3/26/2012

I took the Energy Star Pledge Have You?

Scott's Contracting Energy Star Pledge to 

Improve the Energy Efficiency of 

America's Buildings by 10% or More!


Scotts Contracting Energy Star Pledge





Thank you for stopping by St Louis Renewable Energy. Feel free to comment in the section below or contact Scotty for any Home Improvement Projects or Energy Reducing Needs and Scotty, Scotts Contracting will respond ASAP. Company Web Address: http://www.stlouisrenewableenergy.com

3/25/2012

Please Volunteer!


Can you help advance renewable energy in Missouri?
 
Establishing a strong, effective Renewable Energy Standard in Missouri will go a long way to help our environment, create good jobs and protect ratepayers...and the first step is to put the issue on the November 2012 ballot.  For that, we need your help now to collect voter signatures. As the old saying goes, many hands make light work. We'd really appreciate your help!
 
Please sign up for a short but important volunteer training, with snacks and refreshments:
 
Tuesday, March 27, at 7pm
at Missouri Coalition for the Environment
6267 Delmar Blvd, Suite 2E,
University City, MO 63130 (in the Delmar Loop)
**Training takes 30-40 minutes**

Be sure to RSVP to Jill at 314-359-4697 or jill@renewmo.org.   If you are not able to attend this week, we tentatively have a training scheduled for Tuesday, April 3 at 6pm. Call or email for details.  I would also be happy to meet and train with you individually at your convenience.
 
Thanks,
Jill
 


--
Jill Miller
St. Louis Regional Organizer
Renew Missouri


3/20/2012

Varmit Garden Screen Protector


Garden Screen Protector Available at Scotts Contracting
  1. Sunday March 18, 2012 Planted Back Yard Garden
  2. Gambling on Spring Weather Conditions
  3. First Plants to Germinate March 28
  4. I couldn't find a Functional Garden Screen Protector to suit my liking so I designed this Frame for the Protective Garden Screen.

Thank you for stopping by St Louis Renewable Energy. Feel free to comment in the section below or contact Scotty for any Home Improvement Projects or Energy Reducing Needs and Scotty, Scotts Contracting will respond ASAP. Company Web Address: http://www.stlouisrenewableenergy.com


Kool Stuff for the Garden: 

Do you support renewable energy in St Louis?


 Because, it's healthier for the environment and people than pollution from power plants? Because a diverse energy portfolio protects ratepayers from steep rate hikes and fosters competition that keeps electric rates low? Or because installing solar panels and wind turbines creates good jobs that can't be outsourced and will grow our economy?

Establishing a strong Renewable Energy Standard in Missouri will do all of the above, and more—but we need your help now collecting voter signatures to put this issue on the November ballot.

The deadline is in early May, so don't wait!  Please sign up to attend one of two trainings to collect signatures for this crucial ballot initiative.

Thursday, March 22, 6pm-7pm:   Thornhill Branch St. Louis County Library, 12863 Willowyck Dr., Maryland Heights, MO 63146.  (Off of Fee Fee Rd. between Olive and Bennington, across from Parkway North High School. We will be in either the main reading room or small conference room).

Tuesday, March 27, 7pm-8pm:  Missouri Coalition for the Environment, 6267 Delmar Blvd, Suite 2E, University City, MO 63130 (in the Delmar Loop). 

Be sure to RSVP so that we can have adequate materials on hand; call 314-359-4697 or email jill@renewmo.org. Thanks!


Jill Miller
St. Louis Regional Organizer
Renew Missouri


3/19/2012

Removing Birds Nest Fire Hazard From Exhaust Vent on Gas Heater

Removing the Fire Safety Hazard that a St Louis Building Code Official Missed
Removing the Fire Safety Hazard that a St Louis Building Code Official Missed 
Thank you for stopping by St Louis Renewable Energy. Feel free to comment in the section below or contact Scotty for any Home Improvement Projects or Energy Reducing Needs and Scotty, Scotts Contracting will respond ASAP. Company Web Address: http://www.stlouisrenewableenergy.com

House Repair Photos

Per the Direction of a St Louis City Building Code Official here are the Photos of Violations that were keeping this Investment Property Owner from Renting this House to Prospective Tenants.

