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!
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The Coming Solar Electricity Transformation
June 11, 2013
Solar cells are unusual in that they were cost-competitive from the get-go. From the Apollo space program to highway signs to lighting for buoys, solar could replace highly expensive power from batteries or other sources and eliminate the need for the construction of electric distribution lines.
When the Institute for Local Self-Reliance was founded in 1974, the first factory producing solar cells for terrestrial applications had just opened in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The cost of solar power was over $3.00 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), com- pared to $0.03 per kWh for grid electricity. The output from that factory the first year was sufficient to power only a few dozen homes. By the late 1980s, the price of solar was low enough that solar cells were finding their way to second homes and remote cabins off the grid. In 1990, the total installed capacity of solar was 200 megawatts (worldwide, with about 25 percent in the U.S.), sufficient to power 4,000 homes. During the ensuing decade, federal and later state incentives for solar ushered in the era of grid-connected solar. By 1999, grid connected solar projects exceeded non-grid application. Read more at Link.
Solar Power as Solution for Storm-Darkened Homes – NYTimes.com.
Despite the popular perception that installing solar panels takes a home “off the grid,” most of those systems are actually part of it, sending excess power to the utility grid during the day and pulling electricity back to run the house at night. So when the storm took down power lines and substations across the Northeast, safety systems cut the power in solar homes just like everywhere else.
“Here’s a $70,000 system sitting idle,” said Ed Antonio, who lives in the Rockaways in Queens and has watched his 42 panels as well as those on several other houses in the area go unused since the power went out Oct. 29. “That’s a lot of power sitting. Just sitting.”
Go to full article
Go to NY Times videos of the storm.
For more information on Indoor Battery Generators go here
Home Solar Power Discounts – One Block Off the Grid
Why We Pay Double for Solar in America (But Won’t Forever) | Institute for Local Self-Reliance.
This is an excellent article that we agree with completely. The beautifully easy to understand graph mirrors our experience in pricing systems. We found that regardless of the panel price the extraneous expenses attached such as permitting fees, permitting requirements, engineering stamps, roof load studies, fire studies, among a few, that may or may not be required from city to city and township to township are the real expenses that add to the cost of solar. Also slowing down a job to educate the inspector step by step, while important and beneficial in the long run, but adds to labor costs. – Val
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.
Listen to Donna as she sets straight the myths about solar in Michigan on The Inside Outside Guys Radio show last Saturday. Her segment starts around 30:08, in the third podcast.
The Inside Outside Guys Saturday April 21th, 2012 Part 3 http://blog.theinsideoutsideguys.com/?cat=5
Solar Top 10: SEPA List Details Key Utility Trends | Renewable Energy News Article.
By Steve Leone, Associate Editor, RenewableEnergyWorld.com
April 19, 2012
New Hampshire, USA — In 2011, solar became a far deeper ingrained part of energy portfolios for utilities across much of the United States, and that adoption was fueled by significant leaps in everything from large-scale power plants to residential rooftops.
This week, the Solar Electric Power Association released a preview of its Solar Top 10, an annual look at which utilities are taking the lead of solar development. The full detailed report will come out in May. The 2011 findings show a 38 percent growth in the number of installations over the past year and a 120 percent spike in megawatts installed. SEPA expects this trajectory to continue in 2012 behind continued price drops and the build out of large-scale projects.
While we already knew that solar had its best year ever in 2011, and that final installation numbers were higher than expected, it’s still valuable to see which utilities connected the most solar, and where new high levels of deployment are being seen.
So here are some takeaways from the recently released findings:
- Large-scale solar farms make the headlines, but smaller installations remain the bread-and-butter of the industry. In 2011, utilities interconnected over 62,500 PV systems. Thirteen utilities interconnected more than 1,000 PV systems and 22 interconnected more than 500 systems. According to the report, this volume of smaller, distributed interconnections is unlike anything the utility industry has previously managed. It’ll be interesting to see how these numbers fare next year and in 2013 when the impacts of the recently expired Section 1603 grant will be felt.
Click on title for full story.
Snow covered solar panels.
A solar PV system owner in snowy Michigan describes how they perform after a snow storm. Thanks for sharing!