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

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

Michigan Wind Energy Update

Posted on October 9, 2014
Michigan's installed wind energy capacity has boomed in recent years, and Michigan was recently named the 16th-ranked state with more than 1,000 megawatts (MW) of installed wind capacity (1,163 Mw installed). Michigan added the 8th most new capacity additions (MW) in 2012 and was the 6th fastest growing state by percentage. In 2013, 2.4 percent of the state’s electricity was being provided by wind. The state has more than 680 wind turbines and ranks 15th for the number of utility-scale wind... Read more

Wind Energy Production Rising in Michigan

Posted on August 16, 2014
Wind energy has been the primary source of new renewable energy in Michigan in the past few years. It could get even more of a boost as the Obama administration seeks a 30 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030. Wind energy is turning out to be about half as expensive to produce as utility companies initially expected—down to as little as $50 a megawatt hour from more than $100 a megawatt hour in 2009, according to the Michigan Public Service Commission. Wind power production... 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

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

Electric Vehicles Are Not New to Detroit

Posted on June 19, 2014
On June 25, 1914, the Detroit Taxicab & Transfer Co. launched its first electric vehicle, complete with a nickel-iron battery developed by Thomas Edison. The taxis could be operated for less than 20 cents a mile, with the company charging riders as much as 70 cents for the first mile and 40 cents a mile after that. The electric taxis designed and built by the DTTC were very economical and easy to drive. “Curb boosting” is the term used to describe how the vehicles were charged when not... 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

Tips When Shopping for a Solar Panel Provider

Posted on February 16, 2014
If you’ve been thinking about buying a solar electric system for your home or business, the solar power specialists at Oak Electric Service are happy to answer your questions, including inquiries about financing for solar installations. Oak Electric is one of southeast Michigan’s leading solar panel system installers. Solar electric systems, also called photovoltaic or PV systems, are reliable and pollution-free. They make use of a renewable source of energy—the sun. While PV systems for... Read more

It’s Lights Out for Incandescent Bulbs in 2014

Posted on January 16, 2014
Starting January 1, 2014, companies can no longer import or make 40-watt and 60-watt incandescent light bulbs. This marks the final phase of a national phaseout that started in 2012. Ironically, Thomas Edison's first public demonstration of the incandescent light bulb happened 134 years ago. But Edison would probably approve given the energy-saving properties of the two types of light bulbs that are the main replacements for incandescent bulbs—LED (light-emitting diode) and CFL (compact... Read more

Michigan’s Utilities are Meeting Renewable Energy Goals

Posted on January 9, 2014
In 2008, Gov. Jennifer Granholm signed into law comprehensive energy reforms. In addition to removing barriers to investing in environmentally friendly, new baseload generation needed by the state, the new law established Michigan’s first Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). The RPS requires 10 percent of the state’s electricity supply to come from renewable sources by 2015. Michigan’s utilities are expected to meet the 10 percent goal by 2015, at costs that have been cut in half since... Read more

Wind Energy

Posted on October 9, 2013
While wind energy currently accounts for about 4% of the U.S. power sector, its potential is immense. Experts suggest that wind power can easily supply more than 20% of U.S. and world electricity. This is good news given that coal produces less than 40% of our power yet is responsible for 70% of the power sector’s greenhouse gas emissions. Here are just a few reasons to consider wind power as a source for electricity: Wind is a free, native fuel—Unlike other forms of electrical... Read more

Using Solar Panels with Battery Backup

Posted on August 25, 2013
Getting energy from the sun is great under most circumstances. But because most solar systems are “grid tied” these days, people who have solar panels without battery backup are subject to power outages just like everyone else. If you live in an area that experiences frequent power outages but want to keep your connection to the utility grid, a grid-tied with battery backup system—like the one Oak Electric recently installed for homeowners in Lake Orion—might be just the thing for... Read more
Posted on July 25, 2013
When it comes to solar energy implementation in Michigan, it has been estimated that less than half of the homes and businesses in Michigan are good sites for solar energy due to shading or roof orientation.  Renters and condo owners do not own property that can be used for solar installations. Also, solar energy systems often require a large upfront cost that makes it difficult for many homeowners, institutions, or businesses to get involved. A new concept—Community Solar—may be a... Read more

