Daily Feng Shui News for Jan. 10 – ‘National Cut Your Energy Costs Day’

Although I’m sure that ‘National Cut Your Energy Costs Day’ refers to lowering your electric bill, I’m going to take a different tact. If you find that you’re expending a lot of energy on worrying about your future, then you should also know that you are additionally creating more circumstances to worry about. Rather, stay in the present by taking time each day to write down five things that you are grateful for at this very moment. Then, whenever you find yourself fretting over the future, rein yourself in, exercise that attitude of gratitude and go about your day. You’ll be attracting more to make you happy. It really is that easy.

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com

Going Solar: Answers to Common Questions

Going Solar: Answers to Common Questions

By Erica Sofrina,  Author of Small  Changes, Dynamic Results! Feng Shui for the Western World

Solar energy has been around for decades, but in the past few years it has  finally started to take off in residential markets. Previously it was considered  too expensive, but times have changed. The rising electricity costs,  improvements in panel technology, mass production of them as well as federal and  local governmental incentives have driven costs down.

Given all these current factors, going solar now is a much more affordable  investment which can lead you to free energy, increased property value & a  chance to do your part in going green.

As a part of my green home series, I interviewed my friend David Javate of SolarUniverse and asked him if he would  demystify solar and answer some common questions and misunderstandings:

Erica: Could you explain in simple terms exactly how solar energy  works?

David: Solar panels consist of “cells” of chemically treated silicon. These  silicon cells, when hit with light, induce a chemical reaction which produces DC  current. An inverter converts DC current into AC current which can then be  used by your household. Any unused electricity gets fed back to the grid, which  in turn spins your energy meter backwards.

E: Is solar reliable?

D: Absolutely. Solar energy has been around for over 50 years, and is a safe  and reliable source of energy. Panels are normally warrantied for a 25 year  lifespan, but usually last longer. There’s a reason that NASA chose solar  panels to power their satellites. You may also notice them on street signs and  some public buildings.

E: What are the environmental benefits of solar energy?

D: Traditionally, electricity is generated through the use of fossil fuels  such as coal and natural gas. Use of these fossil fuels produces carbon  emissions which cause pollution and global warming. The main environmental  benefit of solar energy is that using solar does not produce any carbon  emissions. Throughout the lifespan of a photovoltaic solar system for a 3  bedroom house, one could potentially reduce the carbon emissions equivalent to  140,000 tons of carbon, 227,00 miles not driven, or 2,500 acres of trees  saved.

E: Is solar a good investment for the basic homeowner?

D: It depends on the household and your usage. Physical issues first need to  be considered: Your roof should be south or southwest facing, should have  minimal shading obstructions and should also have enough space to hold the  appropriate number of panels to cover your energy goals.

In California where we are based, we usually recommend it as an energy  solution if your electric bill tends to be over $130/month if you are  considering a leasing option; however, if buying is an option, homeowners with  bills of $50-75/month can reap the benefits.

Currently, there are a number of incentives available, such as a 30 percent  federal tax credit, rebates through your utility company, and local incentives,  such as the GoSolarSF initiative which provides a $2,000 grant towards  installation for homes in San Francisco. If you choose to buy your system,  typical systems can have a payback period of 5-7 years. After you’ve paid it off  you’ll be able to reap the benefits of free & clean energy for the next  20 years!

E: What if someone doesn’t have the money now? Are there financing  alternatives?

D: The most attractive financing alternative is leasing. These come in  different forms, with or without a down payment, with or without a fixed  interest rate, and in a prepaid form, where a bulk amount of the lease  payments are made in advance at a discount. Depending on the lease you secure,  you should be able to take advantage of a substantially lower electric bill, at  a monthly predictable rate, without the upfront cost of buying.

E: If someone is interested in looking into a solar alternative, what  should they do next?

D: Do some research:

  • Look at your electric bill. Has it become a rising and annoying cost for  you? Is it causing you to limit your enjoyment in some activities?
  • Research solar companies in your area. Check them out on review websites  like Yelp & Angie’s list.
  • See what solar incentives are available to you through your utility  company, your city and county.
  • Consider buying versus leasing.  Buying can be a great investment  which pays for itself in a few years. Leasing can reduce your electric bill,  while also giving a predictable fixed rate for energy.

Solar energy can be a great energy solution which can zero out your electric  bill, add value to your property, and help reduce carbon emissions which harm  the environment. Not all homes are ideally suited to take full advantage of  solar, but with the info given in this article you should have a good starting  point to figure out if going solar is a wise choice for you.

David Javate is a SUN Advisor for SolarUniverse South San Francisco, and currently services  homeowners in the San Fransisco Bay Area.  You can reach him at  djavate@solaruniverse.com Website: www.solaruniverse.com

Readers please note: This article is solely for educational purposes, I  have no financial connection to the company mentioned.