August 20, 2015 Newsletter
August 20, 2015 Eco Electric Newsletter
Oil and Renewable Energy not in Competition
As oil prices drop, making motorists happy and investors worry, renewable energy executives are staying relaxed. While it would seem they should worry that these falling prices would take away from the demand for their resources, they aren’t sweating it.
Here’s why: Oil is used more for transportation fuel, not cutting into the use of renewable energy sources for power. These sources are being applied differently, so in the end they aren’t really in competition.
Renewable energy accounted for nine percent of the U.S.’s electricity last year, while oil accounted for only one percent. The amount of renewable energy used for power doubled between 2010 and 2014. The amount of oil has stayed pretty much the same for the past five years. \
This does, however, affect the electric auto industry. Tesla Motors, Nissan and BMW are seeing disappointing sales numbers this year. The already struggling industry might see more setbacks with lower oil prices.
The United States continues to move more toward renewable energy, and away from exhausting non-renewable resources when it comes to power. For now, oil will continue to be important in transportation, but with more companies jumping on electric vehicle technology, that could change in the future.
Keeping Apartments Electrically Safe
Tenants are entitled to a safe and livable home. The legal name for this is “implied warranty of habitability.” While this covers a range of items and services, one of them has to do with keeping electrical items operating safely.
Failing to keep a rental property up to code could be costly for a landlord. However, beyond the vague rules associated with the implied warranty of habitability, there aren’t really any rules for landlords regarding electrical safety.
Renters should be aware of possible electrical safety hazards they could come across when renting. Here are three hidden safety hazards to be on the lookout for before and during renting:
1. Wall Outlets: Damaged wall outlets indicate a problem with the wiring or receptacle. This could present itself as an outlet that is warm, discolored, or has a cracked face plate. When plugging an appliance in, if a tingling sensation is present, the wiring could have a short. The appliance should be unplugged immediately and the landlord called.
2. Flickering or Dimming Lights: This is another indication there is a short somewhere in the wiring. This is more common in older buildings where the wiring hasn’t been updated for a long time.
3. Arc Faults: These are the primary cause of home fires in the United States. Arc faults happen when an electrical current is steered off course by damaged wiring.
Renters should be careful when using extension cords and appliances in their apartment, especially older ones with aluminum wiring. Keep an eye out for issues and report them as soon as possible to landlords or apartment managers.
Lighting a Living Room
Most living rooms don’t come with lighting in the ceiling. It’s left up to the homeowner to provide the right lighting for the multiple functions living rooms serve. A well-lit living room has general, task and accent lighting.
If there’s enough natural lighting in a living room, overhead lighting isn’t necessary. If it doesn’t have good natural lighting, a great way to create overhead lighting in a dimly-light living room is with angled spotlights. They can help create lighting with the ability to be positioned so they avoid television glare.
With low levels of natural light, task lighting is a must. When reading in the living room, it can be frustrating and straining on the eyes with low lighting. Reading lamps, table lamps and floor lamps are great options for task lighting in living rooms for reading and other activities.
Table lamps or floor lamps that are low level or adjustable can help create a great atmosphere in the evening. By placing them toward the walls, it creates a glow that bounces inward.
Eco Electric can design and install lighting configurations for any room in the house. Give them a call to help light up a dimly-lit living room or den.
Idaho’s Energy Sources
Idaho has a plethora of renewable energy resources. In 2013, an incredible 78 percent of Idaho’s net electricity generation came from renewable energy resources. It also had the fourth lowest average electricity prices in the United States.
Not surprisingly, hydroelectric power supplied 58 percent of the net electricity in 2013. Wind generation also made a huge leap the same year, increasing by almost 35 percent and providing 16 percent of net energy generation.
When it comes to petroleum, natural gas and coal, Idaho does not produce any of these. These resources are instead obtained from surrounding states for now. However, petroleum is the leasing energy source in Idaho due to the transportation and industrial sectors. Even with that, Idaho’s petroleum consumption is still far below the national median.
Hydroelectric power plants dominate the state’s electricity generation. With more than 3,000 miles of rivers in Idaho, this makes sense. The rest of its net energy generation comes from wind, natural gas, biomass, geothermal and coal.
With such low electricity rates, about one third of Idahoans use electricity for their primary source in home heating. Idaho also consumes about twice as much electricity as it generates. This means the state has to depend on power supplied via interstate transmission lines. These congested power lines are looking to get an expansion, and also aim to enable development of the region’s renewable resources.
Idaho might not be the first state people think of when they think renewable energy, but it gets 85 percent of its net electricity generation from renewable resources. That is more than any other state in the U.S.
The Gem State also has potential for wind energy along the Snake River and its various mountains. Wind power projects have been increasing and wind-generated energy increased by almost six times between 2010 and 2013.
Geothermal energy is a huge part of Idaho with its many hot springs and other resources. These have been used for aquaculture, greenhouses, spas, resorts and city district heating.
With many renewable energy projects in the works, Idaho could generate electricity with even more renewable resources. Eco Electric, like the state of Idaho, takes into consideration their impact on the environment. They are always looking to lessen that impact and offer their customers energy saving methods of electric service.