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.

Wood, Electric, and Propane! Oh My!!

I live in a 1000 square foot house which has three different means of heating: wood, propane, and electric. I currently heat the house primarily with the wood stove and use the electric as backup source. I think the advantage of using the electric as back up is that I can set it to a much lower temperature than my propane wall heater and I can keep it on only in locations where I am concerned about pipes freezing. I’m not 100% it wouldn’t be better to use the propane as back up but that’s a topic for another post.

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)

Net Metering; Past, Present, and Future

Up until about 2 weeks ago customers of Liberty Utilities, who wished to install a solar PV system, were allowed to “net-meter” their production.  Net metering is a policy that allows homeowners to receive credits for excess power generation that can be used to offset electric energy provided by the utility during a billing period, typically one month.