Solar, the answer to avoid rising Long Island electric rates!

Long Island Electric Rates to Rise 11.6% in 2024 alone. 
Solar is the answer to avoid rising Long Island electric rates!

The recently approved 2024 Long Island Power Authority budget includes “an average monthly bill hike of almost $20 — an 11.6% increase — for customers next year,” according to news reports for residential electricity.

This is based on what LIPA notes as ‘typical current bills of $167.28 per month.’ Applying that math to not-unusual higher monthly electric bills, a $300 bill, for example, an 11.6% increase this year would rise by $34.80 and a $400 bill by $46.40, and so on.

For solar customers whose costs have been eliminated, this will have no impact.

The delivery portion of bills (the so-called interconnection fees that apply to all customers, including those with solar energy) remained below the 2.5% increase threshold that would have required a full rate review by the NYS Department of Public Service. According to reports, a full DPS review of LIPA rates last took place in 2015.

PSEG Long Island manages the LIPA electric grid under an annual contract, which is scheduled to expire at the end of 2025.  READ MORE

De-Clutter… Opt Out of Junk Mail for the Planet

As many of us resolve to reduce clutter in the new year, paper accumulation is one of the biggest problems.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), well over 4 million tons of “junk mail” are produced each year. These unsolicited and often unwanted catalogs, restaurant menus, advertisements, promotional flyers and the like in your mailbox today often wind up in a landfill tomorrow, the effects far-reaching, seriously contributing to deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions.

Fortunately, stopping junk mail delivery has become easier. Opt out of credit card and insurance solicitations HERE, direct mail ads HERE, or catalogs HERE. And choose email, online or other paperless billing or communications whenever available.  READ MORE

Can Santa land?

Can Santa land on solar panels?

The short answer, YES! Solar panels can handle it.

The long answer, YES! According to Long Island’s solar experts Built Well Solar, solar panels have been engineered to easily withstand the weight of Santa and his sleigh and his reindeer… even if the jolly ol’ guy eats a ton of cookies this year! 

“Santa has landed on the rooftops of our thousands of solar customers with no problem for the past 20 years, we’re happy to report,” said Built Well Solar founder Dan Sabia.

Another question that comes up — do reindeer hoofs scratch solar panels? No they do not. Some say they’ve spied the reindeer wearing special padded booties.  Others say it’s just plain magic.

And, remember, Santa — like most everyone who lives at the North Pole — is a huge environmentalist, since slowing climate change will keep the icecaps at the North Pole from further melting, so he’s known to be pro-solar.

Celebrating 20+ years as Long Island’s solar pioneer, Built Well Solar has been capturing the power of the sun since 2001.The company has designed and installed more solar energy systems on Long Island than most other companies combined and is known for top-quality installations and personalized customer service.

Slowly starting to…

“The U.S. solar industry is slowly starting to see supply chain relief,” said Michelle Davis, head of global solar at Wood Mackenzie and lead author of the the most recent US Solar Market Insight Report by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie.

At the same time, the U.S. solar industry installed 6.1 GW of solar capacity and had its best first quarter in history, according to the report. The record quarter was driven in large part by the stability of the Inflation Reduction Act’s ten-year 30% federal tax credit as well as the moving forward of delayed solar projects that were held up due to global supply chain roadblocks. 

The residential segment installed 1.6 GW of solar capacity in Q1 2023, a 30% increase from Q1 last year and is on track to add 36 GW of solar over the next five years, growing at an average annual rate of 6%.

The commercial market also had a record first quarter, with 391 MW installed, putting the segment on track for 12% growth in 2023. 

Overall, solar accounted for 54% of all new electricity-generating capacity added to the grid in Q1.

The report also projects the U.S. solar market to triple in size over the next five years, bringing total installed solar capacity to an unprecedented 378 GW by 2028. READ MORE

Spot the ISS

Did you know that the solar-powered International Space Station (ISS) is visible from Earth? It’s easy to spot if you know where and when to look. The third brightest object in the sky, it looks like a fast-moving plane only much higher and traveling much faster.

Zipping along at an average speed of 17,500 mph and completing 16 orbits per day, the ISS is only visible because it reflects sunlight. The best time to view the ISS is either at dawn or dusk. It can be seen passing overhead from several thousand worldwide locations. Go to SPOT THE STATION to find out when it will be in your neighborhood, and to sign up for text or email alerts for the next time it’s visible in your area.

Solar powered. The ISS is indeed powered by solar, using large solar arrays to collect the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity used for “everything from life support and temperature controls to communications with Earth and propulsion systems to allow the station to dodge debris.” 

Solar upgrade. When installed in 2009, there were four solar arrays containing 262,400 solar cells. With large numbers of increasingly complex science experiments being performed on the station, the power requirements are going up. A solar energy upgrade required astronauts during three spacewalks to install six new arrays sitting in front of the older arrays which are still operational, allowing power to be drawn from both. Four of the new arrays were installed in 2022; the other two are scheduled for this year.

ISS to retire in 2031. NASA recently announced that it will keep the International Space Station running through the end of this decade, before decommissioning it in 2031 by intentionally crashing the orbiting outpost into the southern Pacific Ocean. 

