Just what is Energy Efficiency?

It’s not easy being green
Do you feel that you are not doing enough to reduce your energy usage? You want to do all the right “green” things to reduce the impact that your energy use has on the environment, but don’t know where to begin. You’ve heard all the savings to be had if you would only do this or just do that. You’ve heard how making some little change is “the equivalent of taking 1,300 cars off the road” or like “planting 3,000 trees”. It’s all so confusing, it’s enough to make your head spin. • ”You can save up to 10% on your energy bill by weatherstripping your home or having a qualified professional seal your home's air leaks.” • “By replacing your 100-watt incandescent bulbs with 32-watt CFL bulbs you will use 75% less energy for lighting.“ • “Installing ceiling fans will cut air conditioning costs by 40 percent in summer and the fans will circulate warm air downwards in winter.” • “Sealing cooling and heating ducts can save up to 25 percent on your home energy bill.” If you added up all the percentages and savings of these claims, they quickly add up to more than 100%, leaving you wondering why the utilities aren’t paying YOU. Are all these claims wrong? How do we know exactly what percentage we are saving by being more energy-conscious? It’s impossible to be exact because everyone’s energy needs and usage are different. Usage differs depending on many factors, like size of household, geography, lifestyle, etc.

It’s so confusing that most of us don’t know what to believe anymore; percentages of energy saved are so inconsistent that they seem as if they are pulled out of thin air. How much electricity will you save if you change all your bulbs to compact fluorescents? How many tons of CO2 does your air conditioner spew into the atmosphere? Does driving a hybrid make more sense than a normal sedan that gets better gas mileage? Like most of Americans, you want to do the right thing for the planet and future generations. You also want to spend as little as possible on energy without sacrificing the lifestyle you are accustomed to. For a lot of folks out there, the perception of being “green” means running out and making a major change, many times, a costly one. They might have solar panels installed or erect a wind turbine system. Hybrid automobiles increase in popularity every year. So should you run out and get photovoltaic panels installed on your roof? Erect a wind turbine in your back yard? Buy that Prius you’ve been eyeing? All these things are well and good, but the first step in cutting back on energy use, whether it’s for environmental reasons or to just save money, or both, is not to install a solar array on your roof or wind farm in your yard. The absolute first step is to become energy-efficient! As U.S. Energy Secretary Dr. Steven Chu has repeated so often, “When it comes to saving money and growing our economy, energy efficiency isn’t just low hanging fruit; it’s fruit already on the ground.”

Any home can be made to be a net-zero-energy home by installing PV (photovoltaic) solar panels if the array is large enough to generate the kind energy needed by that particular home. But it makes little sense to outfit your home this way, spending tens of thousands of dollars if you didn’t first take control of the energy efficiency of your home. If heat or cooling escapes from leaky windows or if your home has inefficient appliances or you leave the heat on all day when you’re at work it would be foolish to throw money at a solar array. But let’s say you wanted to make the switch to solar energy, after having fixed your storm windows and insulated your attic or replaced appliances -how much energy would you need for your family? And how much would it cost? Let’s look at the numbers: To generate enough electricity to power your home entirely by photovoltaic solar panels much depends on where you live, which direction your home faces and how much (if any) available roof space you have available. Installed, a 7 kW residential PV (photovoltaic) system would generate enough electricity for the average family of 4 people in a 2,500 square-foot home. The cost to install the PV system would be $5 per installed watt (that is today’s average price). The system would include 1000 square feet of PV panels and would cost $35,000. Considering that this is for electricity only, not winter heating nor hot water heating, it’s a hefty price to pay just to cut out the electricity portion of your total energy bill. You still have heating and hot water to consider. Are the savings there? Is it cost effective? Unfortunately, not yet.

Are we suggesting to never install solar or other forms of renewable energy? Absolutely not, quite the contrary. Solarsa has been a leading provider in alternative energy solutions and the Energy Communicator® interfaces with virtually all other sources of renewable energy available today, whether it’s photo-voltaic, solar thermal, wind, geothermal or whatever. We firmly believe that the first step towards energy independence is to make sure that the “thermal envelope” of the home is sealed and that the existing systems for heating, cooling and hot water are operating at maximum efficiency. Once you have accomplished this, you are well on your way to driving down the cost of the energy used in your home and becoming energy independent!

