Did I Sign That

April 19, 2018

did i sign that

When I first meet people

They always ask…

So… what do you do…

 

We save companies money…

 

That normally gets a pretty positive response…

People like to save money…

 

Time for a quickie quiz…

 

How many of you have signed a contract…

Thought you got a good deal

And never looked at the paperwork again

 

Can I see a show of hands…

 

You…

Yea…. you over there

Is your hand up…

It looks like you wanted to put your hand up

 

Come on…

Admit it….we all have done it…

 

I believe that all of us are well intention-ed…

 

But… we just get busy

We are always putting out fires

 

The first thing we do with any new client

Is validate what are you currently paying

 

Are you paying the exact rate you actually signed for…

 

Believe it or not…

This is not always the case

 

I have clients tell me….

Yea… we signed a contract and they told me..

I was well below market prices

 

I am glad to hear that…

I hope you did get a great deal

But…

 

Do you mind if I see the contract…

And could we get a copy of your latest bill…

 

I can’t tell you how many times

We find that the client is being charged

More than what they had signed for

 

Note: there are times

That the state may approve an additional charge

Due to infrastructure upgrades

But this additional charge

Should be clearly noted on your bill

 

We always direct the client

To call the provider

And clarify…

Why are we paying this higher rate…

Our contract states we should be paying…

 

Guess what the response normally is…

 

Oh, we’re sorry

That was billed improperly

Let us correct that…

 

We can give you a credit

Or send you a refund

 

Our clients have received refunds for thousands of $$$

 

This is your money…

 

Don’t be afraid to ask for it back…

 

Always know what you are paying…

 

And if you are not sure

 

Give us a call

 

HBS leaves no stone unturned

In our search for savings

 

We find ways to save you money

 

 

Every Day is a Gift…

 

Thanks for the referrals

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Where to Look

January 26, 2018

It is always nice to hear good things about our company

 

When I was on the other side of the table

Looking to make a major purchase or an upgrade

I always made it a point

To get as much information as possible

 

I was looking to see

Who would be the most qualified

To implement the program or vision

We looked to achieve

 

I never liked long winded explanations

Just give me the facts

 

When giving the presentation

Give an apple to apples comparison

 

That is the only way you can make an objective decision

 

If a presentation leads to more questions than answers

I found that disheartening

 

Why am I babbling about this…

 

Recently…I was delighted

When a client complimented HBS

On the completeness of our presentation

 

They went on to say…..

We interviewed another broker…

 Their presentation was confusing….

 Leaving more questions than answers….

 

They felt our proposal was self-explanatory

It provided all the information they needed to know

They liked our attention to detail

 

Our proposal also noted

What items were under contract

And their expiration dates

 

Our goal has always been…

Define the client’s needs…

Properly address the client’s needs…

Show value with our solution….

Build a relationship of trust with the client….

Continually educate our clients

 

Everything we do

Is done with the client’s best interest in mind

 

HBS has provided substantial savings

To many of the Delaware Valley’s

Most successful firms

 

Many were surprised to find savings from 20% up to 40% and more

 

Deregulated Energy…Communication…Unemployment Taxes…Sales Tax…Property Tax

 

How do we do it…

We know where to look

Looks What’s New

June 27, 2016

— Welcome to the NEW —
hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com
Modern, clean and bright.
The first thing you’ll notice is HBS has adopted a new logo
that represents our three core values

service, reliability and savings.
Hutchinson Business Solutions is very excited to announce the launch of our newly designed website with a brand new look. The site’s homepage features a clean design with the emphasis on our services to customers. The new website creates a faster, easier to navigate, and more user-friendly experience.
In today’s market, the competitive advantage belongs to businesses that find smart solutions to the challenges they face. It’s important for us to make information regarding solutions, service and trends accessible for our current and prospective clients. Our new site features an entire section dedicated to case studies and another on testimonials where you see first hand the difference that can be made in your company. If you’d like to know what Hutchinson Business Solutions can do for you, reach out today.
Hutchinson Business Solutions
hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com
856-857-1230  | george@hbsadvantage.com
Connect with us
Hutchinson Business Solutions, 116 N. Haddon Ave., Suite C, Haddonfield, NJ 08033
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Written by Jon Ward as reported in Huffington Post

WASHINGTON — The big numbers from Paul Ryan’s budget: It will reduce spending by $6.2 trillion over the next decade and reduce the deficit by $4.4 trillion.

It also cuts the top income tax rate by nearly a third, from 35 percent to 25 percent.

A big part of the House Budget Chairman’s plan rests on the assumption that President Barack Obama’s health care law will be repealed. Over the next decade, that would cut $1.4 trillion in spending alone, according to Ryan’s budget. Those savings, however, wouldn’t go directly to deficit reduction, because Ryan would also repeal the elements of health care reform that are aimed at raising revenue or reducing costs.

