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

When to upgrade electrical panel?

electrical panel replacementOne of the essential items in a home isn’t even that big. The electrical panel in your home is the source of all the energy being supplied to the necessities of home, and it’s usually tucked out of sight in the house. Just like the appliances that rely on the electrical panel to function, the panel itself needs to be upgraded over time. But how can one tell when it’s time to update? Here you will see a few top tips for finding out if you’re overdue to switch out your electric panels.

Let’s start with the visuals first. Just by looking at the home itself and determining when it was built is a good indicator of a potential upgrade. If the house is over 20 years old, check the panels immediately. Homes of this age are at high risk of having an unapproved panel (UL approval) and have been known to cause fires. There are also older panel models made by manufacturers that have been shut down by the UL because of the flaws in their panels. This is another thing to look out for, and having access to an online search engine via cellphones allow for easy and instant identification to determine if the panel is dangerous and needs upgrading.

Next are the inner workings of an old electrical panel. In old circuit breakers, they don’t always trip under test loads for a long time. Whether it’s a minute or longer, it is two seconds too long since updated panels trip instantly if overloaded. The trip is there to protect dwellers of the home from electrocution, shock, and fires and is meant to shut off the flow of electricity if a problem is detected. In an older home with an old panel that hasn’t been upgraded, those extra seconds can cost someone their lives.

If you’ve never looked at your electrical panel while living in your home, this alone could be a significant indicator that you need an upgrade. Call today to get one of our expert electricians out to you today and figure out what’s the best, and safest, solution for your electrical panel.

 

Is a plugless EV charger worth the investment?

plugless ev chargerIf you’re the owner of an electric vehicle, you understand the frustration of having to think about charging your car. Plugless EV chargers instantly rid you of that frustration and are completely worth the investment. 

Going plugless is as simple as parking your car. Your plugless system’s smart guidance system even senses your approaching vehicle and guides you in; left, right, forward and backward in real time, and it even gives you a score!

The system’s Control Panel works by sending electricity down through the cable in the Parking Pad which then transfers electricity to the adapter installed in your Electronic Vehicle.

The free and fully reversible installation are two more factors that make the investment even more worthwhile. You’ll never have to cut, drill, or damage your EV and it will function  the same as the day you brought it home. You’ll only need to plug it in to charge when you are away from home.

Plugless technology has passed tests of 300,000 hours of consumer use in indoor and outdoor climates andin heat, rain, and snow. 

For the ultimate convenience of charge times that are twice as fast as standard systems, therereally isn’t a reason not to go plugless!

 

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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