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Product Deep Dive: Owens Corning Roofing

We’ve discussed roofing in prior blogs so you know what to look for, how to look for it, and why when it comes to roofing – but there are a couple of key facts that bear repeating: 1) According to https://roofingcalculator.com a typical roof lasts about 30 years, while https://www.consumerreports.org states it’s anywhere from 10-90 years depending on the quality. That’s the difference between replacing a roof in your lifetime or not – so quality is a pretty big deal. 2) Roofing improvements are essential for home value, and can have long-lasting impacts to everything inside your home as well as heating/cooling, so it’s important to consider whether your roof needs replacing at least once in your lifetime, per home – if you move, you’ll definitely want to check out the roof before you make a purchase!

Here are a couple of quick reference points on what to look for if you need to replace your roof – especially if you’ll need a new roof prior to making a solar-panel system investment (otherwise, you’ll just have to remove the solar panels to install the new roof when applicable, and then re-install them later). Check out the following video from Consumer Reports which discusses a few things to look out for, and discusses different asphalt shingle roofing styles and different features of each: https://www.consumerreports.org/asphalt-shingles/best-roofing-shingles-from-consumer-reports-tests/.

If you’re interested in hearing a roofing quote or a roofing + solar quote, please pick out your favorite Owens Corning roofing style here – https://www.owenscorning.com/en-us/roofing/shingles – and let us provide a free quote that you can compare to other contractors in the area.

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SUNTEX Home Improvement Deep-Dive

With years of industry practice in residential construction, we’re poised to help you answer questions you have regarding both small and large-scale projects, and specialize in saving energy. This is a top focus for us because it can truly help, and has helped, our customers save money both short and long-term. Solar energy is an investment, but if you’re able to find a solar payment that’s less than the average monthly cost of your energy bill, and offset your energy usage by 85% or more, it’s likely that you’ll see some real savings by going solar, with or without our company. The reason you choose us is our dedication to you, the consumer, and our superior products and workmanship.

SUNTEX is committed to the quality of their products and services. We utilize industry-standard practices and tools to help our customers analyze their energy consumption and cost reduction goals – from the initial energy audit, to project financing products – to solar panels and full system monitoring. Because of this focus, we seek the best quality products to exceed customer expectations and anticipate their needs.

Innovation, as well as information and technological knowledge, are the core competencies of the company, and are essential for current business progress. This innovation refers to the continuous improvement of all products and processes, not just technological ones. This week we’ll do a product deep-dive so you can check them out for yourself!

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Outside or Inside for Earth Day – what do you say?!

This is the big week! I hope you’re ready to plant a tree, build a raised bed, or go for a hike to celebrate this lovely earth in all her splendor! If you’re looking for more indoor activities this weekend however, be sure to check out this Paper Mache activity for Earth Day and learn how to reuse old materials in your arts and crafts projects:

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Earthly Innovations to Celebrate Around the World

Everyone wants to build their own home, or must, to survive the earthly elements – try being in a hail storm, for example, without even a tarp over your head. When we ask ourselves what our ideal homes would look like, how many of us ask what the ideal energy solution would look like too? For example, you might want vaulted ceilings and marble flooring – and all of the latest Energystar rated appliances, of course – but how many architects are ensuring that these tall-walled rooms are bright and warm in the winter, and lit but cool in the summer? By design, and perhaps a couple of windows/sky lights in the right place, and you’re set! When you apply then the carbon footprint cost, how many of us decided to build our homes with locally-sourced materials?

Some people are clearly making this connection, like the woman in Kenya who created her own recycled bricks using locally sourced materials. Nzambi Matee’s buildings are not only structurally sound, but installations of art as well: “Kenyan woman’s startup recycles plastic into bricks that are stronger than concrete”(https://www.designboom.com/technology/gjenge-makers-recycled-plastic-bricks-kenya-02-08-2021/). According to the article on Designboom.com, “before creating gjenge makers ltd, nzambi matee majored in material science and worked as an engineer in kenya’s oil industry. in 2017 she quit her job to start creating and testing pavers, which are a combination of plastic and sand. she gets the waste material for free from packaging factories and also buys it from other recyclers. through experimentation, she understood which plastics bind better together and then created the machinery that would allow her to mass produce them.”

