Solar Energy in the Midwest

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101+ Ways to Save Energy in Your Home

Once there was a homeowner by the name of Jim. Jim worked hard for his paycheck, but had enough to cover the monthly expenses and have some left over to enjoy. Jim liked to take his wife Kris out to dinner and then to the latest movie. They traveled up north during the summer for a vacation and every other year they also took a trip to the sunny south during the cold winter to see Mickey Mouse and his crew. Jim was also able to put some dollars aside for retirement and the kid’s education. Each month the utility bills would come and they like most other bills seemed to be growing faster than Jim’s paycheck. Jim gathered the family together and said, “We need to find a way to reduce our monthly bills or we will need to eliminate college saving or retirement saving or our leisure activities such as dining out, movies and vacations.” Jim’s family did not want to lose any of those hard-earned choices. Jim and his family began shopping with coupons to save money. They drove the car less and replaced the gas guzzler with a car that got much better gas mileage. But they were frustrated on additional ways to save on their monthly bills. They began to look at the utility bills and decided it was time to attack the amount of energy and water they were using. But where do they look for a collection of energy-saving tips that an average family in Michigan can use? Where do they find a list they can review and determine what fits their lifestyle? Well they found the answer when they downloaded the MES 101+ Ways to Save Energy and it was FREE! Now they are reviewing the list and implementing many of those ideas and seeing the energy usage and the monthly utility bills going down. You too can find unique and helpful ways to save on your utilities each month. Just download our FREE e-book with 101+ ideas you can put into effect now to save. Many won’t cost you a dime to put into practice!

If you have questions, call us today!

It’s a good time of year to have our trained experienced air conditioning Technicians solve your cooling problems whether you live in Ann Arbor, in Canton, Novi, Northville, or Plymouth.

Contact us at www.mes1.com or call us @ (734) 453-6746

The Cost Of Not Using Renewable Energy : Renewable Energy News :

The Cost Of Not Using Renewable Energy : Renewable Energy News :.

Not using renewable energy for electricity production is costing future generations over $9 billion a day – and that doesn’t costs associated with health impacts and climate change.

Solar naysayers have often used cost as a reason for not making the switch – an argument rapidly running out of steam given the plummeting prices of solar panels. Something else worth considering is the cost of not going solar.

For example, rapidly increasing electricity prices can make installing solar panels a better investment than putting money in the bank for many households.

Hurricane Sandy Uncovers Strength and Simplicity of Renewable Energy Systems | Renewable Energy News Article

Hurricane Sandy Uncovers Strength and Simplicity of Renewable Energy Systems | Renewable Energy News Article.

By Elisa Wood, Contributor  November 1, 2012
Superstorm Sandy can’t kill wind and solar.

First of all, wind and solar do not need additional energy inputs to produce electricity or cool a reactor, said John Kourtoff, president and CEO of Toronto-based Trillium Power Wind. There is no need for natural gas, oil or coal to be excavated, transported and applied to the system. Instead, they produce electricity by taking advantage of a form of energy that is already available – wind and sun.

Second, they mimic nature in design, so they tend to be more resilient and withstand natural disasters better, he said.

“Renewables at their core are simple bio-mimicry based on nature. This simple and closed aspect makes them successful when storms and natural disasters happen, whether hurricanes, earthquakes, or tsunamis,” Kourtoff said.

He pointed out that last year’s tsunami in Japan devastated a nuclear plant, but wind turbines near the shore suffered no harm.   For Full Article

PWIR: President Clinton Endorse Prop 3 | MLCV-Michigan League of Conservation Voters

PWIR: President Clinton Endorse Prop 3 | MLCV-Michigan League of Conservation Voters.Submitted by Michigan LCV on Mon, 10/29/2012 – 4:06pm

… Former President Clinton championed the cause because he knows that the jobs created by Prop 3 will help spur the kind of economic activity that defined his Presidency. On the opposite side of the debate, campaign finance reports show that Enbridge – yes, that Enbridge (the one whose faulty oil pipeline dumped more than 1 million gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River) – has joined the opposition to Prop 3. After all, why have more renewable energy in Michigan when we can have record-breaking oil spills into our rivers, instead? To read more go here

A Watershed Moment: Multiple Benefits of Proposal 3 « THE WMEAC BLOG

A Watershed Moment: Multiple Benefits of Proposal 3 « THE WMEAC BLOG.

Today we hear from Nicholas Occhipinti, Policy and Community Activism Director at the West Michigan Environmental Action Council, who discusses Proposal 3, the Renewable Energy Standard that will require 25% of Michigan’s energy to come from renewable sources by the year 2025.

 

Not only will the ballot initiative help the environment through the increased use of renewable energy, but it will have other benefits as well. Currently a majority, approximately 60%, of our electricity is derived from coal. 100% of Michigan’s coal is imported from other states, relying on the use of oil for transportation, with negative economic and environmental effects. Utility companies have recognized oil as the leading cause for increased electricity prices for consumers, and with the fluctuation of oil prices, there is no guarantee for the cost of energy. The Proposal 3 initiative states that utility companies cannot increase energy rates by more than 1% per year, and has an outlook for an approximate 50 cent increase in cost, once the proposal is passed. In addition to a savings in energy bills, the proposal has a Triple Botton Line Benefit which will create 94,000 jobs.

 

The switch from using a majority of coal, to utilizing more renewable energy sources, will give Michigan more health benefits in addition to economic positives. Coal has been linked to illnesses such as heart disease and asthma, leading to an increase in health care costs. The Michigan Nurses Association has named Proposal 3, “the most important health proposal in decades.”

