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How Cooperative Power Companies Can Implement Solar Developments

For the rural parts of the United States, implementing solar arrays are not seen as a cost-effective solution for power demands. As costs of photovoltaic equipment has been decreasing steadily since the middle of 2012, the argument that rural areas can't have a renewable energy solution is seemingly more and more moot. There is a variety of ways that these sparsely populated areas can implement solar technology without upsetting the community with hiked rates.


1. Piecemeal - Solar arrays can be installed a piece at a time. An entire 1.5 gigawatt station doesn't need to be constructed immediately in order to quell some of the problems that the rural communities experience. In some areas, brownouts are so frequent that many have to buy back up batteries in order to prevent damage to computer systems. Even if the cooperative power company installed a handful of small panels at a time to alleviate some of the brownout issues, it could go a long way to improving customer service. Eventually, solar panels will drop so low that nearly everyone can afford them and those who are unhappy with his or her power company could eliminate that monthly bill all-together.

2. Billing Adjustments - Depending on the number of people within the cooperative power company's region, even the slightest of increases could help develop a solar array for the benefit of everyone. If the company was to put it to a vote from the population after delivering the benefits of the solar array, even a small one to two-percent increase in everyone's bill could begin developing a smarter and greener future for everyone. In smaller areas, saving enough money to begin construction could take a while unless the co-op company could develop a strategy to maximize funding.... read more

4 Inventive Uses For Solar Energy Around The House

As consumer awareness of energy efficiency rises many people are being motivated to help the environment and save money on their electric bills at the same time. Regardless the motivation behind the goal, those of us looking to get a better handle on our energy bills should consider solar energy.

Solar screens

The number one access point for heat entering your home is through the windows. Fortunately you can prevent a good quantity of heat from entering your home making it easier to keep cool by investing in solar screens. Not only do solar screens your home cooler during the summer months, but they also create a custom look for you home, protect your carpet, furniture and blinds from UV damage and provide an increase in daytime privacy.... read more

Debunking 5 Common Solar Myths

Think solar panels won't work for you?  Maybe it's time to think again.  Solar can be affordable, work well in cold climates, and (oh yeah!) save the planet.  

Let's debunk 5 common solar myths.  

Myth #1:  Solar is pricier than conventional energy.

Reality:  Solar panels can indeed be costly upfront.  Some people might need to look into financing options.  Other people might opt to lease, which has a low upfront cost and low monthly payments.    Solar can also pay for itself after a while, especially in states with great incentives such as Oregon, New York, and Massachusetts.  

"While solar energy can require a somewhat daunting upfront cost, Massachusetts homeowners are currently looking at one of the best payback periods in the country: between 5 and 7 years.  After the payback year, your system becomes cash flow positive, and you can produce free, clean electricity for 20 to 30 years.  Remember, there is no such return on investment when paying your utility company month-by-month for electricity," says the Sunlight Solar blog.... read more

The True Cost of Not Getting a Free Solar Estimate

The True Cost of Not Getting a Free Solar Estimate

One of the great hidden truths about America’s renewable energy policies isn’t actually so great or hidden.  The United States has a history of underfunding proven clean, technologies like solar and wind, while giving generous 20:1 subsidies to more entrenched fossil fuel sources.

“The average American is usually unaware of this trend, even though the information is out there, including a solar system special”, says Rich Hessler.  Instead, most people focus on start-up Solyndra-style failures, believing these to be par for the solar industry.

The BP oil spill?  The Exxon Valdez?  Those are just unfortunate accidents – the cost of doing business.

But what about the 2020, 2030, and 2050 renewable energy goals put forth by an increasing number of countries around the world?  Isn’t this proof that the tide is turning?  Even presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, believes solar must play a role in America’s push for energy independence by 2020.... read more

Top 5 Eco Friendly Homes

There are an ever-increasing number of homes being built with the intention of preserving the world’s natural resources, reducing pollution and preventing global warming. New materials, procedures and equipment are being developed at an alarming rate to ensure this.

More and more eco-friendly systems are appearing in homes all over the world from solar panels to water filtration systems, as an increasing number of new-age engineers, architects and scientists, aim to build an eco-friendly society.

