8 Ways to reduce costs of food you purchase

You may not feel reducing food costs are related to energy, Saving Money is Saving Money, Added Bonus, Save money on food…

8 Easy Ways to Lower Food Costs Below are eight ways to help cut food costs and keep money in the bank and off the table.

  1. Determine where the best prices are – Make a list of 25-30 items you buy often. Shop once at each of several markets in your area and write down the prices of each of those items. From that, you should be able to determine where prices are generally lowest.
  2. Start with a list – Take the time each week to write out a meal plan and a shopping list. Resist impulse buying unless the item is on sale at a really great price and/or can be substituted for something else on your list.
  3. Buy unprocessed foods – The more processed it is, the more expensive it will be. Choose raw pasta, rice and veggies instead of canned or frozen varieties. It will cost far less and taste better.
  4. Buy produce in season – The produce you buy in summer is often twice as costly in mid-winter. Buy lots of in-season fruit and veggies, cooking and freezing to use in family meals months later.
  5. Think about a deep freezer – It may be worth the cost if you use it to buy meat and other items on sale and to store casseroles and sauces you cooked while ingredient prices were at their lowest.
  6. Try a garden – Cooking staples like tomatoes, onions, and squash are fairly easy to grow, and the savings mount up when you don’t have to buy them at the market. If gardening isn’t your thing, shop for produce at a local farmer’s market.
  7. Buy in bulk – Detergents, paper products, and multi-packs of the items you use frequently are much cheaper per unit. Buy items in bulk if you can store or freeze them until needed.
  8. Prepare more of your own food – Making cookies from scratch or soup from fresh veggies is cheaper and better-tasting than anything in a box or can. Get a basic cookbook, involve the family, and learn to cook better together.

Source: thesimpledollar.com

US Department of Energy

American wind power added significantly more new electricity than any other resource in 2014, according to U.S. Department of Energy data released in early March.

Wind power generated 4.4 percent of all the electricity in America in 2014 and maintained its position as the fifth largest electricity source in the U.S., according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Energy Information Administration (EIA). Iowa led the nation by producing 28.5 percent of its electricity from wind power, followed by South Dakota at 25.3 percent and Kansas at 21.7. Wind energy provided more than 15 percent of electricity in a total of seven states, more than 10 percent in a total of nine states, and more than five percent in a total of 19 states.

All renewable energy sources including hydropower now deliver more than 13 percent of the nation’s electricity, with wind energy providing more than one-third of that total. Industy_Renewable_Turbines

“The U.S. is blessed with an abundant supply of wind energy. Pairing this homegrown resource with continued technology innovation has made the U.S. the home of the most productive wind turbines in the world,” said Emily Williams, Deputy Director of Industry Data and Analysis for AWEA. Analysis released last year found the U.S. is number one in the world in wind energy production.

“Having more clean, affordable wind power than ever is helping to keep the lights on for U.S. homes and businesses,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). “We have an opportunity to have even more of the U.S. reliably powered by wind, resulting in more well-paying jobs, more benefits for consumers and cleaner air.”

Wind energy’s growth has been driven by technological improvements and cost declines that have reduced the cost of wind energy by more than half over the last five years, as documented by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

In 2014, wind provided enough electricity to power the equivalent of 16.7 million homes, or all the residential households in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, and Montana. Once recently added U.S. wind projects have had a full year of production, total wind output will likely rise to powering the equivalent of 18 million homes.

Congress is currently faced with the decision to extend the Production Tax Credit (PTC), the primary federal tax incentive for wind energy. The PTC’s performance-based incentive is a primary reason why U.S. wind plants are more productive than those in other countries. Construction of new U.S. wind farms has driven an average of $12.2 billion a year in private investment over the last five years, and $100 billion since 2008.

Texas broke into the top 10 states for percentage of the state’s electricity supplied by wind. The main Texas grid, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), generated 10.6 percent of its electricity from wind in 2014. Texas continued to lead the U.S. with the most wind installed wind capacity, as well as the most electricity generated from wind energy – over 39 million megawatts-hours, enough to power more than 3.6 million homes. At times, wind energy has provided nearly 40 percent of the electricity on the main Texas grid, and over 60 percent of electricity on the main Colorado power system.

Texas, Iowa, California and Oklahoma all generated enough electricity to power more than 1 million homes.

The U.S. will tap into more of its wind power resources this year, and in years ahead, as the U.S. wind energy industry entered 2015 with a record of more than 13,000 MW of wind projects under construction. Construction activity is currently ongoing in 22 states.

Wind power is emerging as a critical solution for states and utilities to cost-effectively reduce pollution, which will help comply with pending EPA rules. In 2014, the U.S. wind fleet reduced carbon dioxide pollution by around 125 million metric tons, equivalent to 26 million cars worth of carbon emissions.

“Wind has more than tripled since 2008, it can double from where it is today to 10 percent by 2020, then double again to 20 percent by 2030, and become the leading source of electricity in the U.S. by 2050,” said AWEA’s Kiernan. “However, to get there Congress must provide wind with the same policy certainty it provides to other energy sources by rapidly extending the Production Tax Credit for as long as possible.”