The Wisconsin Republican’s budget spends less on nearly every major category of the budget. Over the next decade, Ryan (R-Wis.) wants to cut $389 billion from Medicare, the public health insurance program for seniors. Over the same period, Ryan’s budget puts $735 billion less toward Medicaid, which benefits Americans too poor to afford private insurance. Discretionary spending on domestic programs is also reduced by $923 billion.

Two exceptions are security and defense spending and spending on Social Security, the public pension program for the elderly. Both are kept steady and relatively unchanged from Obama’s proposed budget.

A draft proposal from Ryan’s House Budget Committee says that under his plan, the national debt would be $1.1 trillion less than it would be over the next five years under Obama’s budget, and would add $3 trillion less to the debt than Obama’s budget proposal over the next decade. Ryan’s budget proposal would bring the debt held by the public to $13.9 trillion by 2016 and $16 trillion by 2021, compared to $15 trillion in 2016 and $19 trillion in 2021 under the president’s proposal. (The full national debt of just over $14 trillion also includes money owed to the Social Security and Medicare trust funds, but the public figure is the one normally used for budget forecasts.)

Though Ryan’s plan would reduce the size of the national debt as a portion of the economy – which is the key factor when considering the country’s obligations to creditors – the addition of new debt in the short term shows the gap between talk of not raising the debt ceiling by many Republicans and fiscal reality.

Ryan’s plan has $40 trillion in spending over the next 10 years compared to $34.9 trillion in revenues. Obama would spend $46 trillion in the coming decade while bringing in $38.8 trillion in revenues. So Ryan’s plan would still result in the government spending $5.1 trillion more over the next decade than it brings in, but that’s less than the $7.2 trillion in deficit spending that Obama has proposed.

The most fundamental difference between the competing budget proposals is seen in the way they envision the size of government’s imprint in the economy, as measured by spending and revenues as a percentage of gross domestic product.

Obama’s budget plan would take spending as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), the total economic output of the American economy, from 25.3 percent this year to the 22 percent range for much of the next decade. But by the end of the 10 year horizon, his plan has spending back at 23 percent. Revenues, meanwhile, which are currently at an anemic 14.4 percent, would creep up to 19 percent by 2015 and then hit 20 percent in 2021.

It would be the highest amount of government spending since World War II. During the 12-year presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, spending went from 8 percent of GDP to 41 percent, driven by FDR’s New Deal but even more so by war spending.

During Harry Truman’s administration, spending was cut in half, from 41 percent of GDP down to 20 percent, and went down further to 18 percent under Dwight Eisenhower. It stayed at 18 percent of GDP through the John F. Kennedy presidency, crept up to 19 percent under Lyndon Johnson, and then went up to 20 percent while Richard Nixon was in the White House. Gerald Ford brought spending back down to 19 percent of GDP, it then went up to 22 percent during Jimmy Carter’s term, down to 21 percent under Ronald Reagan’s two terms and George H.W. Bush’s four years as commander in chief. Bill Clinton brought spending back down to 18 percent of the U.S. economy.

No president since FDR has increased spending as a percentage of GDP by more than George W. Bush, taking it from 18.4 percent of GDP to 22.8 percent.

Obama’s budget does not show what happens beyond the 10-year window. So, compared to George W. Bush’s spending, he seems to be about on par. However, projections from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) show spending growing at its current pace will grow to more than 26 percent of GDP in 2022, over 32 percent of GDP in 2030, 38 percent of GDP in 2040, and 45 percent of GDP by 2050, with the bulk of that spending driven by ever-rising health care costs.

Revenues under CBO projections would not move above 19 percent of GDP, leading to a gap between spending and revenues that would be difficult to sustain.

Ryan said a computer simulation program of what would happen in the future “crashes in 2037, because it can’t conceive of any way in which the U.S. economy can continue because of this massive burden of debt.”

Ryan’s plan would move spending back to historic levels, keeping it at 20 percent of GDP through 2030, and actually reducing it to under 19 percent by 2040. Ryan’s plan predicts revenues growing to 19 percent of GDP by 2040, allowing the national debt to be reduced over time.

The proposal landed in the middle of a busy news cycle where Washington is consumed with a spending fight over the current fiscal year budget, a much smaller portion of government spending that nonetheless will shut down the federal government if it is not resolved by Friday.

“Right now we’ve got some business in front of us that needs to be done,” Obama told reporters Tuesday afternoon, declining to respond to Ryan’s budget.

The reaction to Ryan’s plan was predictably split along ideological lines, though even those who supported the broad contours of Ryan’s plan did not embrace it in all its detail.

Robert Borosage, co-director of the liberal Campaign for America’s Future, delivered the harshest rebuke of the day to Ryan’s plan.