This list of the top 5 environmentally friendly houses has been put together by The Sash Window Workshop who are taking a keen interest in developments throughout the eco-industry.

1.       The Solar-Sector House

 solar house

 Image by inhabitat.com

An energy tower positioned in the centre of the house is the focal point of the eco system that is the solar–sector house. The house is divided into four different compartments that are linked together by air gaps with operable windows and doors that offer ventilation in the summer and pre-heat the air in the winter. Phase-altering materials let the house quickly pass warm or cold air to where it’s required most. The outer area is covered in solar panels; the fronts of which are covered by gold and bronze photovoltaic cells for aesthetic appeal and work as a conductor.  The house was designed for the Solar Decathlon Europe, a competition that measures the industrialisation, energy balance and sustainability of a house. The Stuttgart University, Applied Sciences Department’s objective was to build a house that is capable of producing more energy than it uses.... read more

Why Every Solar Company Should Have a Blog

I cringe whenever I see a corporate site without a blog.  It bothers me no matter the industry, but with a sector as mysterious and misunderstood as solar energy, not having a blog seems unconscionable.

As a solar copywriter, I’m probably more sensitive to such things.  After all, a firm without a blog represents a potential client.

But even before my copywriting days, I appreciated the power of blogs.  After years in search engine optimization (SEO), I realized that companies with blogs enjoyed more traffic, longer visits, better conversions, and greater visibility than those that didn’t.

But why is that exactly?... read more

3 Essential Components of a High Quality Solar Power System

Solar PanelsA solar power system includes three major parts: the solar panels, the inverter, and the mounting hardware. If any part of this is not well made and appropriate for your needs, the entire system can be compromised. It is not hard to put together a quality system, but it does require a little bit of all-important know-how. A high quality solar system may be a little more expensive at the time of purchase, but can actually save you money in repairs and replacement parts over time.

1. The Solar Panels

This is the part of the system that actually captures solar energy. The flat, characteristically black panels collect photons of light energy from the sun and turn them into direct current or DC energy. Quality panels are necessary for your system to function, and should be purchased from a reliable company.

A good way to determine if a company is reliable is simply to get on the internet and look it up. Many solar panels are manufactured in China and other international locations, but the parent company should at least have an office in your country. Otherwise, they may not really be interested in your market, could be supplying inferior parts and imagine the headaches associated with posting solar panels back overseas for a warranty claim – who knows when you’ll hear back.... read more

Solar Energy for Your Home: 5 Facts about Home Solar Power

Solar Panel FactsThese days, with the seemingly endless rise in energy costs, many home owners have been considering alternative options when it comes to heating, cooling, and powering their home. One of the most popular options in recent years has been making the switch to using solar power, whether it is partially or for the home as a whole. So for those home owners who have been considering this as an option for their home in order to save money and live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle, they may be looking to get as much information on solar energy as possible before proceeding. Luckily, there is a lot of helpful information out there about solar panels in the home.... read more

What Is Going To Happen To The UK's Feed-In Tariff Scheme?

The British government's reward scheme for renewable energy systems was launched amid much publicity on 1st April 2010. Owners of renewable energy systems such as solar panels and air source pumps would receive payment for the electricity their systems produced. Excess electricity that would be returned to the national grid would receive a bonus payment. Upon its launch, the Feed-In Tariff paid 43.3 pence per kilowatt (unit of electricity) created by a qualifying system. An additional 3.1 pence was paid per kilowatt for any unused power that was returned to the national grid. Owners stood to make a substantial profit in the 25 years that the tariff was guaranteed to run for. Indeed, owners of an average domestic solar panel system would likely make over £1,000 a year. An additional bonus was the fact that all the tariff payments were tax free.

 

 ... read more

10 Tips for Summer Energy Conservation (without spending a dime)

Energy savings

Here are some tips for staying cool this summer while decreasing your energy consumption.  If you're not ready to go solar, there are still plenty of changes you can make to reduce your carbon footprint.

1. Turn your thermostat to 120 degrees.  Run a meat thermometer under the water 5-6 hours after you lower the temperature and adjust the settings on the thermostat as necessary.

2. Wash your clothes in cold water.

3. Insulate your hot water heater.... read more

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