Categories: "Solar News"

01/28/18

  09:07:00 am, by   , 180 words  
Categories: All About Solar Power, Pasadena Solar

Run on Sun Founder & CEO, Jim Jenal, Profiled in VoyageLA

Here at Run on Sun, we place great emphasis on being a local company - both Sara and Jim live in Pasadena, and it is not uncommon for us to run into a client at the grocery store or post office. We believe that because we are so local—and support local institutions like the great NPR station, KPCC—that it informs how we approach our work. It isn’t like we can build a project and disappear!

So we also believe in working with local publications to spread our story.  (For example, you may soon receive a copy of Neighbor2Neighbor in your mailbox, highlighting hand-picked local companies, where Run on Sun will be appearing for the second year in a row.)  We like the idea of a local company supporting other local companies!

Which makes us really pleased to highlight the recent profile of Jim in VoyageLA, an online publication that seeks to tell LA’s stories.  Under the headline,  Meet Jim Jenal of Run on Sun in Pasadena,  you can learn Jim’s backstory, and the founding of Run on Sun. Check it out!

Jim Jenal, Founder & CEO

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09/02/16

  11:04:00 am, by Laurel Hamilton   , 631 words  
Categories: All About Solar Power, Solar News, Pasadena Solar, PWP, Energy Efficiency, Residential Solar

Variable Speed Pool Pumps = Huge Savings

Going solar isn’t the only thing you can do to reduce your electric bills and your environmental footprint. In fact, the first thing you should consider is how you could make your home more efficient BEFORE investing in solar. Investing in a solar system that is bigger than you really need is just a bad investment strategy since efficiency upgrades are often much more affordable than the solar system required to offset the ineficient loads. 

Pool with SolarOne option is to hire a professional to give you a thorough energy audit which will help to pinpoint where your electrical hogs are and what you can do to improve efficiencies. Alternatively, there are a lot of relatively simple steps you can take if you know what to look for. Changing out your old light bulbs to LEDs is an obvious and easy fix for example. But one of the biggest and often under the radar culprits that I’m here to tell you all about are pool pumps.

Pool pumps can have such a big effect on your electric bill that we always discuss it when doing a solar site evaluation at any home fortunate enough to have a pool. Of course we don’t recommend eliminating your pump altogether as they are necessary to keep your water filtered and clean. So what is the solution? There are all sorts of newer “efficient” pool pumps out there and likely your pool guy/girl will happily install if you say you’d like an upgrade. However, what you really need if you want to make a dent in your electrical load is something called a “variable speed” pool pump.

A variable speed pool pump is exactly what it sounds like… Rather than pumping water with a consistently high speed you really only need max power at the outset to get the water moving. Once its moving the variable speed pump then downgrades the output power to keep the water moving since less energy is required to keep something moving than to get something going from a standstill. This reduced speed equals reduced energy loads! 

We have heard clients who installed variable speed pumps have seen reductions on their bill on the order of over $500 per year!

The downside for these pumps is often the price is much higher than regular pumps. But I come bearing good news! Many utilities offer rebates and incentives for Energy Star qualified pool pumps. In our home turf of Pasadena, California we are fortunate to have a very proactive utility, Pasadena Water and Power, striving to help residents lower their footprint. They normally offer a rebate of $400-$450 off the sticker price for a variable speed pump. However, I was just notified that PWP is running a promotion on all of their energy efficient appliance rebates through October 31st, 2016: 

“PWP is offering a $900 (bought outside Pasadena) to $950 (bought locally) rebate to all PWP residential electric customers who replace their old pool pump with a new energy efficient variable speed or variable flow pool pump and motor. Replacing older inefficient pool pumps with new efficient models will not only help you reduce energy use but save you money. With the summer heat and the possibility of rolling blackouts, PWP wants to make sure you do your part to conserve energy." 

We couldn’t agree more! Check PWP’s rebates listing for a list of other rebates to take advantage of. The listed prices on the website include the current promotion. 

If you’re not in PWP’s service area, never fear! You can check if your utility has rebates on the Energy Star website

After you’ve addressed all the drafty windows, switched out your lightbulbs and upgraded all your appliances, then it is time to give Run on Sun a call (626-793-6025) and we’ll help you offset the rest of your energy needs!  

