Some use the terms power and energy interchangeably...
However, these terms represent very different, but related concepts.
Power is the rate at which energy is consumed, expressed in watts or kilowatts.
Energy is the amount of power consumed, expressed in watt-hours or kilowatt-hours (kWh).
To understand energy use, and consequently our utility bills, we must factor in the amount of power devices and appliances use and how long we use them.
Let’s look at the example of a typical light fixture outside your front door with a 60 watt light bulb. Sixty watts is the amount of power the lamp consumes, or the rate at which the lamp uses energy. If you run a 60 watt light bulb from dusk to dawn for 12 hours, you will consume 720 watt-hours of energy (or 0.72 kilowatt-hours).
In Southwest Florida we currently pay around 10 cents per kilowatt-hour, so that light bulb would cost 7.2 cents per night, or $26.28 annually.
If you look at your utility bill, you will see that you are charged for the number of kilowatt-hours (KWH) that you consume.
This is the amount of energy consumed between meter readings. To reduce the energy you use, you must either reduce the amount of power you use, or the amount of time you use that power (or both!)
Energy = Power x Time
Going back to our light bulb example, you could install a light bulb that uses less power, or you could reduce the number of hours it runs. Both courses of action would reduce the energy used and save you money. Here are three different ideas to save energy and money.
1) Replace the bulb with a 13W compact fluorescent with equivalent light output (reduce power).
Energy Saved: 0.56 kilowatt hours daily, or $20.58 saved annually
2) Put the light on a timer and run for just 6 hours nightly (reduce time).
Energy saved: 0.36 kilowatt hours daily, or $13.14 saved annuall
3) Do both of the above (reduce power and time).
Energy Saved: 0.64 kilowatt hours daily, or $23.43 saved annually
While power and energy are intimately connected, they are not the same.
Understanding the difference can help you save money!
In my next article, I will take this concept one step further and explain why you should think twice when trying to be “energy efficient.”
- Fafco Solar, Cape Coral’s solar energy solutions company, will be holding an open house to celebrate Earth Day on April 19 - 23, 2010 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
FORT MYERS, Florida—April 14, 2010—Fafco Solar, Cape Coral’s solar energy solution company, will be holding an open house to celebrate Earth Day. The open house takes place from April 19 to 23, 2010, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at their corporate office located at 901 SE 13th Place Cape Coral, FL 33990.
Attendees will be able to take a tour of Fafco’s Green Building, sign a “Declaration of Energy Independence,” and learn more about all the solar energy products offered by Fafco Solar. Fafco will give attendees a listing of other local Earth Day events, tips and suggestions for going green and a “Solar Bill of Rights” to take home with them.
“This is a great opportunity for us to be able to educate the public on what they can do to be green and do their part to save the environment. Solar energy is a readily-available and renewable source of energy that will not only reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, but it also helps our customers save lots of money. We’re proud to celebrate Earth Day by teaching our customers how to be environmentally responsible citizens,” says Dan Morrissey, Owner and President of Fafco Solar.
About Fafco Solar Energy:
The Fafco Solar Team, Cape Coral's Solar Energy Solutions Company, is a wonderful blend of talent and dedication. They are committed to giving professional customer service. Fafco Solar is the oldest and most trusted name in Southwest Florida. With over 116 years of pooled solar experience, the Fafco Solar Team is committed to reducing your use of fossil fuel to zero. Customers of Fafco Solar can benefit from a 30% tax credit. To find out more, call Fafco Solar at (239) 574-1500 or visit them online at Fafco Solar Energy.
Servicing Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Naples, Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, Bonita Springs, and all of Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry, and Glades Counties in Florida
While offshore oil and gas drilling is the slowest, dirtiest, most hazardous and expensive way to produce energy - investing in clean energy would create four times as many jobs as investing the same amount of money in oil.
We need energy efficiency coupled with new, advanced, sophisticated, clean renewable energy technologies such as solar energy.
What we can do is thank Florida Senators Mel Martinez and Bill Nelson for their continued strong opposition to drilling and spilling oil on America’s best beaches, drilling that would ruin our state’s number one economic resource: our beach sand.