“This is being hailed as courageous. It isn’t courageous; it is corrupt,” Borosage said in a statement.

“Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan will push rising health care costs onto those least able to afford them – the elderly, the disabled and the poor,” Borosage said. “It will do nothing to curb the rising costs imposed by the powerful complexes – insurance and drug companies, private hospitals – that now force Americans to pay twice per capita of any other industrial nation for worst results.”

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the Maryland Democrat who is Ryan’s foil as the Budget Committee’s ranking member, said the plan was a “lopsided approach” to deficit reduction that took too much from the disadvantaged and elderly in order to benefit wealthy Americans and big business.

“Behind the sunny rhetoric of reform, the Republican Budget represents the rigid ideological agenda that extends tax cuts to the rich and powerful at the expense of the rest of America – except this time on steroids,” Van Hollen said in a statement.

However, David Walker, the former U.S. comptroller general and founder of the Comeback America Initiative who is generally a fiscal hawk, said Ryan “should be commended for having the courage to lead in connection with our nation’s huge deficit and debt challenges.”

“His budget proposal recognizes that restoring fiscal sustainability will require tough transformational changes in many areas, including spending programs and tax policies,” Walker said.

Among the 2012 Republican presidential hopefuls, only former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty was quick to comment on Ryan’s plan.

“Thanks to Paul Ryan in Congress, the American people finally have someone offering real leadership in Washington,” Pawlenty said, but he otherwise steered clear of the details and focused on the coming fight over the debt ceiling.

“President Obama has failed to lead and make tough choices his entire time in the White House. While the budget is going to be debated for several months to come, the more immediate issue we face is President Obama’s plans to raise the debt ceiling next month. That’s a really bad idea,” Pawlenty said in a statement.

“With over $14 trillion debt already, we should not allow Washington’s big spenders to put us further in the hole. We must get our fiscal house in order with real spending cuts and with real structural reforms that stop the spending spree before it bankrupts our country,” he said.

Even the conservative Heritage Foundation, which heralded Ryan’s plan as “a monumental budget proposal for monumental times,” dinged it for insufficient levels of defense spending and for not addressing Social Security.

As reported in Huffington Green

Written by Chris Kahn  AP

After 30 years of trying to squeeze electricity from sunlight, the solar energy industry is finally gaining some traction in its effort to compete with fossil fuels.

Does that mean most of the power in our homes will soon be coming from the sun?

Here are some questions and answers about solar energy as a source of electricity.

Q: Is solar energy getting close to being able to compete with fossil fuels?

A: It’s definitely moving in that direction.

Rooftop solar panels already are producing cheaper electricity than traditional power plants during the day in California and Hawaii. And industry analysts say that as early as next year utilities could build solar power plants able to compete with traditional coal-fired or natural gas power plants.

Q: Has something changed recently to give solar a leg up?

A: There have been vast improvements in technology as equipment and installation costs have plummeted, thanks in part to manufacturing innovations and a huge plunge in polysilicon prices.

Q: Polysilicon?

A: That’s a form of silicon that’s used to make some of the solar cells that gather sunlight to turn it into electricity.

Polysilicon prices have dropped about 30 percent in the past two months as makers of semiconductors _ which also use the material _ curbed production during the recession, said Jesse Pichel, an analyst with Piper Jaffray in New York.

Q: President Barack Obama has talked a lot about encouraging the production of alternative energy. Does anything in the stimulus plan he signed this week encourage the use of solar power?

A: Yes, the stimulus was packed with incentives for solar, including U.S. Treasury grants that will allow consumers to recoup 30 percent of the cost of installing solar equipment.

Robert Margolis, a senior analyst with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, said the new federal incentives will allow people in many U.S. cities to immediately lower the cost of home electricity by installing solar panels on their rooftops.

Q: Are there other reasons for the accelerating shift to solar power?

A: States and power companies have begun offering incentives to get people to use renewable forms of energy.

Yet consumers are not only being pulled toward solar power, they’re also being pushed away from fossil fuels. Americans’ electric bills rose for the sixth straight year in 2008, making the increasingly affordable option of solar power more attractive.

The cost to outfit a home with solar panels varies widely, but prices continue to plunge. Ilan Caplan, 34, of Denver, paid $22,000 last year for a rooftop system, but with incentives, it cost him $7,000. Caplan figures he produces about 90 percent of the energy he uses at home.

Q: Rooftop panels are one thing, but are there prospects for large-scale solar power plants?

A: Southern California Edison is building a massive 250 megawatt solar plant, big enough to power more than 160,000 homes. This month, New Jersey’s largest utility said it would install 200,000 solar panels throughout its service area in an ambitious $773 million program. Public Service Electric & Gas Co. supplies power to residents over an area of about 2,600 square miles.

Q: So, are we getting close to the day when solar power becomes the country’s predominant source of electricity?

