The Art or Green Persuasion Making a Case for Energy-Efficient Living

It's change on a global scale. Throughout the world and throughout the United States, people are changing the way they think about the environment and how their way of life impacts the planet. With rising energy costs and increasing strains on our energy systems, homeowners in particular are looking at what they can do to reduce their impact on the environment and make the changes necessary to go green wherever possible. In homeowners associations and condo communities throughout New Jersey, people are looking to change their lives, save the planet and protect their pocketbook in myriad ways.

When condo buildings and communities urge these changes en masse, homeowners—as much as they might want to support new energy or green policies—might experience some reluctance, as often the shift to more environmentally-friendly living can cost a few extra dollars at the beginning.For management, the key to a successful transition often rests with how well they can persuade residents to champion the change. With the right facts at their disposal, that effort should be relatively painless, especially when homeowners begin to see the benefits of lower energy costs and a healthier community environment.

Why Go Green?

New Jersey, has taken an active role in promoting energy-efficient, green-living policies. This has been evident in the number of initiatives as well as local and state enterprises established in recent years to help reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality and reduce energy dependence. New Jersey’s Governor Jon Corzine, in fact, has set a goal for the state to reduce its overall energy use by 20 percent by 2020. A significant part of this ongoing effort has focused on the greening of residential communities.

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and its Office of Clean Energy has been leading efforts to help homeowners find affordable ways to reduce their global footprints. The CleanPower Community Partners program, for example, encourages New Jersey municipalities, towns and groups to work with residents and businesses to do everything from taking part in educational opportunities to changing thousands of light bulbs to compact fluorescents. In 2007, more than 20 communities including Princeton, Cape May City and Long Branch met or exceeded their clean energy goals.

“When faced with issues such as global warming and climate change, New Jersey municipalities and residents continue to rise to the challenge,” said Jeanne M. Fox, president of New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, at the time of the announcement. “It comes as no surprise to me that these communities have not only made a commitment to reduce their carbon footprints, but they also are leading the way in adopting climate change solutions that benefit our economy and environment.”

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