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USA Today Features GoGreenSolar Customer’s Dream Home!

GoGreenSolar.com customers Philippe and Thao Jeanty have received national attention after purchasing a 9.4 kW solar system with GoGreenSolar.com.  The couple from Tennessee was recently featured on USAToday.com. and mentioned in the New York Times.  Here’s their story. Philippe Jeanty is a radiologist in Nashville, Tenneessee, though he was actually born in Congo and lived in Belgium for some time.  Philippe lives with his wife Thao, who grew up in Vietnam. Philippe made a trip to the United States in the late seventies, where became interested in energy efficiency.   This curiosity eventually became the driving force behind the development of the couple’s sustainable dream home that most clean energy enthusiasts will only passively dream of.   Their home now has geothermal heating and cooling, it’s own drip irrigation system to water their garden, solar hot water heating, and a photovolatic (PV) system. Philippe he received help from a local solar guru with the photovoltaic (PV) installation, but he designed the plans for his home with an application called Google SketchUp.  Philippe bypassed the typical method of hiring an architect, allowing him to channel his DIY work ethic.  The SkechUp plans were converted to blueprints by Scott Jenkins, and the house was built by Green Homes (Johnny and Travis Johnson). Local springs supply the couple with usable water for their quaint farm. Their home is even set up with a drip-irrigation system to water their orchard and garden!  To heat their water, they make use of an evacuated tube solar heating system by Apricus.  According to Philippe, the water heater produces an excess of hot water in the summer.  “We have to flush out some hot water from time to time,” comments Philippe.   The interior of the home is equipped with LED lighting and clerestory windows that provide great light in the summer with no insolation.  They oriented the house on an East-West axis to get the best insolation possible.  South-facing windows are shaded during the summer months by the roof overhang, and are fully insolated during the winter to help passively warm the house.  In addition to designing the home for passive solar, the six and a half inch walls are insultated with a corn-based spray foam. They have also installed a geothermal heating and cooling system under their hickory wood floors, which they haven’t had to use the past three winters, even with outside temperatures of five degrees Fahrenheit! Philippe and Thao held onto wood, windows, bathroom fixtures, and just about anything from their previous home that could be repurposed.  By collecting fallen trees on the property for their wood-burning stove, Philippe and Thao keep their home toasty during the winter months.   Wood that was once part of their old house...

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Volunteer with GRID Alternatives!

Established in 2001, GRID Alternatives is a nonprofit organization that provides low income communities access to solar energy.  GRID Alternatives was founded by two engineers who are driven to make clean energy accessible to the low-income communities that need solar energy the most.  The people at GRID Alternatives are on a mission “to empower communities in need by providing renewable energy and energy efficiency services, equipment and training.” In addition to helping families produce their own solar energy, GRID Alternatives provides a unique educational experience for its volunteers.  Unemployed and underemployed individuals from the community are encouraged to cultivate a valuable skill-set through volunteer and team leader programs. By working on installations for the Solar Affordable Housing Program, volunteers get hands-on experience and networking opportunities that they couldn’t get anywhere else.  Through GRID’s Team Leader program, volunteers have the opportunity to become certified PV installers with the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners.   A GRID volunteer can use this real-world experience to get their foot in the door of businesses in the solar industry. The unique environment created by GRID Alternatives draws in people from all walks of life. Environmental activists, students, engineers, and professionals in the solar industry are just some of the people that volunteer with this nonprofit organization.  Everyone comes together to help the community, learn new skills, reduce CO2 emissions, and sweat bullets in the California sun. I recently had the opportunity to go on a volunteer installation with GRID Alternatives.  The mission was to install a 2.3 kW AC system for a low income home in Long Beach, California. The first day of the installation began at 8:30 am on a overcast Tuesday morning.  Shortly after the last volunteers arrived, we introduced ourselves and the project supervisor went over some basic safety precautions. While the ground team was busy prepping and splicing the ProSolar rails, several of us got up on the roof to determine how the array could be configured in compliance with the regulations in the city of Long Beach.  As the morning clouds burned off, we quickly realized that the sun would not spare us.  After taking measurements and marking the lay-out that was established by GRID team leaders, we drilled into the rafters where the ProSolar FastJack Stand-offs would soon be mounted.  Around each hole that was drilled, we cut a few inches of the surrounding roof to make room for the flashing.  After bolting the base of the standoff with caulking and inserting the flashing under the top layer of the roof, we screwed in the ProSolar FastJack Stand-off.  We then sealed a fitted washer over the flashing...