A: That day’s still a long, long way off. Being able to compete in cost is one thing; becoming a significant player on the American electrical grid is quite another.

For starters, the coal and natural gas plants that fulfill much of the country’s energy needs aren’t going to close down simply because solar energy is getting cheaper. Also, it will take years for manufacturers to build enough solar panels to make a sizable contribution to the electricity supply.

“The industry could grow 30 to 40 percent a year for the next 20 years and it still won’t amount to a hill of beans in terms of energy production,” said Pichel. “If solar is going to be anything other than a cottage industry, the world needs 100 more polysilicon plants and multi-gigawatts more of production.”

The ability of solar energy to compete also depends on the price of natural gas, the fuel used in many power plants. At current natural gas prices, it’s impossible to produce solar electricity at a competitive cost; if gas prices triple, as they did last summer, solar would be close.

Experts say solar panels will eventually be able to compete even with cheap natural gas as they continue to get more efficient.

Q: Let’s say utilities start incorporating solar power _ what’s the first change I’ll see as an electricity consumer?

A: It’s more a case of what you won’t see: those crazy price swings on utility bills.

Some utilities already shift between natural gas and coal to meet demand for electricity, using whichever is cheaper. As commercial-scale solar plants come on line, utilities will have yet another option.

If utilities were using solar power widely last summer, you can bet many would have made the shift as natural gas futures soared over $14 per 1,000 cubic feet in July. (By comparison, natural gas costs $5 per 1,000 cubic feet now.)

Q: Where is solar power going to grow the fastest?

A: Of course, a lot of sun _ and high prices for power from other sources _ play a role. Hawaii and California already have the capacity to provide competitive prices for solar power and Texas could be next, according to Tom Werner, CEO of SunPower Corp. in San Jose, Calif.

But where solar will catch on also depends on investment levels by state and local governments. After California, can you guess which state relies on solar power the most? That’s right, sunny New Jersey, a state that has bought into solar big-time.

Q: Other than the issue of getting solar power stations built _ and the challenge of competing with traditional power plants _ what other obstacles stand in the way of solar?

A: Solar researchers say they’ve found many ways to get more electricity out of the sun. The challenge is figuring out how to mass-produce that technology.

“The problems you get at that scale are totally different than what you see in the lab,” 1366 Technologies co-founder Ely Sachs said.

Other solar power growing pains may show up in consumers’ wallets. In some communities, electricity bills could rise as power companies invest in solar projects.

In New Jersey, for example, Public Service Electric & Gas plans to charge an extra 10 cents a month for a year, and up to 35 cents a month within five years, for its ambitious solar plans.

Our Perspective:

Investment in Alternative Energy, specifically solar, is more beneficial then it ever has been. Recent incentives approved by the Federal Goverment ( extending 30% Tax Credit to 2017, offering 30% grant for commercial entities along with 5 year accelerated depreciation) plus the state initiative ( grants, rebates, RECs ) have made the payback very desirable.

Should you like to know more about how to structure your investment in alternative energy, contact us.: george@hbsadvantage.com  or call 856-857-1230.

We will be glad to provide an overview and present an outline providing the best opportunities to save and jointhe evolution.

Last DSIRE Review: 02/02/2009  

Incentive Type: State Rebate Program
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Photovoltaics, Landfill Gas, Wind, Biomass, Anaerobic Digestion, Fuel Cells using Renewable Fuels
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Industrial, Residential, Nonprofit, Schools, Local Government, State Government, Tribal Government, Fed. Government, Institutional
Incentive Amount: $0.15 – $5/W DC (varies by technology, capacity and applicant type); bonus rebate of $0.25/W is available for New Jersey sourced systems and equipment.
Maximum Incentive: Determined by capacity and rebate amounts for PV;
60% of eligible costs for sustainable biomass and fuel cell systems up to 10 kW;
30% for sustainable biomass and fuel cell systems greater than 10 kW;
For wind energy systems, 120% of estimated system performance at a reference wind speed of 11.4 mph
Eligible System Size: Residential PV: 10 kW DC maximum
Non-residential PV: 50 kW DC maximum
Fuel Cells and Sustainable Biomass: 1 MW AC maximum
Wind: 750,000 kWh annual energy production maximum
Output should not exceed 100% of the historical or expected (if new construction) consumption.
Equipment Requirements: Systems must be new, UL-listed (PV), in compliance with all applicable performance and safety standards, and must carry a minimum 5-year warranty on all equipment.
Installation Requirements: Installation must comply with all federal, state and local codes; must meet detailed siting criteria specified in program guidelines
Program Budget: $47,297,167 (new 2009 funding for all technologies)
Ownership of Renewable Energy Credits: Remains with project owner
Funding Source: New Jersey Societal Benefits Charge
Expiration Date 2009 Program Opening Date: 02/03/2009
Closing Date, First Cycle: 04/30/2009 (funding cycles only apply to PV)
Project Review/Certification OCE has a right to inspect all systems prior to issuing rebate
Website: http://www.njcleanenergy.com/
renewable-energy/programs/renewable-energy-incentive-program
Authority 1: N.J. Stat. § 48:3-60 (2008)
Date Enacted: 1999
Effective Date: March 2001 (for rebate program)

 


Summary:

  Note: The incentive amounts listed below are available for 2009 program year applications. Systems that are not eligible to receive rebates remain eligible to generate Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) and may be eligible for specialized programs based in the SREC market.  
 
