What the Flight of Solar Impulse Means for the Future of Renewable Energy

If you follow news about sustainability and solar energy,Solar Impulse 2 Revolutionizes Renewable Energy

you’ve probably heard of Solar Impulse.

This 100% solar-powered airplane is hoping to make its way around the globe using no fuel.

So what does something like this mean for the future of renewable energy?

The Solar Impulse Project

Originally the Solar Impulse Project was started in 2003. The prototype design was constructed from 2006-2009 and took its first flight in 2009 with a cross-country flight in America in 2013.

The one making headlines at the moment is Solar Impulse 2, the second incarnation of the energy efficient project. Today it completed the first leg of its around-the-world flight, traveling from Abu-Dhabi to Oman.

With a wingspan of 236 feet (slightly less than that of an Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger plane. It only weighs 5,100 pounds, a bit more than the average automobile and flies at an altitude of 39,000 feet during the day when sun rays are strongest.

Solar Impulse 2 has 17,248 ultra-efficient solar cells that transfer solar energy to four motors to power the propellers. The cells also recharge four lithium polymer batteries to power the plane at night.

So How Can This Impact Solar Energy Overall?

The idea behind the Solar Impulse Project is to draw public attention to sustainable energy sources and innovation. The success of the first leg of its flight is a huge step because it showed that solar power is the future. The fact that there have been previous successful flights with both the Solar Impulse 1 and Solar Impulse 2 across the USA. On

With so much buzz about this sustainable project, the not-so-distant future of renewable energy is in focus which is great because it means that people are paying attention!

The plane took off for the next leg of its flight today and live updates are being posted on the official site and the twitter account.

Stay tuned for more news about the project and what it means. And for more energy efficiency news, be sure to check us out on Pinterest and twitter!

March 11, 2015Permalink

Five Ways You’re Wasting Electricity Without Even Realizing It

Let’s be real—electric bills can be expensive.

Wasted electricity can account for a lot of money on your bill.Stop Wasting Electricity!

So are you wasting electricity without realizing it?

With the average electric bill coming in at $130 per household, it’s important to address possible waste.So if you’ve already taken action to lower your power bill, but still feel like you’re paying too much, read on to find out what else you can do.


Ways You Are Wasting Electricity Without Even Realizing It


  1. Letting “Vampire” Devices Drink Up Electricity and Run Up Your Bill

Leaving your computer, printer, video game system or even coffee maker on or in standby mode can be costing you. Some devices keep using electricity even when they’re completely off and just plugged in! Actually, “standby” mode, while it does use less power, kind of gives away that it’s still using electricity even when not in use. These devices are “standing by” waiting for their next use, all the while continuing to draw power!

Don't Let Vampires Waste Your Electricity!Anything with a light or a clock on it is using power whether you’re using the appliance or not. While you may not be able to unplug your DVR while you’re not using it (and risk missing your favorite shows!) many of your appliances can be powered off and unplugged when not in use without causing much inconvenience.

What you can do about it: Plug devices into power strips in groups. Then, when you’re done, turn off the devices and unplug the power strips. This makes it easy to cut these energy vampires off at the source and then, when you need to use them again, you can access them by plugging the whole strip back in.


  1. Inefficiently Using Already-Inefficient Devices

Ok, that one might have been a little confusing. Let’s put it another way. While some of your biggest appliances like your washing machine, dryer and dishwasher do offer a lot of convenience. But they’re not known to be the most energy-efficient items in your home. So if you use these devices in an additionally inefficient way, you’re contributing to a higher-than-necessary bill.

If you run your dishwasher an average of 4 times per week, that’s over 200 times per year. And when you take into account that the average household in the U.S. does 400 loads of laundry per year as well—you can see why it’s important to do these in the most efficient way possible if your goal is to save energy (and money!)

What you can do about it: Set up a designated laundry day once per week, and wash the largest loads possible each time. (Less loads = less electricity.) Also, “warm” is usually just as effective as “hot” but doesn’t require the extra power to super-heat the water, which can save you in the long run. By doing your laundry all on the same day, within the same couple of hours, you also make it possible for your dryer to heat up fully just once instead of heating up, cooling down and then having to reheat fully.

