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Regional leaders form coalition to oppose coal exports!

Last month many city governments and tribal nations joined in to form a new coalition to oppose coal trains and coal exports in the Pacific Northwest. This new coalition is taking action to raise awareness about the damaging economic, cultural and health impacts these coal trains and exports would bring to our local communities. 

Mayor McGinn is on board with the Power Past Coal movement. "These coal trains threaten the health of our communities, the strength of our economies, and the environmental and cultural heritage we share," said Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn. "We will stand together to stop the coal trains."  

This leadership alliance is urging state and federal agencies to deny permits that would allow the export of coal through local terminals, explaining that the costs to local economies, health, natural environment, and cultural resources far outweigh the proposed benefits. We need to power past coal! 

Find out how you can take action! 

Future of Electric Cars - Potential Money?

The future of Electric Vehicles could be on the horizon. Not only are EV a cleaner way to drive, reducing our greenhouse gas emissions but could they be used to stabilize the grid and earn cash in the process?

That is what the University of Delaware is investigating in the Delaware Project. A line of Mini Coopers is now injecting and sucking power from the grid withpower flowing between both. For the first time this give and take of power, balancing supply and demand, is getting paid for it.

Imagine the power that your Solar Electric system could potentially supply the grid through your tiny yet powerful battery stored in your EV? Not only are you committing to creating a cleaner environment by driving your Electric Vehicle and by generating your own power with your solar electric system but they could also be directly impacting the way utilities draw energy. Creating yet an even cleaner environment. Potential incentives could pay out as much as $1800 a year for the two way charging system evolving in Electric Vehicles that may only add $400 total to the cost of the car.

Watch as the Delaware project is tested and the future of the Electric Vehicle.But in the meantime as the new technology unfolds, prepare for it by having your solar electric system installed!

Production Harvesting Season Is Upon Us!

Washington has one of the best incentive programs in the Nation. The Production incentive was created in an effort to promote renewable electricity generation and green jobs in the state. And it has done just that; there are two manufactures in Washington State, which employ over 60 people, Silicon Energy and Itek Energy. However those are not the only jobs that have been created.

Sunergy Systems now employs three full time install crews, two electrical engineers, five solar design consultants and full time office administration staff. So we are equipped and ready to get you ready to harvest the power of the sun for the production season this summer! 
Remember, you could be earning anywhere from $0.15 to $0.54 per kWh your solar electric system produce above the benefit of net metering until the year 2020.

So don't delay there is only 7 summers left to harvest the power of the sun and get paid for it! The most expensive way to go solar is to let the incentives expire…Book Your Consultation Today!

The Ideas Behind Reaching Washington's Solar Potential

Environment Washington is released a new report at a press conference that Sunergy hosted last Thursday, April 11th, 2013. The report outlines Washington's full solar potential and how the state can harness more clean energy. The organization is challenging the state to set a goal of installing 150,000 solar roofs by 2020. Sunergy, has joined the organization, calling on the state to advance policies that support, expand, and strengthen Washington's growing solar industry. 

Check out some of the highlights from the press conference covered by the Stranger's Anna Minard.

Solar Power Businesses and Environmental Activists Call on Governor to Set Solar Power Goals for Washington

posted by  on THU, APR 11, 2013 at 4:32 PM

This morning, a group of solar power fans gathered in Ballard to talk about solar power in Washington. It may seem like our less-than-sunny side of the state is not a great candidate for a solar-power revolution, but actually, says Environment Washington in a newly released report, "the Puget Sound region gets as much sunshine as Germany, which is the world's leader in solar energy." And obviously, on the other side of the mountains, there's even more potential.

At this little presser in the offices of Sunergy Systems, a small solar-panel design/install company, activists and Seattle City Council member Mike O'Brien crowed about the possibilities of solar power. Environment Washington is calling on Governor Inslee to set a goal: 150,000 solar roofs in Washington by 2020. They point out that solar power is a "triple play"—it produces energy, it cuts carbon emissions, and it's a boost to the local economy. The owner of Sunergy, Howard Lamb, spoke of the growth of the solar industry and said he's looking to hire a few new workers soon to keep up with demand. O'Brien pointed out that "natural gas and oil don't come out of Seattle; we don't build automobiles." Investing in sustainable power like wind and solar could give us a larger local energy economy, and it also "gives customers empowerment over their energy use," he said. They made a strong case.

