Everything You Wanted to Know About Solar Hot Water

Devil's Thumb Solar Energy.gov has the details on solar hot water:


There are two types of solar water heating systems: active and passive.

Direct circulation systems: Pumps circulate household water through the collectors and into the home.Pros: Automatic controllers installed on the system sense when sunlight is being collected. Cons: Best for areas where temperatures rarely fall below freezing. Only works for single application domestic use. Integral collector-storage passive systems: Made of a storage tank, solar collection tank, and the pipes that run between them, these systems require cold water to be pumped into the solar collector in batches.Pros: They work well in households with significant daytime and evening hot-water needs. Cons: Best in areas where temperatures rarely fall below freezing but overall can be less effective.
Indirect circulation systems: Pumps circulate a non-freezing, heat-transfer fluid through the collectors and a heat exchanger. This heats the water that then flows into the home.Pros: Still functions in freezing temperatures. Suitable for multiple solar heating applications like a solar swimming pool as well as domestic use. Cons: Can be more expensive than direct circulation systems. Thermosyphon systems: Water flows through the system when warm water rises as cooler water sinks. The collector must be installed below the storage tank so that warm water will rise into the tank.Pros: Reliable system. Cons: Contractors must pay careful attention to the roof design because of the heavy storage tank. Can be more expensive than integral collector-storage systems.

There's a lot more information at the link. Check it out and then give us a call for all your solar hot water needs.


Don't Wait for That Furnace or Boiler Check-up

We know the temperatures are still rockin’ the 90s but it’s time to start thinking about your heating needs this winter. Get a jump on it with a pre-winter inspection, checkup and cleaning of your Boiler or Furnace. A maintenance inspection will help you avoid unnecessary damage to your equipment.

Service manager, Stefan, offers some sound advice:

Before you start your equipment for the first time this cold weather season, it’s a good idea to have it cleaned. Dust and other debris can cause not only an unpleasant odor upon start-up, but can be a potential fire hazard. In addition, filters must be changed every winter on Furnaces to avoid blowing this unwanted matter into your duct system and then circulating it back into your living space.

For Boilers, it is just as important to clean the area around the burners to avoid fire hazards. And on both furnaces and boilers a complete check-up will make sure you’re not caught without heat the first cold morning of fall.

We suggest a boiler or furnace check-up today. Our preventative maintenance check-up will not only clean up your system, it will make it run as efficiently as possible and prevent premature repairs.

Call today for your appointment before turning on that equipment. For a limited time you’ll receive a free carbon monoxide detector with your check-up. Just another way we want to help keep your family safe.

Call us at 303-589-4428.

Did You Know There Are Still Solar Hot Water Tax Credits Available?

You can save up to 30% of the cost of a solar water heating system, including installation and labor until December 31, 2016.

Call Aqua Care Solar at 303-589-4428 to set up an appointment for your free estimate.

Want more ways to save money on hot water? Energy.gov has a list of ways.


Energy Efficiency and Cost Savings In Action

lpc-logo1912_125 Longmont Power and Communications released its 2013 report to the community which included EnergySmart Program Results. The savings results are as follows:

  1. 1,195 residential customers received on site energy assessments
  2. 5,725 CFLs and 38 LEDs were installed at no cost to homes
  3. 357,500 kWh of electricity was saved by residential customers.
  4. 46 Longmont businesses received energy efficiency retrofits and saved 1060 natural gas therms and 564,700 kwh in electrical savings.

Each kWh of electricity save and each natural gas therm translated into actual $$ saved. These add up quickly. According to LPC, energy retrofit projects completed in 2010 reduced 2013 utility costs by $174, 000.  That is real results.

Energy efficiency creates jobs with the retrofits and offers costs savings with reduced energy usage. Win-win.

Call Aqua Care Solar today and see how we can help you become more energy efficient in 2014 and save money in 2014 and beyond.



One of Our Favorite Cartoonists Reviews His Tesla Model S

...and it's awesome.  Caution, some adult language: The Oatmeal: What it's Like to Own a Tesla




Click here to continue reading his hilarious take on his Tesla.



The People's House Goes Solar

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORni8uiuslI] This was fun:

 The White House is on the solar grid, President Barack Obama will announce today -- nearly four years after then-Energy Secretary Steven Chu pledged that solar panels and a solar water heater would be installed on the White House roof.

