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Future dim for home solar incentives in Maine
Sep19

Future dim for home solar incentives in Maine

Maine homeowners contemplating converting to solar just got more motivation to make the change sooner rather than later, following a new proposal, which hopes to phase out state funded solar incentives over the next decade.   The good news is that current solar homeowners and those who manage to make the switch and get grandfathered into their rates before the proposal is voted on, will retain their net metering benefits for the next 15 years.       The Main Public Utilities Commission (PUC) proposed the solar incentive change at a state commission hearing on Sept 13, claiming that since solar energy powers about 1 percent of the state’s usage it’s time to reconsider the decades old program   According to the Portland Press Herald the PUC’s plan is to cut compensation for homeowners that aren’t grandfathered into the old rates by 10 percent a year for a decade until homeowners will shoulder the costs of solar themselves, without any net metering or other state benefits.   Compared to an alternative plan sought by Maine’s Republican Governor LePage, the PUC’s timeline is viewed as much more lenient. Earlier this year, LePage’s office filed a recommendation to phase out benefits for solar homeowners over the next three years.   The PUC’s recent proposal comes as a starting point for reopening compensation discussions regarding Maine’s solar market. Later this year, new legislation is scheduled to be discussed regarding how new incentive models might help stimulate solar growth in the state, while also alleviating some the financial burden from its power company.   The recent discussions on solar incentives in Maine is indicative of the trends in the rest of the New England region. According to the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center at North Carolina State University, nearly two thirds of the states with net metering policies are reconsidering them, with seven looking to impose caps on net metering capacity....

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The New ElectroLighter™ Sparks Excitement!
Sep08

The New ElectroLighter™ Sparks Excitement!

The creators of the world’s most powerful portable solar charger, SunJack, just released the ElectroLighter™ – a USB rechargeable flameless fire-starter. Placentia, CA (PRWEB) August 18, 2016   Since Carl Auer Von Welsback first patented ferrocerium in 1903, not much has changed in the way of handheld lighters–until today. SunJack’s latest product release of its ElectroLighter™ is the next evolution of handheld fire starting devices. The ElectroLighter™ is wind resistant, waterproof and, like all of SunJack’s products, can be fueled entirely by the sun. “We decided to add the ElectroLighter™ to our product line because the ability to create fire is essential to human life.” says Harold Tan, CMO. “Our products appeal to campers, disaster preppers, and developing communities, and they can all benefit from an effective, renewable fire-starter in their arsenal.” This lighter is the stuff of sci-fi fantasies–emitting a high-pitched laser hum as an electrical current arcs across a dual cross-heat-X-beam. The ElectroLighter™ is USB charged and can power up in less than an hour directly from any SunJack Panel, PowerBank, or USB power source with an output of 5 Volts-DC and current above 300mAh. A fully charged ElectroLighter™ can last up to 80 presses. When the ElectroLighter™ is fully charged, a built in intelligent circuit indicator lights up and turns off charging to save its battery life. The SunJack solar panel can fully charge the ElectroLighter™ from the sun’s energy–making the ElectroLighter™ and its SunJack accessories ideal for travel, outdoor adventures and emergency usage. The ElectroLighter™ is compact and slim, easily fitting in the palm of your hand or in your pocket measuring in at 4.75″ x 3.75″ x 1.25″ (12cm x 9.5cm x 3.2cm) and, like all of SunJack’s products comes with a no hassle one year warranty. Pursuing its mission to provide renewable energy independence to people around the world, SunJack launched in 2014 after a successful Kickstarter campaign, and donates solar and lighting solutions to people in developing countries in addition to powering first-world luxuries. The ElectroLighter™ retails for $29 from SunJack.com, Amazon.com, and various retailers across the nation. ABOUT SUNJACK GIGAWATT INC. DBA SUNJACK, develops solutions to help people stay powered. Since 2006, GigaWatt Inc has been distributing and installing solar for residential, commercial, and government customers. In 2014 SunJack was launched on Kickstarter to continue spreading the power of solar across the globe. For further information about SUNJACK and its products, please visit http://www.sunjack.com or call us at (888)...

