The Hard truth about Hard Water

Another article published: Hard water issues and solution
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EIA predicts energy prices will rise this winter

 More than 90% of the 116 million homes in the United States are expected to have higher heating bills this winter compared with last, mainly because of higher projected prices for residential natural gas, propane, and electricity, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.


 According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 American Community Survey, about 50% of U.S. households use natural gas as their primary heating fuel and about 39% of all U.S. households rely on electricity as their primary heating fuel.


EIA projects that average household expenditures for homes heating with natural gas will increase 13% over last winter’s average, while homes with electric heat are expected to spend 2% more.  Homes heating primarily with propane are expected to spend an average of 9% more than last winter and homes using heating oil are expected to spend 2% less.


How confusing can buying a light bulb be?

New Article at outlining the technology and the economics between Incandescent light bulbs, Compact Florescent Lamps (CFL) and Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs.  How to select the correct technology for your lighting application

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Insulate Yourself against the outside elements!

New Article addressing the need for good insulation in combination with a tight building envelope.

For more information go to



Arizona Corporation Commission issued recommendations

On October 1st the Arizona Corporation Commission issued recommendations in response to APS’s proposed rule changes directed at residential solar customers. The staff recommended that the Commission not approve either of APS’s proposed Net Metering cost-shift solutions including the $50 to $100 infrastructure connection charge.  Net Metering is the mechanism that allows residential customers the right to offset energy purchases from the utility with self-generation solar energy on a one-to-one basis.

The ACC concurred with APS in recommending that existing solar customers should be grandfathered under the old rules. They also said it was their belief that any cost-shift created by these proposals is fundamentally a matter of rate design and that the appropriate time for changing rates is during APS’s next general rate case.

They also believed that this recommended course of action is the most effective and appropriate method of dealing with the cost-shift issue APS outlined in its July 12 filing.  However, since it is not yet clear whether the Commission will decide to deal with this issue immediately, two alternative proposals as bridge solutions were outlined.

The first proposal is a flat charge provision for all new solar customers; the charge is designed to recover a portion of the costs arising from transmission and distribution fixed costs.  The estimated impact of this flat charge would amount to a monthly increase of between $2 and $3 for new solar customers, not the $50 to $100 a month charge proposed by APS.  An alternative proposal is a Distributed Generation Premium initially implemented at $2.75/kW and adjusted based on the effect it has on new solar installations. Distributed Generation being the excess solar electricity generated by the consumer systems and supplied to the grid.

These proposals, like those from APS, are only recommendations. Any changes to the existing rules must be voted on by the Arizona Corporation Commissioners. The Commissioners are scheduled to take up the issue at its October 16th and 17th hearing.