Let’s pick up that fruit!
Solar electricity is impractical for most Americans, either because of cost, geographic location, upkeep, lack of space for the panels or other factors. And even if it were more affordable it is just one part of the home energy usage puzzle. So let’s pick up that “fruit that is already on the ground” as Energy Secretary Chu says. In addition to the physical changes you can make to your home, such as caulking windows, insulating your attic, changing to compact fluorescent bulbs and the like, maximizing your energy efficiency by reducing your usage is crucial. Energy Efficiency is: the reduction of usage, period! USAGE, USAGE, USAGE! Reduced usage equals a reduced bill and reduced impact on the environment. It’s all about usage. With the Energy Communicator®, Solarsa has the proven technology to help you reduce your total energy usage by anywhere from 20% to 30% to even 50%, depending on where you would like to reduce your energy usage. If you reduced your home’s heating, cooling, and hot water energy usage by half, would you save money? Sure you would...lots of money! First, you need to understand how the energy in your home is used. Then, the key to making your home energy-efficient is controlling usage. Simply put, if you decrease your usage, you will be doing two things: helping to reduce the impact your energy use has on the environment and shrinking your energy bill.

The Solarsa Plan
The Solarsa Plan for energy independence is a three-step approach beginning with energy efficiency.

Step One: Free and easy
There are many ways that we can save energy that cost little to nothing at all. Unless you’ve been living in a cave (where you would undoubtedly have no energy bill to worry about) you’ve probably heard all the little things we can do to help save energy and the environment. Seemingly simple actions on our part can result in big savings, like switching to compact fluorescent bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs. To save energy we can all do such things as: • Put your computer to sleep or off when not in use • Make sure that your “thermal envelope” is sealed. Check your home for holes and cracks in your walls, around your windows, outlets and fixtures where air can either leak into or out of your home. • Clean or change your air conditioning and furnace filters regularly • Put weatherstripping around your windows and doors • Unplug appliances you hardly use, like that VCR in the rec room • Run only full loads of laundry • Use the timer on your dishwasher For more energy saving tips that cost little to nothing, visit the U.S. Department of Energy website at www.energysavers.gov

Step Two: The Energy Communicator®
The Second Step towards energy independence is using the Energy Communicator®. You will see how much energy you are using in real time and this will encourage you to be more conscious of the energy that you do use. Recent studies have shown that most homeowners significantly reduce their energy usage when using a monitoring device to see how much energy they are using. The Energy Communicator® takes it a step further. Not only does the EC feature superb monitoring capabilities, it is also a cutting edge control device. Using the EC is the next step to complete energy independence.

Step Three: The Solarsa Energy Independence System®
The third step towards total energy independence for homeowners is Solarsa’s Energy Independent System®. This is a system that allows for the installation of renewable energy applications such as solar power (with photovoltaics panels), solar thermal air conditioning, wind turbines and geo-thermal pump systems. The Energy Communicator® has been designed to interface seamlessly with any type of renewable energy system. The Energy Independent System® is unique in the sustainable technologies marketplace. It is more than a simple solar energy system of roof panels; it also optimizes the uses of electricity and natural gas from you utilities to give greater efficiencies. The “Energy Independence System” is designed to specifically address these most significant energy demands and to dramatically lower your costs by carefully evaluating your home’s energy needs, and then selecting the most useful components from a variety of sustainable technologies. For example, the air conditioning components used in a typical residential “Energy Independence System” are much more efficient than any other

existing equipment and do not require electricity from your power company during summer peak demand periods. Could you imagine your energy reduction next summer if you are’t using the electricity from the utility? How much do you think you would save? The Solarsa Energy Independence System® works in concert with and is controlled by the Energy Communicator®, which continuously monitors and controls all the components and their functions. Forward-thinking policy makers have recognized the value of implementing the specific technologies an Energy Independence System® utilizes, and have created attractive incentives for you to adopt the system. Various incentives have been implemented by the U.S. Congress, state, county and city governments and utility companies in the form of tax credits, property and sales tax abatements, low interest loans, and rebates, and many others. The list of incentives offered is extensive, and available everywhere in the U.S., although they vary in specifics from state to state. We are being encouraged by our elected representatives to make changes that will benefit our families, our communities and our nation. They have offered to make large contributions to your purchase of a renewable energy system, in order to get you to make a change for a better future. Once you’ve followed Steps One and Two, your home will be ready to move to the final step -- installation of renewable energy devices. The Energy Communicator® is ready for that transition with the ability to control and optimize any renewable energy system.