People in other states can help by getting their Senators to take Florida drilling out of the Senate’s energy bill.
Renewable energy technology works extremely well in an iPad world!
The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (April 2010) speaks for itself...
As of this writing, the spill is increasing in size exponentially and it is sure to be one of the worst environmental disasters in United States history.
The explosion resulted in the tragic loss of life and as the days unfold we will see the true extent of the ravage that oil can wreak on the environment.
It is generally agreed upon that oil production follows a bell curve.
Oil is increasingly plentiful on the upslope of the bell curve, increasingly scarce and expensive on the down slope.
The peak of the curve coincides with the point at which the oil has been 50 percent depleted.
Therefore, oil will not just "run out" immediately but will become increasingly scarce.
This is true whether we're talking about an individual field, a country, or on the planet as a whole. Many projections of Peak Oil have it within the past five years and once the peak is passed, oil production begins to go down while cost begins to go up.
Currently demand for oil is lowered due to the worldwide economic downturn.
The issue is not one of "running out" but rather not having enough to keep our economy running. An oil based economy such as ours doesn't need to deplete its entire reserve of oil before it begins to collapse.
A shortfall between demand and supply as little as 10 to 15 percent is enough to detrimentally impact an oil-dependent economy.
Hurricanes and oil don’t mix...
Nearly every hurricane in recent memory has caused some type of oil spillage.
Does it make any sense to put rigs near Florida, a major "Hurricane Zone"?
Don't we have enough to worry about when we get struck by a storm?
Case in point…Hurricane Katrina slammed into Louisiana and Mississippi in 2005, destroying 115 oil platforms, significantly damaging 52 more and setting adrift 19.
More than 7 million gallons of petroleum products spilled, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. When you consider the onshore spills into that estimate, then the combined total spillage is over 9 million gallons, as estimated by the Department of Homeland Security.
According to the oil industry's own assessment, Hurricane Ivan caused oil pipelines to fail in the mud slide areas off the mouth of the Mississippi River, which would "take a significant effort to locate and repair." Hurricane Ivan also destroyed a number of production platforms in the U.S. Gulf.
Hurricane Hugo, in 1989 caused damage to a refinery which led to a significant oil spill.
Hurricane Andrew damaged or destroyed nearly 300 manned and unmanned platforms due to the combined effects of wind and waves.
When Hurricane Floyd wreaked havoc on the East Coast from the Carolinas to New York City, the US Coast Guard coordinated responses to the various disasters left in its wake - including an oil spill. The United States Coast Guard is the "first responder" when an oil spill endangers our environment.
Here in Florida, the Coast Guard is busy enough protecting our citizens and visitors from illegal activity. Why should we compromise the safety and security of our own state for the oil industry?
Drilling for oil off the coast of Florida is like buying eight track tapes in an iPad world.
It is outdated.
Our current renewable energy options are now advanced, sophisticated, clean, coming down in price, and safe.
Over the next series of blog posts, I'll be reviewing four serious arguments to be made against drilling for oil off of Florida's Gulf Coast - they are sand, hurricanes, the bell curve, and tragic accidents.
To begin.... Sand
Florida’s number one economic asset is its beaches…
Some of which have the finest, whitest sand and shells in the world.
The beaches attract tourists who spend billions of dollars here…tourism is how money is made in Florida.
Four out of five dollars are made on the beaches; for the experience of walking in the sand and looking out over a great and mystical expanse of clean water. For that privilege Florida is the top destination in the world with over 80 million people per year traveling to the Sunshine State. Not to mention the 6 million people with jobs in tourism and their $226 billion in wages.
According 2004 data from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida's clear waters, world-class beaches and coral reefs support $53 billion tourism industry, a $14 billion marine industry, and a fishing industry that injects more than $6 billion a year to Florida's communities. Florida's tourism industry generated $65 billion in 2008, with $13.3 billion generated in payroll to more than a million Floridians directly employed in tourism. State sales tax related to Florida tourism was $3.9 billion in 2008 (21 percent of taxes collected).
