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The 12 Days of Solar Pool Heating

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The 12 Days of Christmas has been corrupted over and over into a retail stunt over the years, with businesses trying to sell something on the 12 days leading up to Christmas Day. We former Catholic school students know that the 12 Days of Christmas actually starts on Christmas Day, but I am not above the blasphemous usurping of the Twelvetide …

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I Found Solar Panels Cheaper Online!

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My wife sometimes makes fun of me for trying to be cheap when hiring contractors and service people. It’s a natural thing for a skilled, hands-on, DIY kind of guy. I hate to “overpay” for something I feel I can do myself. Plus, I love a great deal as much as the next guy. The story that always comes up …

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Solar Domestic Water Heating is Dead

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I am certainly not the first to declare solar domestic water heating dead. Halloween is near, so I figured it is an appropriate time to put a nail in the coffin. This has been coming for a long time — the economic viability of solar water heating given the alternatives no longer results in an attractive investment for the vast …

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FPL Announces Progress on New Solar Energy Capacity

In Opinion 3 Comments

Subtitle: Utility owned solar panels good… Customer owned solar panels bad… FPL, Florida’s largest utility company, has announced good progress on efforts to bring online 225 megawatts of solar capacity before the end of 2016, more than tripling its current portfolio of solar energy production plants. That’s great news for sure, and we should give them credit for the effort. …

Solar Water Heaters Lose Popularity, Still Benefit Some

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For many years, solar water heating was the predominant solar panel type installed, and millions have been installed worldwide. In Florida, the most common type of solar water heating system is a direct open loop system, which means that potable water from your tank-style water heater is constantly circulated through a solar panel when necessary and when solar energy is …

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4 Top Solar Panel Design Trends | Via Modernize

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Guest post from our friends at Modernize. Images via Modernize. The world of solar technology is rapidly advancing. Gone are the days when residential solar energy systems were a dream of the future. Now, it’s more attainable than ever, and solar technology developers are coming up with more ways to make solar energy systems efficient, accessible, and aesthetically pleasing. Modernize …

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Utility Electricity is Like Credit Card Debt

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There has been a lot of buzz recently about how non-utility solar energy hurts the poor. Of course, this is all nonsense from the nation’s monopoly utility companies who want to monopolize the sun as an energy source, too. Utility companies want you to buy solar energy – as long it is from them! If you think about it, buying …

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Should I Buy Power From Arcadia Power?

In Opinion 52 Comments

Residential utility electricity customers in Florida have been receiving emails from a company called Arcadia Power that promises to sell you clean energy, even without installing solar panels or wind generators on your property. First, Florida residents should know that this is not a Florida company based in Arcadia, FL. It is based in Washington, D.C., and offers services nationwide. Now …

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Energy Independence With Solar Energy

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It’s Independence Day,  so it’s a great time to bring up energy independence! The term energy independence has several meanings. From whom (or what) are we declaring independence. The Utility Companies The most obvious entity that has us locked down in chains is our own utility company. We are beholden to the monopoly that is charged with providing us with …

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Florida Public Service Commission Requests Comments on Solar Energy

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The Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) staff is gathering information regarding enhancing development of solar technologies in Florida. Florida Solar Design Group responded to the April 23rd Memorandum as follows, answering the FPSC’s questions in an email:   Dear Lee Eng Tan (FPSC Senior Attorney, Office of the General Counsel), In response to the subject Memorandum, I offer the following response …

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Solar Air Conditioning in Florida

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The phrase Solar Air Conditioning has been used very loosely in recent years. From the consumer’s perspective, you probably want to know if solar power can be used to run your air conditioner. Several products are on the market that are advertised as using the power of the sun to cool your Florida home. They are usually called solar air …

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Buy Solar Pool Heating Panels Online

In Education, Opinion 1 Comment

You can buy solar pool heating panels online, but not here. Nonetheless, if you are looking to buy solar panels online, keep reading. Note: I’m not really going to try to talk you out of buying solar panels online. I listened to a great podcast today from Nora Young called Spark.  One segment was on the growing phenomenon of what’s …

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FPL Historical Energy Mix in Florida | Electricity Generation

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Florida has become much more reliant on natural gas recently. This dependence puts us at risk of price fluctuations in the Natural Gas market. The infographic below shows the change in energy source for electricity delivered by FPL, the state’s largest electricity generator. As a state, we have done little to hedge against fuel price fluctuations by diversifying our energy …

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Solar Energy is Amazing

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Sometimes I lose perspective on how amazing solar energy really is. We go about our day, forgetting that the solar panels we have cumulatively sold offset huge amounts of energy. Unlike selling a gallon of fuel or a pound of gas that burn up quickly to provide short spurts of energy, solar panels provide a long-term, lasting energy source for …

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Top 5 Energy Using Appliances in Your Home

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If you are an FPL customer, you may have received an email recently that answered the question, “what are the top 5 energy users in my home?” FPL’s energy expert accurately explained how five things are the major drivers of the average utility customer’s electric bill. Those five things are: Air Conditioning Pool Pump Water Heater Lighting Clothes Dryer Well …

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Two-speed Pool Pumps vs. Variable Speed Pool Pumps

In Education, Opinion 8 Comments

Right before I published this article I was contacted by a nice lady in Georgia who felt her pool service company was steering her wrong with a decision to replace her ailing single-speed pump. There is a lot of misinformation out there regarding two-speed pool pump and variable speed pumps, and many dealers are not up to speed (no pun …

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Solar Panels for Pool Lifestyle

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With the thousands of solar panel layouts and designs I have done, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that solar pool heating is about pool lifestyle. I was getting a bit bored with the stale old solar panel renderings that I crank out on a daily basis, and decided to explore the idea again of adding pool screened …