Originally set to be retired in 2024, the White House extended its operation through 2030. During its remaining years, NASA said it “plans to continue conducting research aboard the ISS while also using the lab to support deep-space exploration. In its report, the agency said it will bolster commercial ventures to develop new destinations in low-Earth orbit”.

Watery grave. NASA plans to aim for a region known as Point Nemo, an open and uninhabited stretch of water east of New Zealand. This remote area is nicknamed “spacecraft cemetery” because space agencies and aerospace firms often intentionally land defunct spacecraft there. READ MORE

Solar Expansion

Solar is poised to expand on public lands. Remarkably, the first solar energy project on public lands wasn’t approved until 2010. Before then, energy development on our public lands was limited to coal, oil and gas extraction, adding to the greenhouse gas emissions that fuel climate change. 

Since then, the Bureau of Land Management has approved over 11,000 megawatts of solar, wind and geothermal projects in the western United States, and is currently looking to expand solar in particular. 

Earlier plans were to locate solar in six southwestern states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah), but other states may be added. While the BLM establishes zones for solar projects based on access to transmission, solar energy potential and protecting natural and cultural resources, environmentalists caution that large renewable energy projects can disrupt wildlife habitats and harm wildlands if they’re not built in the right places. 

The Wilderness Society has mapped the renewable energy projects the BLM has approved on our public lands to date, and offers insight into a ‘smart from the start’ approach to developing energy on public lands. SEE MAP

Can Santa land?

Can Santa land on solar panels?

The short answer, YES! Solar panels can handle it.

The long answer, YES! According to Long Island’s solar experts Built Well Solar, solar panels have been engineered to easily withstand the weight of Santa and his sleigh and his reindeer… even if the jolly ol’ guy eats a ton of cookies this year! 

“Santa has landed on the rooftops of our thousands of solar customers with no problem for the past 20 years, we’re happy to report,” said Built Well Solar founder Dan Sabia.

Another question that comes up — do reindeer hoofs scratch solar panels? No they do not. Some say they’ve spied the reindeer wearing special padded booties.  Others say it’s just plain magic.

And, remember, Santa — like most everyone who lives at the North Pole — is a huge environmentalist, since slowing climate change will keep the icecaps at the North Pole from further melting, so he’s know to be very pro-solar.

Celebrating 20+ years as Long Island’s solar pioneer, Bellmore-based Built Well Solar has been capturing the power of the sun since 2001.The company has designed and installed more solar energy systems on Long Island than most other companies combined and is known for top-quality installations and personalized customer service. 

Environmental Vote

Environmental Bond Act is on November’s ballot in New York State — officially the Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Act.

A major piece of environmental legislation will be on the ballot in New York State as Proposition 1 this election day, Tuesday, November 8th.  The bill is officially called the Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act of 2022.

This proposal would authorize $4.2 billion in New York State bonds for specific environment-related projects, including improving stormwater systems and wastewater infrastructure, zero-emissions school buses and climate mitigation such as wetland protection, open space and flood risk reduction.

This would be the first environmental bond act enacted for 26 years in New York, according to independent policy think tank Rockefeller Institute of Government.

Proponents of the bond act, including the New York State AFL-CIO, have pointed to the need to preserve and protect our natural resources and to create jobs. 

Read the full proposal.

Yay! 30% is Back!

It’s official! The 30% Solar Federal Tax Credit is back!

BIG NEWS FOR SOLAR! The $370 billion Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 just signed by the President immediately increases the current 26% solar federal tax credit to 30% of the cost of installed solar equipment. This applies to residential and small commercial projects placed in service in 2022 through 2032 —an extension without phase-down for a steadfast 10 years! The law calls for a step down much later on to 26% in 2033 and 22% in 2034. 

Keep in mind also that in New York State, there continues to be a residential state tax credit of 25% of cost, capped at $5,000, on top of any federal incentives.

The new law also includes up to $30 billion in incentives for U.S. companies to manufacture solar panels, wind turbines, and batteries. The solar energy industry has been clamoring “made in America” incentives for years.

This sweeping legislation addresses energy security and climate change by including renewable energy and climate measures, including incentives for solar storage and electric vehicles, all of which are expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030. 

READ MORE

30% Solar Tax Credit

Major News! The 30% Federal Solar Tax Credit May Be Back…

In the midst of a summer of record heat and other extreme weather events, the big news is Congress is poised to pass sweeping legislation that addresses energy security and climate change. The $370 billion reconciliation bill, called the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, includes several renewable energy and climate measures expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030. 

Great news for solar energy in particular, the bill calls for the current 26% federal Investment Tax Credit to increase to 30% of the cost of installed solar equipment for projects placed in service in 2022 through 2032 —an extension without phase-down for a steadfast 10 years! It would then step down to 26% in 2033 and 22% in 2034. 

The bill also includes up to $30 billion in incentives for U.S. companies to manufacture solar panels, wind turbines, and batteries. It is expected to head to the Senate floor for a vote in early August. Fingers crossed!

READ MORE