Podcast #2: Battery Backup

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Pacific Gas and Electric shuts off power to an estimated 800,000 households and businesses ahead of the Santa Ana winds in California this past week. Could residential battery backup be a possible answer? With the Self Generating Incentive Program, there are options to help reduce the cost of these systems. Tune in to the latest episode to learn more about this technology and how it can help you.


A Solar Panel Story

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Our family just bought our first house in Long Island, NY after years of renting in and around NYC.  As new homeowners, we’ve been consistently shocked (as I’m sure many new homeowners are) with the cost of everything!  Whether it’s lawn maintenance or home improvement projects, our budget has spun out of control. 

Our energy bill is no different.  Last summer, our combined electric and gas bill for our lovely one bedroom apartment averaged $60/month.  Now, we’re well over $150/month for electric alone. I cringe at the idea of a coal or gas fired power plant somewhere working overtime on account of the fact that we need more space for our family.  That got us thinking if we should look into something better. 

Folks may be interested in getting solar panels installed for a number of reasons.  Environmental benefits, sustainability, reducing dependence on infrastructure, getting off the grid, and cost savings are some reasons that come to mind.  Ultimately, we fall into the environmental benefit-sustainability-cost savings camp.  We see the need to do our part to help the environment, but that’s not to say that cost savings don’t play a role in the calculus (they do!). 

Anyway, now what?  This is the first in (hopefully) a series of posts covering my solar journey. Join me for the ride. Hopefully it won’t be a journey into the heart of madness. 

Litter Litter Everywhere


Staring out the train window the other day, mind wandering, my reverie was disrupted by the sight of white. All along the tracks it glimmered. It wasn’t snow, for that pretty scene would have allowed the reverie to continue. No, it was trash...garbage...refuse...litter...bags and towels and paper and this and that scattered among the scenery like the periods among this sentence.

What is the compulsion that some people have to just toss their trash wherever they want? Is it the culture in this country? The volunteer groups (this roadway maintained by ___) are great and help with the cleanup but come on. The fact that we have to have groups adopting a piece of highway to keep pieces of trash off it is embarrassing.

How are we going to reduce, reuse, recycle, and rot (composting) if we can’t even toss correctly?