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

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

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

Lightning Safety

Posted on May 23, 2014
Lightning season is just beginning, making it a good time to review some things about this force of nature that we would do well to respect. The majority of lightning strikes and thunderstorms occur in the spring and summer months, but lightning strikes can happen at any time without warning if a thunderstorm is in the area, even if rainfall and storm clouds are as far as 10 miles away. In the U.S., an estimated 25 million lightning strikes are recorded each year. A typical lightning strike... 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

Safety Tips for DIY Home Electrical Projects

Posted on February 23, 2014
The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) recommends that you always contact a qualified, licensed electrician to perform any electrical work in your home. It’s critical to recognize and distinguish between those repairs that you are qualified to undertake and those that only a professional electrician should handle. If you decide to undertake even a simple electrical project yourself, here are some important things you will need to do to avoid serious injury: Before touching... 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

What You Need to Know About Your Generator

Posted on February 9, 2014
Okay, you’ve got your standby generator installed and up and running. To keep your peace of mind intact over time, there are a few things you should know about living with your generator. As with any major appliance, simple maintenance is required. All generators require periodic oil and filter changes to ensure maximum performance for years of reliable service. As one of Southeast Michigan’s leading generator dealers and installers, Oak Electric offers instructions on our website on how... Read more

Oak Electric Has Cold-Weather Accessories for Your Generator

Posted on January 23, 2014
With over 3,000 generator installations in southeast Michigan to our credit, Oak Electric knows generators. We are the only Premier Generac Dealer in southeast Michigan. In addition to generator sales, service and installation, we are also your source for generator parts and accessories. Included in our generator parts selection are some products to keep your generator operating in cold weather, including the following: The Nexus Wireless Monitor—This battery-operated wireless unit provides... 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

Child-Proof Your Home for the Holidays

Posted on December 23, 2013
The holidays are a magical time for children and adults to enjoy family traditions and create fond memories.  Decorating your home with lights is a major part of the fun and enjoyment of this time of year. Make safety a priority, especially if you have children or will have children visiting your home for the holidays. Be sure you have safety covers on all unused electrical outlets, including those on extension cords. Don’t put Christmas tree lights, ornaments, metal hooks, and other... Read more

Today’s Energy-Efficient Lighting Options

Posted on December 16, 2013
An average household dedicates about 10% of its energy budget to lighting. Ever since Congress passed the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, lighting options for consumers have been evolving to try to meet the government’s higher efficiency standards. The goal: to produce the same light with less energy. Switching to energy-efficient lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills. For example, replacing 15 inefficient incandescent bulbs in your home with... Read more

The Benefits of Indoor Generators

Posted on December 9, 2013
Indoor generators are backup or uninterruptible power supply systems designed specifically for indoor use during power outages. They utilize battery-produced alternating current to instantly back up essential electric appliances in the event of the loss of grid power. Oak Electric is a supplier of The Indoor Generator™, ideal for powering critical appliances or systems in your home or business, such as alarm systems, aquariums, computer equipment, fans, refrigerators and freezers, garage... Read more

Kitchen Safety at Thanksgiving

Posted on November 23, 2013
Thanksgiving is coming up fast and Oak Electric Service would like to take a moment to thank all of our loyal customers for your patronage over the years. Many of us will be spending more time in the kitchen preparing a great holiday feast for family and friends. But did you know that Thanksgiving is the part of the house where two-thirds of all home fires start? With all of the activity ahead, here are some basic, common-sense reminders to ensure that you enjoy a safe Thanksgiving at your... Read more

Electric-Only Driving Is Gaining Acceptance

Posted on November 16, 2013
Ford Motor Company is reporting that data from Ford plug-in hybrid drivers shows that consumers are embracing electric-only driving faster than expected. Data collected from the MyFord Mobile app in the plug-in Fusion and C-Max Energi models and the Focus Electric shows customers drive more than 8,400 electric-only miles every hour, and about 203,000 electric-only miles per day. (Ford has sold about 10,400 of these vehicles to date.) Driving habits of electric-only vehicle owners also show... Read more