What You Should Know About Energy
Time of Use Rates
Most consumers are unaware that the power utility charges more at certain times of the day for electricity or natural gas than at others. The demand for electricity varies throughout the day - it costs more when industrial and commercial buildings are operating and less in the wee hours of the morning when most of us are in bed. The highest rates are charged between noon and late evening. And rates fluctuate according to what the weather is like - an extremely hot or cold day, for example, increases demand for cooling or heat. You will pay more to run your dishwasher during “peak” demand time than if you were to run it after “peak” time. Just like you pay more for a plane ticket during the holidays or a hotel room on the weekend, your power will cost you more if used during the time of day when there is more demand. Would you buy gasoline at midnight if it cost just 25% of the price you’d pay during the daytime? Of course you would! There would be a lot of pajamaclad people out there in the moonlight pumping gas if that were true! The Energy Communicator allows you to schedule your energy use so you can take advantage of lower-priced energy. For example, you can schedule your hot water to turn on the early morning hours when the cost of gas (or electricity) is lowest or run the dishwasher late at night when you can take advantage of lower-priced energy.

Who’s looking out for you?
Surely we can all agree that using less energy is beneficial to our economy, to the health and well-being of the planet and it helps keep us from relying on other sources of energy outside our borders. Solarsa has a plan to help American homeowners reduce their energy usage and pay less to the utility companies. Most utilities around the country have announced or implemented plans for energy conservation. But do they really want you, the consumer, to use LESS energy? It’s good public relations for the utilities to say that they are in favor of energy conservation. It’s much like a tobacco company endorsing a quit-smoking program or a brewery advising drinkers to imbibe responsibly. Selling more energy raises the profits and stock prices for utilities. All this talk about energy efficiency and conservation is great public relations - but in reality they don't want conservation or energy efficiency cutting too deeply into their profits. Who pays for these utility-sponsored conservation/energy efficiency programs? The consumers pay for it on their energy bill as a “Public Goods Charge” which is a guaranteed return on investment for the utility companies. So the public gets to pay more to learn how to use less. Wonderful. So now we consumers are paying more to use less energy, paying more to fund marketing for a monopoly, paying for the utility to squander money on administrative costs and inefficient programs. And the utilities are making sure that THEY are rewarded handsomely for OUR efforts.

CEO compensation for electric utility companies averages close to $6 million per year, with some taking home tens of millions of dollars. CEO’s of utility companies are routinely rewarded millions of dollars in compensation in the form of salary, bonuses, stock options and perks for bringing in more revenue for their company. And just how do these utilities have the ability to pay CEO’s and top executives millions of dollars? Ask yourself -- is it from the programs that encourage people to use less energy? Is it from you cutting your energy bill in half? How does your energy use, or reduced usage, impact the pay of the CEO of your power company?

Simple Formulas
Here’s an example of how to calculate the cost of electricity for your air conditioning system using a simple formula:

unit size, BTU/h × hours per year, h × energy cost, $/kW·h ÷ SEER, BTU/W·h ÷ 1000 W/kW
Got that? Simple, right? First take your unit size (4 ton, 5 ton, 6 ton) multiply by hours per year that you use it multiplied by energy cost in....well, you get the idea. You don’t need to be an Einstein or an Edison to understand the Solarsa formula:

reduced usage = reduced bill + reduced environmental impact
That’s it. Pretty simple. If you use less energy you will pay less. How much less? That is up to you. You might like to enjoy your home a little cooler in the summer than others. You might save more than others by heating only the rooms your where your family members sleep at night. Or by controlling your hot water usage smartly and efficiently. It’s up to you. Save a little or save a lot. The choice is yours and Solarsa can help.