Without such tourist-related revenues, how would we fund our already strapped governmental agencies, schools and infrastructure?
Oil cannot replace the revenue generated from Florida’s tourist based economy so we should not throw it all away on a promise of new jobs and tax revenue by allowing the business to start up here.
Oil will not replace the sales tax revenue lost when tourists stop coming here because the beaches have empty oil drums and tar balls from the gulf’s wells.
A 2007 University of Delaware study concluded that beach closures cost the City of Galveston, Texas over $171,000.00 per day in lost business revenue. And the study was done without consideration of the cost of lodging, as the study's authors determined that Texas beachgoers primarily "day trip" to the beach.
In Florida, our vacationers stay for days, weeks, and even months at a time.
We have far more to lose than Texas.
Needless to say real estate values will drop even further when a major tourist destination is transformed into an industrial site. Imagine the market for a balcony view of pipelines, rigs, and refineries.
Keep an eye out for my next post in my series "Buying Eight Track Tapes in an iPad World".
As renewable and solar energy continue to gain global awareness one of the most common questions people have is:
"How Do I Power My Home From the Sun?"
The answer is with a Solar Electric Photovoltaic System.
Solar Electric Photovoltaic Systems, sometimes referred to as PV Systems, have many benefits:
- Reduce your electric bill.
- Take advantage of tax benefits and rebates.
- Help our country become less dependent on fossil fuels.
- And - Watch your meter spin backward (we never get tired of this!)
- Solar Energy
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Fafco Solar, Southwest Florida's leading renewable energy company, will be participating in the Charlotte County Green Futures Expo and Energy Options Conference.
FORT MYERS, Florida—October 14, 2009—Fafco Solar Energy, Cape Coral’s most trusted renewable energy solutions company, will be participating in the Southwest Florida Green Futures Expo and Energy Options Conference in Charlotte County.
The expo is sponsored by Charlotte County Building Construction Services in conjunction with the Economic Development Office and will take place November 1-2, 2009 at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center, 75 Taylor Street, Punta Gorda, FL 33950. The Expo is open to the public, free of charge and runs from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. both days.
The Expo will bring together many representatives from major companies and organizations in the alternative energy industry. Participants will be able to discuss issues, policies and strategies as well as the future of the industry.
Fafco will debut their latest renewable energy product.
Be sure to stop by the Fafco booth to find out what it is and how it can help you! For more information on the Charlotte County Energy Show, please visit http://charlottecountyfl.com/BCS/GreenFutures.
About Fafco Solar Energy:
The Fafco Solar Team is a wonderful blend of talent and dedication. They are committed to giving professional customer service. Fafco Solar is the oldest and most trusted name in Southwest Florida. With over 116 years of pooled solar energy experience, the Fafco Solar Team is committed to reducing your use of fossil fuel to zero. Customers of Fafco Solar can benefit from a 30% tax credit. To find out more, call Fafco Solar at (239) 574-1500 or visit them online at Fafco Solar Energy. Also, be sure to check out their blog at: GoSolarEnergyForLife
Servicing Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Naples, Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, Bonita Springs, and all of Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry, and Glades Counties in Florida.
If you're looking to do as little harm to our environment as possible here are 3 Ways to Properly Dispose of Old Electronics:
- www.Gazelle.com buys old cell phones, digital cameras, laptops. camcorders, and other electronics. After confirming the status and value of your item, you'll get a check, PayPal payment, or Gift Card. An iPhone 3G 8 Gigabyte version fetched $103, recently!
- www.Gettington.com allows you to price out what you'll get before you sell by answering a few questions about your item (and the accessories you have for it). You can sell anything from iPhones, iPods, to software, and eBook Readers!
- www.Flipswap.com gives you the ability to sell your old phone for cash (or a donation to a charity of your choosing) -- you can even trade it in for credit at a store that sells cell phones! At the high end, Flipswap pays out an average of $160 for old BlackBerrys and $220 for iPhones.
Remember, most electronics have some form of toxic chemicals in them, and even if you don't sell them, or donate them -- you should dispose of them properly (BestBuy has a great recycle program, be sure to check it out!)
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