Nov 4, 2015

5 Steps Towards Energy Freedom For Non-Profits And Schools

The electrical grid in our country is showing its' age and is being taxed beyond today's capabilities. All too often we learn from the news how certain cities or sometimes regions where electrical service has been interrupted usually for a day or two but sometimes longer than a week. Weather has become more of a factor than in previous years as well as incidences of man-made nefarious activities from the threat of cyber "pearl harbor" to the physical damage and destruction which had been reported only a few years ago at a California sub-station.
During the summer months, we can expect to become inconvenienced by storms and, in some cases, human error from those who provide electrical service or average citizen who do not take the precautions and time to call before they dig or cut down a tree. 

With all the uncertainty that can affect our daily lives and livelihoods, there are five steps towards energy freedom that non-profits and schools can take to improve operating costs and ultimately capital expenses.

Assess the electrical loads - you can conduct an informal audit of all electrical loads, such as servers, computers, monitors, refrigerators, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment, and any other equipment which consumes power. Make a list of the make and model of each type including quantities - later this information can be useful to locate the electrical specifications for how many Watts or power each uses. 
Upgrade power devices - there is no single magic bullet which will propel your organization into saving a lot of money; however, there are steps to take which will provide an accumulated savings. For example, ensure that there is adequate insulation throughout the building and especially around openings such as windows and door, replace equipment with energy star-rated equipment as well as newer equipment which will be more energy efficient. 
According to the US Department of Energy, commercial energy use per square foot of commercial building space has declined by 25 percent for the past four decades. Although this should be good news, the demand, in general, has risen. Additionally, The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has reported that the average American home increased to about 2,300 square feet up from 1,500 square feet over a twenty year period.

For a typical business, the capital equipment, as a whole, has become more "greener" to own and operate than older equipment, buildings have reduced and continue to reduce their carbon footprint, and the US Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is an internationally recognized mark of excellence which provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.

Other technological advances that have had a direct impact on
electrical power reduction includes replacing incandescent lighting with light emitting diode (LED) and compact fluorescent light (CFL) and some organizations have decided to prepare for the likelihood of an electrical outage by installing on-site electrical sources instead of combustion-based generators. Some examples of alternative energy sources include natural gas-supplied, hydrogen-based fuel cells, wind generators, and solar energy including storage systems.

Call in the experts - don't risk taking chances with a "DIY" project or try to cut corners and save money because in the end, aside from safety concerns with working with electrical installations, you will almost certainly pay so much more in the end. Instead, just call 866-945-1727 or visit the web site of and schedule a consultation. Your organization will get a free solar evaluation, receive the proposal, get assistance with rebates and permits, install the system, flip the switch, then just sit back and monitor your system.

If you'd like to check out other similar installations projects, visit their web site to see how they've helped non-profits and schools take the first step. Don't just trust your investment to anyone, leave it the experts at SunBug Solar where they will do it right, do it once for a professional installation.

Self educate - your organization may want to do some research to learn more about how a solar system works, learn some of the "lingo" regarding new terms and definitions, and identify the major components of a typical system.

-- The federal business energy investment tax credit (ITC) for solar is equal to 30% of the net system cost with no maximum credit.

-- Under the federal Modified Accelerated Cost-Recovery System (MACRS) your organization may recover investments in certain property through depreciation deductions. For example, a renewable energy technology is classified as a five-year property including a variety of solar electric and solar thermal technologies. This allows for the deduction of 100% of the solar panels cost from taxable income over a five year period, resulting in an incentive of approximately 35% of the system cost.

-- Some utilities offer an up-front incentive known as an expected performance-based buydowns (EPBB). The EPBB is an up-front incentive payment where the incentive amount is adjusted to reflect verifiable system capacity as well as the effect of system orientation and shading on energy production. In most cases when an EPBB is paid a PBI is not also available. EPBB’s are more common in connection with smaller systems.

Track your progress - SunBug makes it easy to monitor and to be assured how well the system is working by keeping a track record using the SunWatch Meter solar power monitor will keep a pulse on it all.

Another type of meter, the net metering technology, allows your organization to spin the meter backwards which means banking on energy savings. This technology actually uses a real meter than can operate by spinning forwards and backwards depending on the direction of electrical power excess. For example, when your system is producing more energy, the meter will spins backwards and when you use more energy than is being produced, the meter will spin forwards. Time truly is money so why wait any longer to get started.

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