DTE Proposes Lower Monthly Surcharge

Posted on July 15, 2013
In 2009, DTE Energy began collecting surcharges from its business and residential customers to cover the costs associated with meeting the state's renewable energy goals. These goals required Michigan electric utilities to provide 10 percent of their power from renewable resources by 2015. Energy legislation approved in 2008 allows utilities to collect a monthly surcharge from their customers to cover the investment needed to meet the state's renewable energy goals. Recently, DTE Energy filed... Read more

Oak Electric is a Member of Michigan GREEN

Posted on June 8, 2013
As one of southeast Michigan’s leading renewable energy contractors, Oak Electric is proud to be a member of Michigan GREEN—The Michigan Group for a Renewable Energy Efficient Nation. Michigan GREEN is a non-profit group that consists of energy companies and consultants, government agencies, schools, colleges, universities and like-minded individuals that have joined forces to champion the cause of renewable energy and energy efficiency in Michigan and throughout the nation. Incorporated... Read more

Worldwide Solar Power Reaches 100 GW Milestone in 2012

Posted on April 15, 2013
As of the end of 2012, the total grid-connected solar PV capacity worldwide reached 100 gigawatts, according to the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA). Last year, eight countries added one gigawatt (or more) of PV capacity, and now 13 countries have exceeded one gigawatt of cumulative installations. Almost 17 GW was installed in Europe alone – though that’s down from a record 23 GW in 2011 – with the top markets being Germany, Italy and France. Outside of Europe, China was... Read more

Residential Wind Power Systems

Posted on March 25, 2013
If you have enough wind resource in your area and the situation is right, small wind electric systems can be one of the most cost-effective home-based renewable energy systems, with zero emissions and pollution. Small wind electric systems can: Lower electricity bills by 50%–90% Help avoid the high costs of having utility power lines extended to a remote location Help uninterruptible power supplies ride through extended utility outages Be used for other applications, including water... Read more

Oak Electric is a NABCEP Certified PV Installer

Posted on February 22, 2013
Solar photovoltaic technology is becoming increasingly attractive as a clean, affordable, safe and inexhaustible source of electricity. It also can significantly reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and our dependence on the grid. Solar panels have dropped in price by 80 percent in the past five years. In 20 states, these systems are providing electricity at a cost that is at or below the current retail cost of grid power. Today, there are numerous companies who are installing... Read more

Solar Use On the Rise in the U.S.

Posted on January 15, 2013
In 2012, the United States installed more solar panels than in any previous year and residential use of solar power was up 70 percent over 2011—according to a recent report conducted by the Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research Solar. By the end of this year, homeowners, businesses and utility companies will have installed enough photovoltaic cells to produce 3.2 gigawatts (GW) of electricity in the United States, up from 1.9 GW last year. In total, the U.S. now has 5,700... Read more

Oak Electric—One-Stop Electrical Services and More!

Posted on January 8, 2013
When it comes to comprehensive electrical services—industrial, commercial and residential—we want you to “Think Oak Electric.” We provide all of the typical electrical services, such as: general troubleshooting and repair work; circuit breaker panel upgrades; installation of electric appliances and ceiling fans; remodel wiring and new construction; electrical work for swimming pools and hot tubs; and insurance restoration work. But we also hope Oak Electric is the first company that... Read more

Thank You for Being an Oak Electric Customer

Posted on December 22, 2012
Well, 2012 is almost behind us and as we look back on the year, we feel compelled to extend a warm “thank you” to all of the residential and commercial customers who chose Oak Electric as their electrical services provider this past year. Locally owned and operated, Oak Electric serves metro Detroit and all of Southeast Michigan. Our work ranges  from solar panel and wind power systems installation to standby generator sales, installation and service to the full range of commercial and... Read more

Use of Solar Panel Systems Is On the Rise

Posted on November 15, 2012
The implementation of small renewable energy systems continues to rise, with distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) systems leading the way. The distributed solar PV market is dominated by residential and commercial grid-connected PV systems as the installed price of solar energy continues to fall and end-user demand rises. Innovative financing and leasing options and third-party and utility ownership models are other factors contributing to the growth of solar PV system use, both commercial and... Read more

Are Solar Panels Effective in Cold Weather?

Posted on October 22, 2012
With winter approaching, you may be inclined to put off installing solar panels for your home or business because you think the snow and cold will affect your solar panel system. The average temperature in a climate region does not have an effect on solar panels. In fact, solar panels are actually slightly more efficient at producing electricity in cold temperatures.  So even if you live in a colder climate that is further north, you still get enough sunlight that solar panels will work.... Read more