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

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!

Wildfires and Your Home's Electrical System

California is no stranger to fire danger, especially over the last few weeks. The state has seen its fair share of wildfires and so far this year alone, it’s been some of the most serious yet. Over a million acres have been affected, and 41 lives lost too date. Though the majority of the most recent wildfires spread out through California have been contained, some are still fighting and burning and causing excessive amounts of damage. Many cannot return to their homes, simply because it does not exist anymore. Those who are lucky enough to still have a place to come home to need to take some things into very serious consideration before living comfortably again; such as electrical systems in still-standing homes.

wildfire electrician

After an event like a wildfire, it is crucial to have your home inspected if you were in an affected area. These inspections will provide a peace of mind in knowing your home is safe or has the potential to be safe, rather than be kept guessing and hoping.

Fire can damage electrical wires very obviously and will cause additional fires inside the home if sparked. If a firefighter is present during the blaze and attempts to contain the fire, the water from the hoses will also damage any exposed electrical wiring. It is important to make sure all electricity is turned off, and appliances are unplugged before returning to the affected home.

Entirely new wiring might be a possibility after a wildfire. This will ensure that all of your wirings is up to date and code, plus it will be brand new. No issues or worries if there will be a short or spark due to the previous disasters. So if your home has been affected by the recent wildfires affecting all of us in California, please contact us for a complete whole home electrical inspection and we can give you recommendations on how to proceed with any electrical repairs in your home, making sure your family is safe and sound.

After a natural, or sometimes even manmade, disaster such as a wildfire it is smart to have a professional electrician assess the damages to your home. It could easily save your life one day.

Gross but useful - Scientist are creating electricity from used toilet paper

toilet paper electricityToilet paper isn’t often considered a very valuable asset given that most people prefer not to think about it much at all. Toilet paper is an entrepreneur’s dream because it is one of just a few raw materials with a negative cost. Treatment facilitiesactually pay per ton to get rid of it!

Scientists have proposed a two-step process for the conversion of toilet paper, taking it from an unwanted waste to a product that’s quite useful. For chemists actively researching the idea of using toilet paper as a resource for generating electricity, they hope to achieve the “ultimate waste recycling concept.”

Since the cellulose contained in toilet paper comes from trees, the electricity produced is renewable and offers a great opportunity for meeting society’s demand for renewable energy. Further, while most renewable resources often show discontinuous peaks (plant stems can be recycled, but only after the harvest; sunlight is only available in the daytime and depends on cloud cover, and wind supply is unpredictable) waste toilet paper, on the other hand, is a continuously available resource.

The proposed system’s capital costs are still relatively high (mainly due to the fuel cell investment costs), but are expected to decrease as the market for fuel cells develops. Researches expect the system could eventually become more competitive with a LCOE of about 11cents per kilowatt hour. 

While the project team is currently undertaking the project in Amsterdam, they are excited about plans to take their concept abroad even speculating the first Waste Toilet Paper to Electricity plant being built in China.