Thank Thomas Edison for Our Modern Electric System

Posted on February 11, 2015
When you go to turn on a light switch or appliance today, you should thank Thomas Alva Edison, born on February 11, 1847. One of our greatest inventors, Edison is credited with numerous electricity-inspired inventions, from the incandescent light bulb to the phonograph and the movie projector. But perhaps even more importantly, his extensive work in electricity led him to develop a complete electrical distribution system for light and power and set up the world's first electricity generation... Read more

Oak Electric Can Help You Prepare Now For Spring Storms

Posted on February 9, 2015
It may only be February, but you know there will be some significant stormy weather come Spring in Michigan. As a Generac Authorized dealer, Oak Electric brings you peace of mind with a full line of reliable Generac generators—from home backup generators to business standby generators to portable generators. One example is Generac’s Guardian 11 kW Generator which provides essential circuit power protection for your home, ensuring the necessities remain powered during an outage. The system... Read more

Michigan Third in Most Power Outages in 2013

Posted on January 23, 2015
According to power management company Eaton, in 2013 California (for the fifth year running) topped the list of states with the most power outages, followed by Texas and Michigan. Eaton’s Blackout Tracker data is based on a full year of reported power outages across the U.S. and is organized into two sections: an overview of national power outage data and power outage data by state. On average, 6,543 people were affected for over three hours per outage in 2013 and power failures caused... Read more

USA, Not China, is #1 in Wind Energy

Posted on January 16, 2015
You may have heard that China leads the world in terms of megawatts (MW) of wind turbines installed. But a better measure of wind energy production is actually the total amount of electricity, measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh), that a country produces from wind and delivers to customers. And in this regard, it is the United States that leads the world in the amount of wind energy that powers its grid. Capacity (MW) measures wind turbine production and installation, but it is the electrical... Read more

Protect Your Electrical Systems with Infrared Testing

Posted on January 9, 2015
If you operate an industrial plant or business, one of the most critical areas of concern is the integrity and safety of your facility’s electrical systems. Because electrical safety is a top priority at Oak Electric Service, we now offer thermography testing services for our commercial electrical customers. Thermography testing, also known as infrared (IR) testing, is one of the most effective tools available to detect overloads, poor connections, faulty contacts, and other “hot spots”... Read more

Community Solar Boosts Renewable Energy in Michigan

Posted on December 23, 2014
Community Solar is a concept that is developing across the country and in Michigan. It is a viable alternative for citizens, communities and businesses seeking to utilize and reap the benefits of solar power. Michigan citizens who are interested in utilizing solar energy may face a number of obstacles, including: Not having access to a proper site for a renewable energy system Not having ownership of the space (renters, condominium owners) The complexity of installing the solar panel... Read more

How to Safely Remove a Broken Bulb

Posted on December 16, 2014
You go to change a light bulb in one of your home’s lighting fixtures, and before you know it, the glass bulb breaks off and you are left with the metal base still stuck in the socket. Before you make any attempt to remove the remaining part of the bulb, turn off the power to the fixture. If it’s a lamp, simply unplug it. If it’s a ceiling fixture or a light in an oven, for example, you will need to turn off the related circuit breaker at your electrical panel. Be sure toggle the light... Read more

Holiday Decorating Safety Tips

Posted on December 9, 2014
With the holidays quickly approaching, it’s a good time for some simple, common-sense reminders about decorating precautions to ensure that you and your loved ones have an enjoyable and safe season. Make sure your artificial tree has a label saying it is fire resistant. If you choose to go with a real tree, be sure to choose a fresh tree with needles that are hard to pull from the branches. Cut two inches off the base before you place it in the stand. Keep the stand filled with water to... Read more

Wind Energy Picks Up Speed in Michigan

Posted on November 23, 2014
Wind energy has been the primary source of new renewable energy in the state, according to the Michigan Public Service Commission. One reason is that wind power is about half as expensive to produce as utility companies initially expected, as little as $50 a megawatt hour in 2013 compared to more than $100 per megawatt hour in 2009. Currently, more than 20 wind farms are in operation or development in Michigan. Michigan’s growing wind business has meant falling prices for residential... Read more