New Jersey’s 1999 electric restructuring legislation provides for investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy through a “Societal Benefits Charge” (SBC) collected from all customers of electric public utilities. In March 2001, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) approved funding for renewable-energy programs, including a customer-sited renewables rebate program for homes, businesses, institutions and non-profits.  
 
Eligible technologies include fuel cells, photovoltaic (PV) systems, small wind-energy systems and/or sustainable biomass-energy technologies. Systems must have at least a five-year, all-inclusive warranty. Eligible systems should be sized to produce no more than 100% of the historical or expected (if new construction) amount of electricity consumed at a system’s site. It is important to note that system capacity limits and rebate amounts (including those for system additions) are calculated on a “per site” basis. In other words, for program purposes multiple systems on the same parcel or located on adjacent or contiguous properties under common ownership are aggregated together as a single system.  
 
In addition, effective January 28, 2008, all agricultural, commercial, industrial, non-profit and SUNLIT customers must apply for a receive a Tax Clearance Certificate from the New Jersey Division of Taxation in order to be eligible for financial assistance under this program. The objective of this new requirement is to ensure that all recipients of taxpayer funded support are in full compliance with their state tax obligations. This mandate does not affect residential customers.  
 
PV Systems  
PV systems (also known as solar-electric systems) are eligible for incentives based on the rated DC capacity of the system installed and the applicable sector. Under the 2009 program residential systems up to 10 kW and non-residential systems up to 50 kW are are eligible for incentives. In the past rebates have been reduced by 15% for owner-installed systems, although this distinction does not appear on the 2009 applications. Residential customers that participate in the OCE Home Performance with Energy Star or the Residential New Home Construction programs are eligible for slightly higher incentives.  
 
Beginning in 2009, incentive levels will be decreased as certain installed capacity benchmarks (6 MW per block) are reached. The standard incentive decline is expected to be $0.20/W at the end of each capacity block, although this may be adjusted based on how rapidly the capacity benchmarks are reached. In order to avoid the creation of lengthy application queues, the program will operate using 4-month funding cycles. Applicants that do not make it into a funding cycle must reapply once the next cycle opens. Below are the initial rebate levels for new 2009 applications:

  • Standard Residential (10 kW maximum): $1.55 per watt  
  • Residential w/energy audit (10 kW maximum): $1.75 per watt  
  • Non-residential (50 kW maximum): $1.00 per watt  
  • NJ-Sourced Bonus: $0.25 per watt for projects that use systems or components manufactured or assembled in New Jersey

Sustainable Biomass and Fuel Cell Systems  
These systems are currently eligible for incentive levels beginning at $5 per watt (up to 60% of a system’s cost) for systems up to 10 kW in capacity. Larger systems receive incrementally lower rebate amounts, with a 30% maximum. (Single-family rebate applications are limited to the first 10 kW of project capacity.) The rebate schedule is as follows:

  • $3.00 per watt for the first 10 kW for systems greater than 10 kW  
  • $2.00 per watt for the next 90 kW of system size  
  • $1.50 per watt for the next 400 kW of system size  
  • $0.15 per watt for system capacity in excess of 500 kW, up to 1 MW  
  • NJ-Sourced Bonus: $0.25 per watt for projects that use systems or components manufactured or assembled in New Jersey

Wind Energy Systems  
Effective beginning with the 2008 calendar year, wind energy systems will receive rebates based on expected performance rather than nameplate capacity. The Expected Performance Based Buydown (EPBB) rebate will be calculated according to the estimated first-year annual energy output, which itself is based on the estimated 50 meter wind speed at the site, the proposed tower height, and the performance curve of the proposed turbine. The per kilowatt-hour ($ per kWh) value of the rebate is determined by the estimated output as follows:

  • $3.20 per annual kWh for the first 16,000 kWh of estimated energy production.  
  • $0.50 per annual kWh for estimated energy production between 16,000 kWh and 750,000 kWh.
  • NJ-Sourced Bonus: $0.25 per watt for projects that use systems or components manufactured or assembled in New Jersey

The incentive is capped at 120% of the of the estimated system specific performance at a reference speed of 11.4 mph. A performance calculator tool and a list of eligible wind energy systems will be available shortly on the program website.  
 