Similarly, running your dishwasher when it’s full and setting it to air dry when possible (or drying by hand) can add up to decent savings throughout the year.


  1. Using Lights and Ceiling Fans the Wrong Way

I know, I know. How can someone use a light or a ceiling fan incorrectly? You would be surprised! You’re no doubt already familiar with the fact that you should turn off lights and fans in a room when you leave it—that’s energy saving 101.

Are You Wasting Electricity With Inefficient Lighting? But did you know that if you’re using overhead lighting or lighting that is intended to brighten up the whole room, you’re paying too much?

On to ceiling fans. How can you possibly use one incorrectly? Well, when you’ve been up there dusting, you have probably noticed a little switch that changes the direction of the rotation of the blades. Actually, the direction it spins can control how efficiently it runs, depending on the season and temperature! Who knew!

What you can do about it: When it comes to lighting, the key is targeted lighting! Using a bedside table lamp or a reading lamp in your living room can save you tons of money throughout the year, as opposed to using the overhead or installed lights like the ones in your ceiling fans. Task-specific lighting is just as convenient, but way more energy-conscious. And of course all electric lighting should be switched to CFLs or LED lamps for true efficiency and savings.

Run your ceiling fan counter-clockwise during warmer months of the year and clockwise during colder months. Doing so will allow them to circulate air more efficiently and you can adjust your thermostat for the better and save!


  1. Using Appliances That Are From the Stone Age

Ok, maybe “Stone Age” is a bit harsh, but if you’re using appliances that were manufactured before the first time you heard the phrase “go green”…well, you see where I’m going with this.

Appliances from the 70s, 80s and 90s were simply not as efficient as ones starting in the 2000s. They simply use more electricity than their more-recent counterparts and replacing them is a really smart move if you’re serious about saving on electricity.

What you can do about it: If you’re looking to replace your appliances but want to make sure you find the most efficient one in your price range, you’re in luck! We actually covered a wonderful tool you can use to compare models in this post.

If you’re not in the market for new appliances just yet, look into a PFC (power factor correction) device like our Electric Saver 1200. You can find out all about how the device works, find out how to purchase and install it and get an idea of how much it can save you here.


  1. Over-Charging Your Electronic Devices

This one may not seem so important, but it really is. Look around your home at the number of rechargeable devices you have. (Anything that comes with a charging cable, basically.) Between tablets, laptops, smart phones, battery packs, portable game systems and even toothbrushes, you likely can name more than a couple! Leaving these devices charging, or leaving the chargers plugged in when you’re not using them is definitely draining excess electricity from your home. Not only that, leaving them plugged in can destroy their battery life, requiring you to replace them or have them repaired more frequently—talk about expensive!

What you can do about it: Unplug the chargers when the devices are done charging, and unplug right away when the battery hits “fully charged.” There are even a few gadgets like charging stations that automatically cut power when the devices are charged for your convenience. Some are even wireless and only require that you place your device on a charging plate—no cords necessary!



These are some of the ways you could be wasting electricity without even knowing it. Try out some of our solutions and see how much you can save!

Got another tip for us? Let us know in the comments! Happy saving!



Use These Tips to Stop Wasting Electricity!

February 25, 2015Permalink

Solar Energy Shingles For Your Home

Solar power has come very far in the last few years. Efficiency, effectiveness and now aesthetics have all been improved upon. I recently saw something on Pinterest about Dow Powerhouse solar shingles that take up far less space and are even more efficient than traditional solar panels, and come equipped with integrated apps to track your savings and energy efficiency.

How Does It Work?DowPowerhouse

Unlike traditional methods, the powerhouse system converts solar directly with a DC converter and powers everything in your home. The intention is to allowyou more control over your energy generation and improve your output while reducing the need to rely on the power company for electricity.

They’re reported to be very strong and able to withstand winds of up to 150mph! But perhaps the most notable aspect of them is their design. Their thinness makes them more versatile than typical solar panels in that they are specifically fitted to your home’s roof.

On top of that, there are various tax credits, benefits for upgrading (including increasing the value of your home) and the company even offers financing for the system.

