Thursday, October 23, 2014

Getting to Know Your Heater Timer (LGB)

Getting to Know Your Heater Timer (LGB)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Why is my Electric Bill so High?

Why is my electric bill so high?

A common question.

There are a lot of answers.

  1. Cost of electrical generation (Oil in Hawaii) has gone up and thus electricity has gone way up, over 50% in around a year.
  2. As governments print more money, the costs of real commodities will continue to go up.  Bernanke promised to print money for years to come.
  3. People have more electrical devices in their houses.
  4. More people are living in a single household, because of this, even people with solar hot water may not be generating all the solar hot water they need, and the rest is made with electric.  You know, the kids moved back home of the inlaws moved in, that kind of thing.

What can you do about it?

Change almost all your lightbulbs to CFL.   LEDs are still pretty expensive, they are neat but compared to CFL they are really not worth it from a payback point of view, quite yet.   Most people have already done the light bulb cvhange out.

In your frig is 10 years old or more, buy a new one.   If you have 2 refrigerators or even 3, consider getting rid of the oldest one.

Buy a front loading washing machine.  They cut your electric bill, they cut your water usage (and thus your sewer bill), and they cut the amount of soap needed.   The clothes come out dryer, and so your dryer has to work half as hard.

Take out any 10 year old aircon, and change to new super efficient variable speed mini-split systems such as Fujitsu, Mister Slim, and others.

Beyond these conservation measures, there is not too much that can be done that makes economic sense.

Now let's talk about producing energy.

Solar Hot Water, if you have 3 or more people, it is a no-brainer to get solar hot water.   With 65% tax credits available in 2012, the payback is enormous and quick.

Solar Electric PV.   Typical residential Annual Rate of Return on Investment is 25% to 38%.    There are various ways to finance it, although your best payback is if you can pay for the system yourself.

PV Leases--PV leases are only good in one situation---you don't have the money or the ability to finance the system.    In that case, you have nothing to lose.  


Solar Attic Fans -- These should be on every house, they produce their own power, they remove the heat from your attic, keeping your house way cooler.   There will be many more months where you don't even have the need to run the aircon if you have one.  It will protect you whole roof, shingle, and tar paper which are all adversely affected by high heat.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

A new interface for owners on Enphase

The following message is from Enphase

KEEP this NUMBER handy, it is hard to find.    Enphase tech support 1-877-797-4743.      It is probably best to call Enphase if you think you have an inverter out, or are getting warning type emails regarding inverters.    They have proprietary methods of looking at your system that is very powerful.   Plus, if you do need replacement parts under warranty, they are the only ones who can issue the RMA (return material authorization) and send out parts.  

Enphase Tech Support 1-877-797-4743


We're excited about the launch of MyEnlighten. MyEnlighten is now the default view for all new system owners. Existing array owners will continue to use Enlighten Manager until they choose to opt into MyEnlighten.

Installers and Integrators will continue to use Enlighten Manager. The following links will be very helpful moving forward.

For a high level summary of Enlighten Manager and MyEnlighten

The MyEnlighten Tutorial:

How to sign up for MyEnlighten now.

After watching the MyEnlighten tutorial, if you have any questions please let me know.

Thanks for using Enphase Microinverters.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

An Email from a reader - HECO Halts Solar Boom

A resident of Oahu sent this email out to all the solar stakeholders on Oahu, OK, well maybe she didn't send it to HECO.

Aloha! My name is Cathryn Takanishi, I am an Oahu resident. I have been following solar articles in Hawaii.
In the year of 2014 finding that there is a problem with solar panel installation, solar in Hawaii can no longer excel.
I wonder, why has it been taking so long to make a transition; while more and more people suffer over these limited resources? If we were all more progressive with solar, we could prevent hundreds of people from their suffering because of the battles to obtain these resources. I still see lights left on all night at empty schools, parks and recreational areas and think about the lives of the people who got that electricity there, I think of my son who in the future may not be able to live in such a beautiful place because of the constant rise in the cost of utilities and living here in Hawaii. Thinking if there were proper solar systems installed into these schools (and residential homes) how many lives it could save and how it could improve our large family here at home.

Thank you!

Scientific American A Solar Boom So Successful, It's Been Halted - 12/20/13 
Bloomberg Utilities Feeling Rooftop Solar Heat Start Fighting Back - 12/25/13
Daily Finance Utilities Set Stage for Long Battle with Solar Power - 1/2/14
Sourceable Industry News Hawaiian Electric Halts Local Boom in Solar PV - 1/10/14