The New Jersey Clean Energy Program web site provides all application materials, complete funding schedule and information about current incentive levels. Click here for the latest statistics on the number and types of projects supported through this incentive program.


 
Contact:

  Public Information – Renewable Energy Program
New Jersey Board of Public Utilities
Office of Clean Energy
c/o Conservation Services Group
75 Lincoln Highway
Iselin, NJ 08830
Phone: (866) 657-6278
Web site: http://www.njcleanenergy.com/renewable-energy/home/home

Should you want to know more about how to incorporate Federal and State incentives into a viable alternative energy solution for your organization or business; contact Hutchinson Business Solutions.  You may email george@hbsadvantage.com

As reported by triplepundit

Geothermal is the bastard child of renewable energy.

Constantly overlooked in articles and headlines in lieu of the much sexier solar and wind, which have become the go-to cleantech representatives, geothermal energy use could quietly double in the next six years.

It requires no fuel, can provide baseload power, and is emissions-free after initial plant construction. Yet not many people know about geothermal’s immense advantages and capabilities.

Here’s to changing that.

Without getting all Wikipedia on ya’, geothermal energy is basically using the natural heat below the earth’s crust to generate electricity–hence geo and thermal.

Though there are many ways to do that, the most common is to inject water into a pre-drilled hole. The naturally heated water is then introduced to heat transfer fluid. The hot water vaporizes the fluid, which drives a turbine, creating electricity.

That two-step process is intuitively called a binary cycle plant.

Gaining steam (pun intended) in the geothermal world is a process called enhanced geothermal systems, in which a heat transfer fluid is heated directly by being injected down hold drilled deep in dry rock.

For individual household applications, geothermal heat pumps pass air through a pipe below ground that stays a constant 50 to 60 degrees, heating in the winter and cooling in the summer, saving boatloads on utility costs in the process.

Not as exciting as getting power from giant wind turbines or panels that take in the sun’s rays, but clean, efficient, and deserved of our attention nonetheless.

And it’s much easier to get excited about geothermal power once you see the growth numbers.

Geothermal Energy Forecast

Global geothermal energy capacity will grow 89% between now and 2015, according to the most recent information available from GlobalData. Capacity will surge from 11,0007 MW at the end of 2008 to over 20,800 MW in the next six years.

Here’s the chart:

geothermal energy capacity

And in case you’re interested, here’s how the market share shakes out by region:

  • Asia-Pacific, 47.6%
  • North America, 42.3%
  • Europe, 10.0%
  • South America, <0.10%

Here in the States, forecast growth is on par with global growth on a percentage basis, with an estimated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.5% each. In the next six years, geothermal energy capacity in the U.S. will grow 89%, from 3,112 MW to 5,884 MW. That’s a world-leading sum.

Notable mentions in the geothermal growth category include Indonesia (3,200 MW by 2015), the Philippines (3,246 MW by 2015), and Mexico (1,481 MW by 2015). Iceland’s success with geothermal almost goes without saying.

As you can see, geothermal energy is no slouch, and probably deserves a bit more attention and respect, as does the investment potential of the sector.

Geothermal Energy Investment Forecast

Like most other market sectors, geothermal stocks have lost significant value over the past year. Here’s the visual:

geothermal energy stocks

That’s a two-year chart of Ormat Technologies (NSYE: ORA), U.S. Geothermal (AMEX: HTM), and Raser Technologies (NYSE: RZ), three of best pure play public geothermal companies around.

Losing 50% of your value in two years is no joke. But indicators are pointing to a rebound in the geothermal sector that will coincide with growth in geothermal capacity. It only makes sense, right?

The recently-passed stimulus did its part to ensure investing in geothermal energy remains attractive. The bill extends the production tax credit (PTC) until 2013, allowing project developers to recoup 30% of a new plant’s cost. The stimulus creates a cash grant program to support the industry as well.

It’s a win-win according to Geothermal Energy Association executive director Karl Gawell:

We estimate that the geothermal power industry has doubled its workforce in the US in the past two years, and the economic stimulus bill provides a framework of support that will continue if not accelerate growth in this industry adding tens of thousands of new jobs with even greater positive effects across the economy.

Federal incentives will lure private capital to the sector, allowing financing to go through for new projects. Banks will be more likely to lend given a 30% credit that gives stability to and reduces payback times.

Here’s Karl Gawell once again: “All of this adds up to making significant progress towards expanding our use of this largely untapped energy resource, which is good news for the environment and the economy.” A double bottom line. . . you don’t say?

What’s more, positive financials are once are once again returning to the sector.

Ormat recently reported strong fourth quarter results, beating even the high-end of estimates despite ongoing global financial recession.