Read The Full Article...

Myths vs. Realities of Electric Vehicles

There are many common myths or assumptions about Electric Vehicles.  These assumptions can often deter people from owning an electric vehicle. SEIA published an article about the Myths vs. Realities of Electric Vehicles.  There are a few myths that we wanted to highlight with SOLAR!

Myth: My Electricity bill will go way up?
Reality:  The savings on gas will more than cover the cost of your electricity from powering your electric vehicle. The amount of electricity needed to power your EV 12,000 miles a year would cost you about $389 for electricity (using an average $.12 per kilowatt hour, this varies so it could be lower) however you will save over  $1200 in fuel costs (assuming you get 30miles/gal @ $4/gal = $1600 fuel per 12,000 miles). This is a 76% reduction in your fueling costs!
Our take on this myth: Gas up with the sun! Think about the cost benefits of going solar, with our current incentive programs your solar electric system could be paid off in 8-10 years. This offset would save you money on both your electric bill and fuel costs by powering your EV from your solar electric system!

Myth: Switching to an Electric Vehicle will just mean that I’ll just be switching from oil to coal causing the same amount of pollution.
Reality: False according to a range of studies, an electric car leads to 35-60% less carbon dioxide pollution from electricity than the CO2 pollution from the oil of a conventional car.
Our take on this myth:  Solar energy is the best way to charge your electric vehicle, significantly lowering the CO2 emissions of our EV. Don’t just trade your tailpipe in for a smoke stack; opt for the cleaner, greener, solar way to charge your EV.

Myth: Charging an EV on solar power is a futuristic dream
Reality:  The technology to power your EV with solar power is already available! The initial investment in solar panels pays off faster when the solar power is not only replacing grid electricity but more expensive gasoline. If you drive about 12,000 miles a year it will take about 1.5kW-3kW solar system to generate enough power to charge your EV. To offset both your vehicle and your home electricity you may need a solar system sized between 7kW-10kW.
Our take on this myth: The technology is here, it is not a futuristic dream.  As a SunPower Premier Dealer, we are able to offer the most efficient and highest performance solar module in the world, maximizing your roof space to offset both your home electricity needs and your electric vehicle charging needs.  Save money on the installation of your charging station if you have it installed by Sunergy Systems at the same time as your solar electric system.

Projections show that 64% of all vehicles will be electric vehicles or plug- in hybrid by the year 2030! 

Making the switch to EV

The thought Electric Vehicles can sometimes be overwhelming and confusing, but really it’s pretty simple and there are many benefits to making the switch to drive an electric vehicle. EV’s use clean, affordable, and domestic electricity for most if not all of the vehicles energy needs with solar energy being the best way to power your Electric Vehicle. There are three main types of Electric Vehicles that can suit your needs as a consumer.

First, there is Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV), which are sometimes referred to as “pure electric cars”. These have no gasoline engine and need to be plugged in to an electrical source to receive the energy the vehicle needs to drive.  Most BEV can run about 100-200 miles and they demand a faster charge. Some examples of BEV are the Nissan LEAF, Mitsubishi iMiEV, Ford Focus Electric, and the Tesla Model S, click here for the top selling BEV’s.

The second type of Electric Vehicles is the Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV).  These are hybrid vehicles that use rechargeable batteries that can be fully charged by connecting a plug to an electrical power source. They are called a hybrid because they have both an internal combustion engine and an electric motor that plugs in.  The mileage range for the electric motor is 30-40 miles and gasoline is used for longer trips.  The Chevy Volt and the Toyota Prius are examples of PHEV’s, click here for other options of PHEV.Toyota Prius C

The third main type is the Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV). The HEV is a combination of an internal combustion engine propulsion system with an electric propulsion system; they cannot be recharged from the grid.  The electric power is intended to achieve better fuel economy, lower pollutants and has a driving range of over 600 miles per tank of gasoline giving it an average 55mpg in the city. The Toyota Prius is an example of a HEV; click here for top 10 best selling Hybrids.

Electric Vehicles, a cleaner, greener, renewable and reliable form of transportation have become the best way we can reduce emissions.  Seattle has quickly become one of the hottest places for Hybrid’s and Electric Vehicles and has over 4500 EV’s registered.  This has put Washington on the map, owning 5.7% of all EV’s and 3.1% of hybrids sold nationally and is among the top ten states in the nation in 2012 for environmentally friendly vehicles! 

