• led light 16.04.2012 No Comments

    San Jacinto may save an estimated $30,000 a year on its electric bill by switching to LED bulbs for streetlights, using a $151,800 federal grant.

    The San Jacinto City Council will be asked Tuesday to authorize a request for proposals from vendors to change out about 300 of 521 streetlights using a federal Department of Energy grant.

    The council also will consider whether to pay for Mayor Andrew Kotyuk to attend a mayors’ conference in Orlando, Fla., in June and hear a workshop presentation on a draft housing plan that is part of the city’s general land use plan.

    Energy savings from LED (light emitting diode) fixtures over low/high pressure sodium bulbs is estimated to be substantial, according to a staff report by Public Works Director Mike Emberton and Street Superintendent Barry Mulcock.

    The city projects the savings in utility bills will cover the investment in new bulbs in five years or less.

    The city will participate in a Southern California Edison energy efficiency program, which offers financial incentives to change.

    The council also will consider whether to spend $2,500 for Kotyuk to attend the U.S. Conference of Mayors annual meeting June 13-16. At the conference, mayors craft policy ideas and attend educational sessions, according to a staff report by City Manager Tim Hults.

    Later in the agenda, the council will hear a presentation from Planning Director Asher Hartel and consultant John Douglas about a revised draft housing plan for the 2008-2014 planning period. They made the same presentation to the city Planning Commission on Thursday.

    Action is not expected on the plan until this summer because environmental review is required, according to Hartel.

    It has taken several years to get to this point because the plan must be reviewed in advance by the state Department of Housing and Community Development to ensure that it complies with state law. The city received the compliance letter earlier this month.

    The housing plan looks at city demographic trends and housing needs. The plan must show how the city, through land use and zoning standards, will accommodate projected growth, and how the city will meet the housing needs of people with special needs, such as the elderly.


  • led light 19.03.2012 No Comments

    The federal government also offers tax credits as part of the package President Barack Obama initiated as part of a broader energy plan. Despite waning support for the subsidies amid the expiration date at the end of last year, lawmakers still decided to extend the federal tax credits to 2016.

    Some companies, such as Astrum, offer a leasing program in which homeowners can put down as much or as little money as they want, but leasing will yield smaller savings.

    Michelle Waldgeir, the vice president of marketing for Astrum, said that it’s these incentives that have made solar panels more enticing. She said that by the end of 2010, using the most recent data, Pennsylvania made it into the top 10 states with installations due to the incentive program the state provides.

    At first, the installation of the solar panels on Larry Cameron’s home would have been $55,000, but after the rebates and federal tax credits, the cost came down to $26,000.

    For the first few months, the Camerons didn’t have to pay any money up front, but now the bill for Larry Cameron is about $80 a month. He said the bill to operate his gentleman’s farm used to be about $240 a month . In months when the sun is out the most, the bill can be even lower.

    The Camerons’ biggest concern was whether they would see a payback soon. But they figure that at the rate their solar panels are going, they will be able to see a payback within six years.

    Astrum keeps track of the energy production and consumption. Homeowners can see a credit on their account for energy that’s sent back.

    But just because the sun is powering the family’s electric needs, that doesn’t mean they consume more energy.

    Larry Cameron’s family heats their home with wood from dead trees. Brenda Cameron still hangs her clothes outside or on a wire rack in her home.

    Everybody is sure to turn off the lights when leaving a room. And they use LED bulbs because they consume less energy and last longer than incandescent bulbs.

    “I’m being more energy efficient because I’m aware of the energy production,” said Chris Cameron, who runs Cam-Ron Video Productions, a full-service video production service, out of his home.

    Efficiency and conservation comes naturally to the Camerons. Brenda Cameron picks up trash on the ground when she sees it. When the family sits down for dinner, no food goes to waste. Outside, Brenda Cameron has a greenhouse for growing cilantro, lettuce and arugula.

    Ideally, Larry Cameron would like to look into investing in a wind turbine to expand on his venture into alternative energy.

    The benefits of the solar panels have outweighed the costs.

    “To me, it was not an expense,” Larry Cameron said. “It was an investment, an investment in our future.”


  • Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr. this week $200,000 in grants for energy efficiency projects to municipal power companies serving four communities, including $50,000 earmarked for Reading.

    “Massachusetts is No. 1 in the nation for energy efficiency because we continue to support energy saving programs that help businesses, residents, and municipalities save energy and manage their energy costs,” Sullivan said in a statement.