This brings up the question: how many people would switch to solar energy if it were more affordable and easier to obtain? The aesthetic of it could be a draw to many, but probably a bigger obstacle to more families switching their home to solar energy is the fact that a usual solar panel system can cost upwards of $45,000 to install and still not take your house completely off-the-grid.

Solar ShinglesIn the future, it’s likely that every home on the planet will be powered by alternative energy. Developments and inventions like these powerhouse solar panels could be a beginning step to that conversion!

For more information about the impact switching to solar energy would have on the planet, check out the infographic at the bottom of the post.




Don’t forget to follow us on our social media profiles for more information we find interesting in the field of energy conservation and efficiency. And as always, thanks for reading!


February 3, 2015Permalink

Going Green in 2015

The phrase “go green” has been around for several years as awareness has increased about green-bulbthe impact our energy usage has on the environment. With a growing number of electronic and electrical devices in the average home it has become increasingly important for many people to figure out ways to use less energy and pay more attention to how their electricity usage affects the earth’s resources. So what are some ways that you can live a greener life in the coming new year?

 Appliance Upgrades That Can Reduce Energy Waste and Save You Money

Frankly, the best way to ensure your household is doing its part is to use less electricity. With more and more devices in your home that rely on electricity usage, the key is in improving the efficiency of these devices and paying attention to reducing energy waste. Luckily, there is a growing market of products to help you do just this.

refrigerator-washer-dryerEnergy Star rated appliances are a great investment if you can afford them. These appliances are engineered to run using less electricity than earlier models. For example, it’s estimated that a refrigerator from the early to mid 1990s can cost up to 50% more (and use 50% more electricity) to run than one from the early 2000s. And, an even newer model is even 40% more efficient than that early 2000s model! As technology has advanced, these newer appliances come with features that make it possible to use less power more efficiently and to run on less electricity overall.

The same is true for standalone freezers, air conditioners and washers and dryers. So, if your appliances fall into this category and you can afford to upgrade them, you’re guaranteed to reduce energy bills and will be using less electric overall, thus contributing to a more energy-efficient lifestyle.

“Phantom” Loads and Their Effect on Your Electric Bill

Believe it or not, many electronic devices in your home are drawing power even when they appear to be completely off or are in “standby” or “power save” mode. This is referred to as a “phantom” load. Think about all the little blinking lights you can see on gaming devices, computers, DVD players, etc. even when they’re not in use. It may not seem like a big deal but it does take electricity to power these displays—even the clock on your coffee maker or microwave. While you may not be able to unplug every single appliance in your home when it’s not directly in use—like the coffee maker which is likely programmed to start brewing on a timer in the morning—there are many which can be totally disconnected to avoid them drawing power when you aren’t using them, as this power is completely wasted.

One way to eliminate this waste is by plugging in several devices to a power strip and then unplugging the power strip so they are all disconnected at once. This makes it a bit more convenient than tracing every single wire behind your TV and trying to determine which is safe to unplug and which isn’t. Even better is to purchase a “smart” power strip, which actually detects which appliances are continuing to draw power despite not being in use and will individually cut the power to only that device. Some are even fancy enough that you can control them from your smart phone in case you forget to unplug one.

Handling Inefficiency at the Source

Another major impact you can have to lower electric bills is to invest in a power factor correction device. This is a special device installed by an electrician (or it can be self-installed by someone knowledgeable about electricity and wiring) that actually attaches to the main electrical panel in your home, or at a major appliance in your home that draws a lot of power. For example, if you have an early 90s refrigerator you cannot afford to replace, a power factor corrector could be installed at that load. What it does is eliminate wasted electricity by correcting the power factor of these appliances.

Power factor is, in its simplest explanation, a word that refers to how efficiently a motor uses the electricity fed to it by the electrical wiring in your home. When the electric utility transmits electric current to your home, a certain amount of it is lost through heat and a certain amount is taken in by theseenergy-star-audit-home-diagram appliances but not necessarily used. While you aren’t charged for losses that occur from the power company’s wires to your home’s electric meter, if these losses are occurring within your home, from the meter to the appliances (and the way many houses are wired, these losses do occur) you are being charged unnecessarily for them.

