Monthly Archives: November 2016

The New Normal: Promoting Renewables and Combating Climate Change at a State Level?

MSSI Logo  Climate Change and Renewables        Under a Trump Presidency


2016 is almost out and 2017 is almost here. We’re booked into the New Year and we’re thankful to all our Customers from 2016, but post-election season, we are looking towards the future and we find ourselves wondering about the fate of renewables here in Maryland and the United States as a whole.

 

Climate Change and Renewables Under a Trump Presidency

There is not much faith that a Trump presidency will do much to either combat global warming or promote renewables. Starting with the President elect’s conflicting and muddled statements on global warming; that it’s either a hoax invented by the Chinese or claiming to “have an open mind” with regard to global warming, the message is uncertain and worrisome for renewable energy enthusiasts and environmentalists alike. With the formal announcement of Myron Ebell as President-Elect Trump’s pick to head the EPA under his administration, the future of renewables here in the US feels uncertain indeed. Known as a vocal global-warming skeptic, Ebell eschews Federal legislation that promotes renewables in lieu of coal. Obama’s Clean Power Plan seems to be on the chopping block and no one seems to know whether the US will back out of the UN Climate Change Accords. Needless to say, there is uncertainty as to whether or not the Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit will be able to weather the storm.

 

Climate Change Legislation and Renewables Promotion Moving To States?

The silver lining? There is a trend towards States choosing to pick up the slack. For instance, California’s Senate Leader, Kevin De Leon recently stated, “Let me be clear, California will not retreat. We are more determined than ever before to move forward with like-minded states and other nations [with regard to fighting climate change].” Other blue states are picking up the ball, as are cities across the nation; at a talk in Washington, D.C. this past month Michael R. Bloomberg echoed similar sentiments, “Mayors and local leaders around the country are determined to keep pushing ahead on climate change.” Here in Maryland, Senator Paul Pinsky of Prince George’s County vows to overturn the Governor’s veto of the May 27th Maryland Clean Jobs Act that would have increased the State’s renewable energy goal from 22% to 25% of total electricity generated in the Maryland.

Image result for Maryland Clean Jobs Act

Want to get involved? The Chesapeake Climate Change Network is sponsoring a petition to push our Maryland legislators to overturn the veto when they reconvene in January.

 

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Installation Pictures From The Sky: MSSI Installation in Westminster, Maryland

MSSI Logo  Installation Pictures From The Sky: MSSI Installation in Westminster, Maryland

This lovely 15.66 kW system was installed in July 2015 in Westminster, MD. Having been on-line for just over a year, this system has already produced 27.81 MWh! 

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Initially looking to lease, this customer decided to install this gorgeous array instead! 

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Installation Pictures From The Sky: MSSI Installation in Timonium, Maryland

MSSI Logo Installation Pictures From The Sky: MSSI Installation in Timonium, Maryland

Online since October 2013, this 6.21 kW system has churned out a whopping 22.3 MWh, giving this homeowner of the satisfaction of saving 34,529 lbs of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere; equivalent to having planted 869 trees!

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Installation Pictures From The Sky: MSSI Installation in Annapolis, Maryland

MSSI Logo Installation Pictures From The Sky: MSSI Installation in Annapolis, Maryland

After reading an article about PV solar power in the magazine Fine Homebuilding, this homeowner was inspired to look at what solar could do for him. 

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With a projected 45% coverage of his electrical usage, this 5.4 array has produced 4.4 MWh of electricity since going on-line in April 2016. Since spring this year, this array has already saved 6,921 lbs of carbon dioxide from entering our atmosphere, an equivalent to 174 trees!

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Don’t Let Phantom Energy Haunt Your Solar Investment!

MSSI Logo Killing Your Solar Investment with Vampire Energy!

phantom-energy

Standby. Vampire. Phantom energy. The same phenomena, different names, but no matter what you call it, it adds up to the same thing: energy being used to power items that you are not actively using. Needless to say, this puts an unnecessary drain on your wallet and/or PV solar array. Well, we’re here to tell you how to kill off that vampire once and for all and to further maximize your investment in solar.

What Exactly Is Phantom Energy?

There are a whole host of appliances and electronics around the house that technically remain on, even when not “on” or in use. Either they remain is standby mode, such as TV’s so that when you turn them “on” they light up and start displaying immediately; or they draw energy to power ancillary elements within the components themselves such as clocks. The EPA estimates that idle electronic devices use up to $10 billion in energy annually.

What does that look like in the home? We looked at four people in our office as examples of how vampire energy impacts our everyday lives. We based our calculations upon this handy chart that enumerates the average amount of energy needed to power electronics that are not being actively used.

Our four participants used very different kWh totals due to the different types and quantities of items used in their homes. For the sake of this example, we only counted the standby or “off” usage of electronic gadgets. The items used? Everything from cell phone chargers to laptops, coffee makers and microwaves, to TVs and cable boxes.

Here is an illustration of how much energy each person used to power unused items per year:

kwh-wasted

As you can see the highest phantom energy user stands to save about 4,604 kWh a year! How much are you inadvertently using? How much of your solar array is powering items you don’t need to have on? What does this look like in a dollar amount?

money-wasted

As you can see, failing to address phantom energy has the potential to sap your solar investment of life! 

The Silver Bullet?

power-strip

It would be a total drag to go around unplugging our gadgets individually, so instead use power strips. These are easier to place within reach and affectively ensure that all items drawing electricity are fully and effectively turned off. What’s the payoff? Faster payback and bigger bang for your buck!

We encourage you to look around your house and kill those vampires!

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