Archive for May, 2010

Solar Gift Suggestions for Father’s Day

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

You are now deciding what to get your old man for Father’s Day. Of course, you have already thought of the same ho-hum cologne or colorful tie. But your dad hasn’t worn a tie to work in four years—he probably is working for a renewable energy company or something like that. And the cologne that you gave him seven years ago is still safely packed away in his lower drawer in the bathroom—unopened. What to do? SolarTown has a good variety of solar gifts depending on the personality and preferences of your father, but here is a list of some of the solar gifts that you may want to think about giving for Father’s Day. Please look at the solar electronics section and the solar outdoors section of the site to see what we offer. If you want our ideas on some or our newer products, this may give you an idea of what some of your choices are.

Waiting for Godot . . . and the Energy Bill

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Ever since Barack Obama was inaugurated as president, the air in Washington has been thick with expectation for a coherent energy policy. When Obama announced early in his administration that energy was one of three critical priorities—along with health care and education— hopes were high that this country was on a leadership path in the global effort to reduce greenhouse gasses. We are still waiting and chances are not good that we will soon any significant breakthroughs any time soon.

Economics Trump Environment in New Jersey

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

New Jersey has been a leader in solar, but because of tough economic times, the Governor has thrown solar under the bus. The New Jersey governor has diverted some $400 million in clean energy programs to balance the state’s budget. This financing of course puts the solar installer at risk if there are delays in receiving the rebates. What happens when the rebates are in jeopardy? Two words spring to mind: panic and chaos—which is exactly what is happening in New Jersey today. New Jersey has temporarily suspended the solar rebate program and has announced that it will not take any further applications until September. If you are a small installer paying your labor and equipment with the expectation that you will receive the rebates in a timely manner, this announcement must have produced uncertainty at best and panic at worst. This move seems to be pound wise and penny foolish as no doubt the solar installers will have to lay off some of their workers and wait until the rebates become available in September—just as the economy is beginning to recover.

Racers, Start Your Solar Engines!

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Ken Stadlin of Kenergy Solar in Maryland came up to talk solar and give the kids a solar run for their money. Ken was there to press the kids to participate in the Junior Solar Sprint Car Competition organized by the US Department of Energy. This outstanding program challenges kids from all over the country to work together and build solar cars. Sounds dull—no chance! The kids love it but of course they need parents and teachers to help organize these events. And that is where Ken comes in. Ken wants to get kids and their parents from around the region more involved in the Junior Solar Sprints.