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Is the 60W lightbulb illegal?
Jan03

Is the 60W lightbulb illegal?

Beginning 2014, Federal Efficiency Standards Outlaw the Production of “old-school” 40 and 60 Watt Incandescent Lamps About 6 out of 10 Americans don’t know that traditional incandescent lamps are being phased out. [1] As of January 1st, 2014, it goes against Federal law to manufacture one of these old things… This federal regulation was signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2007, banning the production and importation of 40 and 60 Watt incandescent lamps.  Over the last several years, 100W and 75W incandescent were also phased out. About a third of consumers plan to stock up on these 60W incandescent lamps while they’re available in stores. Others will reach for halogen or compact fluorescent lamps (CFL). What about LEDs? More frequently referred to as LEDs, Light Emitting Diodes are small digital light bulbs that fit into an electrical circuit board and produce light when the correct voltage is applied to them. An LED light source comparable to a 60W incandescent lamp might be around 12.5 Watts. LEDs generally have a higher price tag, but they can actually save you money over time. Not only does an LED light source consume far less energy than a 60W lightbulb, the lifespan of this solid-state technology goes far beyond that of traditional incandescent lamps.  Most LEDs will last at least 10 years and some will last a couple decades. LED lighting is available in different wavelengths, meaning that they’re now offered in a wide range color temperatures like cool “daylight” colors and cozy orange colors you’d expect to come from an incandescent bulb. The infographic below compares Incandescent Lamps with CFL and LED lighting. [1]...

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5 Green New Year’s Resolutions
Dec24

5 Green New Year’s Resolutions

What New Year’s resolutions did you keep from last year?  Do you remember what they were? I’ll be the first to admit that I’m now resolving to keep my resolutions. With a population exceeding 7 billion, we understand the importance of making a positive impact on our environment. What can you actually do to go green in 2014? Below are 5 easy things you can do to live more sustainably this year. 1.  Make your home energy efficient Resolutions are often difficult to track because they’re based on intangible adjectives like green, sustainable, or eco-friendly. Thankfully, your electric bill provides a quantitative report on your energy consumption (kWh), allowing you to track your progress every month. Want to shave off 20% by the time 2015 rolls around?  … 30%? Set numeric energy goals monthly (or annually) and stick to your resolution.  You’ll save money in the process. How to make your goal long-term and sustainable: Change your incandescent lighting to LED Lighting Use a programmable thermostat Figure out which products are costing you the most on your bill with a Kill A Watt energy meter Request a free quote for a solar system 2.  Reduce Waste:  PREcycling  >  recycling Don’t get me wrong- recycling is important, but it’s often a reaction to the problem. For example, there would be no need to recycle those plastic water bottles if you didn’t use purchase them in the first place. Reduce, reuse, recycle is the new motto to live by.  Precycling is a proactive solution that reduces or prevents recycling. This rule extends pretty far- avoid consuming products that you don’t need.  Of course, this is easier said than done.  Keep in mind that most of your carbon footprint is produced indirectly, meaning it’s embedded in the products you use daily. Some easy ways to start precycling: Use refillable water containers & a tap water filtering solution Buy in bulk & avoid single-serving packaging whenever possible Bring your reusable shopping bags to the store Use electronics for reading & opt for online billing Email > SnailMail Clean with cotton cloths instead of paper towels 3. Reuse & Repurpose You know that feeling when find a good deal on something?   It’s like that, but better.  Particularly if it’s free. Reusing or repurposing old items can be exciting, especially if you transform an everyday item into something it wasn’t originally intended for.   Coffee mugs become flower pots, ash-trays hold your guitar picks, toilet paper rolls turn into wire storage devices, and cigar boxes become jewelry boxes. Make use of Craigslist (particularly the free section), garage sales, and thrift stores. How to start repurposing and...

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Cook local food this Thanksgiving! Infographic
Nov27

Cook local food this Thanksgiving! Infographic

Please go green this Thanksgiving by  purchasing food that’s grown locally. Not only will you be supporting local farmers and businesses, but it’s better for the environment because it uses less energy to transport the food to your Thanksgiving table. Get exclusive Black Friday offers when you sign up for our newsletter.   Just enter your email address to the right where it says “Receive solar news, expert tips, and special discounts!”    ...