Michigan On the Verge of an Energy Investment Boom

Posted on November 19, 2014
Experts say that Michigan could see billions of dollars in new investment and thousands of construction jobs in the energy industry over the next several decades. The boom includes traditional coal, oil and gas projects as well as projects involving renewable energy sources.. Michigan currently has an estimated 83,600 total energy jobs. A study conducted for Michigan’s Energy Innovation and Business Council said local investment in renewable energy projects—advanced energy storage,... Read more

Choosing the Right Generator

Posted on November 9, 2014
In the past, it was rare for a homeowner to have a backup generator to keep things running when a power outage occurred. But growing demand, cheaper technology and affordable pricing have put the purchase of residential generators more within reach for homeowners. For example, Generac recently debuted a baseline built-in generator that costs less than $2,000, not including installation. A less powerful generator would have cost about $8,000 20 years ago. If you’re considering investing in a... Read more

Some Facts About LED Bulbs

Posted on September 9, 2014
Environmentally-friendly LED bulbs continue to grow in popularity because of their longevity and energy savings. Early versions of LED bulbs often cast a blue hue, but today’s LEDs can mimic the white or yellow glow of incandescent or fluorescent lights. Typically, you can expect an LED bulb to last about 50,000 hours—compared to 2,000 hours of use you used to get from an incandescent light. It would take 42 incandescent bulbs to provide 50,000 hours of use; and five CFLs to provide the... Read more

Energy Efficiency and Conservation When Lighting Your Home

Posted on August 23, 2014
Energy efficiency and energy conservation are not the same thing. Energy efficiency refers to using less energy to perform a specific task. For example, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) can light your home using less energy than conventional incandescent bulbs. Energy conservation involves reducing your need for energy through behavior changes, such as setting your thermostat lower. In addition to using CFL and LED light bulbs in your home, here are some things you can do to improve both... Read more

Consumers Energy Offers Solar Buyback Program for Residential and Business Customers

Posted on August 9, 2014
Currently, there are 260 Consumers Energy customers taking part in the utility’s program that enables customers to harness the power of the sun from solar panels installed at their home or business—and then sell the power back to the utility. Consumers Energy announced in the beginning of July that it was expanding the program, which now generates enough power to serve 635 homes, by opening it to new residential applicants. While applications for the current phase of the program must be... Read more

Ask Oak Electric About Big Ass Residential Ceiling Fans

Posted on July 23, 2014
If you’re looking for ways to enhance your home’s environment this summer, don’t forget that Oak Electric Service sells and installs Big Ass brand ceiling fans for both residential and commercial use. What’s great about Big Ass residential fans is that they score high in technology, design and comfort. Big Ass has reinvented the fan motor, creating a quiet, energy-efficient and attractive product that is ideal for sound-sensitive spaces like restaurants, schools or your great room.... Read more

U.S. Solar Energy Usage Update

Posted on July 16, 2014
A first quarter 2014 report from the Solar Energy Industries Association indicates that solar power is growing fast in the U.S. Some of the SEIA’s findings include the following: 74 percent of all new electricity generation installed in the U.S. during the first quarter of 2014 was solar. That represents 1,330 MW of solar photovoltaic panels installed, a 79 percent increase over a year ago. While most of the solar installations were utility-scale projects, about a quarter were rooftop... Read more

What is a Power Surge?

Posted on July 9, 2014
Power surges occur when something boosts the electrical charge at some point in the power lines, which can increase the current flowing to your wall outlet. According to Larry Kaufmann, an energy expert at DTE Energy, power surges happen more frequently than people realize. External power surges are caused by lightning strikes or huge demands of power; internal surges are typically caused by circuits that are simply overloaded. Lightning is probably the most familiar source of power surges,... Read more

It’s Always a Good Time to Think About Electrical Safety

Posted on June 26, 2014
May was National Electrical Safety Month. Yes, May has come and gone, but it’s really never too late to review things we can do to use electricity safely in our homes. Oak Electric Service is so focused on safety that we will provide a “Free Safety Inspection” while we are at your home or business on a project. Here are just a few of the things our inspection includes: A visual inspection of service panels, the main service cables and the ground system Checking the electrical panel... Read more