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Please Vote for GoGreenSolar.com

We’ve applied for a grant with Chase but we need your help!  In order to qualify, we need your vote today.  Every vote counts and we really appreciate your support. Here are some directions on how you can help us out: 1. Go to MissionSmallBusiness.com 2. Click LOG IN & SUPPORT 3.  The next page has a search bar. Type in “Go Green Solar” and press SEARCH. Below you will see “GoGreenSolar.com, Go Green Solar” 4.  Click “VOTE” 5.  Share it with your friends on facebook and twitter! You can also read the application that we submitted to learn more about us and our business: Tell us about your business; how successful is it and why is it unique? At Go Green Solar, who we are as individuals is intimately connected to who we are as a business. Not only do we live with solar energy, but we also live solar energy. Having spent years cultivating a detailed understanding of green technology, we strongly believe that green energy makes economic sense. By implementing green energy into our communities, we will also improve the air we breathe and reduce the negative impact that fossil fuels have on our planet. We are aware that millions of people around the world do not have access to basic electricity. When green energy becomes mainstream, with economies of scale, it is our belief that renewable energy will be accessible to everyone. All people deserve to have access to reliable, efficient energy. This is what we hope to see, and this is why we are steadfast in our pursuit of a sustainable future for our planet. At Go Green Solar, we understand that a need for change that has been thrust upon our world. We have the foresight to visualize the changes that will occur in the years to come and plan to play an integral role in creating a sustainable world for future generations. What makes Go Green Solar successful is that we are different. Our passion, technical expertise, and commitment to exceptional customer service sets us apart from our competition. Our staff is composed of enthusiastic individuals who understand green energy inside and out. Every team member is dedicated to providing precise information about the products we offer, whether a customer is inquiring about LED lighting, wind turbines, or looking to build their own solar system from scratch. We frequently attend seminars and courses on emerging technologies to expand upon our existing knowledge. Our constant vigilance of the rapid evolution of green energy keeps our competitive edge sharp, allowing us to better serve our clientele. Our customers know that they can trust us...

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Does Mitt Romney Really Understand Energy?

It’s time to set the record straight.  When it comes to Mitt Romney’s energy policy, all you’ll need to remember is “oil and gas.”  It is clear that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is dedicated to the big oil interests that are helping his campaign. Let’s get some background on Mitt Romney before we delve into this.  Romney’s views on global climate change have been shifty over the years, but he has shown the world that his loyalties are to big oil and other fossil fuel-based energy.   Though Romney used to acknowledge humankind’s role in creating global climate change, his “view” has changed over the last several years. Romney recently said “My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet,” while claiming that reducing fossil fuel emissions “is not the right course for us.”  Furthermore, Romney is actually against the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by the EPA and even opposes fuel efficiency standards for vehicles. Despite the increase in domestic drilling during Obama’s presidency, Romney has criticized Obama for not moving forward with projects like the Keystone XL oil pipeline.  Whether or not you agree with President Obama’s energy policies, it is clear that Mitt Romney heavily favors fossil fuels over clean alternatives such as solar energy. Not only is Romney’s stance on global climate change scientifically ludicrous, he claims that clean energy is not a practical solution to America’s energy predicament: “To begin with, wind and solar power, two of the most ballyhooed forms of alternative fuel, remain sharply uncompetitive on their own with conventional resources such as oil and natural gas in most applications” – Mitt Romney, 2011. Romney’s previous outlook on this matter seems to be in polar opposition with his current stance.  It’s almost amusing that back in 2003, Romney believed that green jobs were a viable investment for our nation’s future: “Now is the time to refocus its assets in such a manner that it can become a major economic springboard for the commonwealth by focusing on job creation in the renewable energy sector.” – Mitt Romney, 2003.   Romney has since done an about face, calling Obama’s “obsession” with green jobs “unhealthy” and his policies “old and outdated.”  Put simply, Romney no longer believes that green energy can produce a significant amount of jobs in the United States.  Yet, clean energy continues to show promise.  The Huffington Post reports that 3.1 million Americans are working green jobs.  Let’s review this a minute.  According to Romney, we don’t know what’s causing climate change, so we should continue to exploit fossil fuel-based resources.  Moreover, reducing fossil fuel emissions is...

