A Sunny Act of Kindness

Here’s a story to warm your heart. John’s retired neighbor Mary needed help keeping her electric bills under control, so he helped her go solar. Read the story in his own words. Thanks for Generating Positive, John!

Solar installers arrived at Mary's house a few days ago

Solar installers arrived at Mary’s house a few days ago

“Our neighbor Mary lives in a small house bordering our produce field. She’s retired, and lives modestly on a fixed income. Like many of us, she’s watched as utility costs have gone up year by year. A few years ago, we replaced her drafty single-pane windows. Last summer, we blew in insulation to make her attic and walls more weather-tight. And in the last few months we’ve insulated her basement ceiling to warm up her floors in winter.

All these efforts have had amazing results. Her daily electric usage has fallen a long way – by 20 percent in the last year alone. And her heating oil usage has come down by about one-third. But despite all these efforts at efficiency, electric costs just keep going up. Over the past decade, average electric charges in this country went up about 4% per year. With almost all its customers affected by back-to-back hurricanes Irene and Sandy, our local New Jersey utility – JCP&L – has repeatedly been granted rate hikes. Mary now pays 18.4 cents for every kilowatt-hour she uses.

But all that’s about to change. Just a few days ago, a work crew from Sungevity, a solar power developer, arrived to install solar panels on Mary’s south-facing roof. The system will provide 94 percent of Mary’s electric needs. She’ll be left with a monthly electric bill of about $4.00. So she can relax about ongoing spikes in utility rates…”

Read the rest on John’s blog, Beloved Planet: http://belovedplanet.com/2014/04/12/clean-solar-electricity-for-your-home/

I am a realistic mom, a green mom – and a solar mom. Here’s why.

By Lisa Walthers. Lisa has been a Sungevity customer since 2013 and an employee since 2012.

Every morning in my chaotic scramble to get out the door, I unplug our car to head to work and hear my three-year-old son scream out the window, “Did the sun fill up our spaceship?”

I always considered myself somewhere on the spectrum of a green-mom meets realistic-mom. Working full time with two kids under three makes it increasingly challenging to live up to the standards I set out for myself prior to having children: “Of course we will ONLY eat organic and never watch TV.” I could slap my former self! That said, when my husband and I started looking for a new car to cart around our growing brood, we decided that we couldn’t continue to pay $4.50 per gallon to fuel our work commutes. We were determined to lease an electric vehicle – a car that became known as the “spaceship” to my kids.

After making the switch to electric, we realized that swapping one fossil fuel (gasoline) for another (coal) wasn’t really achieving the feel good moment we had been looking for. It was also quite possibly going to cost as much for us to pay a higher electricity bill as it would have to pay for gas in our old car.

That’s when solar became the perfect synergy to meet my realistic-green mom mantra. Not only was our family going to save money by going solar (yes, a $0 down lease saved us money from day one!) but we could also use the moment to teach our kids that we no longer needed to rely on fossil fuels to power our lives.

It also means that in my rush get out the door, I get to turn around, smile and yell back, “Yes – the spaceship is powered with sunshine today!”

 

Energy Saving Tips to Keep Your Toes Warm

Orange socks makes for happy toes

You may want to trade your orange Sungevity sunglasses for wool socks because 2014 has kicked off with a brrr-ang.

If socks don’t do the trick… here are some easy ways you can keep your toes warm and use energy more efficiently this winter:

  1. Try checking your ducts for leaks. Your heating system is responsible for up to 34% of your utility bill, so sealing leaks can result in big savings.
  2. If you have an indoor fireplace, try closing your damper when the fireplace is not in use and look for a well-fitted chimney cap for a more secure seal.
  3. Turn your water heater down to 120 degrees F. Not only does it protect you from burning your hands, but it also can save you 7 to 11 percent on water heating costs.
  4. Keep chilly drafts away from your best recliner by hanging thick thermal curtains on your windows. Caulking leaks can also help you insulate from wind.
  5. And our favorite: take advantage of sunny days. Open the curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to capture heat from the sun, and close them at night to lock the warmth in.
Here’s to another year of happy toes and small utility bills.

 

Find more tips at:
Fall and Winter Energy-Saving Tips from the Department of Energy
Winter Time Energy Saving Tips from the California Energy Commission

And the Winner Is… ICAPO!

Sungevity is thrilled to announce the winner of our first annual charity giving contest, Sungevity Gives Back. With over 11,000 votes, Eastern Pacific Hawksbill Initiative (ICAPO) has won $20,000 to support the protection of critically endangered hawksbill seaturtles.  Congratulations ICAPO!

The contest was a tremendous success, with 30 participating non-profits competing for the $20,000k. We look forward to next year’s contest!

 

Help us Generate Positive in Colorado!

Changes could be on the horizon for future solar customers in Colorado. A newly proposed policy would make going solar significantly less affordable for Coloradans by changing the rules on net metering.

Like rollover minutes on a cell phone bill, net metering allows solar customers to earn energy credits and get paid for the clean power they contribute back to the grid. This simple crediting system is one of the most important policies for enabling Americans to go solar – 43 states have it on the books.

At Sungevity, we want to make clean energy accessible and affordable to everyone. To keep Generating Positive, we want to stop this proposal in its tracks so that people like you continue to have the choice to generate their own power and get full credit for the excess electricity they deliver to the grid. That’s why we’re part of the conversation to keep net metering strong in Colorado, and you can be too. Sign the petition to voice your support for solar in Colorado, and stay tuned to our blog for more updates.

For more details about the proposal, check out these helpful resources from Coalition for Solar Rights.