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Author Archives: Cary Weiner

Solar Tax Credits 101

The federal tax credit for solar energy is generous. The credit for 30% of the installed cost runs through the end of 2019, in 2020 it decreases to 26%, and in 2021 it decreases again to 22% before ending completely in 2022. Of course there are a couple of caveats. The first is that utility […]

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Green Power Purchasing

As utilities continue their march toward clean and renewable energy, it may be time to rethink the value of green power purchasing programs. These programs, such as Xcel’s WindSource program, can be hard to understand. At a basic level, a utility customer can choose to pay a premium on one’s own energy consumption to support […]

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Conservation in the Kitchen

For those of us with big gardens, August and September are the heart of canning and preserving season. My wife puts up dozens and dozens of jars of raspberry jam, pickles, pickled beets, and other assorted vegetables. We also freeze lots of veggies to enjoy the bounty of our garden during the frozen days of […]

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A Plethora of Solar Options 3

In Part One of this series, we explored some basic reasons for choosing between solar leasing, owning, and gardening. In Part Two, we dove deeper into the financial reasons behind this decision. In this Part Three, we’ll summarize the comparison in order to help you and your network make informed decisions around home solar. Although […]

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A Plethora of Solar Options 1

Note: This post is Part One of a series on solar options. Here we compare the basics of solar leasing, purchasing, and gardening. Part Two keys in on the financial aspects of the options. Part Three summarizes the lessons learned from the first two posts. What makes something a ‘plethora’? I hope many of you […]

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Efficiency Isn’t the Enemy

Since the time of Thomas Edison, electric utilities have collected revenues and generated profits by selling electricity. That’s what they do. Recently, however, some utilities have recognized that their customers are more interested in saving energy than in buying it. So in order to keep the peace and continue making ends meet, these innovators have […]

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Keep Your Cool

About this time of year, I always start to wonder if my house will be comfortable enough to get my family through the heart of summer. We still haven’t made the leap to an active cooling system and we’ve been fine without one. In part that’s because we’re cheap. But it’s also due to our […]

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Two Sides to a Tariff

President Trump has indicated interest in placing tariffs on foreign imports in order to boost domestic manufacturing. For the solar industry, however, the issue of tariffs gets complicated fast. For context, it’s important to understand that solar panels are made up of solar cells that actually generate the electricity. American solar cell manufacturing has been […]

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Trees, Energy, & People

What if someone told you that something beautiful, organic, and potentially stately could cut your cooling bills in half and also reduce your heating bills? What if that thing could also provide a home for birds, something to climb, and a source of oxygen for the planet? Yep – trees can cut your energy bills […]

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Weatherstrip Your Furnace

Weatherstrip your furnace. Caulk your solar panels. Drive an electric hot water heater. With so much energy information being thrown about, it’s easy to get confused and overwhelmed. So here’s our attempt to break down some simple and straightforward energy advice that goes a bit beyond the norm. Get an audit. If you’re serious about […]

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Solar Calculator

CLICK HERE TO GO STRAIGHT TO OUR SOLAR CALCULATOR. With solar installations and solar financing options continuing to grow in the state, Colorado State University Extension has developed an online calculator that provides costs and benefits for those considering taking the leap. The calculator goes beyond existing estimators by allowing for rooftop or ground mount […]

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To Flare or Not to Flare?

There’s been a lot of talk in the energy world recently about a BLM rule finalized in the waning days of the Obama administration that would limit methane emissions on public lands. Among other things, the rule requires the flaring of methane on federal and Indian lands to be cut in half over time. The […]

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Climate Change Consensus

People don’t want to feel bad about how they live their lives, and they don’t want to feel like they’re the under the watchful eye of the government or do-gooders as they go about their business. Which is perhaps why it’s uncomfortable to discuss and even tempting to brush off human-caused or anthropogenic climate change […]

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The Future of Rates

Back in November, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved a proposal by Xcel Energy to pilot two new residential electric rates that may very well become widespread in the near future. With the pilot program just beginning its rollout (Xcel aims to enroll up to 20,000 customers in 2017), we thought it would be […]

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Living with Low-Flow

After the building superintendent installed low-flow showerheads in his apartment, Seinfeld fans will remember Kramer buying a Commando 450 showerhead on the black market. And that was when “low-flow” was considered to be 2.5 gallons-per-minute, the upper limit for showerheads on the market today. Now one can readily find showerheads using as little as 1.25 […]

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