Can I make a difference?

Government PolicyFor many years I was told that if I don’t like a bill or policy that is being discussed at the federal level or at the state level, that it is important for me to call or write my representatives to make my voice heard.

For the most part I have shied away this advice because I’m really not interested in politics. I don’t understand how the system works, I don’t like that money seems to be able to buy votes or sway politicians, and I don’t like all the money that goes into lobbyists and Political Action Committees.

Ready for 100% Clean Energy

Ready for 100Can we as individuals completely reduce our fossil fuel consumption to get to 100% clean energy? What would that look like? How about at the city, state or federal level?

I was skeptical but very hopeful when I attended a discussion on Sierra Club’s campaign called “Ready for 100“. The goal is to get to 100% renewable energy for ourselves, our towns and our country by 2050. I’m very hopeful because we have to get there to prevent very serious and irreversible damage to the planet, and I want to believe it can happen. At the same time I was very skeptical because I don’t think we have the political will especially at the local, state, and federal government.

Home Energy Score

 

Energy Star Homes logo

Almost two decades ago the Energy Star rating system was introduced to help consumers understand something about the energy requirements of one product compared to another. The idea is that even a little bit of information posted on an appliance can get people thinking about saving energy and saving money.

Is My Solar System Working?

For a homeowner who recently installed a solar PV (photo-voltaic) system, a critical question they should ask is, “Is it working?”. One way to know that your solar panels are producing electricity is to review your monthly bill and compare it to the same month last year.

Peak Demand Drives the Grid

I participated in a panel discussion on net-metering the other day at Colby Sawyer. The panel consisted of Richard Lebreque from Eversource Utilities, Representative Lee Oxenham from Plainfield, and me (solar installer).

Net-metering is what allows home-owners to “sell” extra solar energy to the grid (usually as credits) and then get it back at night or even through the winter if enough is saved from the summer. (See Net-Metering: Past Present and Future for background)