The Electric Saver 1200 is an energy saving device that comes with a 365-day money back guarantee and top ratings from consumers. Average savings of between 10% and up to 25% on electric bills have been reported, with the difference in savings determined by how much loss was there to be corrected in the first place. At under $200, it’s an investment in your home that pays for itself in a very short time. You can learn more about this device, including how to buy and have one installed in your home by visiting www.electricsaver1200.com.


There are a number of ways you can have a positive impact on your energy usage, energy waste and as a result, save money on electric bills. With the new year just arrived, there isn’t a better time than now to make a resolution to go green!


Go Green by Addressing Energy Waste

February 2, 2015Permalink

Making Energy Efficiency Easy

With so much going on in the average person’s day, it can be difficult to throw new things into the routine. Running out the door in the morning, checking your thermostat settings may be the last thing on your mind.Sun And for most, making sure appliances are unplugged if they won’t be in use during the workday when no one is home isn’t even close to the top of the to-do list. But improving the efficiency of your home can save you quite a lot of money on electricity bills. And saving money is one of those top-priority tasks on most everyone’s mind. So how can you easily fit this in to everything else going on without stressing yourself out?


Efficiency the Easy Way


The beauty of technology is that it provides convenience. Cell phones, tablets, laptops and other gadgets allow you to do so many things that were way more complicated even just a few short years ago. You can open an app to find a decent-rated takeout place on your way out of the office, text in your order and have it paid for and ready to pick up before you even reach the restaurant. And with a tap of a button, you can ask your phone to set a reminder for you when you remember the task at hand—no more notepads and pens lying around. These simple luxuries add up to convenience and simplicity so you have more time to focus on other things in your life.


With a growing market for “going green” and saving the earth’s resources, energy efficiency is a 300 billion-dollar-per-year industry! A lot of this investment goes into not only improving efficiency of utilities and major companies, but into appliances, programs and applications for consumers to improve the way their own home uses electricity.


The idea behind these is simple: make it easier for you (the average person) to be more energy-conscious. In a recent study, 92% of Americans surveyed said conserving energy was important to them for environmental reasons. And over 79% answered that they would install or use energy-efficient devices knowing it would save them money on electric bills over time. Knowing this, more and more companies are coming up with ways to accomplish it easily for the majority.

What Are Some of Your Options?


So what has been developed to help you fit the additional responsibility of conserving electricity into your already busy life? Here are just a few possibilities:


  • Energy Star Appliances – These are appliances built to exact specifications that are proven to use less electricity. Refrigerators, televisions, washing machines, dishwashers, computers and pretty much any other electrical or electronic device you can think of has an Energy Star rated option available for purchase. These often come with labels that show you how much you can expect to save on your electric bills annually just by replacing an earlier, less-efficient model. (Visit energystar.gov for more information about their devices and appliances.)


  • Power Factor Correction Devices – These are a specific class of device that actually gets installed in your home, either at the main power panel or the source of a particularly inefficient appliance. Using the technology of capacitors, these devices can store electrical charge initially drawn from the power source but not used, or used inefficiently and flow it back to the device later, effectively recycling it back into your home for a more steady and resourceful use of electricity. (Go to electricsaver1200.com for more information about what Power Factor correction means and how it could save you up to 25% per month on your electric bills.)


  • “Smart” Thermostats and Power Devices – These are an array of different products geared toward eliminating electricity waste from appliances that are either inefficient or soak up power even when they are not in use. By learning about your usage habits, these actually program your air conditioner, plugged-in appliances and sometimes even all the lights in your home, depending on what you’ve installed, to give you more control over your electric use and help you cut down on waste. (For more information, check out nest.com/thermostat/saving-energy for a great smart thermostat and www.wink.com for information about a whole-home energy saving system.)




There are many products, apps and devices available that are geared toward helping you improve your home’s energy efficiency and use less electricity. When you use less, less resources have to be burned up in power plants and less greenhouse gases are emitted, which means a healthier and less-polluted planet. And, when you use less and eliminate waste, you can take control of your electric bill and save money as well! It’s a win-win situation that helps you lead a cleaner and more responsible life and see benefits immediately. With so many options, you no longer have to pile on more and more things to worry about in your daily life, and you may actually be able to strike some off your list! Get started today in your endeavors to live greener!



February 1, 2015Permalink