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Nevada legislator pulls plug on solar incentives
Aug18

Nevada legislator pulls plug on solar incentives

  The Nevada Supreme court dealt its state solar industry a blow Aug. 4 after denying a ballot measure to halt recent rate hikes for solar users. Previous to the court’s denial, the chances for the measure to pass had looked promising, with it gathering more than double the number of needed signatures to place a referendum on the November ballot. According to FoxNews, until this year net-metering subsidies for Nevada’s 17,000 homeowners using solar totalled an annual $16 million. A state commission subsequently decided that since the state was a approaching a cap on the number of net metering participants, it would allow the Nevada Power and Utilities Commission to enact new rates for rooftop solar customers. Last spring the state legislature voted accept the PUC rates and end subsidies, nearly tripling fixed monthly fees for solar customers from $12.75 to $38.51. “What started as a legislative policy to kickstart the industry, now 18 years later, it’s time for that industry to stand on its own two feet,” Fox News quoted Paul Thomsen, chairman of Nevada’s Public Utility Commission. If there is a silver lining, however, it’s that Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval has requested that next year’s bill “grandfather” existing customers back to their old rates. NV Energy took similar steps, pursuing an effort to do the same through the PUC. In other words, those Nevada citizens that seized the opportunity to convert their homes to solar before the subsidies were ended, will still get to enjoy the low, fixed energy rates promised to them by the state. As for the fate of the Nevada homeowners that weren’t quick enough to secure the grandfathered rates in time, advocates are looking to take a more long term approach to winning back subsidies by going through the state...

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Utah’s solar boom might be more than its rebate can handle
Aug11

Utah’s solar boom might be more than its rebate can handle

Utah’s lucrative incentives for its residents to go solar has ignited exponential industry growth in 2016, causing its state legislators to worry the rewards might be too good and call a preemptive end to applications for rebates when the clock strikes 2017. According to the Utah Daily Herald, the state, which now boasts approximately one solar panel for every three people, saw its solar capacity grow 14 fold from 2014-15, making it a national leader for renewable energy. “The growth curve is basically vertical right now,” the Governor’s Office of Energy Development Jeffery Barrett told the Tribune. Increasing fossil fuel energy rates in the past 5-10 years, coupled the decreasing cost of solar installation and state and federal rebates, has made it so that the per-kilowatt hour cost of solar is more than half as cheap. For homeowners in Utah, recognizing the financial benefits was a no-brainer. During 2016, approximately 7,700 residents have signed up for the Rocky Mountain Power’s net metering program. The number is more than double that of 2015, and there are still over 12,000 applications pending. The boom was clearly more than state legislators had bargained for, with some of worrying it could cost the government over $42 million. Others however, argue that the shift is a good thing and actually can save money in the long run. Ryan Evans, President of the Utah Solar Energy Association, pointed out that the incentive is more of an investment than a handout, as numbers show the state can quickly recover its $2000 incentive cost within the first year through new jobs, taxes, increased property and equipment sales. While legislators are yet to weigh in on a final decision to end the rebate program, one thing is sure–many Utahns are quick to make power while the sun is...

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SunJack’s newest light: All the colors of rainbow powered by the sun
Jul29

SunJack’s newest light: All the colors of rainbow powered by the sun

  The creators of the world’s most powerful portable solar charger, SunJack, just released the MultiColor CampLight™ – a daisy-chainable USB light bulb that can change colors with the touch of a button.   “We’re excited to bring the power of indoor lighting, outdoors. Now people can enjoy mood lighting and create ambiance in their tent just like they would in a high-end living room!”, says Harold Tan, CMO.   SunJack produces an array of portable solar charging products, including the famous SunJack 20 — a foldable 20 Watt solar panel with battery backup — which has been featured in Outside Magazine and the Survivalist. The unit’s efficient monocrystalline solar cells can simultaneously charge two Qualcomm Quickcharge battery packs, which fills in five hours and powers up to eight smartphones.     SunJack’s newest addition, the Color Camplight™ is the first of its kind for outdoor adventurers. A remote control allows users to switch between 16 colors and five settings (steady, flash, strobe, fade, smooth), while adjusting brightness levels.       The MultiColor CampLight™ also comes with the option to connect additional SunJack lights in a daisy chain, allowing outdoor enthusiasts the option for surround lighting or even a multicolored dance party in nature.   All of SunJack’s USB LED lights are shatter, shock and vibration resistant and shine at 340 lumens or the equivalent of of a 40W incandescent bulb. The lights can be powered by any  standard USB source, be it a wall plug, laptop or powerbank.   Pursuing its mission to provide renewable energy independence to people around the world, SunJack launched in 2014 after a successful Kickstarter campaign, and donates solar and lighting solutions to people in developing countries in addition to powering first-world luxuries. The MultiColor CampLight™ retails for $20 from SunJack.com, Amazon.com, and various retailers across the nation.   ABOUT SUNJACK GIGAWATT INC. DBA SUNJACK, develops solutions to help people stay powered. Since 2006, GigaWatt Inc has been distributing and installing solar for residential, commercial, and government customers. In 2014 SunJack was launched on Kickstarter to continue spreading the power of solar across the globe. For further information about SUNJACK and its products, please visit http://www.sunjack.com or call us at (888)...

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