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Energy Efficiency First, Then #PutSolarOnIt

Picture of sun for solar energy


Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?


How about investing in clean energy? #PutSolarOnIt is a New Year’s Resolution campaign from Mosaic, an organization that connects people with tools that can help them realize their solar energy projects. You can go to to pledge your commitment of putting solar on something in 2014. That “something” could be a house, business, school, community center, or whatever you like.


Don’t have the space for a solar energy system? Too many trees or tall buildings? Live in an apartment? Mosaic helps you connect with solar energy projects everywhere, giving you the chance to invest in solar energy even though you might not be in the situation to install a system on your home or business. Plus, you can still see the return on your investment. As the solar project you invested in starts producing electricity, it generates revenue as the power is sold to customers. As the project earns revenue, investors are then paid back with interest.


We have highlighted solar in the past and specifically the work of the Rural Renewable Energy Alliance, a Minnesota solar manufacturing nonprofit/design-build firm and a friend of 401(e). Visit their website at or their Facebook page to learn more about how the organization is advancing clean energy in our region.


Of course, it’s always important to start with efficiency. The cheapest unit of energy is the one you never have to use, so making sure that you have taken energy efficiency measures before adding solar will not only lower your utility bill, it will in turn make a solar system more effective for your home or business. Though every building is different in its energy needs, common energy efficiency improvements include adding insulation and air sealing, performing weather-stripping, upgrading appliances, and replacing windows and doors. For more information on some of these improvements, head to the 401(e) What We Do page on our website or check out this previous blog post. You can also get a free 15 minute phone consultation; that way we can get a sense of what your specific energy concerns.


Once you’ve done the appropriate energy efficiency improvements, then it might be time to #PutSolarOnIt. There are so many increasingly affordable and effective solar technology options these days for both residential and commercial applications. Solar can be used for space heating, water heating, and to generate electricity (photovoltaic or PV).


Are you planning any clean energy projects in 2014? Share with us in the comments or on our Facebook page!