For another example of a local innovation, check out the young entrepreneurs featured (right) whom created a solar-powered cooking station! According to his account on Twitter, Mr. Usman Dalhatu and partners had this to say of the collaboration, “We met with Dalsman Technologies Limited, creators of the iCart Solution. We explored areas of mutual interest, and avenues to empower petty traders in Kaduna. iCart is a solar powered, compact kiosk targeted at small businesses including Shayi, Suya and Kosai vendors,” and also the following: “The journey from ideation to final development of products is a truly fascinating one. It was delightful to discuss with @KadunaMarkets, our dev’t vision for Kaduna through deployment of the iCart. Looking forward to the exciting implementation journey that lies ahead.” https://twitter.com/UsmanDalhatu5

What’s in your area, or in your home, that could be re-purposed into something sustainable? It could be something as complex as designing a brick for a home using locally sourced materials and keeping natural heating and cooling elements in mind, or a solar-powered food-cart instead of using a gas or electric-powered stove – to something as simple as a dish-rack, for example – which is a much more sustainable way to dry your plates and dishes, and costs little to nothing to purchase and use. What else will make a difference in energy consumption in your home, your schools, in your business?

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Reminder! Earth Day Events Kicking off Today

Let’s take a deep dive into today’s calendar events and the week ahead:

Keep an eye out for more events to come this week and next as we ramp up to Earth Day 2021!

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2020 Record Year for Solar

According to BloombergGreen, 2020 was actually a record year for solar! To say the least, 2020 and it’s wicked step-sister, 2021, have been trialing, but despite the many downfalls we’ve collectively indured this year, we’ve made some big strides in the effort to curb our collective CO2 production also, and that’s a big step in the right direction. Globally, solar energy investments continued to increase in the past year, and as Verity Ratcliffe states in the BloombergGreen article, “A record amount of renewable energy capacity built [in 2020], thanks largely to investments in China and the U.S., according to the International Renewable Energy Agency” (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-04-05/china-u-s-made-2020-a-record-year-for-renewable-power-growth?utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=socialflow-organic&utm_medium=social&utm_content=climate&cmpid=socialflow-twitter-climate); the article continues on to read, “China, which is both the largest market for clean power and the world’s biggest polluter, built 72 GW of wind energy and 49 GW of solar in 2020, according to Monday’s report. The U.S. installed 29 GW of renewables, almost 80% more than in 2019” (see report summary, here: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-01-24/renewable-power-beat-fossil-fuels-in-eu-for-first-time-last-year). I’m not sure China will remain the world’s largest polluter if they keep this pace up for renewable installation, but I’m glad to see that the world is finally start to collectively solve this problem.

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Early Earthly Events

Early Earthly Events

As promised, this month we’ll be exploring more celebrations of Earth Day around the world. For just a few additional ideas on what you can do to get involved this year leading up to the big day, check out the following list of virtual Earth Day activities from eventbrite.com: https://www.eventbrite.com/c/virtual-earth-day-activities-ccbfwgyd/ – many of these events are free, though some are not – so check out your favorites and be sure to add reminders to your calendar because there are several starting this week! I’ll continue to post reminders for this link throughout the month so you don’t forget. Happy Early Earth Day!

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Texas Legislative Session

I was really hoping to not have to go here, but it seems our fair state is dead set on halting progress when it comes to energy security. Before we dive into the bills at hand, let’s explore quickly how bills become laws in Texas.

First, while many of the forty-nine other United States have legislative sessions year-round, the Texas legislative session only lasts roughly six months every other year (See ‘How often does the legislature meet?’ here: https://house.texas.gov/resources/frequently-asked-questions/#:~:text=The%20Legislature%20of%20the%20State,regular%20session%20is%20140%20days.). So, if you have the desire to research suggested bills and make public comments, the good news is you only really have to pay attention for a short period of time, the downside of course is that you will have a lot of work to do and little time to do it in if you want to prepare your statements and submit them in time to be considered by your representatives and the legislative body.

