SunPort lets you buy solar credits just by plugging into a socket.
79 percent of Americans want more solar energy, but few of us have the means (or roof access) to install solar panels. Now there’s a cheap, easy way to support the cause—just by using electricity the way you normally do.
SunPort works by demanding solar energy from the grid. Once energy enters the power grid, it’s impossible to tell whether it came from solar, wind, or non-renewable sources like coal and natural gas. To address this information gap, the EPA created Renewable Energy Certificates, which denote which energy came from green sources. Buyers who purchase these credits express market demand for renewables—and the more people demand renewable energy, the more we should get in the long run.
SunPort’s innovation is breaking solar credits up into smaller amounts, more manageable for individuals. All you have to do is plug the device into any electrical outlet and it’ll automatically buy solar credits equal to the amount of energy you consume. You can buy multiple SunPorts to use throughout your home and, with the companion smartphone app, keep track of how much solar energy you’re using.
One thing this gadget doesn’t do is save you money on your energy bill. SunPort doesn’t replace your dependence on the grid. Instead, you pay a surcharge. When you plug into SunPort, you’re essentially paying to certify that your energy is solar-powered. But this cost only amounts to a few cents per day—and, as an introductory offer, the first year is free with purchase of a SunPort ($49). After that, it’s $20 per year of unlimited solar.
SunPorts will ship out in March 2016.
Sunport, $49 pre-order on Kickstarter.