This trend for Ormat, and other geothermal stocks, will only continue as western States move toward more aggressive renewable portfolio standard with targeted geothermal carve-outs. And Asian countries are also making a strong push to exploit geothermal energy, as noted earlier.

Most analysts have a price target on Ormat above $40.00, which implies a near doubling of price–in line with global and U.S. capacity growth estimates.

That should be enough to get anyone excited about geothermal.

Geothermal energy, despite its lackluster reputation, is gaining steam both as a clean energy source and investment catalyst.

Be sure to spread the word.

To learn more about Geothermal opportunities and the financial models available to make this investment affordable email george@hbsadvantage.com or call 856-857-1230

Many companies and government entities are choosing to go solar through a recent financing mechanism known as a power purchase agreement or a PPA.

A PPA is a long-term agreement to buy power from a separate company that finances and owns the solar system and then sells the end-user the electricity generated by the system.

Hutchinson Business Solutions (HBS) PPA partners use their own funds to finance the installation of a solar power system for your facility. The same PPA partner maintains and operates the solar power system, typically for 15 years or more.

In purchasing, operating and maintaining the solar system, the PPA partner assumes all the risks and responsibilities of ownership. At the end of the PPA term you can either purchase the solar system at fair market value or extend the PPA.
With a PPA you reap all the advantages of going solar, from lower electricity costs to public relations benefits, while conserving precious capital for other needs and opportunities.
We feel that a Power Purchase Agreements provide the best funding vehicle for Municipal and Non Profit Organizations. The Federal and State Governments have provided many financial incentives.
A Power Purchase Agreement allows these organizations to take advantage of these incentives with no upfront investments and save on electric cost.
 
PPAs at a glance:
  • Third-party financing company purchases a solar electric system for your facility, then charges you for the electricity generated.
  • No up-front capital required.
  • No maintenance work or risk.
  • You secure a long-term contract for power, often below current utility rates.
  • Stabilize an operating cost that was once highly variable.
  • Fixed electricity rates are a hedge against rising energy costs or spikes.
 
To learn more about how a Power Purchase Agreement may benefit you call 856-857-1230 or email george@hbsadvantage.com

As reported in Huffington Post

AP March 12

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is encouraging state officials to get on the front lines of the government’s program to revive the ailing economy.

Obama stopped by a conference Thursday with state officials gathered in the capital to discuss carrying out the $787 billion economic stimulus program. He said he believes the American people are behind his administration’s efforts but also said that officials at all levels of government must spend the money wisely.

Obama told his audience: “You’ve got this wonderful mission. And it’s rare where you get your chance to put your shoulder to the wheel of history and put it in a better direction.”

Biden and Energy Secretary Steven Chu also announced $8 billion in stimulus money to be directed to state and local weatherization and energy efficiency efforts.

From the Vice President’s press release:

Vice President Joe Biden and Energy Secretary Chu today detailed an investment of nearly $8 billion in state and local weatherization and energy efficiency efforts as part of the President’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. With an investment of about $5 billion through the Weatherization Assistance Program and about $3 billion for the State Energy Program, the Department of Energy will partner with state and local governments to put 87,000 Americans to work and save families hundreds of dollars per year on their energy bills.
To jump-start job creation and weatherization work, the Department of Energy is releasing the first installment of the funding – about $780 million — in the next few days. The Department will release additional funding over time as states demonstrate that they are using the funding effectively and responsibly to create jobs and cut energy use.

 

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — To the casual eye, the basement of this city’s Firehouse 9 looks like a jumble of old hydrants, Dr Pepper cartons, rakes and random gear. To specialists in energy efficiency, the 1960s-era building is a mess of a different sort: wasteful hot water heaters for the firefighters’ showers, ancient refrigerators and outdated lights.

Shawn Poynter for The New York Times

Mike Saylor, left, and John Plack, Jr. look at bulbs in Knoxville’s Fire House 9. The city is about to find out which buildings are wasting the most energy.  

Wrapping up an elaborate energy audit, Knoxville is about to find out which of 99 city buildings are wasting the most energy. It hopes to begin repairs this summer, just in time to catch a tsunami of federal stimulus money earmarked for such unglamorous tasks as replacing light bulbs and fixing leaky insulation.

Knoxville’s timing is excellent. The city began the arduous work of cataloging deficiencies before the stimulus bill passed, and it is well along in planning its next steps. But experts worry that other beneficiaries, especially cities, are not ready to oversee the huge sums of energy-efficiency money about to come their way.

The money in the bill is enough to pay for a tremendous expansion of efficiency efforts across the country. But as with other parts of the stimulus package, the efficiency plan is creating tension between spending the money quickly, to get rapid economic stimulus, and spending it well, to do the most good over the long run.

