When people think of California, they think of sunny California. The Golden State is doing more than its fair share of promoting the sun as the best energy source. The State Assembly is attempting to make it easier for residents to apply for solar panels by creating a standardized application process through Bill 2188. The legislation, which will be debated and voted upon in the State Senate in August, calls for “cities to process permits for small, residential solar installations within five business days. It also would reduce the review process to just one inspection after the installation is complete.” While on the surface, the bill looks promising, it has created divisions among solar companies in California. One owner of a solar company says the application process is not a cookie cutter situation. It can take up to three weeks to process a permit, install the solar modules and complete the inspection. Different cities have different standards for solar, the con side insists. Others insist that residential solar panels have become more uniform and a check list can be completed in an hour. Meanwhile, fire departments complain that solar panels inhibit access, create electrical fires and expose firemen to electric shock and there needs to be a balance between safety and ecological advancements. Another area gaining attention, and for which California is becoming a “guinea pig,” is energy storage. The ability to harness reserves of solar energy would benefit residents, who would not have to worry about wasting energy during times they are not at home. Solar energy could be used in the evening and blackouts would be more tolerable. People would gain more control of their energy usage, and subsequently, the costs. SunPower, which used to make panels and is now an energy service provider, has entered into an agreement with builder KB Home to offer buyers in El Dorado Hills, Irvine and San Diego free lithium-ion battery systems to be installed by the end of 2014. The goal would be to start selling the systems in 2015. The project will aide SunPower in determining the best ways to manage solar energy production and the charge and discharge of electricity from storage. They will also be testing batteries from different companies, including California’s Sunverge Energy. Another factor pushing energy storage in the state is that the three investor-owned utilities in California are under obligation to purchase 1,325 megawatts of energy storage services by 2020. We at Fidelity Home Energy are absolutely in favor of anything that speeds up the solar installation process for us or our customers. Different areas throughout California have long waiting times for permitting solar, and it would be nice to have a more streamlined approach. We have offices in San Diego, Torrance (Los Angeles), Hayward (San Francisco Bay Area) and Sacramento, Ventura and Fresno. We’ve been in business for over 30 years, before solar was fashionable. You will receive a free, extensive In-Home Energy Analysis, with a quote that is good for six months. Small job or big, we will work with you, providing a fully customized and “made for you” solar array system. We handle all paperwork and permits for you. Full installation is completed by highly trained and certified solar electric technicians using industry leading, top quality products. You are assigned a dedicated project manager throughout your installation process, and an Energy Specialis t for follow-up visits post installation, to make sure you know how to properly and safely operate your system. When you’re ready for solar in California, contact us, the solar company in California.

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Unless they’re appearing in fictional entertainment like Twilight or True Blood, having vampires in your home (or business) is bad news, especially not for your energy bill. The vampires I’m talking about are energy vampires (or if you prefer a different paranormal reference, phantom energy users). These energy suckers up your energy usage – and your bill – on average 15%. With electric company rates increasing regularly, you can lower your monthly power bill by implementing some simple energy saving measures.

Here are 5 tips on slaying energy vampires from Fidelity Home Energy

1. The Right Light Bulbs?

Not all light bulbs are created equal and not all light fixtures need the same light bulb. Even if you are still using traditional light bulbs, make sure you are using no more than the wattage your lamp requires. Higher than necessary wattage not only costs more, it will damage the lamp socket and is a fire hazard. Of course, you’ll save a lot more money if you switch to energy efficient compact fluorescents (CFL’s) or LED lighting. Today, there are a variety of CFL light bulbs available so that you can select
the most appropriate bulb for your needs. They come in different wattages, sizes, shapes, and tints (I use a pink tint for my bedside lamps to create a more restful atmosphere), as well as bulbs for dimmable fixtures and multiple setting fixtures (such as 3-way lamps).

2. Unplug Chargers

Chargers for laptops, tablets, cell phones, music players, and even simple rechargeable items such as shavers and toothbrushes, continue to suck energy even when there are no electronics being recharged. Unplugging chargers when not in use will conserve energy and lower your bill. If you have more than a few rechargeable electronics you might even lower your energy usage down to a lower rate energy profile. If you plug in a few items overnight, for convenience’s sake you can use an energy strip you can turn off in the morning and turn back on when you need it.

3. Appliances and Electronics Not In Use

Other electronics and appliances stay plugged in all the time when not in use may be drawing energy. This includes any item with a clock – such as a DVR, DVD player, stereo system, game system, or even a VCR (hey, some of us still have those for our old movies that aren’t available on DVD!). It also includes our big screen TV’s, calculators, coffee makers, programmable room heaters, and air conditioners, and pretty much anything else the stays plugged in when it’s not in use. Think about what items really need to stay plugged in, such as alarm clocks, and which do not. Think about how many clocks you really need in the family room and use energy saving settings, such as sleep mode, when you can.

4. The Importance of Insulation

It may be old-school, but insulation is still an effective way to save energy. Windows, doors, and even electrical outlets can allow cold air into a house in the winter and leak cool, air conditioned air in the summer requiring using more heating and cooling than is necessary. Make sure these fixtures are installed and insulated properly. Insulate your water heater to lower the energy it uses to keep the water heated. You can also save energy by making sure your attic or crawl space is adequately insulated.

5. Could It Be More Energy Efficient?

Look at the energy efficiency rating of your major appliances. If they are older and getting near their replacement date or are too old to even have an energy efficiency rating, replacing them with energy efficient models will lower your energy bills and they will work better. With a water heater that is 8 years or older, you are not only saving energy usage, you will prevent an untimely leak that could cause significant damage and inconvenience.

Simple Steps to Saving Money

These deceptively simple ways to save energy add up fast and you can save up to 15% or more on your energy bill. If you’re interested in saving consider switching to renewable solar energy installed by Fidelity Home Energy.

Call now at (855) Solar 4 U to schedule an in-home consultation and learn how much you can save on future energy bills by installing solar. Fidelity Home Energy will even perform a FREE in-home energy analysis to help you save on your energy bill even if you don’t purchase a solar power installation.

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