The DOE is expected to release a new report this month titled, “Wind Vision: A New Era for Wind Power in the United States,” that will show how the U.S. can reach those goals. In a 2010 study, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory reported that the U.S. has over 10 million megawatts of viable wind resource potential, enough to power the equivalent of the nation’s total electricity needs 10 times over.

As wind energy has grown to provide a larger share of our electricity mix, wind turbine technology has matured so that modern wind plants are able to provide the same grid reliability services as conventional generators, as documented in an AWEA report released last month.

American wind power now supports well-paying manufacturing jobs at over 500 manufacturing facilities in 43 states, and 50,000 well-paying jobs. Wind farms deliver over $180 million a year to landowners in lease payments, as over 98 percent of wind projects are located on private land.

— Source: American Wind Energy Association

Energy Reduction Strategies

Self Reliant Energy is getting started early this spring. For the next month we are offering “No Cost” Building Performance Institute Certified Energy Audits.

New Incentives have been introduced for many sources of renewable energy can accomplish our increasing energy needs including weatherization of Multi-Family and Commercial Buildings.
Many sources of renewable energy can accomplish our increasing energy needs

Many sources of renewable energy can accomplish our increasing energy needs

100-year-old historic bank achieves LEED Platinum

100-year-old historic bank achieves LEED Platinum with LSX
The nearly 100 year old Farmer’s Bank building of Carson Valley, Nevada, headquarters for Bentley Enterprises, completed subtle renovations to achieve Platinum LEED without altering the appearance or architecture of the historic building. Among the external renovations is a “top hat” of LSX solar modules, designed by NicholsBooth Architects and installed by United Electrical Services, Inc.
Modules: (120) LSX 250 clear backsheet Racking: LSX Rail 1.0 and custom canopy “top hat” structure

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Wind Energy Technology

Wind Vision report proving that we can hit 35% wind power by 2030 – our Power of Wind community has made sure that every single member of Congress was alerted to the news.

This could be big.  Already, one of our Senate champions introduced a proposal for extending renewable energy tax credits – our most urgent priority – late last week.

But, we’re also coming up against some vocal opponents.  Several Senators introduced proposals to prevent the extension of – and even to repeal – those same crucial incentives!

As of right now, none of these proposals has come up for a vote.  But, these opponents are not going to back down, and we need to make sure Power of Wind can keep the pressure on Congress.

While we may not have the million-dollar budgets that anti-wind groups are using to spread misinformation about wind power – we have the smarts and community to maximize the impact of every dollar to create a clean, affordable energy future.

With your help, these are the exciting victories that the Wind Vision roadmap to 35% wind power can achieve:

  • Reducing air pollution by displacing dirty forms of energy with clean wind power.  As we secure more of our power from wind, we will cut emissions of carbon, sulfur, and nitrous oxides, as well as particulate matter, which harm our health and environment.  This would mean a $400 billion savings in climate change damages and an additional $108 billion savings on public health costs.
  • Conserving our water resources by growing a source of power that requires little to no water. Using wind in place of power plants that require substantial amounts of water for cooling processes would cut total U.S. power plant water use by about one quarter, or 260 billion gallons, in 2050 alone.
  • Creating high-paying American jobs in the manufacturing, construction, engineering, and transportation sectors, among others.  American wind industry jobs would total 600,000 in 2050.

You and I can make sure that more Americans than ever before gain access to clean, affordable wind energy.

Our team will work hard to maximize the impact your donation makes in our campaign to unleash the power of wind. Thank you for being such a valued partner at this critical moment!

Sincerely,

Aaron Severn
Senior Director, Federal Legislative Affairs                     

5 Reasons Why Contractors and Remodelers Need BPI Certification

Aug, 1 2013 17:08

5 Reasons Why Contractors and Remodelers Need BPI Certification

If you’re a Remodeler, Roofer, HVAC or Windows Contractor, the BPI Building Analyst certification can help you close sales and increase revenue. Here are 5 ways…
1)  Certification is Required for Rebate Programs

Many utility programs require upgrade work to be done by a certified BPI Building Analyst in order for homeowners to get their rebates. Without this certification, you simply can’t participate in these programs. The homeowners will look for a contractor who has the certification so they can take advantage of rebates.
2)  More Sales and Higher Margins

When you talk to customers about home performance, you appear more knowledgeable and trustworthy. When it comes to contractors, homeowners just want to find someone they can trust. They’ll even pay a little more to have that peace of mind. When you know how installing new windows or HVAC equipment, for example, will impact the other systems in the house – and you take the time to explain it to the homeowner – you earn the homeowner’s trust really fast.
3)  More Revenue with Energy Audits and Other Services

With BPI Building Analyst certification you can perform home energy audits to generate additional revenue. Or you can offer audits for free or at a discounted rate as a marketing tool to reach new customers.