06/20/16

  11:06:00 am, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 110 words  
Categories: All About Solar Power, Solar News

Solar Plane Crossing the Atlantic! - UPDATED!

UPDATE - 6/23/2016 - SI 2 has arrived safely in Seville, Spain, and did so in just 71 hours, 8 minutes (of the planned 90-hour duration).  Read more on the SI2 blog page.


Solar Impulse 2- that amazing solar-only powered aircraft - is in the air again, this time undertaking a predicted 90-hour flight from New York City’s JFK airport to Seville airport in Spain!

You can see how its systems are performing - solar cells charging the plane’s batteries and powering its ascent during the day, and the batteries propelling the plane during the night as it descends - by following the very cool charts embedded below.  (You can read some of our earlier coverage of Solar Impulse 2 here.)

06/10/16

  02:56:00 pm, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 142 words  
Categories: All About Solar Power, Pasadena Solar, Ranting

Happy Birthday Pasadena... and Run on Sun!

Everyone knows that when it comes to Pasadena, Run on Sun is the premier installer of solar PV systems for residential, commercial, and non-profit clients (if you doubt it, just ask us!).  But we have one other cool thing in common - we are both marking milestone birthdays this year!

Happy Birthday, Pasadena!

While our hometown is turning 130, Run on Sun is turning 10 years old this year!  (Which, if you think about it, is nearly 130 in solar-installer years!)  So when we heard that the folks at Pasadena Weekly were looking to feature ads that wished the City a Happy Birthday, we just had to get into the act!  (If you are in the Pasadena area, you will find the ad - with art work by that Solar Kid Julia who will soon be a college sophomore - on page 42.)

Happy Birthday to us both, and many happy returns!

04/20/15

  09:40:00 am, by Laurel Hamilton   , 374 words  
Categories: All About Solar Power, Solar News, Climate Change, State of Solar

Top 3 Ways Solar = Water Conservation

After 4 years of severe drought and this year’s winter snowpack at a pathetic 8% of typical levels, it’s obvious that California will have to find real solutions as populations rise and the effects of climate change worsen. We rely on the High Sierras’ snowmelt throughout the year for everything from our green lawns and fresh food (throughout the US) to our hydroelectric power.

Governor Jerry Brown’s recent mandate for cutting water use by 25 percent was overdue and necessary, but communities will have to step up conservation efforts in a big way. Ever since the Governor’s big announcement ideas for how best to curb water use have been flowing. So why should PV solar power generation be at the top of the list? What does water conservation have to do with solar?

    1. As noted previously in “Thirsty? Think Solar!“… compared to other energy sources, photovolataic solar energy systems have the lowest life cycle water use.  Increasing the amount of electricity generated by PV directly reduces our water demand
    2. Once a big player in California energy production, hydropower dropped from 12 percent in 2013 to just 6 percent in 2014 due to the extreme drought conditions. But solar has stepped in to fill that gap, with production more than doubling to provide 5 percent of California’s power in 2014—and that figure doesn’t even count rooftop solar! According to the Energy Information Administration, solar PV and concentrating solar power together offset 83 percent of the total hydropower decline.
    3. With drought comes a severe shortage of rainy days. Anyone with solar panels knows the joys of monitoring your energy output on a sunny day and the much sadder numbers that result on a gray day. As the drought persists, California’s sunshine provides an endless resource that should be tapped.

Solar is an increasingly important solution to water scarcity as well as energy security. With no sign of a solar slowdown in California—we are the first state to get 5% of its energy from solar—strong generation records are likely in coming years. While solar has been included in some communities’ plans to reduce water use (such as in the Los Angeles “pLAn“), many people are unaware of this solution. Communities, individuals and businesses installing rooftop solar can make a real positive difference for California’s dire water situation.

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Jim Jenal is the Founder & CEO of Run on Sun, Pasadena's premier installer and integrator of top-of-the-line solar power installations.
Run on Sun also offers solar consulting services, working with consumers, utilities, and municipalities to help them make solar power affordable and reliable.

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