At the intersection of local and global climate information – from smaller-scale projects to foreign policy decisions – is the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Because they’re in charge of writing the micro and macro energy policies for the entire country – in coordination with the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA (https://www.energystar.gov/ia/partners/downloads/mou/Summary_of_EPA-DOE_Partnership.pdf) – it would stand to reason that their online repository is a vast resource of information, and a great place to conduct your own research on what may be coming down the pipeline in the near future, or down the utility cable in this case (check it out here: https://www.energy.gov/). The most important information this site provides however, is insight into the U.S. energy budget, which more than words demonstrate just where environmental protection falls on the priority list. For example, if you check out the Energy Economy page, and scroll to the Funding & Financing tab, you’ll find a ton of potential resources for small business loans, large-scale utility grants, research grants for scientists and universities, and everything in between. Curious about our current national energy production? Check out the following link, which breaks down the data by energy source and/or global location: https://www.energy.gov/energy-economy/prices-trends. It’s safe to say there is a lot of good information on this site for contractors, scientists, and anyone with a curious eye towards the future. What’s something you’d like to see on this site in the future? Let’s discuss in the comments below!
In all honesty, unless you’re an industry professional, or are currently working on a related project, the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency, or DSIRE as it is also known, might be a little robust for what you need – but that’s exactly the appeal as well. This platform houses the country’s entire online database for renewable incentives in the U.S., broken down by state, and further filtered down to the city/county level. Just take a look at the table at the bottom of this page: https://programs.dsireusa.org/system/program/tx for more information about energy rebates and efficiency incentives in Texas.
If you’re in the Dallas area, you’re probably aware that ONCOR has a solar rebate program, however if you click on the ONCOR rebate link within the DSIRE portal, and read through the page, you’ll see information about program eligibility as well as the key changes to the program year after year. If you’re in Austin, you can learn more about the Value of Solar rate and how it differs from a traditional net metering program. If you’re in San Antonio you can learn more about how CPS is implementing their renewable rebate program – which has helped thousands of home owners in the San Antonio area save money going solar.
No matter where you are in the United States, chances are there is help available for you – check out this link, and the others on this list and you’re sure to find at least one or two options – and feel free to give us a call if you have any questions!
There are a ton of really great resources for you if you’re looking to learn more about renewable energy, that cover a wide array of topics from articles and research papers to virtual events and webinars – you just have to know where to look. It’s easy to say “check out our website or give us a call with any questions” because I know SUNTEX employees are happy to help, but what if you want to do a little research on your own ahead of time? That’s where experts and non-profit organizations can help, and the best place to start is on the American Council on Renwable Energy, or ACORE, website. They have curated information from local and federal governments to help you understand the total cost of renewable, and how they’re being implemented into our nation’s energy grid. Because part of their mission is to make the information more digestible for the every-day American (in other words, people outside of the energy industry not reading articles about it daily), their site includes a ton of great info that is easily digestible and based on the latest intelligence coming directly from the White House, so you don’t have to be an expert to understand it.
According to their website, ACORE was “Founded in 2001, the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is a 501(c)(3) national nonprofit organization that unites finance, policy and technology to accelerate the transition to a renewable energy economy” (https://acore.org/). It was created in effort to connect real-working people with Washington and Capitol Hill policy decision-makers, and has been an enormous asset for our team as we navigate the changes in this industry.
SUNTEX is a proud member of the ACORE community, and we’re happy to share what we learn with communities in Texas that may not have access or resources to tackle these questions themselves. As a member of ACORE, we’re able to leverage their database of information, attend events to learn more about what’s coming down the pipeline in renewables in the U.S., and expand our network to incorporate other ideas and solutions into our market offering. We’re happy to help you go solar, but more importantly we want to make sure we’re helping you make the best energy decisions for you and your family – which is why we believe it’s important to have access to the right information so you’re able to do just that! Please do check out their website to learn more, and feel free to respond in the comments section if you still have questions about ACORE or how they can help you to learn more about the renewable industry and how it impacts you.