Basics of Charging Your Electric Vehicle at Home

Posted on June 9, 2014
Before you decide to purchase a plug-in electric vehicle (PEV), you will need to determine where you will charge it—at home, at work or at a public electric charging station. Charging time will be dependent on how depleted the battery is, its storage capacity, and the on-board charging characteristics designed into the vehicle by the auto manufacturer. If you decide on a home charging station, you can choose either Level 1-AC (single phase) or DC charging, or Level 2-AC (single phase) or DC... Read more

Solar Power Is Gaining Mainstream Acceptance

Posted on May 16, 2014
The Solar Energy Industries Association reports that solar photovoltaic (PV) installations reached 4,751 megawatts (MW) in 2013—a 41 percent increase over 2012, setting a new record for annual solar growth in the U.S. The additional installations brought the total PV capacity to over 12,000 MW, made up of over 440,000 solar electric systems. What this means is that solar power is now hitting the mainstream. It was the second-largest source of electricity generating capacity installed in the... Read more

Tips for Choosing Lightbulbs Today

Posted on May 9, 2014
Changing a lightbulb used to be a simple task. You just grabbed a 60 watt incandescent bulb for most tasks and screwed it in to the socket. But incandescent bulbs are being replaced by Compact Fluorescent bulbs and Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs—both of which are more energy efficient and cost efficient. Once retailers run out of old-fashioned, inefficient incandescent lightbulbs, they will be gone forever and you will have to learn a whole new way to choose a lightbulb. So here are some... Read more

Wind Power Expected to See Unprecedented Growth in 2014

Posted on April 23, 2014
The American wind energy industry started construction on an historic and unprecedented number of new wind farms this year. Key factors spurring growth include an extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) and a record number of Power Purchase Agreements with electric utilities. Among other things, the PTC provides up-front tax relief of 2.3 cents per kilowatt-hour for the first 10 years of a project. At the same time, investments in technological advancements have driven down the cost of... Read more

Some Solar Power Facts

Posted on April 14, 2014
Since creating our Green Division in 2008, Oak Electric Service has become one of Southeast Michigan’s leading solar panel system installers. Visit our website to check out some of the solar installations we are so proud of having installed for customers all over the state of Michigan—Ann Arbor, Birmingham, Bloomfield, Brighton, Clarkston, Dexter, Dryden, Manchester, Rochester and other cities. If you have been thinking about solar panels for your home or business, here are some facts... Read more

Some Facts About the U.S. Electrical Grid

Posted on April 9, 2014
The U.S. electric grid delivers electricity to more than 144 million end-use customers in the United States. Construction of the grid was started in the late 1880s and continues today. About 70 percent of the grid’s transmission lines and power transformers are now over 25 years old; the average age of power plants is over 30 years. As most of us know, the U.S. electric grid is highly vulnerable to severe weather, which is the leading cause of power outages in the United States. Between 2003... Read more

Incandescent Bulbs Phase-out Continues in 2014

Posted on March 24, 2014
In keeping with a law passed by Congress in 2007, tungsten-filament 40- and 60-watt incandescent light bulbs can no longer be manufactured in the U.S. as of January 1, 2014. This follows the already completed phase-out of manufacturing of 100-watt bulbs in 2012 followed by 75-watt bulbs in 2013. This final phase-out will be the most significant because 40- and 60-watt bulbs represent more than 50 percent of the consumer lighting market. The production of incandescent bulbs is being discontinued... Read more

Oak Electric for Your Electrical Needs—And More

Posted on March 16, 2014
When Oak Electric Service says we are a full-service electrical contractor, we mean it. We have over 30 years of collective experience as residential, commercial and industrial electrical contractors. Oak Electric serves more than 8,000 customers in southeast Michigan with a wide range of electrical and renewable energy solutions, including: 24-hour emergency service Automatic standby and backup generators—sales, installation, service and parts for major generator manufacturers General... Read more

Carbon Monoxide and Portable Generator Use

Posted on March 9, 2014
If you have a home or small business portable generator, a primary hazard to avoid when using it is carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from the toxic engine exhaust. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, tasteless and poisonous gas that weakens the blood’s ability to carry oxygen to organs and body tissues. People often don’t know they are breathing CO and poisoning can occur in minutes. Symptoms include dizziness, drowsiness, severe headache, weakness, nausea and confusion. If you... Read more