Thursday, August 7, 2014

Energy Efficiency - State Standards Raise the Bar

In an article featured in June’s edition of Electrical Contractor magazine, Rick Laezman explains that despite all the current hype about alternative-energy practices gives the movement all the momentum it needs, there is still a long way to go. Rick points out that in reality, the movement is a long way from self-sufficiency, so government incentives, whether positive or negative, is still necessary.

North Carolina electrical policy is a good example. Incentives created by the state attracted huge energy users like Google and Apple to set up large solar farms within the state to fuel their server farms and customer service centers. These policy moves brought many jobs to the state, while also making North Carolina 4th in the nation for installed solar capacity in 2013 (see previous post – North Carolina Ranks in Top Ten for Solar Power Generation). As one of the very few installers of solar power systems in High Point, North Carolina, Beco understands the promise of this technology. Other states, however, make the argument that alternative energy caused a burden on the electrical grid. Oklahoma just passed a law that forces homeowners to pay a fee for the right to remain connected to the local power grid, although most of those homes are actually contributing solar generated power back to the system.

The Electrical Contractor Magazine article uses an April report released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy to point out that 26 states who adopted standards that encourage utilities in a variety of programs saved enough electricity to power 2 million home for an entire year. The ACEEE report added that if the 26 states continue these standards, savings will be equivalent to 6.2 percent overall electricity sales in the US in 2020.

No matter what alternative energy policy does for the overall economy, energy efficient practices save businesses and homeowners money. The professionals at Beco Electrical can make recommendations on products and practices to make your home or business more energy-efficient, as well as provide an estimate for a solar power generation system.