“There’s enormous opportunity here for expansion of energy efficiency in this country,” said Lowell Ungar, the policy director for the Alliance to Save Energy, an advocacy group. “But there is certainly the potential for waste.”

President Obama signed the stimulus package into law on Feb. 17, hailing it as a shot of money big enough to help shake the economy from its lethargy while advancing many of his campaign priorities. Accelerating the country’s energy transition is at the top of his list. Many experts in the field agree with him that carefully chosen investments in efficiency will ultimately save more than they cost, by cutting energy bills.

At least $20 billion in the stimulus bill was earmarked for programs like improving the efficiency of government buildings and the homes of poor people, and trying to find better ways to save energy. That is far more, advocates say, than any bill in history. Within a few months, the money is likely to start landing in the bank accounts of thinly staffed state and city agencies that are accustomed to scraping for a dime here, a dollar there.

Utah expects that its state energy office will receive $40 million for energy efficiency, renewable energy and related programs — 123 times the size of the office’s current budget, said Jason Berry, who manages the four-person unit. He is about to go on a hiring spree.

The package contains $5 billion to weatherize low-income homes through the Department of Energy, enough to give the state programs that manage that work 10 to 30 times the money they received last year, said Christina Kielich, a department spokeswoman.

For advocates of this relatively obscure program, “it’s like they finally got to the other side of the desert and it’s pouring rain,” said Seth Kaplan, a vice president of the Conservation Law Foundation, an environmental group.

The stimulus package also contains $4.5 billion to modernize federal buildings and $2.5 billion for research into energy efficiency and renewable energy. The biggest chunk, $6.3 billion, will be distributed by the Energy Department in grants to state and local governments, which can spend the money on things as diverse as thicker window panes for state capitols and rebates for homeowners who change their light bulbs.

Homes and commercial buildings account for 39 percent of national energy consumption. Experts say that improving their efficiency is not only cost-effective but also a good way to reduce the nation’s emissions of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming.

But figuring out how to spend the money effectively — learning which university buildings need their doors caulked, for example, or which firehouse walls have insulation that is too thin — can involve time-consuming, tricky analysis by skilled technicians.

“People are very conservative about their buildings,” said Donald Gilligan, the president of the National Association of Energy Service Companies, a trade group. “Nobody wants to put a failed technology into the school buildings or have the lights not work.”

In Knoxville, a team of auditors hired by the city is spending six months peering into the grimy nooks of fire and police stations and even the convention center, where one employee referred to the downstairs boiler area as a “money-eating room.”

Knoxville — which says the stimulus money may help accelerate or expand its program — hopes to reduce the city’s energy bills as much as 25 percent, and the city is “definitely on the front end of the wave as far as efficiency and municipalities addressing efficiency,” said John Plack Jr., a director of project development for Ameresco, which is conducting the Knoxville energy audit.

In the Southeastern region of the country, where Mr. Plack works, low electricity prices have often made saving energy an afterthought, unlike in California and much of the Northeast. For example, Nashville, nearly 200 miles west of Knoxville, has not conducted an energy audit of its city buildings, though it hopes to use stimulus money to look through its own stock of fire stations and libraries.

“There’s a lot of municipalities out there who are completely unaware this is moving forward,” Mr. Kaplan said, referring especially to smaller cities. “They just don’t have the infrastructure in place to deal with this.”

The Energy Department, which is doling out most of the grants, has been assailed on Capitol Hill for delays in disbursing other types of assistance for clean energy. Ms. Kielich said in an e-mail message that the department hoped efficiency grants would begin flowing to city and state energy offices within 120 days, and that it planned to begin disbursing weatherization money “expeditiously and responsibly.”

On the receiving end, absorbing the huge increase in money for weatherization could be particularly challenging, said Ian Bowles, the secretary of energy and environmental affairs for Massachusetts. Though he contends it can be done, “the weatherization folks are going to have to quintuple their effort in order to put that money out,” he said.

In some cases, the managers of efficiency programs may not need to look far to find ways to spend the money.

In Knoxville, the Community Action Committee, whose operations include helping poor people weatherize their homes, works from a building with a $14,000 monthly utility bill — some of it because of an enormous skylight that lets in too much blistering Tennessee sunshine in the summer.

“It’s embarrassing,” said Barbara Kelly, executive director of the committee. “We do better for our clients than we do for us.”

Our Perspective:

I applaud the stimulus but I am always nervous when large sums of money is out into the government’s hands. Responsible spending is the key to this stimulus spending. Investing in the infrastructure ( roads, bridges, rails and energy), is an investment in our future. This will only make us a stronger nation.

Irresponsible spending and earmarks will only tarnish our efforts and be counterproductive. The United States is poised to lead the next great energy evolution.

Let’s be sure to hold our elected officials accountable!

Let us know your thoughts? You may leave a comment or email george@hbsadvantage.com