The American-made panels are on the First Family's residence as part of Obama's "commitment to lead by example to increase the use of clean energy in the U.S.," said Matt Lehrich, a spokesman at the White House.

The announcement comes as Obama appears later today at a Wal Mart near San Francisco where he'll tout a raft of administration initiatives aimed at boosting the use of alternative energy.

The push comes as Obama sounds the alerton climate change -- a message that resounds with his liberal base, but faces opposition from congressional Republicans and is unnerving Senate Democrats facing reelection in conservative-leaning states.

The panels on the residence are a part of an energy retrofit that will improve the overall energy efficiency of the building -- and "demonstrate that historic buildings can incorporate solar energy and energy efficiency upgrades," Lehrich said.

The upgrades are estimated to pay for themselves in energy savings over the next eight years (as long as the next president doesn't remove them. President Jimmy Carter installed 32 panels in 1979 when an Arab oil embargo spiked fuel prices, but President Ronald Reagan removed the panels in 1986 when the roof was resurfaced. George W. Bush had some installed on a maintenance building and on the president's cabana to heat water for the outdoor White House pool.)

The retrofit includes the installation of energy-saving equipment such as updated building controls and variable speed fans, as well as 6.3 kilowatts of solar generation, Lehrich said.

As any homeowner knows, renovations can take time: Chu -- who is no longer energy secretary - in October 2010 promised that panels would be going up on the White House.

"As we move toward a clean energy economy, the White House will lead by example," Chu said at the time. "It's been a long time since we've had them up there."

But by the next year, the Energy Department said the project was mired in the "competitive procurement process."

Indeed, a White House video promo-ing the panels features Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.

"I am very bullish on the future of solar energy as a key part of our clean energy future," he says in the video.

The size of the array of panels used on the roof is about the same size as the average American house, White House usher James Doherty says in the video -- since there are security concerns, the entire roof could not be covered with panels.

At a Mountain View, Calif. Wal Mart (which has solar panels atop its roof) Obama will announced more than 300 private and public sector solar power and energy efficiency commitments the White House says will create jobs and cut carbon pollution.

And he'll announce a Department of Energy program to increase the use of high efficiency outdoor lighting, replacing more than 500,000 outdoor lighting poles in towns and cities, starting with Detroit, the Kansas City metro area, West Palm Beach, Little Rock and Huntington Beach.

He will also announce that the Department of Energy's Solar Instructor training program will support training programs at community colleges to 50,000 students enter the solar industry by 2020.

Obama also will announce an additional $2 billion goal in federal energy efficiency upgrades to federal buildings over the next 3 years.

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/05/09/226956/white-house-goes-solar.html#storylink=cpy





Warm Weather is Just Around the Corner

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The trees are budding and the weather is warming. Summer cannot be far behind. Now is the time to get your summer systems in order.

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Now is also a great time to get your evaporative (swamp) cooler or air conditioning system checked out and serviced for the season. Make sure it's ready for that first hot day.



Or how about using your tax rebate to upgrade your energy systems. Efficient cooling, heating and hot water systems are a terrific investment that will save you thousands over several years. While the stock market has its ups and downs, gas, oil and electricity costs are guaranteed to go up, start saving on those costs now. Call Steve today to schedule your cooling system check up or energy system upgrade.

Steve's camer 11-12-09 039

Call Aqua Care Solar for your pool, spa, cooling and solar needs. Free Estimates on all upgrades


Boulder Businesses and Residents: Solar Grants and Rebates Available

1377793690_broadway-euclid-bus-stop Just announced, Boulder city business and residents can access grants and rebates from the City of Boulder. For more information, click here.


Solar Rebate

Boulder residents and businesses that have installed solar electric or solar thermal (hot water) systems on their property may be eligible for a sales and use tax rebate. The city may rebate approximately 15 percent of the city sales and use tax paid on materials and permits for the solar installation. To be eligible, taxpayers must file a rebate application within 12 months of the city's final inspection.

How do I apply?

To apply for the solar rebate, please complete the following forms:

  • Solar Rebate Form
  • Immigration Affidavit *
    • En Espanol *

Mail the completed forms, receipts from your project and a photocopy of your identification (required by the Immigration Affidavit) to:

City of Boulder Attn: Juliet Bonnell Solar Rebate Program PO Box 791, Boulder, CO 80306

If you have questions or need assistance to complete your application, contact Juliet Bonnel.