If you’re doing your own research on the solar industry, and would like a few resources to point you in the right direction, feel free to check out this week’s blogs! We’ll be analyzing different national and international organizations that specialize in the modernization of the energy industry – with a high emphasis on solar and solar energy storage (batteries). While this is not an extensive list, the groups we’ll review this week include some of the best and brightest in the industry, and each has a ton of resources for you to learn more about each different facet of the green energy market, see the short list along with links to each, below:
- American Council of Renewable Energy (ACORE), https://acore.org/
- Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE), https://www.dsireusa.org/
- Department of Energy (DOE), https://www.energy.gov/
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- International Solar Energy Society (ISES), https://www.ises.org/
- Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), https://www.seia.org/
- Texas Renewable Energy Industries Alliance (TREIA) https://cleantx.org/test-home-page
We’re back, and Wow what an exciting month it’s been! If you’ve been following along with the blog this year, Thank you so much! I sincerely apologize for our delay. We’ve finished making changes to the website and I’m happy to report, we’re back with new and improved content. So feel free to check out the site, or feel free to reach out directly via phone, email, or using our new online chat feature if you’ve got any questions for us regarding solar panels, roofing, insulation, window repair, gutter installation, or if you’ve got questions about our wide range of Smart Home services. We’re happy to help walk you through an energy analysis on your home, and just need your energy bill to get started on a free consultation – so don’t wait any longer, give us a call today!
If you’ve been closely following along with our blog and learning more about energy and efficiency, THANK YOU!!! We’re happy to have you here and appreciate you taking the time out of your day to read each post. Please note that the blogs will be offline for a couple of weeks as we work on a few standard website edits, but we’ll be back soon and ready to discuss the summer heat and how best to mitigate it’s effects on your energy bill right after that. So, as sitcoms said in the 90’s, stay tuned!
When I bought my first home, I remember asking the inspector whether or not there were any energy efficiency requirements for new homes, and whether or not our potential home had any of these upgrades (I know this is still fairly new territory in terms of construction and legislation, however I was mostly curious about two things: kill switches, and window energy efficiency. According to Instructables.com, a kill switch is “is a separate electrical AC switch to be used for cutting off the electrical power that is consumed by a device. This is convenient for reducing stand-by electricity consumption and for manually switching devices. In most cases, a luminous switch is being applied.” (https://www.instructables.com/Hack-a-power-outlet-kill-switch/) – though unlike the steps outlined in this article, I would not recommend modifying the kill switches in your home without an electrician present, this article does outline what they are and how they’re used, as well as how to disable the indicator light on your kill switch to make it even more efficient! My other home energy efficiency concern came from years of living through Texas summers with the AC on high, only to hear my mother shriek when the electric bill came in – so I knew energy efficient windows was something I wanted in my home one way or another. Typical to houses built prior to the 2000’s however, my windows were no where near efficient – and one even had a crack potentially letting the nice cool air from the AC unit escape in the summer time! We knew it was just a matter of time before we needed to replace our windows, and until having heard a few quotes we had no idea of the cost! Thankfully, SUNTEX was able to provide a bid that gave us the high-quality, energy-efficient (and easy to clean) windows at a much lower cost than we’d originally found, so owe decided to move forward with them! Here are some options below that you can consider for your window renovation project.
Because windows come in a variety of shapes and sizes, it’s important to think about your dream home as well as your desired budget when considering a new window design. Typically custom windows are more expensive since they require additional labor, materials, and design work – though they can also add curb appeal and higher home value. The following links provide you with a range of products so you’re able to make the best decision for your dream home:
Even your gardens can now be smart! Take a look at the Smart Sprinkler system we recommend, here – the Rachio-3: https://rachio.com/rachio-3/. Call us with questions today! We’re happy to help guide you through which Smart-home products will make sense for your home, and how they can help you save money on your energy bill.
Smart thermostats allow you to control the temperature in your home from anywhere you can access internet, and Nest products have become quite versatile since they were acquired by Google in 2014, adding new online apps and services to support it’s features. Their competitor, Ecobee, likewise has added a new suite of products within the Smart home industry, and have grown to include not only Smart thermostats but home security, speakers, and accessories as well. While you can now buy these Smart devices online, the installation is somewhat tricky, which is why our customers prefer an expert to install them. To learn about the different Smart Thermostat products we offer, check out the links below:
- COMPARE NEST THERMOSTATS: https://store.google.com/us/magazine/compare_thermostats
- Ecobee THERMOSTATS: https://www.ecobee.com/en-us/
Another home feature that continues to increase in quality, and decrease in overall cost is Home Security. Ring, Nest, and Arlo Pro doorbell alarm systems have designed easy and sleek solutions for the every day customer to install – and we’re happy to help walk you through setting up the Apps. Or if you’re looking for something even more secure, you can also take a look at the Schlage Deadbolt system – which is a more localized approach to security, and does have smart features available. Check out the links below if you’d like to learn more about each product:
- RING DOORBELL: https://ring.com/collections/all-products
- GOOGLE NEST SECURE ALARM SYSTEM: https://store.google.com/us/product/nest_secure_alarm_system?hl=en-US
- ARLO PRO 2: https://www.arlo.com/au/products/arlo-pro-2/default.aspx
- SCHLAGE SMART DEADBOLT SYSTEM: https://www.schlage.com/en/home.html