    “These grants make it possible to expand the reach of energy efficiency in communities served by municipal-owned utilities,” he said. “There is no cheaper or cleaner fuel than fuel we don’t use, and I applaud these utilities for taking the initiative to expand that model.”

    Through a competitive solicitation, the Department of Energy Resources is awarding funds for the first time to the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company (MMWEC) and its project partners in Ipswich, Westfield and Chicopee to expand commercial and industrial customer energy efficiency rebate programs.

    Reading Municipal Plant will also use funds to offer a new energy saving water-heating program to its residential customers. MMWEC will use its grant for statewide energy efficiency outreach and marketing efforts.

    “The RMLD is very excited to expand our technological services for our customers and are extremely grateful for the grant awarded to us by the DOER,” said Jared Carpenter, energy efficiency engineer at the RMLD in a statement.

    “Governor Patrick’s innovative leadership encourages us to create new solutions to help all customers,” Carpenter said. “We look forward to providing a unique energy innovation that can be expanded across the state.”
    Ipswich and Westfield will boost C&I energy savings by increasing the rebates and energy audits offered to their customers through existing C&I energy efficiency programs. Rebates would cover improvements including energy efficient heating and cooling, windows, boilers and furnaces, lighting fixtures, monitoring systems, and insulation. Chicopee will provide incentives for to local businesses for lighting improvements.

    The grants are funded through proceeds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) – a regional cap and trade program that has added $500 million in net economic impact in Massachusetts. These awards mark the first time the state has invested in energy efficiency programs at municipal light and power companies instead of investor owned utilities.


  • Along Havana’s northern coastline, storms that roll down from the north send waves crashing against the concrete seawall, drenching vintage cars and kids playing games of chicken with the salty spray.

    Fishermen toss their lines into the warm waters, shirtless men play dominoes on card tables, and throngs of young people gather on weekend nights to laugh, flirt and sip cheap rum.

    This is the achingly beautiful and most instantly recognisable part of Havana’s cityscape: the Malecon seafront boulevard, with its curlicue lamp posts and pastel buildings rising into an azure sky.

    Just about anywhere else in the world, it would be a playground for the wealthy, diners in four-star restaurants and tourists willing to spend hundreds of dollars a night for a million-dollar view.

    But along the Malecon, many buildings are dank, labyrinthine tenements bursting beyond capacity, plagued by mold and reeking of backed-up sewer drains. Paint peels away from plaster, and the saline air rusts iron bars to dust. Some buildings have collapsed entirely, their propped-up facades testimony to a more dignified architectural era.

    Now, for the first time since the 1959 revolution, a new law that permits the sale of real estate has transformed these buildings into extremely valuable properties. Another new law that allows more people to go into business for themselves has entrepreneurs setting up shop and talking up the future. And a multimillion-dollar revitalisation project is marching down the street improving lighting, sidewalks and drainage.

    The year has seen some remarkable first steps toward a new Cuban economic model, including the sacrificing of a number of Marxism’s sacred cows. The state is still firmly in control of all key sectors, from energy and manufacturing to health care and education, but increasingly people are allowed to engage in a small measure of private enterprise. Officials say the changes are irreversible, and this is the last chance to save the economy.

    Yet Cubans will tell you that change comes slowly on the island. Strict controls on foreign investment and property ownership mean there’s precious little money to bankroll a capitalist revival. Even some Malecon denizens who embrace the reforms see a long haul ahead.

    “It’s not that I see the future as black, more like I’m seeing a little spark from someone three kilometres away who lit a match,” said Jose Luis Leal Ordonez, the proprietor of a modest snack shop.”But it’s a match, not a lantern.”

    Leal’s block, the first one along the promenade, has offered a front row seat to five decades of Cuba under Fidel Castro. The residents of Malecon 1 to 33 have watched the powerful forces of revolution play out beneath their balconies, and today they’re bracing for yet another act as Castro’s younger brother Raul turns a half-century of communist dogma on its ear.

    Given that Cuba’s national identity has been inextricably bound up with its powerful neighbour 150 kilometres to the north, it is perhaps fitting that the Malecon is the legacy of a “Yanqui”.

    The year was 1900 and the country was under US control following the Spanish-American War. Governor General Leonard Wood, who commanded the Rough Riders during the war with friend Teddy Roosevelt as his No 2, launched a public works programme to clean up unsanitary conditions and stimulate the economy. A key element was the Malecon.

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  • led light 07.12.2011 No Comments

    Sri Lanka: Orange Electric, a Sri Lankan electrical and lighting products manufacturer and exporter, has invested US$ 500 000 in a joint venture to set up what it describes as South Asia’s first compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) recycling plant.

