In 1994, only 10% of Americans had a cell phone. And yet, in 15 short years, more Americans had cell phones than landlines. While the rapid adoption of mobile phones can’t be attributed to a single factor, there is one major parallel between the transition from landlines to smart phones and what’s actively happening today in the electricity industry: the transition from a centralized system to a distributed (or decentralized) network.
Not all appliances are made equal. Although every appliance in your home consumes energy, utilizing each one will have a different impact on your monthly electricity bill. Understanding which of your appliances use the most energy, as well as when they’re pulling power from the grid, can help you save substantially on your monthly utility bills.
If you’re considering installing solar panels, one of your top questions may be how long it will take after signing a contract to finish your solar project. There are a number of factors that determine this timeline – in this article, we’ll discuss those factors, as well as the average estimated timeframes for a solar panel installation from start to finish.
People say all the time that they want to get off the grid. Beyond just meaning getting away from it all for a while, getting off the grid has a specific technical meaning with regards to your relationship to your utility and how you get your power. So, what exactly does it mean to go off the grid? Continue reading
There are a number of financial incentives offered to property owners going solar. From rebates to tax incentives and net metering policies, there are many policies that bring down the cost of installing solar panels on your house. One such policy is the feed-in tariff, which, when designed properly, can provide substantial financial benefits to solar customers.
In the past few years, utilities across the country — from Indiana to Massachusetts to Arizona — proposed mandatory or voluntary demand charges for residential customers. With the right resources and knowledge, it is definitely possible to reduce your monthly bill on a demand charge rate. But in many situations, including often for people with solar on their roof, demand charges can lead to more expensive bills overall.
Renewable sources of energy are not only changing where we get our power from, but also how the fundamental economics of getting power work. This shift is creating challenges for utilities across the country, but New York is investigating using a system where utilities do a different job and it might be the next step towards making it easier to get solar panels in NY. Continue reading
According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the price consumers in New York are paying for electricity today is 40 percent more than it was a decade ago. At the same time the price of natural gas, the basic fuel that is most often used to produce energy in the state has fallen by 39 percent. So why are New Yorkers paying more for their power? The WSJ postulates that utilities have been spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on updates to the grid in order to raise rates and make more money. Continue reading
Can you draw power from your solar system when the sun isn’t shining? If you have a way of storing the electricity the system has produced you can. Batteries have long been used for solar power storage, but haven’t been popular until recently. With Tesla Motors announcement of a new battery for residential solar storage, it may be within the reach of many solar system users soon. Continue reading