 

Moving toward renewable energy sources will also be reliable, as there are a variety of sources: solar power, wind power, hydropower, and biomass. There is also a grid that identifies where energy is being produced greatest across the state. This allows us to utilize the most productive areas for the most energy. With only a small increase of 25%, there is no doubt that renewable sources are and will continue to be reliable to meet the demand. “It’s the best chance for environmental progress in the last few years and probably the next few years going forward,” said Occhipinti.

 

WMEAC is reaching out to Michigan citizens during the election to vote Yes on Proposal 3: Michigan Energy, Michigan Jobs. We need volunteers at specific locations on Election Day as WMEAC representatives and supporters of Proposal 3. Other volunteers will take part in a mass telecommunications effort to encourage Proposal 3 supporters to get to the polls and vote Yes! Several shifts are available the day before the election and Election Day itself.

Putting the A123 Bankruptcy in Context | Renewable Energy News Article

Putting the A123 Bankruptcy in Context | Renewable Energy News Article. By John Rogers, Senior Energy Analyst, Clean Energy
October 19, 2012

… To date, 30 battery and electric drive firms have received stimulus funding. A full list is here. Two of them, A123 Systems and EnerDel, have filed for bankruptcy so far. (They haven’t disappeared, however: EnerDel continues to operate and A123′s stimulus-funded facilities will remain open under the deal with Johnson Controls.)

Those two companies represent 18% of the vehicle battery grants, which means that 82% of that portfolio is still “performing”.

Plumer also offers as context another stimulus-funded program that’s gotten a lot of attention but has an even more impressive performance to date:

In a similar vein, of the 26 clean-energy projects that have received federal loan guarantees under a separate 1705 program, just three have filed for bankruptcy, including Solyndra, Abound, and Beacon Power. (Though Beacon is still operating and has largely paid back its federally backed loans.)

Even the full amount at risk from those three companies adds up to 6% of the portfolio, meaning that the performing piece of the investments is 94% of the whole… Read the full article

Michigan Breweries Going Solar « CBS Detroit

Michigan Breweries Going Solar « CBS Detroit.

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

mattroushReporting Matt Roush

YPSILANTI — Barley, hops and yeast are powered by the sun.

Increasingly, so are the breweries that turn those ingredients into beer.

Southeast Michigan brewery owners Matt and Rene Greff are breaking new ground for Michigan breweries as solar installations at their two breweries come on line this summer.

Arbor Brewing Co. became Michigan’s first solar brewery when it flipped the switch on a new system comprised of a 2.4-kilowatt solar photovoltaic array, 300 solar thermal collector tubes and a high-efficiency tankless water heater system to supplement the heat from the collector tubes when necessary.

These big ticket investments were combined with smaller improvements like switching to CFL and LED lighting and installing low-flow sprayers and occupancy sensors.

The project grew out of the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority’s Energy Conservation Grant Program, which provided free energy audits and 50 percent project rebates up to $20,000 to downtown businesses that implemented audit recommendations to become more energy efficient.

ABC owner Matt Greff worked with Ann Arbor DDA Energy Programs Director David Konkle as well as a consulting team from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and the Environment, led by Jarett Diamond.

Together they were able to identify a number of financial resources and incentives to help offset the installation cost of the system including the $20,000 grant from the DDA, a $10,000 interest-free loan from the city, a 30 percent tax credit from the federal government, and various incentives from DTE Energy.

The couple’s Corner Brewery in Ypsilanti is also nearing completion on its own $250,000 Green Brewery Project which includes solar-thermal, photovoltaic, and geo-thermal technologies along with other improvements like new windows and awnings and energy-efficient chiller equipment.

9 Surprising Facts About Solar Customers Infographic

Home Solar Power Discounts – One Block Off the Grid

Sonnenschiff: Solar City Produces 4X the Energy it Consumes | Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World – StumbleUpon

Sonnenschiff: Solar City Produces 4X the Energy it Consumes | Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World – StumbleUpon.

Although net-zero projects have been creating a lot of buzz lately in the field of green building, the Sonnenschiff solar city in Freiburg, Germany is very much net positive. The self-sustaining city accomplishes this feat through smart solar design and lots and lots of photovoltaic panels pointed in the right direction. It seems like a simple strategy — but designers often incorporate solar installations as an afterthought, or worse, as a label. Designed by Rolf Disch, the Sonnenschiff (Solar Ship) and Solarsiedlung (Solar Village) emphasize power production from the start by smartly incorporating a series of large rooftop solar arrays that double as sun shades. The buildings are also built to Passivhaus standards, which allows the project to produce four times the amount of energy it consumes!

Can Solar Panels and Historic Preservation Get Along?

Can Solar Panels and Historic Preservation Get Along?.

Kaid Benfield   Jun 25, 2012

I believe that historic preservation in the right context – a healthy neighborhood – can be intrinsically green. Most historic buildings, at least the ones constructed before the days of freeways and urban flight, are on walkable streets in relatively central locations. They represent embodied energy and materials that would be consumed if the same amount of space and the same function had to be constructed anew. Also, being built before “the thermostat age,” as my friend Steve Mouzon calls it, many of them were built with attention to climate and with locally sourced materials, giving them environmentally beneficial characteristics as a matter of design.

But, by definition, historic buildings do not have the latest technology unless it is added many years later. I agree with Steve that technology can be overrated as an environmental cure-all, but there are clearly some forms of green technology that can strengthen the environmental profile of older buildings. This raises the delicate issue of how much updating can and should occur without compromising the building’s historic character.

Full Story

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