Bill you will be missed!

We wanted to take a moment to show Bill how much we valued and appreciated his work! He has been an asset to our install crew and our company. We wish him the best in his travels and hope that he will come back to us soon. He will be missed greatly. This picture was taken on Bill's last day, looks like he was really baskin' in the sunshine :) 

Upcoming Solar U Workshop - The Solar Industry - Globally, Nationally and Regionally

 

2012 was a record year for the U.S. solar energy industry, with more solar installed by Q3 2012 than in all of 2011. A total of 6.4 gigawatts of solar electric capacity now operates in the U.S., enough to power more than one million average American households. Washington State and Sunergy Systems also had record years too.

Join us for this great workshop to learn more about the health and deployment of the solar industry globally, nationally, and regionally. How the USA and State manufacturers are fairing competitively with the Asian manufacturers. Plus opportunities, potential barriers, and projections over the next couple of years. What about solar hot water, is it being unjustly lost in the solar excitement and deployment?”

Workshop will be held at Sunergy Systems, 4546 Leary Way NW Seattle, WA 98107, March 20th at 6pm

Registration is limited to first 30 people! So register early! 

Utilities are making it easier and cheaper to make the switch to energy efficient light bulbs

Great utility rebates for LED and CFL lighting and fixtures

Get the most out of your solar energy system by using ENERGY STAR qualified LED lighting to achieve 75% less electricity and lasts at least 25 times longer than incandescent lighting (while producing the same quality and brightness of light) and 2.5 times longer than typical fluorescent lighting. They have better dimmable features than CFL’s too. You have more choices for energy-efficient lighting than ever before. It’s easy to find the right bulb for almost any fixture in your home using PSE’s great guide.

Puget Sound Energy - LED rebates and discounts

  • Two-pack of Greenlite LED bulbs with PSE logo for less than $7 after PSE instant discount, a $40 value, available at participating Lowe’s and McLendon Hardware stores.
  • Get $15 off at participating Batteries Plus locations on select LED products to replace your traditional incandescent bulbs, LED bulbs starting at $2.99.
  • Get up to $15 off a variety of LED bulbs and fixtures that meet ENERGY STAR specifications at participating retailers

Seattle City Light - NEW! Up to $10 Discount on LED Bulbs! 

Seattle City Light has recently added LEDs to its Twist & Save lighting discount program. Because not all LEDs are of the same quality, Seattle City Light offers up to a $10 discount on select ENERGY STAR qualified bulbs. In addition, City Light offers a $10 instant discount on LED retrofit fixtures for recessed cans.

Snohomish PUD – CFL and LED discounts

The PUD works with several local retailers to provide discounted prices for eligible CFLs and LEDs with no coupon required. All of the following franchise stores in Snohomish County offer PUD-discounted CFLs (Walgreens for LED lighting too). If you're remodeling or building a new home, you may be interested in their special $20 discount on a variety of ENERGY-STAR-qualified CFL fixtures for your home.

Tacoma Power – CFL discounts

Switch & Save: Bulbs for less than $1: Tacoma Power offers special deals on a variety of CFLs at local stores. 

Use the right LED bulb for the right fixture

LED bulbs can be used anywhere you would put conventional incandescent and CFL bulbs, but it’s important to match the right bulb to the right socket. Be sure to buy the LED bulb that will meet your needs. Look on the package to ensure you purchase the correct bulb for the fixture you intend to use it in.

  • Only use dimmable bulbs in dimmable fixtures.
  • Can be used in motion-sensor fixtures and photo cell fixtures that automatically turn lights on at night.
  • If you need even lighting in every direction, use an LED bulb that is labeled omni-directional. Omni-directional LED bulbs are well suited for fixtures where the bulb points upwards such as in table or floor lamps and wall sconces.
  • Bulbs labeled directional are best in fixtures where the bulb points downward or sideways such as in ceiling fixtures and bathroom vanities.

Find out more at LED FAQs

CFL recycling

Because CFLs contain small amounts of mercury, they must be disposed of and recycled at a local collection site and not thrown in the trash. There are many convenient locations that recycle CFLs for free, including Bartell Drugs, Home Depot, Lowes, McLendon Hardware and SCL's North and South Service Centers.