    The facility, located in Sri Lanka and registered under the name of Asia Recycling, represents a partnership with Nordic Recycling AB of Sweden. It has a stated recycling capacity of up to 30 million bulbs per year, encompassing both CFLs as well as more conventional fluorescent tube lights.

    Capacity is nearly three times greater than annual domestic CFL usage. Outlining future plans for Asia Recycling, which has its sole facility at Homagama South, Pitipana Rideemulla, Orange Electric’s Managing Director Kushan Kodituwakku has indicated that Sri Lanka is just the first step for a venture which hopes to build similar plants in India, Singapore, Malaysia and China. He has also revealed that, in three to four months from now, new recycling technology and machinery will be introduced, and that existing machines will be sent to India.

    Mr Kodituwakku also points out that the country’s Central Environmental Agency is bringing in new legislation regarding the disposal of light bulbs, as well as associated tariffs in this regard. And when this legislation comes into effect, recyclers will also benefit from the added revenue stream, it is noted.

    According to a statement, the recycling processes used translate into a recovery rate exceeding 95%. Nordic Recycling’s founder Per Kristoffersson explains that mercury is integral to electric bulb production. ‘It can only harm if it’s not properly being disposed, and through these recycling measures close to 100% mercury is recovered,’ he has commented.

    Some 10% of vodka bottles in Sweden are made with recycled CFL, he adds.

    The lamps will be replaced with energy efficient alternatives like compact fluorescent lamps (CFL), energy saving halogens and LED bulbs. CFL’s themselves are up to five times more efficient as they need around five times less energy to generate the same amount of light when compared with traditional incandescent bulbs which waste 90% of energy as heat.

    “Homes are currently dominated by incandescent bulbs, and approximately two third of the world’s lighting solutions in use are based on old, less energy efficient technologies”, says Paolo Cervini – General Manager of Philips Lighting Middle East & Turkey. “Making a switch to energy efficient lighting solutions is simple and easy, with a remarkable effect.”

    “Philips is aware that significant savings can be made in terms of energy consumption, carbon emission and costs by switching to energy efficient solutions, therefore, we continue our unilateral phase-out of incandescent lamps and simultaneously educate the public through different initiatives on the benefits of the switch,” he adds.

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  • More than 250 Belleville Fourth Ward residents packed into the Knights of Columbus last week, marking the largest Fourth Ward Dinner Forum Councilman John Notari has hosted in his seven-year tenure. His inaugural forum boasted 25 attendees.

    “You are doing something right, and I thank you,” Notari told his constituents of their involvement in community affairs.

    And, stressing how thankful he has been for working with those residents as councilman, Notari announced that he will run for re-election in May 2012.

    Thankfulness was the overall theme last Tuesday evening, as Notari offered residents a full Thanksgiving dinner, free of charge. Residents, in turn, came equipped with canned goods to be donated to the Christ Church soup kitchen.

    On the agenda for the forum were presentations and question-and-answer periods hosted by Belleville Fire Chief Robert Caruso, Police Chief Joseph Rotonda, Deputy Police Chief Mark Minichini, Health Department Director Colleen Britton, Township Manager Victor Canning, and Fourth Ward resident George Smith.

    Smith educated residents about the ins and outs of home surveillance systems, because his— which he brought in for show-and-tell— was used by Belleville Police to make two separate robbery arrests.

    A 16-camera system, which Smith said is easy to self-install, costs around $500 from warehouse stores such as Costco.

    “The cameras are adjustable… and they record and store everything, and the information never goes away,” Smith said. The cameras can also be linked to a computer so that you can watch your home when you’re away on vacation, he added.

    “And no light at all is needed… it can be complete darkness, but the cameras have LED lights in them, so you can still see,” Smith said.

    Several Belleville residents were heard chattering to one another about purchasing such cameras, and a few asked Smith public questions on the matter.

    It is believed the bulk of this year’s cuts will come from efficiency savings, including replacing the bulbs in street lights with the more energy-efficient LED bulbs, which the council said would save about 300,000 a year.

    Council leader Barbara Janke said that in the 2011-12 budget the authority managed to make 28m of savings without having to “slash” front-line services.

    She added: “However, a large number of vulnerable people in Bristol are dependent on our services.

    “The proposals seek to protect services when possible even though this may mean a change in the way services are provided.”

    Peter Hammond, leader of the Labour group on the council, said the budget “really makes you see what the Lib Dem administration values and which groups they think it’s all right to let down with budget cuts”.

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