Utilities Get a Five-Point Roadmap to Prepare for a Home Solar Future

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It’s a race against time, as our distributed energy future catches up with the exponential climate change predicted in the White House’s recently released 2014 National Climate Assessment. But these days, even the bean counters at Big Four accounting firms like Ernst & Young are throwing down the renewables gauntlet. Specifically, to utilities hanging on to last century’s dirty business. “For the electric power sector, the question is not if or even when the change will come, but rather, how fast,” warned Ernst & Young’s competitively named “From Defense to Offense: Distributed Energy and the Challenge of Transformation in ...

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Infographic: The Environmental Costs of Lighting Your Home

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It goes without saying that lighting is essential to our lives — but how often do we think about the costs of that lighting? Sure, we think about it when we have to go replace a burned-out lightbulb (which, when you switch to long-lasting LEDs, you’ll only have to do once a decade or so), but that’s about it. The folks at Daisy Energy, an Ontario-based solar and wind installer, have compiled an infographic that spells out the financial and environmental costs of lighting your home. The infographic is posted below, but in a nutshell, their research shows that ...

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Connected Home Technologies are Ready for Prime-Time, but Need a Boost

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*Last Modified: June 15th, 2014 What’s the state of home energy management? Given the rise of connected home technologies in addition to the growing number of service-providers that are helping bringing those technologies to market, it’s a topic we’ll be exploring more often in the coming months. Navigant Research just hosted a webcast on the topic, looking at the state of the home energy management market, discussing some of the new players in the market, some of the new technologies on offer, and where the market will go from here. Neil Strother, a senior research analyst at Navigant, started ...

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8 Misconceptions that Prevent Homeowners from Going Solar

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*Last Modified: June 16th, 2014 Lack of education and awareness prevent homeowners from going solar. This year for Earth Hour, we teamed up with Mike Holmes to help educate homeowners on the many benefits of adopting solar energy. Mike Holmes created an “I Will if You Will” video, stating that “If 5,000 people sign up to learn more about solar, I will donate $5,000” to an environmental protection fund. The campaign began in early March and continued until April 22nd, Earth Day. We launched this campaign with the hope of educating homeowners on how they can do their part ...

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Top US Solar Cities Made Possible by Policy as Much as by Sunlight

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*Last Modified: June 15th, 2014 Contrary to popular belief, it’s not the amount of sunshine that drives solar energy growth. Instead, smart local and state policies, utility leadership and strong state renewable portfolio standards are key to that growth, according to a recently released report analyzing solar capacity in 57 U.S. cities. The total sum of installed solar capacity for all 57 cities currently exceeds the amount installed across the entire U.S. at the end of 2008. “Solar power is growing much faster than many would have imagined, thanks in great part to local officials who have recognized the ...

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Home Solar Will Have Another Boom Year in 2014, ACORE Predicts

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*Last Modified: June 16th, 2014 Cross-posted from SolarEnergy.net. This year’s outlook for cleaner fuels is bright, according to a recent report from the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE). But it is much brighter for some technologies than others. Solar and wind specifically, which remain the cleanest of the cleantechs in the emerging global renewables market, have a very promising future. The same cannot be said of less-efficient, more-vulnerable alternatives like biofuels, biomass, biodiesel and ethanol, which create cost-prohibitive emissions and demands for land and water on a planet increasingly succumbing to the expensive droughts, floods and storms wrought ...

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Philadelphia Solar Love: City Council Commits to 20K Solar Roofs

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*Last Modified: June 16th, 2014 If Philadelphia has its way, solar energy could be on its way to become as synonymous with the city as Rocky Balboa and the Liberty Bell. Recently, the city council unanimously passed a resolution aiming to install enough solar capacity to power 20,000 homes by the end of 2025 — an amount that will accelerate Mayor Nutter’s commitment to reach 57.8 MW of solar-generated electricity by 2021. “On one hand it sounds rapid and dramatic — and it is, but if we look at the growth of solar around the country, ...

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Honda Launches a Net-Zero Energy Smart Home Project in California

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*Last Modified: June 17th, 2014 “Together, our homes and our cars produce about 44 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions contributing to climate change,” reminds Honda VP of environmental business development Steve Center, in the video overview for its intriguing Smart Home project, which opened this week on the University of California, Davis campus. Honda’s master plan is to slash that pollution by running on sunshine. Whether the plan works depends on the U.C. Davis resident lucky enough to shack up in Honda’s “living laboratory” and put its zero-net goals to the test. Empowered by a 9.5 kw photovoltaic ...

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Infographic: How the World Celebrates Earth Hour

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*Last Modified: June 17th, 2014 Mark your calendars and set your alarms: Saturday, March 29 at 8:30PM local time marks the sixth annual International Earth Hour, a time when individuals, communities, companies and cities demonstrate their concern about the planet by turning off their lights for an hour and coming together for the planet. Since Earth Hour’s launch in 2007 as a local event in Sydney, Australia, Earth Hour has expanded across the globe, with 2014 promising to be the biggest event yet. For 2014, the organizers have launched Earth Hour Blue, a global crowdsourcing and crowdfunding platform to ...

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Infographic: For World Water Day, Go Solar to Save Water

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*Last Modified: June 18th, 2014 When people think about going solar, they’re usually thinking about their pocketbooks, not the planet. That’s reasonable, of course, since homeowners save an average of $84 a month with solar. And when people do think about saving the planet with their solar panels, they’re probably thinking more often about the incredible amounts of carbon pollution they’ll be avoiding by switching to clean energy. But a lesser-known fact about solar is that it also saves lots of water, and on World Water Day — and one that’s happening in the midst of a devastating drought ...

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