Now, as for how a bill becomes law in Texas, see here: https://house.texas.gov/about-us/bill/. Basically, bills are put forth by either the Texas Senate and will be preceded with an ‘SB’ for Senate Bill XX, or a member of the Texas House of Representatives and will be preceded with an ‘HB’ for House Bill XX (XX correlates to the numbers designated to the bill). Once a bill is introduced, it is put before the respective chamber during the “first 60 calendar days of a regular session” (https://house.texas.gov/about-us/bill/), where it is then assigned to a committee. During the committee process, bills may be either formally or informally heard, and may allow for public testimony, or may not – thus it’s important to keep track of when they will be added to the committee calendars for discussion, and be sure to contact your representative prior to that discussion if you wish to provide an opinion, outside of providing public testimony of course which must be done on the exact day the bill is presented in the chamber and public comments are admissible. If passed in either chamber, the bill goes to the subsequent chamber to be read and amended (if applicable), and finally passes to the Governor’s desk. This part is crucial since it’s the last step our local government takes before a bill becomes law, so please check out the following paragraph from the same link:

“Upon receiving a bill, the governor has 10 days in which to sign the bill, veto it, or allow it to become law without a signature. If the governor vetoes the bill and the legislature is still in session, the bill is returned to the house in which it originated with an explanation of the governor’s objections. A two-thirds majority in each house is required to override the veto. If the governor neither vetoes nor signs the bill within 10 days, the bill becomes a law. If a bill is sent to the governor within 10 days of final adjournment, the governor has until 20 days after final adjournment to sign the bill, veto it, or allow it to become law without a signature.” (https://house.texas.gov/about-us/bill/).

Awesome! Now that you understand exactly how bills become laws in Texas, it’s time to read up on a few bills that could increase the cost of solar and wind in Texas:

Check them out within the links provided, and add your thoughts within the comment section below; or, call your representatives today to voice your opinion!

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Good Fortune

It’s easy to say you want to do the right thing, harder to follow through. I’ve heard the phrases “love your enemies” and “teach with love” over and over again, but today I was fortunate enough to sit down with two people who truly embody and embrace their meanings: Ally and Jose Mendoza. It’s not often you get to work with someone in life who inspires you to greatness, while walking the walk with humility, but today I was reminded that I had that exact opportunity with my employer, and I couldn’t be more grateful for it. They reminded me how to be an internal and eternal optimist, and showed me that even through hardship, their own grace and ability to move forward will triumph over all. It’s people like this that remind you of your own strength, of your own desire to be a steward of peace and good. I am happy to work for this company because they allow me the space to be creative, to grow as a writer and a person, but I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work with these people, who show me not only in word but also in deed just what it means to lead by example. Should you have the chance to meet with several contractors as you go on to complete projects for your home, do yourself a favor and just sit down and have a conversation with one of them – it won’t take long for you to feel the same hope and love they bestow on their employees, and I can’t say anything that would truly describe the benefits of doing so – but you’ll feel it in their work, because that passion and inspiration reverberates through everything they do. I’m honored to work for SUNTEX, and truly grateful for the opportunity.

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Happy Easter Everyone!

Happy Easter 2021 everyone! I hope you had a fun-filled Sunday and a restful weekend. Whether or not you celebrate the holiday of Easter, I hope you still ate some delicious food, and were the first to the cascarones every time. These days, particularly during COVID, are sacred – time spent with family, celebrating the continuous growth and development of the little ones, celebrating milestones in your lives, and giving thanks to each brand new day. While this time period will certainly be marked with difficulty, I hope you’re able to take stock in all those around you that continue to bring you joy none-the-less. So with that I say, Happy/Hoppy Easter to you all, and see you next week!

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