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LED – High efficiency light Bulbs save you money

Many people dream of eliminating their entire electric bill by using solar panels or putting up a wind turbine, although that dream is out of their reach because of the high upfront related with an energy hog’s electric consumption. When you are energy inefficient, eliminating your energy can be associated with a very high upfront cost. Although you have the power to reduce your consumption by looking into energy efficiency there are product out there such as EarthLED high efficiency light bulbs that can reduce your consumption significantly and save you lots of money on electricity costs. LED light bulbs are very reliable, many people don’t know that the average lifetime of a LED bulb is over 10 years! Imagine just the cost savings of not having to replace a bulb for the next 10 years. LED consume only a couple watts of electricity, therefore only cost a couple dollars in electricity costs to run the entire year and their are just as bright at traditional light bulbs. The case study above shows a building that replaced 1100 light bulbs with EarthLEDs, not only did the building actually lower the temperature in the building by a couple degrees, but the amazing aspect is that they are saving 450kWh a day! Based on the cost of electricity of 10 cents per kWh and comparing it to the total cost of 1,100 EarthLEDs the building would break even within 5 years on their investment. The calculation did not include the cost of changing light bulbs or factor in energy inflation and rebates received for high efficiency light bulbs, with those variables factored in we’re looking at a break even point lower than 5 years. Why not CFLs? Well, CFLs have a lower upfront cost, although they also include mercury with is a pollutant that is bad for the environment and CFL light bulbs are not as efficient as LEDs, plus you have to replace CFL light bulbs more often. Taking those points into consideration, the LED light bulb does make more environmental and economic sense. Lighting is typically 10% of the electrical demand of a building, by using LED lights to lower your consumption first in the future you would need to buy less solar panels or wind turbines to eliminate your electricity bill. It’s always more affordable to reduce energy consumption then produce your own. Solar Panels and LED lights make a very cost effective partnership. So what do you think about LED bulbs? looking forward to your...

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Purchase a Skystream 3.7, get up to $4,000 in tax incentives

Southwest Windpower, a leading manufacturer of small scale wind turbines such as the SkyStream 3.7 grid tie wind power system played a huge role in the passage of the new legislation which offers a federal tax credit for qualified small scale wind turbines. The landmark legislation was part of the economic bailout bill passed in early October 2008 and is a major leap for small wind industry because this is the first federal incentive for small wind power systems since 1985. The Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for small scale wind will be available for wind generators installed through 2016 and will give the small scale wind power system owner up to $4,000 federal tax credit. Andy Kruse, founder of Southwest Windpower fought tirelessly in congress to make sure Small Scale Wind Power Systems were included in the extension of the renewable energy ITC. The result of the legislation’s success will provide thousands of new jobs and harbor an environment which would generate a 40% annual growth rate of the small scale wind industry. To you, the person who is considering a small scale wind turbine like the Skystream 3.7 the new tax credit reduces the total upfront cost of installing a small scale wind power system, making the technology more affordable for people in the USA. What do you think about this legislation? Will it entice you to produce your own clean...

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Haunted by high energy costs?

I was on Google this morning and noticed right on their homepage, there was an interesting question asked to the millions of Google’s visitors, Haunted by high energy costs? Here are some easy ways to save. I just had to click through because I was very interested in what Google is doing to help others save energy. Google has created a “Halloween” themed energy savings calculator to help people visualize how much money they are wasting and pounds of CO2 are released being inefficient. I suppose this is a timely and fun way for people to start thinking about energy efficiency. There are many solar power consumers who I speak to that want to go solar but they are energy hogs, waste tremendous amounts of energy and the complain that solar panels are worthless technology because a system to eliminate their usage costs too much. It’s always more cost effective to reduce your bills by becoming more energy efficient then it is to produce energy. The best strategy is to reduce your usage then produce your own clean energy through solar panels or wind turbines. Go ahead, try out the Google Energy Auditor, don’t let high Energy prices spook you! You’ll be amazed to find out how much you can save every year. Let us know how it...

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Basics of Renewable Energy Certificates

The solar or wind power system you install on your home or business generates two things. The obvious is electricity although it also produces something most consumers don’t know of, Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) also know as “green tags.” For example, since the solar panels you install generate electricity that does not hurt the environment or human health, that benefit is an asset which are usually purchased by consumers because they want to be more “green” or by utilities as a result of regulatory requirements. One REC represents one megawatt-hour of renewable electricity. If your state does not offer rebates, you maybe still be able to earn income from your solar power system by selling the RECs your system generates. In 2007, a 2.5 kW solar electric system could earn about $140 per year in REC sales. Currently, REC pricing is unpredictable, although the value for RECs are expected to rise in the future, as legislation is passed to set a national cap on carbon emissions. In 2008, in the utility market RECs sold in a range of $20-$30. Check the map below to see if you live in a state that has a REC trading program in place. Want to learn more about green tags? Click on this...

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Three Flavors of Photovoltaic Solar Panels

As we explained in our previous post titled, Solar Arrays Explained a group of solar cells make up a solar panel. Not all solar cells are created equal, in fact there are three major flavors of solar cells that most solar panels that we see on homes and businesses are made from. Solar cells come in the following three flavors, as you can tell from the pictures each solar panel has a unique look: Single-crystal (Monocrystalline) Monocrystalline solar panels produce the most electric power per square meter and are mounted in a rigid frame. Multicrystalline (Polycrystalline) These solar panels are made up of solar cells that are cut from multiple crystals grown together in an ingot. These solar cells are built very strong structurally although are slightly less efficient then Monocrystalline solar cells. Amorphous Silicon (Thin Film) Thin Film solar panels are made through a deposition process or printing photovoltaic material on glass, metal or plastic substrate. Solar Roofing Shingles are made up of Amorphous silicon because the ability to print solar cells right onto the shingles. They are significantly less efficient than Monocrystalline or Polycrystalline solar cells therefore to generate the same power you would need more than double the surface area. Although they cost much less than traditional solar panels. Depending on the substrate the thin film solar cells are printed on they can be very robust and...

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Renewable Energy Tax Credits Extended!

Woo Hoo! The Solar and Small Scale Wind Power tax credit has been extended for 8 years today! This is a major relief for the renewable energy industry because many people were worried that congress would not pass the tax credit and the industry would go into a downward spiral after December 31st, 2008. The house of representatives extended the renewable energy tax credits packaged together with the highly controversial bailout bill. The renewable energy provisions included: Extends for 8 years the tax credit for both residential and commercial installations. Eliminates the $2,000 cap for residential solar power installations, thus allowing home owners to realize a full 30% tax credit! Allows families who have hit the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) can still claim the renewable energy tax credit. Although a great day for America’s energy independence movement, the extension of the renewable energy tax credit will lead to millions of new “green” jobs over the next 8 years. I’m happy to hear that the tax credit was finally approved, its been kicked around in congress for over a year without any luck, it took this country a financial meltdown for it to pass because the senate on Tuesday stuck the renewable energy tax credit in the economic bailout bill. This is a double edge sword, its great to see green energy industry getting a boost, but at the expense of also bailing out wall street for the mistakes they have made, which is privatizing profits and socializing losses. Please...

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