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UPDATE: Chinese Evading Solar Tariffs!

A recent decision to impose substantial anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese solar cell manufacturers shook the solar world.  The intention of these duties is to prevent unfair “dumping” of Chinese solar products in the US market, which hurts American manufacturers.  Those in opposition to these tariffs feel that they have created anxiety within trade relations and threaten to stifle the growth of this global industry. So what have these tariffs actually done thus far?  In the aftermath of a preliminary decision by the Department of Commerce to tax Chinese-made solar cells, many are wondering what exactly has changed. As anticipated, Chinese companies found a loophole, allowing them to keep solar panels at low prices in the US market. The tariffs are surely an inconvenience to many Chinese manufacturers, who must now produce solar panels with cells that were manufactured outside of China. If you recall, these tariffs were only placed on solar cells that are manufactured in China.  Because these tariffs to not include the completed panels, it has left an opportunity open for Chinese companies to work around the anti-dumping duties. Many Chinese firms have been leveraging relationships with manufacturers of solar cells in Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea, and other countries. For this reason, some American manufacturers are pushing to extend these duties to Chinese-made solar modules.  Accordingly, critics speculate that if this were to happen, Chinese companies would work through Taiwan-based firms to produce the actual solar modules.   It seems that no matter how the US tries to maintain control, Chinese companies discover new means of evading tariffs.  By branching out into nearby counties, Chinese solar manufacturers are able to circumvent the law. Shen Danyang, of China’s Ministry of Commerce, described the US Department of Commerce’s new tariffs as “trade protectionism.” Tensions remain high around this issue.  Retaliatory measures could be taken against the US, bringing about a trade-war.  This could include the Chinese government placing duties on US silicon imports to China, further exacerbating trade relations and making matters worse for the global solar market.  European companies may be pushing for similar actions against Chinese-based solar firms.  There is still much to unfold in this trade saga. Having an vested interest in these issues, we’ll keep an eye on this and let you know about any further developments.  Fortunately, pricing has not been fluctuating much, which means our prices have not increased.  Just as operations in China are relatively normal, it’s business as usual at GoGreenSolar.com. What are your opinions on this matter? Tell us what you think!...

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BREAKING NEWS: US Department of Commerce Imposes Tariffs on Chinese Solar

U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) announced their preliminary decision to impose anti-dumping tariffs of 31 percent and higher on Chinese solar manufacturers.  The final decision will be made later in the year. Back in March, the Department of Commerce had issued  2.9% to 4.7% anti-subsidy tariffs on solar imports from China after the World Trade Organization declared that illegal subsidies had been provided to China’s solar industry by the Chinese government. Following a complaint made by SolarWorld and the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing (CASM) that Chinese companies had “dumped” solar products below fair market value, the DOC began their investigation.  This Thursday, the preliminary ruling was announced, imposing new anti-dumping duties on exported Chinese solar cells, whether or not they are assembled in modules.  These tariffs are added onto the existing anti-subsidy duties Chinese manufacturers have already been paying. Over half of the solar panels in the U.S. market are Chinese.  To remain profitable, the Chinese will have to raise prices to some extent.  Many speculate that the Chinese manufacturers will produce solar cells in Taiwan and Mexico to work around these new tariffs.  Tariffs on non-exporting producers in China are now as high as 250 percent, preventing current Chinese exporters from operating through other companies. Needless to say, this has taken the solar industry by storm. Proponents of these anti-dumping duties argue that they are necessary to ensure that US manufacturers can continue to compete in the global market.  They argue that Chinese pricing was unjust and it was wiping out American manufacturing jobs, citing the highly-publicized bankruptcy of Solyndra. Conversely, the critics of the new anti-dumping tariffs contend that this will impede growth of the solar industry.  They point out that this decision will not only create tension with China, but it will also increase the cost of solar energy, making it less competitive with fossil fuel-based energy sources.  During such a critical point of growth in the solar industry, many are questioning the Department of Commerce’s preliminary decision. What do you think about these new tariffs on Chinese solar panels?...

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