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8.8.12-Power-Outage

About 3 PM Monday, May 12, a substation equipment failure knocked out power in Cumberland, MD, and Mineral County, WV.

It wasn’t until 4 PM that Potomac Edison sent repair crews to the scene.

And it wasn’t until 7 PM – four hours later – that all 3,000 customers who’d been without electricity got it back.

Though backup generators kicked in at households that had them, their power came at a cost. Backup generators burn propane at the rate of four gallons per hour. At $4 per gallon of propane, that’s $16 per hour to keep the lights on and the refrigerator cold. For a four-hour outage, that’s $64.

Do the arithmetic, and you’ll see that for a two-day outage, like the ones that hit towards the beginning of this year, you could be spending $768 just for two days of electricity.

A battery backup bank, on the other hand, costs $0 per hour to keep your lights and your appliances powered. That’s because instead of costly propane, its “fuel” is free. It’s the sun, which rises every morning and powers Milestone Solar arrays even on cloudy days.

And adding a battery backup bank to your Milestone Solar system costs no more than a backup generator – sometimes less.

Click here or call us at 866-688-4274 to learn if a Milestone Solar system is right for your home or business. (Even the call is free.)

 

Not just for Virginia homes

The Roanoke Times reports that starting a few weeks from now, a solar array will provide the Salem, Virginia, Veteran Affairs Medical Center  with 1,620 kilowatts of free electricity – about 10% of their power needs.

Another VA hospital, in Alexandria, has a 1,995 kilowatt solar system under construction.

The Norfolk Naval Station gets 2100 kilowatts from its solar system.

Washington and Lee University and Virginia Tech also save on electric bills with solar power (450 and 103 kilowatts, respectively).

At Milestone Solar, we’ve been helping commercial customers offset as much as 50% of their electric bills with

  • a 37.4 kilowatt solar installation for the Ernst Market in Clear Spring, Maryland (20% offset).
  • a 15.87 kW solar array for the Town of Man, West Virginia, town hall (50%).
  • a 5.04 kW solar system for the Beech Bottom, WV, town hall (more than 50%).

So if you run a business, are concerned about your bottom line and overhead, and thought that solar electricity was just for houses, it pays to think again.

 

195,000+ Maryland homes hit with electric rate increase

If you live in Maryland, get ready to pay a 3.6 percent rate increase – retroactively. That’s the bad news.

But there’s also good news: You can reverse that rate hike, and then some.

As the Baltimore Sun reported September 12,

The Maryland Public Service Commission has authorized Delmarva Power to increase electric delivery rates by nearly 4 percent, the utility announced Wednesday.

The increase for Delmarva’s Maryland customers is effective for electric service rendered on and after Sept. 15. According to the company’s website, Delmarva has 5,342 residential and business customers in northeastern Harford County and 45,007 customers in Cecil County, among 195,000 customers in Maryland.

The rate increase will add 3.6 percent to monthly residential bills, the company said in a news release posted on its website.

The PSC also approved a Grid Resiliency Charge which amounts to approximately $0.03 cents per month, starting in 2014, for the average residential customer, the company said, explaining that this charge will cover costs associated with Delmarva Power’s plans to accelerate its reliability improvements by upgrading key equipment in the next two years.
Delivery rates cover the cost of poles and wires that carry electricity to customers’ homes and businesses and are separate from supply rates, the news release notes. Supply rates are determined by wholesale energy markets and reflect the cost of power that Delmarva Power purchases on behalf of its Maryland customers who do not buy power from an alternate supplier. Supply costs are driven primarily by the cost of fuel to make electricity.
Customers who buy electricity from a competing supplier will see the same increase in their delivery rates, Delmarva said.

But while Delmarva Power and its competitors are hiking electric bills by almost 4 percent, a Milestone Solar array can cut them by  more than ten times that figure. As Milestone customer Bob Myers, of Fayetteville, WV, told us,

“Our last power bill from just before we turned the array on was for $110 and a few cents. Our first power bill after system turn-on was $55 and a few cents. It cut our electric bill in half! That, plus the SRECs, plus the Federal and State tax credits, plus the proposed rate hike by our power company making our produced power even more valuable will provide a pretty decent return on our investment. Our system looks like it will pay for itself in about 7 years or perhaps just a little bit less.

If your home or business building is right for solar – and our free, no-nonsense Solar Evaluation will tell you that – you can stop paying more for electricity and start paying lots less. So why not call 866-688-4274, toll-free, today to get one started?