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Top Tips to Save Energy Around the House
Sep16

Top Tips to Save Energy Around the House

Likely it’s not a stretch to say you would appreciate a lower energy bill every month. You probably already engage in a variety of energy-saving practices, such as turning off the lights when not in use and hollering at your kids to stop staring blank-faced into an open refrigerator, waiting for some new options to magically appear. But, as conscious as you are, you may not know what appliances and electronics are costing you the most. The appliances that use the most energy on a ratio scale may surprise you. According to Energy.gov, your laptop only uses about 50 kilowatts per hour, while your 61-inch flat screen uses around 170, and your washer uses about 500. Meanwhile, a furnace fan, whether it is blowing heated air through your ducts or conditioned air, accounts for 12 percent of the average American’s annual residential energy costs. The biggest hogs of energy consumption are your water heater, clothes dryer and dishwasher, which use 5,500, 5,000 and 2,400 kilowatts per hour, respectively. To put that into perspective, you can wash clothes for 10 hours on the same amount of energy you use when running your dryer for one. Take These Steps While it requires extra work and may feel less luxurious, a few simple adjustments can save you a bundle of cash. Use a clothes line. According to consumerenergycenter.org, the average annual cost of running a clothes dryer is $85. Wash in cold water. The North Shore Gas Company reports that by washing your clothes using the cold-cold wash/rinse cycles, you can save up to $150 per year. Moderate home temperatures. Draw the blinds in your home on hot days, lower your air conditioner’s fan speed and keep all the filters and registers clean. Porky Little Energy Bandits National Geographic Daily News reported in August that there are three energy hogs lurking in your home that leech electricity from the grid even when you aren’t using them. N.G. reports that there are six primary energy bandits that you probably aren’t even aware of: Set-Top Boxes – Not only do they deliver cable or satellite TV into your home and tell you what time it is, set-top boxes function like computers and constantly communicate with remote content sources even when they (and your television) are off. Visit bundle.tv and other satellite providers to see what kind of boxes with energy-saving features are available. Microwaves – These appliances continue to sap energy off the line even when they aren’t in use in order to power the clock and the electronic push button controls. An Appliance Standards Awareness Project study found that the average microwave is...

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Summer vs. Winter: Energy Consumption Infographic
Aug30
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Top 5 Ways to Reduce Your Summer Electric Bill
Aug29

Top 5 Ways to Reduce Your Summer Electric Bill

1.  Invest in a programmable thermostat. Don’t blast the AC when you don’t really need it. A programmable thermostat can save you hundreds during the hot summer months. Adjust your AC for the time you spend sleeping or away from home. When you are home, set your AC a couple degrees higher than you normally might.  Try 78° F. Call us today! 1 (866) 798-4435 2.  Plant Trees & Shade Windows On the south and west sides of your home, plant fast-growing trees and close the blinds to shade windows that are exposed to the hot summer sun. Open the windows at night to cool down the house instead of using the air conditioner. 3. Find your vampire loads! Vampire loads are typical household appliances that silently suck up energy 24 hours a day. Little phantom loads like this can add up, stealing money out of your pocket. For example, your coffee maker might be using small amounts of energy to run a digital clock.   How would you know? Learn to use a Kill-A-Watt energy meter to hunt down the energy-suckers in your house. 4.  Make the switch to LED technology! About 10% of the energy you use goes towards lighting your home. One of the easiest ways to cut back your electric bill is to switch to LED Lighting. LED lights are initially more expensive, but they will pay for themselves and save you money over their long lifespan. 5.  Go Solar. Request a free solar quote today.  Going solar is a more long-term investment on future energy savings. Many utility companies have a tiered rate structure, so installing enough solar to get you out of the higher tiers will save you money for decades. Predict your savings with our solar energy savings calculator  Got Questions? Call Today! Request a Free Quote 8kW Solar System 8085 Watt Complete Solar Panel Kit, SMA Grid-Tie Inverter If you use a little more than 1000 kWh per month, an 8kW solar system will bring your net consumption to about zero. Click here to learn the pros and cons of central inverters compared with microinverters. 1 (866) 798-4435 4kW Solar System 4165 Watt Complete Solar Panel Kit, Enphase M215 Microinverters In the same scenario, using about 1000 kWh per month, a 4kW solar system will cut your electric bill in half. This system is complete with Enphase M215 microinverters to maximize...

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