Category Archives: Solar Electric/Photovoltaic

The People’s House Goes Solar

This was fun:

 The White House is on the solar grid, President Barack Obama will announce today — nearly four years after then-Energy Secretary Steven Chu pledged that solar panels and a solar water heater would be installed on the White House roof.

The American-made panels are on the First Family’s residence as part of Obama’s “commitment to lead by example to increase the use of clean energy in the U.S.,” said Matt Lehrich, a spokesman at the White House.

The announcement comes as Obama appears later today at a Wal Mart near San Francisco where he’ll tout a raft of administration initiatives aimed at boosting the use of alternative energy.

The push comes as Obama sounds the alerton climate change — a message that resounds with his liberal base, but faces opposition from congressional Republicans and is unnerving Senate Democrats facing reelection in conservative-leaning states.

The panels on the residence are a part of an energy retrofit that will improve the overall energy efficiency of the building — and “demonstrate that historic buildings can incorporate solar energy and energy efficiency upgrades,” Lehrich said.

The upgrades are estimated to pay for themselves in energy savings over the next eight years (as long as the next president doesn’t remove them. President Jimmy Carter installed 32 panels in 1979 when an Arab oil embargo spiked fuel prices, but President Ronald Reagan removed the panels in 1986 when the roof was resurfaced. George W. Bush had some installed on a maintenance building and on the president’s cabana to heat water for the outdoor White House pool.)

The retrofit includes the installation of energy-saving equipment such as updated building controls and variable speed fans, as well as 6.3 kilowatts of solar generation, Lehrich said.

As any homeowner knows, renovations can take time: Chu — who is no longer energy secretary – in October 2010 promised that panels would be going up on the White House.

“As we move toward a clean energy economy, the White House will lead by example,” Chu said at the time. “It’s been a long time since we’ve had them up there.”

But by the next year, the Energy Department said the project was mired in the “competitive procurement process.”

Indeed, a White House video promo-ing the panels features Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.

“I am very bullish on the future of solar energy as a key part of our clean energy future,” he says in the video.

The size of the array of panels used on the roof is about the same size as the average American house, White House usher James Doherty says in the video — since there are security concerns, the entire roof could not be covered with panels.

At a Mountain View, Calif. Wal Mart (which has solar panels atop its roof) Obama will announced more than 300 private and public sector solar power and energy efficiency commitments the White House says will create jobs and cut carbon pollution.

And he’ll announce a Department of Energy program to increase the use of high efficiency outdoor lighting, replacing more than 500,000 outdoor lighting poles in towns and cities, starting with Detroit, the Kansas City metro area, West Palm Beach, Little Rock and Huntington Beach.

He will also announce that the Department of Energy’s Solar Instructor training program will support training programs at community colleges to 50,000 students enter the solar industry by 2020.

Obama also will announce an additional $2 billion goal in federal energy efficiency upgrades to federal buildings over the next 3 years.

 

 

 

 

Boulder Businesses and Residents: Solar Grants and Rebates Available

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Just announced, Boulder city business and residents can access grants and rebates from the City of Boulder. For more information, click here.

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Solar Rebate

Boulder residents and businesses that have installed solar electric or solar thermal (hot water) systems on their property may be eligible for a sales and use tax rebate. The city may rebate approximately 15 percent of the city sales and use tax paid on materials and permits for the solar installation. To be eligible, taxpayers must file a rebate application within 12 months of the city’s final inspection.

How do I apply?

To apply for the solar rebate, please complete the following forms:

  • Solar Rebate Form
  • Immigration Affidavit *
    • En Espanol *

Mail the completed forms, receipts from your project and a photocopy of your identification (required by the Immigration Affidavit) to:

City of Boulder
Attn: Juliet Bonnell
Solar Rebate Program
PO Box 791, Boulder, CO 80306

If you have questions or need assistance to complete your application, contact Juliet Bonnel.

* An Immigration Affidavit must be completed and returned with all rebate applications.

Solar rebates are subject to funding availability.

Solar Grant

Funding generated by the solar rebate ordinance is also used to provide grants for the installation of solar electric and solar thermal (hot water) systems on:

  • the facilities of site-based nonprofit organizations;
  • low- or moderate-income housing owned by nonprofit organizations; or
  • individual residences that are part of the city’s affordable housing program.

How do I apply?

  • Before you apply, please select the “Solar Grant Evaluation Criteria” link and read the information about eligibility requirements, terms, and criteria.
  • There are two versions of the Solar Grant application, one for nonprofits and one for homeowners – please make sure you use the appropriate version for your project.
  • Select either the “Homeowner Solar Grant Application” or “Nonprofit Solar Grant Application” links to download the PDF application forms.
  • All applications for the spring 2014 Solar Grant funding cycle are due by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 30.
  • If you have questions, or need assistance to complete your application, contact Juliet Bonnell at bonnellj@bouldercolorado.gov or call 303-441-1931.

Grants are subject to funding availability.

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Call Aqua Care Solar for all your solar needs.

303-589-4428

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Boulder Residents Please Take Note: Your Vote Counts

An important video regarding issues on this November’s ballot:

Today’s Hot Tip:  Now is the time to think about updating your cooling and energy systems. Summer is just around the corner, or invest your tax rebate into energy savings. Call us for an appointment today.

Welcome To The Aqua Care Solar Information Center

Aqua Care Solar is your complete Solar Heat and Hot Water provider. We cover the installation from start to finish including permitting, plumbing, solar heating system installation, and maintenance of installed systems.

We Also install, service and repair high-efficiency boilers,  water heaters, furnaces and evaporative coolers.  Our expertise includes pool and spa service.  We do both commercial and residential service in all areas.

Call us at 303-589-4428  to schedule your site visit today.

Aqua care Solar is a member of NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners), CoSeia (Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association), Center for Resource Conservation,  BGBG (Colorado Green Building Guild) and the BBB.

Aqua Care Solar is also a qualified Energy Smart contractor.

Ask us about Energy Smart Rebates!

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Solar Gardens

Here’s a great idea that’s catching on.   Check out what’s going on in Colorado and in other states around the country.

Solar Gardens

Solar panels are appearing on more and more roofs. But what about people who rent, live in a condominium, have shaded roofs, who might move or live in a historic district or home owners association? This is the majority of Americans! In several states, people can own solar panels in a common array called a solar garden, supplying their homes through the existing power grid.

Link: Colorado Community Solar Gardens Final Rules – September 12, 2011

Link: California SB843 – text of proposed solar gardens law

Legislation at the federal level and in several states is making this possible, with tax rebates and electric company incentives available to solar gardens subscribers.

Says SolarGardens.org founder Joy Hughes “For the first time, low income homeowners and renters will be able to go solar. We’ll put the first facilities on libraries, schools, and hospitals so these institutions can benefit. Solar gardens are sprouting up everywhere!”

By pooling resources and buying panels as a group, a community can save money and give subscribers a lower cost than going it alone.

In Colorado, the Community Solar Gardens bill will allow individuals to subscribe to solar energy within their county. The Solar Panel Hosting company has initiated the 70-acre Founders Garden in Jefferson County. This will be an Open Garden, allowing each solar company to have its own “patch” for their subscribers.

In Massachusetts, the Green Communities Act has made solar possible. My Generation Energyhas developed two subscriber based facilities, and applied for a trademark on the term “Solar Garden”. My Generation founder Luke Hinkle says he intends to use the trademark to help certify the quality and best practices of community solar gardens everywhere, and has given his support to this effort.

Visit the About page and FAQ to learn more about organizing your community to go solar!

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