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Electrician Serving Pleasant Hill, Concord, Walnut Creek, LafayetteOrinda, Moraga & the Surrounding Areas

Eichler Electrical Work

eichler home electricianHousing trends come and go, sometimes they cycle back around, and others stay classic forever. A type of home that falls under that classic style is Eichler style homes. Along with a unique look, Eichler homes require unique attention to the inner workings of the house.

An Eichler home does not have anything above or underneath it, meaning you will never find a basement or an attic in one of these homes. There are no crawl spaces either, which makes access areas a bit more challenging to work with. This means that the electrical wiring throughout the home will be behind the walls, along the roof, and underneath the home’s slab. Due to the difficulty of the wiring, it’s not a job for an everyday electrician.

Hiring an electrician that specializes in Eichler homes is a must when it comes to fixing/replacing any wiring within the home. It’s not the danger of the electrical wires that causean issues, but the difficult challenge of the wiring itself that requires a specialist. Most Eichler homes are models made decades ago, so it is essential to have the electrical panels inspected by a specialist as well. Some of these older model Eichlers can have panels that are very outdated and could cause irreversible damage if ignored.

So next time you’re out house hunting, and you find that perfect little oddity in an Eichler home, put hiring an Eichler home electric specialist on the top of your to-do list.

California may offer bigger rebates for electric car owners

electric car rebatesThe cost of plug-in electric vehicles at first glance may seem high.  But, factor in the different rebates and tax credits available, and the cost becomes quite attractive. Search incentives by your zipcode and you may find even more programs that will save you money.

 

Note: Vehicles listed here are passenger car PEVs that qualify for CA's CVRP program andor Clean Air Vehicle decal, however, other PEVs may be eligible for just a Federal tax credit. A complete PEV listing can be found in the vehicle search. For the most accurate MSRP information, visit the manufacturer website. Some manufacturers also offer very aggressive lease rates.  

 

Clean Vehicle Rebate - A single payment rebate check is mailed directly to the applicant on a first-come, first-served basis generally within 90 days of approval, regardless if the vehicle is purchased or leased. (as funding is available, and some situations may cause longer wait times).

 

Federal Tax Credit - A credit of up to the amount shown can be claimed at tax time, and car buyers are encouraged to consult with a tax professional to understand what this means for them. This Edmunds article provides one perspective on what car buyers might expect. For leased vehicles, this tax credit is claimed by the manufacturer and sometimes used to bring down the lease price (the amount passed on to the consumer varies by dealer). 

 

California HOV Lane Access - Applicants may apply for decals once the vehicle has a license plate and registration.

 

For a list of specific vehicles and their associated rebate rates, visit California’s Drive Clean website here.

Solar for New Year

solar bay area californiaIt’s a new year, so it’s time for some new changes! And what bigger difference than one that can save you tons of money every month and give you piece of mind that you’re helping save the earth, one house at a time. That would be thanks to switching to solar powering your home. Now it isn’t quite as easy as slapping a few solar panels on your roof, and you’re good to go, though that is a general idea. It takes the work of a solar professional to assess your home for the most optimal solar power set up.

You can save and earn money after you switch to solar energy. Saving money comes from the amount of energy you consume and how much your solar system covers. It is also important to get with your energy company and work out how you will be compensated for energy returned to the grid thanks to the solar paneling. Earning money from solar energy comes into play if you ever decide to sell or rent your home. It increases the value of the home with a desirable energy source that has already been preinstalled and will only require light maintenance from the new homeowners. It is even possible to receive state incentives and tax breaks to encourage goingtotally solar in your home.

Going solar brings in significant environmental benefits. It drastically cuts down on your carbon footprint, stopping your home from emitting pollutants into the atmosphere. This gives you, the consumer, a sense of being a part of something earth-changing. It reduces the amount of carbon that eventually can hurt our air and water. Installing solar is 100% safe, also. Everything will be built to code and has to undergo an inspection by a certified electrician before it gets the all okay.

All in all, making the switch to solar is the best New Year resolution you can make. The upfront cost of a solar setup can be a little pricey, but the long-term savings and the potential earning from investing in this system can  pay off. And the benefits of saving the environment are a winner in itself.

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What are the best extension cords for holiday decorations?

extension cords holidaysWith all of the hustle and bustle around the holidays, too often safety gets ignored as a priority. This leaves opportunity for accidents or injuries (including burns) to occur. We all want to get the most out of our holiday season and for our family to feel safe and secure. Here are some tips to use extension cords safely this season:

  • Inspect electrical wiring - When holiday lights, decorations, and ornaments have been in storage for a year, anything could have happened to cause them to deteriorate or become damaged. Closely inspect all of the electrical wiring to your lights and electrical decorations to be sure there are no cuts, nicks or chew marks from rodents and if there are - throw them away. 
  • Read the labels - Indoor and outdoor light strands are labeled as such for a reason. Indoor lights typically are less protected from the elements than outdoor lights, which usually have a thicker outer cover. Always use the lights in their designated areas to avoid fires or burns.
  • Avoid Abusing Outlets - overloading a circuit on one outlet with too many items plugged into it can spark an electrical fire very quickly. Plan your decorations and lighting in such a way that they are spread out evenly in the room as to avoid overloading.
  • Keep Electrical Cords Safe - Avoid putting extension cords or power strips in areas that are dangerous, such as underneath or behind heavy furniture or in hard to reach places. Also, be sure to keep them out of areas where a lot of people walk through your home to avoid tripping and falling over cords.

First and foremost, stay safe this holiday season and immediately seek medical attention for anyone that experiences electrical burns or shock.

Could your office lights be hurting your health?

office lightingAs business owners, we all care about our  health and the health of our employees. So, we invest in clean air products, water treatment products, and even healthy vending machines. We encourage physical activities and hire cleaning crews to keep allergens and dust to a minimum. But, what if one thing we’re missing is right above us - our office lights?

If you haven’t made the switch from traditional fluorescent lighting to LED lights in your office yet, you may want to consider it now  to improve your health and the health of your employees. 

LED lights to give off a whiter light than traditional compact fluorescent bulbs- resulting in less strain on your eyes when trying to read or focus. This is such a great benefit to reduce the strain your eyes already undergo during a day of staring at a computer monitor, spreadsheets or measurements. LED provides you with a clearer view of what you are looking at. Compact Fluorescent bulbs cast objects in a yellow glow, and light that is focused in one direction.

CFL light bulbs contain mercury - a highly toxic metal that poses serious health risks, while LED lights contain no such toxic chemicals or metals. Studies performed by the United States Department of Energy and scientists from Carnegie Mellon both found that LED lights are as efficient to manufacture as CFL lights and LEDs will become even more efficient in the future. With a market that’s rewarding businesses for going green by offering incentives for energy saving methods, LED lighting could benefit your business in more ways than one!