After Photo of the Repaired Home

Thank you for stopping by St Louis Renewable Energy. Feel free to comment in the section below or contact Scotty for any Home Improvement Projects or Energy Reducing Needs and Scotty, Scotts Contracting will respond ASAP. Company Web Address: http://www.stlouisrenewableenergy.com

3/09/2012

Missouri Nuclear and Fair Energy Rates


Learn the Issues, Get the Facts

HB 1316: The $115 Million Ameren Bailout
Ameren is asking Missouri businesses and residents to bail them out for costs they have already incurred and plan to incur in the future which do nothing to produce energy or provide any service to consumers now or in the future.
  • Ameren has already spent at least $25 million towards pursuing an early site permit.  Ameren willingly spent its own money and as with any other business, Ameren ought to be spending its own money on this speculative venture, rather than seeking a bailout through HB 1316.
  • HB 1316 does not guarantee customers will be paid back their money in the case that a new electric plant is never built.
  • HB 1316 will cost Missouri businesses and residents $45 million plus interest and Ameren earnings for 20 years totaling an increase of $115 million.
  • HB 1316 will produce ZERO watts of electricity. This legislation will not result in a new electric power plant.
  • HB 1316 will create ZERO jobs. This legislation has nothing to do with building a new electric power plant that would actually create jobs.
A Plan with Consumer Protections: Senate Bill 406
  • Ameren says it needs this legislation to maintain the option of seeking an Early Site Permit toward building a second nuclear power plant. At the same time the bill protects Missouri employers, businesses and residential ratepayers if Ameren proceeds as it has indicated it would.
  • The bill also protects business and residential ratepayers if Ameren is wrong and holds Ameren accountable.
  • The bill represents a compromise that gives Ameren everything it says is needed to obtain an Early Site Permit and that protects businesses and residential consumers who are being asked to pay for the Early Site Permit.
  • This bill allows Ameren to recover from ratepayers financing costs on $40 Million of expenditures to obtain an Early Site Permit.
  • Consumer protections include the same three requests that were made by consumer groups this past November:
    • A hard cap on expenses to ensure Ameren doesn’t charge consumers for cost overruns.
      • This is important to avoid the mistakes and huge overruns that have historically plagued the building of nuclear plants.
      • Consumers must be protected from cost overruns at all stages of the process.
    • A rebate to ensure consumers are refunded their money if energy is never produced or the Early Site Permit is never obtained.
      • Ameren has already spent $25 million dollars towards obtaining an Early Site Permit. A rebate is necessary to keep Ameren from shifting the gamble and all of the risk on getting the permit to consumers.
    • Assessment funding for the Office of Public Counsel
      • This takes the Governor’s proposal and makes sure legislative intent for funding the OPC is established and better secures the funding beyond FY 2012, which is the only year the Governor’s proposal ensures.
      • Consumers need an adequately funded independent OPC to ensure consumers are protected through the entire process of building the nuclear plant.

“Ameren Demands $263 Million Rate Hike”

With an unemployment rate of nearly 10%, Missouri families and employers are struggling. Rather than tightening their belts like Missouri’s working families, Ameren is asking the Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC), the regulatory body responsible for policing the monopoly, to allow another Ameren rate hike which will:
  • Raise electricity rates on Missouri’s working families and employers by $263 million.
  • Drive up the cost of doing business in Missouri Ameren’s rate hike plan comes at a time of crisis for Missouri’s economy. Missourians are losing their jobs. Missouri businesses are being forced to downsize in order to stay afloat.  Missouri’s employers and small businesses are already struggling to prevent layoffs of even more workers.
  • Drive up the cost of living for already struggling Missouri families Ameren’s $263 million rate hike demand before the PSC comes at a time when Missouri’s employers and small businesses are hurting and at a time when Missouri families are hurting even more. In this fragile economy, thousands of families live on the brink of financial disaster.
Ameren has been awarded over $577 million in rate increases, a 26% hike, at the expense of Missouri ratepayers in less than two years.  It’s time to ask Ameren to do the same, just like Missouri’s working families.