When you explain to the homeowner how the house works as a system, and how they can benefit from additional upgrades, you can increase the size of your sale. Your windows or HVAC install can suddenly include air sealing and insulation, which you can do yourself or subcontract out for a commission.
4)  Compete on Quality, Not Price

Competing on price is a losing game. When you talk about a home’s performance, you naturally steer the conversation toward quality and away from price. You’re offering a higher level of service that can really differentiate you from your competitors who are just selling one-off solutions, whether that’s windows, a new roof, siding, or a new kitchen. Competing on quality can land you more jobs, often at higher margins.
5)  Answer Tough Questions, Win the Job

These days, homeowners are more informed. They do their research on the internet. And they can ask some pretty tough questions about their home and its performance. If you can’t answer their questions, forget about landing the job. With BPI Building Analyst training, you’ll know the answers.
Online Training – Learn WHEN You Want, WHERE You Want

When you train with Green Training USA, training is online, giving you the flexibility to learn from anywhere you have an internet connection. And with our self-paced learning, you go at your own speed and review anything you didn’t catch the first time. When you’re finished the online materials, our hands-on field training lets you put the ideas into practice in a real home.
Fits YOUR Schedule

If you can do the online and hands-on training and certification exams in the next couple of months, that’s great! But if you’re too busy to tackle it all right now, you can take the online training now, and take the field training and certification exams later. Either way, register today and get started immediately!
Register Here – BPI Building Analyst Course
Questions? Call 1-800-518-1877. We look forward to speaking with you!

Introducing Self Reliant Energy Company

Thank You for allowing me to introduce Self Reliant Energy Company.

We have been conducting research & Development of Renewable energy sources for approx. 10 years.

Prior to that we have been involved with energy conservation programs and agencies (insulation, caulking, weather stripping and using energy efficient light bulbs and appliances.

There are at least 3 – 5 other options to coal generated electricity, nuclear created power, natural gas, propane, gasoline, fuel oil and diesel fuel.

Solar (There are 4 Different Ways to use Solar)

  1. Passive solar will hear air to be circulated into living spaces. [1,000 sq. ft. 1 panel $2,700.00 approx.]
  2. Active solar will heat fluid for transfer into domestic hot water and furnace or boiler heat.
  3. [4 person home 40-60% fuel reduction DHW $5,600.00]{Furnace or Boiler adaption $8,000.00-$9,000.00}
  4. Photovoltaic solar will create electricity. [$6.00 – $12.00 per watt of PV Electric]
    Solar Cooking Ovens [$200 – $500] (I use one often)

There Are 2 types of Wind Turbines.

  1. Horizontal axis wind turbines (available in 400 watts to 225,000 watts) Vertical axis wind turbines (available in 3,500 watts to 50,000 watts) Both styles create electrical energy. Horizontal axis wind turbines require more wind speed to reach maximum efficiency and require tower heights that increase with turbine size (400 watt, 30 foot tower/1,000 watt 50 foot tower)
  2. Vertical axis wind turbines can be flat roof top mounted, ground mounted or tower mounted less wind speed is required for maximum efficiency and installation is easier. 2,000 watts – 5,000 watts will power a residential home based on consumption. [$4.00 – $10.00 per watt of Generated Electricity]

Biomass Heating Sources (corn, pellets, cherry pits, switch grass, walnuts) these items when burned in a controlled stove or furnace can eliminate natural gas heating costs with a relatively small investment. Average home heating cost (propane or natural gas) $15.00 – $25.00 per day. Average home heating cost (biomass furnace or stove) $3.00 – $10.00 per day after investment is paid. Most of these furnaces burn multiple fuels and can also heat domestic hot water while heating homes.

Bio-diesel, Alcohol, and Hydrogen Bio-diesel can be made from vegetable oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil, canola oil etc. Alcohol can be made from any biodegradable plant or vegetable. Hydrogen is extracted from water. These 2 fuel sources can operate in internal combustion engines with out heavy mechanical alterations.

Water Conditioning and Grey Water Collection. We offer a low cost water conditioner that uses no salt.

We also encourage the use of “Grey Water Collection Systems” People never realize 30% of water cost is flushed down the toilet. City water cost is approx.$2.00 per 1,000 gallons of water. City sewer cost is approx. $4.00 per 1,000 gallons of water each 1,000 gallons of water costs you $6.00 if you could reduce that by 30% Water cost now $4.20 / 1,000 gal.
All water is collected from every water source accept kitchen and toilet, sterilized and re-circulated into toilet for final flush. Inner city water customers prove this investment can be paid for in a short period of time.

There are things I learn daily from other renewable energy consultants, companies, environmental organizations, suppliers and consumers.
I am sure there is much more to learn and a great deal that I do not know. If we do not ALL continue to promote, create, educate each other nothing will be gained.

We have years of research material if interested.

We have Certified Active, Passive and Photovoltaic Installer Certifications.

We daily work with organizations that promote renewable energy: Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association, American Wind Energy Association, American Solar Certification, National Wind Energy Association, Renewable Energy Source Guidelines, Solar Power Rocks, Step – It -Up, Find Solar, Michigan Solar Dealers Group, Green Energy Council, Green Jobs Now, Michigan Area Renewable Energy Association & Gro-Solar Inc.

Thank You for getting to know us!

Please contact me if I can be of any assistance.

Thomas J. Reinke