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looking for solar panel rebates?

DSIRE (database of state incentives for renewable energy), a website dedicated to display rebates, incentives and tax credits for consumers who produce energy from renewable resources. Recently DESIRE released a new website dedicated completely to highlight financial incentives for consumers who install solar energy systems. Its simple to search for solar rebates for both photovoltaics (solar electricity) and solar thermal (solar hot water and space heating) by using the state-by-state map. The website is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Technology Program, to help consumers find the information they need to make effiective invesment decisions into solar energy systems. If your’re wondering how much the governement will pay you to install solar panels, you got to start your research on DSIRE Solar. check it out:...

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green mountain energy paying retail rates

Net Metering is the term which describes your utility giving you a credit when you send extra electricity generated back into the grid. Green Mountain Energy based out of Austin, Texas is an environmentally friendly electric utility that focuses on generating electricity through renewable energy such as solar and wind power. Today the company announced they will be buying electricity generated from a customer’s solar panel rooftop at retail rates. This means customers receive a credit equal to the amount they buy electricity for per kWh (kilowatt-hour) up to 500 kWh. A customer will receive half the retail rate on any electricity contributed into the grid over 500 kWh. New electric meters that have increased functionality can measure both inflow and outflow at any give time of a building which allows electric utilities to pay solar customers a rate closer to the wholesale price of electricity. A couple customers have already signed up for the pilot program, do you think programs like this will encourage more people to install solar...

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demand charges explained

Demand charges are a significant cost on your overall electric bill but very few people understand what a demand charge really is. I recommend everyone who is considering to do energy efficiency upgrades or install solar panels and wind turbines start with analyzing a 12 month history their electric bill first. Understanding the rate you are being charged per kWh and other elements of your billing is important for you to make effective energy reduction decisions. Demand charges are a cost on your electric bill which are based on the greatest amount of electricity used in any half hour period during the billing period. The charges are represented as a dollar per kilowatt (kW) and is applied to your maximum kW demand also know as the highest rate at which you required energy. Demand is the rate of how fast electricity is delivered to you over a half hour period of time. For example, if you have all your appliances running at your house at the same time your electric meter would spin forward really fast therefore your demand charges would skyrocket. Demand charges represent the rate of how fast you are consuming...

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cities overcharging for solar power permits

The Sierra Club, an environmental protection advocacy group did a study of solar panel permitting fees in the Bay Area (Northern California) and the results are shocking. Solar power is associated with a high upfront investment to get started and cities that charge extravagant fees for people to install solar panels are not helping push the green energy revolution forward. They’re a hindrance to the process of helping our environment and economy get back on track by making solar power more accessible to it’s citizens. Many cities across the USA have made acquiring a building permit for solar panels completely free but on the other hand cities like Cupertino, CA charge $11,737 dollars for a building permit for a 49kW (kilowatt) commercial solar electric system, a system valued at $475,000. A year ago Bethel Lutheran Church in Cupertino installed 150 solar panels reducing the church’s electric bill by 40% and the environmental benefits the system contributed. The church was shocked when they received a bill for $5,700 from the city for the permitting fees! After three meetings with the city council Pastor Randy Pabst was able to bring down the fees to $1,o00. What do you think about solar panel permitting fees? are they excessive in your city or are you lucky to live in a progressive city that does not charge for solar panel...

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plastic solar cells = lower cost per watt

Organic solar cells are translucent, flexible, lightweight and cost less to manufacturer compared to silicon based solar cells because they are composed of a plastic material. Solar panels have not reached grid parity (a cost competitive to fossil fuel based energy) and that’s the primary reason people are excited about organic solar cells. According to Solarmer Energy, the leading developer of organic solar cells, they have independently verified their plastic solar cell was able to reach an efficiency of 6.31% and will be presenting their technology at organic photovoltaics 2009 a conference which focuses on plastic based solar cells. Plastic based solar cells can also improve building integrated photovoltaics a term that describes embedding solar cells into existing building materials. The picture above highlights how plastic based solar cells can be infused into an awning that has a dual purpose of providing shade yet collecting electricity simultaneously. Do you think organic solar cells expand the solar power horizon? Will the technology be able to reach efficiencies and cost reduction in which the cost per watt will be competitive to subsidized fossil fuel based...

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