Austin has a reputation as a green city. Our local utility company, Austin Energy, not only sells the most renewable energy in the nation, but also has an ambitious goal to be carbon neutral by 2020. Austinites can choose from a wide array of parks, nature preserves, trails, and greenbelts to take advantage of the city’s mild climate and numerous sunny days. Government officials have made protecting the environment a priority, enacting many eco-friendly policies, including pledging to reduce the amount of trash going to landfills by 90% by 2040.
ABC’s Corporate Responsibility
As a local business with a long history of providing environmentally-friendly home services, ABC Home & Commercial Services recently expanded its commitment to reducing the company’s impact on the planet. With the help of Freedom Solar, the roof of ABC’s Austin headquarters is now outfitted with 448 solar panels. By installing these panels, ABC will offset 138.6 tons of carbon emissions. Utility savings will enable the company to recoup its initial investment in about five and a half years.
To put the solar energy environmental benefits into perspective, ABC’s annual carbon offset is equivalent to:
- The amount of carbon that 5,544 trees can store for one year
- The lifetime environmental benefits from planting 138.6 trees
- Taking 16.8 cars off our roadways
- Removing the impact of 14,289 gallons of gasoline on our atmosphere and ozone layer
Bobby Jenkins, the owner of ABC’s Austin branch, sees reducing the company’s environmental footprint as an extension of our commitment to the communities we serve.
“We are a family-owned and operated company that has been in Austin since 1972 and has decades of history serving the great state of Texas,” Bobby explained. “The installation of this new solar project is another way we can continue to build upon our ongoing commitment to sustainability and serve our customers for many generations to come.”
Why Solar Power?
Why is solar energy good for the environment? For the last century, we have relied upon petroleum, natural gas, and coal for 87% of the energy needs in the United States. When these fuels are burned to produce energy, nitrogen oxides are released into the atmosphere. Although nitrogen is a vital element for life on Earth, the introduction of excess nitrogen in the atmosphere contributes to smog, acid rain, and other forms of pollution.
Substituting renewable energy helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the harmful impact of air pollution associated with more traditional forms of energy production. More environmentally-friendly energy sources include wind power, solar power, and geothermal technologies. In 2015, about 10% of energy consumption in the United States came from renewable sources.
The sun provides a clean and renewable energy source without the fuel costs, noise, or pollution associated with fossil fuels. You might be surprised to learn that the Earth receives more energy from the sun in just one hour than everyone on the planet uses in one year. Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems convert sunlight directly into electricity, which can allow homeowners to save money on electric bills while increasing property value and protecting the environment.
Incentives To Go Solar
Austin residents and business owners can take advantage of special incentives offered by Austin Energy to install a solar energy system or a solar water heater. Making these improvements may also qualify you for a 30% federal tax credit and a property tax exemption. The cost of these projects vary, and homeowners need to select an eligible contractor to take advantage of incentives.
ABC Cares About The Environment
ABC Home & Commercial Services cares about the communities we serve and the planet. As a company, we work to make our processes more environmentally-responsible and to select products which are safe for our customers and their families. ABC has been serving the greater Austin community for decades, and looks forward to providing reliable and high-quality home services out of our new energy-efficient headquarters for generations to come.