* An Immigration Affidavit must be completed and returned with all rebate applications.

Solar rebates are subject to funding availability.

Solar Grant

Funding generated by the solar rebate ordinance is also used to provide grants for the installation of solar electric and solar thermal (hot water) systems on:

  • the facilities of site-based nonprofit organizations;
  • low- or moderate-income housing owned by nonprofit organizations; or
  • individual residences that are part of the city's affordable housing program.

How do I apply?

  • Before you apply, please select the "Solar Grant Evaluation Criteria" link and read the information about eligibility requirements, terms, and criteria.
  • There are two versions of the Solar Grant application, one for nonprofits and one for homeowners - please make sure you use the appropriate version for your project.
  • Select either the "Homeowner Solar Grant Application" or "Nonprofit Solar Grant Application" links to download the PDF application forms.
  • All applications for the spring 2014 Solar Grant funding cycle are due by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 30.
  • If you have questions, or need assistance to complete your application, contact Juliet Bonnell at bonnellj@bouldercolorado.gov or call 303-441-1931.

Grants are subject to funding availability.


Call Aqua Care Solar for all your solar needs.



Last Call for Federal Energy Efficiency Tax Credits

Take advantage of tax credits for energy-efficient purchases before the end of the year. | Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Tsuji

From Energy.gov

December is just around the corner, and so is the expiration for some of the Extended Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency. In fact, December 31, 2013, will be the last day you can use the following tax credit to make your home more energy efficient—and save yourself some hard-earned cash by reducing your monthly energy costs this winter.

With colder temperatures on the horizon, this deadline provides the perfect impetus for homeowners to upgrade their heating, insulation, doors, and windows. Or, why not invest in a biomass stove for safe-burning heat with lower fuel costs? The tax savings on these new products could be a great way to start the holiday season, readying you and your family for battling blistering cold and snow.

For the full list that applies to this expiring tax credit, read on. If you purchased certain energy-efficient products during 2012 or 2013, you could be eligible to receive a tax credit for 10% of the cost up to $500, or a specific amount from $50-$300 for the six following product categories.

  • Biomass stoves
  • HVAC systems
  • Insulation
  • Roofing (metal & asphalt)
  • Water heaters (non-solar)
  • Windows and doors.

The products above must be installed in an existing home or your principal residence on or before December 31, 2013. Fortunately, that’s not all. Despite the expiring tax credit above, consumers can still apply for the following tax credits for the next three years. The product categories listed below are eligible for a tax credit of 30% of the cost with no upper limit until December 31, 2016.

  • Geothermal heat pumps
  • Small wind turbines (residential)
  • Solar energy systems.

This tax credit can be used on eligible products installed in new or existing homes, and a principal residence or second home would both qualify (but not rentals).

Finally, you may receive a tax credit for 30% of the cost, up to $500 per .5 KW of power, for residential fuel cell and microturbine systems through December 31, 2016. These can be used on new or existing homes, but only a principal residence. Second homes and rentals do not qualify.

To receive these tax credits, you will need to submit the 5695 form with your 2013 taxes. To learn more information about specific requirements for each product, as well as information on applying for these tax credits, visit ENERGY STAR®. And be sure to check out our Savings page for federal and state-specific tax credits and rebates.

Article by Erik Hyrkas,  Media Relations Specialist, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

It's not to late to think of upgrading to an energy efficient water heater, boiler, HVAC or solar thermal. Give our offices a call and book your free estimate today.


Longmont Rebates and Low Interest Loans Available


Energy Smart has announced rebates and incentives available to Longmont residents.


EnergySmart and Elevations Credit Union are working together to offer Elevations Energy Loans to homes and businesses.  Energy Loans can help you achieve a more efficient, comfortable and affordable home.

Energy Loans can be used for a wide range of energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades including insulation, air sealing, heating, cooling, water heating, windows and solar PV.

Interest rates start as low as 2.75%. Loans can be paid in part or in full with zero prepayment penalty.  Energy Loans can be combined with rebates to fully fund your home upgrades.

This exciting financing is available to residents in all Boulder County communities for qualified energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in existing buildings.  Free EnergySmart Advisor Consultation (usually $50) is available for borrowers.  LEARN MORE

Similar Energy Loans are available for businesses in Boulder County and residents and businesses in Denver

Give Aqua Care Solar a call for more information and to schedule your estimate for heating or solar today!