The Energy Communicator®
The Solarsa Energy Communicator® is a revolutionary new home energy management system, designed to allow the residential user to control all aspects of their home energy use. The Energy Communicator®, or EC, employs cutting-edge technologies that until now, have only been available for commercial building automation and facility management systems. The release of the Energy Communicator® marks the first time that an energy management system designed for industrial use has been made available for the homeowner. The underlying technology that powers the Energy Communicator® is the same that is used by building management systems controllers in hospitals, hotels, universities, skyscrapers, restaurants and industrial buildings. The Energy Communicator® differs from its commercial counterparts in that it can be controlled with an Apple iPhone or iPod Touch, or any web browser. And the cost of the Energy Communicator® is a mere fraction of the commercial device that spawned it. With an intuitive interface, the Energy Communicator® is easy to operate, even for the most “technologically-challenged” family member. With the EC, energy efficiency is made easy with push-button, or rather, “touchscreen” control.

Features of the Energy Communicator®
The Energy Communicator® provides home users the same features available to commercial and industrial building systems managers. The device itself has hundreds of thousands of users worldwide. Solarsa’s unique proprietary software design and controls bring this industrial strength device to the home so you can control your energy consumption, helping you save money and helping to save the planet. Complete control over all chosen energy use in the home With the Energy Communicator® you control all aspects of energy usage in your household, either while you are at home or remotely. Unlike the utility company’s “smart grid” metering, YOU CONTROL the energy use in YOUR HOME. Remotely control energy usage from iPod Touch, iPhone, Smartphone or any internet-connected PC With a web-based interface for PC’s and laptops or using smart mobile devices like the iPhone, you get to manage your home’s energy. While on vacation, at the office or sitting on the sofa watching TV, all your energy is controlled seamlessly with touchscreen ease.

Real-time Reporting of Energy Usage You will see immediately how much energy you are using at any given time, how much you are using during a particular time of day or while using a particular device or appliance. In no time you will be able to see the trends and daily patterns of your usage so that you can make the proper reductions where available. Scheduling to Minimize Energy Usage Using the EC’s scheduling abilities you can control when you want to use power, so just set it once and forget it. Predictive Monitoring of Your Usage Cost Your bill is automatically generated onscreen for you to see what your bill should be. You’ll see how much energy you are using and how much it costs so you can make smart choices on usage reduction. Users will better understand how much energy they are spending each minute, hour, day, week, month and billing cycle. Alerts The EC will notify you when your energy devices and accessories need servicing. For example, if your air conditioning filters need changing or your compressor is not working at capacity the EC will send an email or SMS alert to notify you that there is something that is affecting your energy optimization. It’s like the “check engine” light on your car on steroids.

Using the Energy Communicator®
Solarsa’s Energy Communicator® has an intuitive, easy to operate interface allowing you take complete control over your energy usage with fingertip control. The following examples show the ease of use you will experience with the EC.

Select the Energy Communicator icon on your iPhone or iPod Touch to open the program.

Select the system you would like to manage, call up reports or schedule your energy usage for particular systems.

Using the Energy Communicator®

Heating Controls: You can adjust the temperature of individual rooms or zones in your home. For example, you can choose to heat your bedroom to 72 degrees and the rest of the home to 66 degrees while you are in bed.

Cooling controls: The same goes for your air conditioning. No need to cool down a 2,500 sq. ft. home if you are only using one room, such as your bedroom or the TV room.

Using the Energy Communicator®

Get up-to -the-minute tracking and monitoring of you energy usage and bill in real time! Compare your usage to last week, last month or last year.

You will be alerted when you energy appliances are not performing at peak capacity. A Solarsa representative is always just a phone call away to help.

Using the Energy Communicator®

You are in control. Set the schedule to run your hot water heater and forget about it. Programming your devices is easy and will save you money!

Solarsa is always ready to help with a 24-hour call center where you can access support by phone, email or live chat.

Using the Energy Communicator®

The Energy Communicator is ready to interface with all your renewable energy devices, including solar power, wind power and thermal energy.

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