Solar Design Customized to your Home

July 22, 2011 § 1 Comment

Quite often we get calls at SES 21 USA from homeowners or installers who are struggling with some design issues: what to do about trees that shade or how to handle odd pitched roofs.  A number of times we have seen people assume that they are not candidates for solar and give up quickly on the idea.

Rooftop in South Texas

We recently had a resident call in with a bit of a tricky roof. As you can see in the photo  his roof has many different pitches and the gables which cause shading in the late afternoon.  A roof mount was definitely an option but the installer and customer decided on this ground mount system. The customer had the space for it, unobstructed by trees or other buildings. Plus he can really maximize his ability to produce solar power with this ground mount system. Did we mention the home is in very sunny South Texas!

Here is a photo of the final system designed with Schott 230’s and Kaco inverters!

South Texas Ground Mount

Congrats to the homeowner and the installer for designing such an efficient and practical  source of energy.

Howdy Folks!! Welcome to Texas’ good neighbor policy

July 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

 . . . raining SOx, NOx, coal soot, and mercury on its neighboring states!

Political leaders and utility insiders in Texas are pounding the EPA once again.  In the wake of an anti government biennium legislative session and in the glow of the governor’s presidential aspirations, there is not much hope for protecting the environment in Texas or even in Texas’ neighboring states.  So, eat our soot Oklahoma and Louisiana.  Are you surprised? 

Simply stated, The EPA is concerned that some of the dirtiest coal-fired plants in Texas not only are fouling the air in the Lone Star State but also are sending their toxic message to downwind neighbors: Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana.  If this is the case, then the EPA has regulations that would require these plants to install equipment to reduce emissions. 

Not surprisingly, Texas politicians and businesses are not happy with the thought of spending money to employ yesterday’s scrubber technology to clean Texas’s dirty coal-fired plants.  According to news reports, lobbyists for Luminant, the wholesale power generation unit of Energy Future Holdings, are complaining that this regulation may trigger the closure of four antique coal-fired plants.

Martin Lake coal-fired plant

Martin Lake coal-fired plant

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Panic . . . business leaders apparently don’t like clean air either and are worried the price of electricity may increase.  Oh no.  Republicans and Democrats are complaining to Washington that the EPA should protect business not those of us that breathe air for living, and of course, our misnamed TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) with its three commissioners carefully selected by the governor whine that EPA decisions punish Texas.  Punish?  Really?

STOP!!  TEXAS, are you there?  Have you had enough?  It’s time to take a stand!

  • Governor, PUCT, TCEQ, Texas businesses; you are wrong.  The people of Texas are more interested in a clean air than cheap and dirty energy.  Just try asking.
  • TCEQ . . . honestly, consider resigning.
  • Texas politicians . . . who are your constituents?  Dirty air is not a political ideology.
  • Energy Future Holdings . . . is this our energy future – dirty, antiquated coal-fired plants? 
  • EPA . . . thank you . . . our children need a voice in this fight.

Citizens of Texas . . . what’s up?  

It was the 4th of July . . . now it’s time to act independently.  Install a small-scale solar electricity system on your home or business and retire those dirty coal plants with your own actions.  The governor and the state legislature do not make it easy, but they cannot stop you.  Take a stand for clean energy . . . one home, one business at a time.

A grid-tied solar electricity system is affordable, it’s economic, and it’s scalable.  A small-scale solar electricity system works just fine.  No fuel, no water, no noise, no moving parts, no emissions.  Your solar electricity system will last 30 to 40 years.

Say no to Texas insiders; say yes to a clean sustainable energy future . . . just a little at a time.  Do not wait on assistance or inspiration from your politicians.  They are busy.
Chet Boortz, CEO

SES21USA, LLC

[The comments, positions, and opinions stated above are my own and may or may not represent those of SES 21 USA and its affiliate companies.]

TXU starts prepaid electricity service!! Oh, what terrific news!