“The Nuclear Option”

It seems like common sense: the market should make decisions on whether a second power plant is financially viable, not the whims of politicians.  In the midst of a recession and with unemployment at record levels, now is not the time to ask taxpayers and ratepayers to pay more money for energy investment. But that hasn’t stopped the big utilities from trying to push their financial gamble on us.  Senate Bill 50 was crafted by the utility companies to create an exception in long-standing state law.  It would allow large Missouri utilities to charge YOU for the costs associated with Early Site Permit (ESP), the first step in construction of a nuclear power plant.
The Situation
  • The fact that Ameren is seeking money from ratepayers and cannot get private backing means that there is substantial financial risk in building a second nuclear power plant.
  • Missouri’s other nuclear power plant was built without a rate-hike in advance of the plant.
  • Ameren made over $600 million last year and is still seeking to raise rates on consumers.
  • Ameren has already raised energy rates several times in the past few years, and is now looking to raise them again.
  • Other states have allowed energy companies to pass on development costs to ratepayers, and consumers in those states have seen their electric bills skyrocket.
  • The development of a new power plant is financially risky, which is why Ameren wants to raise energy rates to cover the costs, instead of using their own money.
  • Ameren is seeking to transfer the financial cost of energy development to their consumers in order to appease their shareholders.
The Solution
Any proposal that were to meet General Assembly approval must have strong consumer protections. FERAF encourages you to express your support for consumers by insisting on pro-consumer provisions including:
  • Robust Office of Public Counsel (OPC). Over the years funding for consumer protection has been greatly reduced impairing the ability of OPC and PSC to conduct adequate reviews of rate case filings. Legislation must include funding OPC that allows them to conduct thorough audits of rate cases filed with the Public Service Commission.
  • Responsible Cap. Should the Legislature consider the utility’s proposed legislation allowing them to recover costs of construction while in progress, they must include a reasonable and fair cap on rate increases to keep energy costs from spiraling out of control. To ensure consumers money is well spent, each step of the construction process should be monitored and controlled.
  • Rebate. If ratepayers pay tens of millions of dollars in rate increases and a plant is never built or the permit is sold at a profit, Missouri ratepayers deserve to be refunded in full. We believe these consumer protections to be essential for the health of Missouri’s energy future, and therefore, Missouri economy.

The “Bad Debt Surcharge” is Unfair to Consumers

Big gas companies have pushed the Missouri legislature to create a surcharge so they could raise our bills without going before the Public Service Commission, which currently sets utility rates in Missouri. This new surcharge would have allowed them to charge you immediately when other people don’t pay their utility bills. If this new practice had become law, what motivation would the gas companies have to track down customers skipping out on their bills when they could just stick you with their debt?
  • Two bills before the legislature in 2010 (SB 705 and HB 1610) would have allowed increases on natural gas bills to pay the utility for the bad debts of its non-paying natural gas customers, overriding the current consumer protection against such single-issue ratemaking.
  • This legislation would have allowed energy rates to increase, even at times when Laclede Gas Company or Missouri Gas Energy’s overall cost of doing business was not going up!
  • Bad debts are already included in rates. When a utility needs to adjust rates, including for bad debt, it may initiate a rate case. The Bad Debt Surcharge would allow accelerated increases without the protections of a full rate case audit.
  • This Bad Debt Surcharge would have increased the volatility of natural gas bills, due to the correlation between wholesale gas rates and uncollectible accounts.
  • The Bad Debt Surcharge would have been a hidden surcharge.  By cleverly attempting to redefine certain bad debts as “gas costs”, it would have been disguised in the Purchased Gas Adjustment (PGA), instead of being identified separately on gas bills.
  • The legal purpose of the PGA is solely for recovering the wholesale cost of natural gas—not to compensate the utility for bad debt.  In 2009, the Missouri PSC ruled unanimously that bad debt is not a “gas cost” [Case No. GT-2009-0026].
  • This legislation would have decreased the utility’s incentive to effectively manage its bad debt accounts and increased the incentive to write off accounts early and pass those costs through the PGA.  However, writing off accounts as “uncollectible” does not stop the utility from continuing to attempt collection from the customer who owes the debt.
  • The Bad Debt Surcharge also reduces the utilities’ risk, and therefore increases their profits. These companies are already compensated for this risk through the return on equity (ROE) component of rates.  Laclede and MGE are already permitted double-digit ROEs.  In other states, it has been estimated that such surcharges would enhance earnings by 0.75% to 0.95%.

