emitting diode (LED) light fixtures. The transition to these energy efficient, lower maintenance devices will provide immediate cost savings to the Town and our residents. Plug into the Energy Star Savings Calculator and see how much you can save - for both pocket and planet!
- THINK LEDs ARE TOO BRIGHT? Learn how we could commit to being an International Dark-Sky Association community.
Leading by Example
The Town of Apex government operations is committed to a goal of 100% Clean Energy by 2050! We have also established a stepping-stone goal of 80% Clean Energy by 2035. Learn more on our Railroads to Renewables page.