June 24, 2011 § 1 Comment

Pop art Portrait of Rick Perry

Image via Wikipedia

This must be the innovation and positive impact of competitive forces that Texans were promised in 2002 when Governor Perry and his very own PUCT (Public Utility Commission of Texas) deregulated IOU’s (investor owned utilities) in Texas and when the TPUC discarded the North Texas TXU franchise by allowing it to be sold to a private equity consortium (KKR, TPG, and Goldman Sachs).

Hey, good work Governor Perry, TPUC, Energy Future Holdings, and private equity smart guys.  It was so boring and old fashion with Dallas Power & Light.  They just sat there.  Now we have exciting REP’s (retail electric providers) that offer consumers choice (i.e., power to choose).

TXU, our once proud franchise utility, has joined the throngs of predatory REP’s in Texas.  It’s business in Texas.  What a great idea and income opportunity . . . let’s use electricity service to exploit low-income families, the elderly, and customers with poor credit.

Now, the least fortunate electricity consumers actually have no choice in Texas: they can prepay their electricity with a large deposit, or they can prepay their electricity with a large prepayment.  It’s power to choose in a perverse manner.

TXU argues that the plan gives TXU the ‘ability’ to serve customers that don’t qualify for standard service because of bad credit.  Really?  No ability without a predatory plan?

Also . . . ‘customers want this service because they can pay as much on their electricity bills, when they choose to do so.’  OK now I understand, you can pay your electricity bill (at a higher electricity rate) several times a week or month instead of a normal billing cycle . . . now that’s very convenient.

In addition, with ‘smart meters’ TXU can put their low profile customers in the dark at any time of day when their ‘prepayment’ is expended.  Awesome.

Maybe municipally owned Dallas Water Utilities is watching . . . they can do the same thing.  Prepay your water bill and sanitary sewer service – another convenience for low-income families!

TEXAS . . . honestly, have you had enough? 

Begin to separate yourself from our ‘power to choose’ retail electricity providers.  Install a PV solar system on your home or business.  Produce a portion of your own electricity.  Hedge your electricity bills, and distance yourself from the usual cast of inside players.

PV is available now, it’s affordable and economic, it’s scalable (any size system works fine), and your investment in PV increases the value of your home or business.  Learn more, and join the solar movement.

You will have no regrets.  It’s time to make a move.  Light from light . . . cool energy.

Chet Boortz, CEO

SES21USA LLC

[The comments, positions, and opinions stated above are my own and may or may not represent those of SES21USA, LLC and its affiliate companies.]

Grid-tied Residential PV . . . it’s an Avoided Cost . . . think about it!

January 19, 2011 § 2 Comments

For a residential user, the installation of a PV grid-tied system has significant tax advantages that are rarely considered in determining the costs and benefits of a PV system.  

By installing a grid-tied PV system, the system owner generates electricity that is consumed on the load side of the electricity meter.  The result is a lower electricity bill.  This, of course, is the economic benefit of solar electricity.  The difference between the before PV and after PV electricity bill is an avoided cost. This is a cost you do not have to pay . . . a cost you have avoided!  The avoided cost has an ‘after tax’ benefit, because you do not pay income taxes on the avoided cost.  When you pay your electricity bill, you do so with ‘after tax’ dollars.  Your electricity bill is not deductible for tax purposes, so it takes after tax dollars to pay your bill.

So, here is the impact.  If your cost for electricity is 12.02ȼ kWh (EIA, the August 2010 U.S. residential average); and you use 1,000 kWh per month, your monthly electricity bill is $120.20.  If your marginal federal income tax rate is 25%, it takes $160.27 of before tax earnings to pay your electricity bill:

$160.27 (before tax) x 25% (tax rate) = $40.27 tax liability

$160.27 (before tax) – $40.27 (tax liability) = $120.27 electricity bill

The same calculation would apply to state and local income taxes if applicable! 

Why $0.1097 for a residential PV System? Click here…

The above analysis is not intended to be tax advice.  Your circumstance may vary, so always consult your tax advisor for specific tax matters.

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