Single Issue Ratemaking

Single issue ratemaking is an unfair utility proposal whereby Missouri’s public utilities are allowed to increase electric rates on Missouri consumers through rate increase surcharges outside of the normal ratemaking process. As fuel charges have increased on Ameren as on all other consumers, for instance, Ameren has raised electrical rates via fuel surcharge increases. Often, Ameren has imposed these fuel surcharges even when their revenues are increase from other means such as off system sales. The result is that, while all Missourians struggle at times with increased fuel charges, only Ameren is able to pass those increased costs on to hard working families. FERAF opposes single-issue ratemaking for exactly these reasons.

Ameren Demands 18% Rate Increase

Missouri’s families and employers are struggling with a state unemployment rate of nearly 10%. In the face of this struggle, rather than tighten their belts like Missouri’s working families, Ameren  demanded that the Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC), the regulatory body responsible for policing the Ameren monopoly, allow another Ameren rate hike.  Thanks to the efforts of concerned Missourians and FERAF the rate hike was cut nearly in half.
  • Raise electricity rates on Missouri’s working families and employers by 18%.
  • Resulted in an immediate rate hike on Missouri’s electricity users. If Ameren has their way, Missouri’s families and employers would have had their electricity rates raised immediately, during one of the most difficult economic downturns we’ve seen in decades.
  • Ameren’s original request would have allowed them to raise rates more frequently.Despite the fact that they enjoy a monopoly, Ameren isn’t content with its profits. Buried in the fine print of of its 18% rate hike request was a plan to allow it to raise rates on struggling Missouri families more often through rate increase surcharges on customers’ electric bills. If Ameren had their way, Missourians would need to be prepared for more frequent rate increases!
  • Cause Missouri job losses. Missourians are losing their jobs. Missouri businesses are being forced to downsize in order to stay afloat. Hiking rates on Missouri’s employers and small businesses when they’re already struggling will force many to lay off even more workers.
  • Push already struggling Missouri families into poverty. Rate increases will hurt Missouri’s employers and small businesses but it will hurt Missouri families even more. In this fragile economy, thousands of families live on the brink of financial disaster. Electric rate increases will cause the number of Missouri families living in poverty to increase.
go Here to TAKE ACTION TODAY



Thank you for stopping by St Louis Renewable Energy. Feel free to comment in the section below or contact Scotty for any Home Improvement Projects or Energy Reducing Needs and Scotty, Scotts Contracting will respond ASAP. Company Web Address: http://www.stlouisrenewableenergy.com

3/08/2012

Reduced Solar Prices-March Madness Solar Prices!

March Madness Solar Prices!
 

Westinghouse Solarsun for everyone TM
 Westinghouse Solar 235W AC Panels Now Shipping – Introductory Pricing Promotion Available
 

March Madness Solar Prices!

Our BEST PRICING EVER is now available for our industry leading Westinghouse Solar AC 235watt module, complete with an integrated Enphase microinverter:

Westinghouse Solar AC 235watt Panel (w/Built-In Racking)
+ Enphase microinverter (Built-In)
--------------------------------------------------
As low as $1.93 per watt!

Hurry - offer ends March 31, 2012.

To Order - Contact Scotts Contracting, St Louis Renewable Energy Your Westinghouse Solar Account Manager for the St Louis Region

Westinghouse Solar Power Systems




3/05/2012

CAD Deck Designs

CAD Deck Design- Hot Tub, Pergola, and Bench Seat
Thank you for stopping by St Louis Renewable Energy. Feel free to comment in the section below or contact Scotty for any Home Improvement Projects or Energy Reducing Needs and Scotty, Scotts Contracting will respond ASAP. Company Web Address: http://www.stlouisrenewableenergy.com

Saving a Deck From the Landfill Part 3-




Day 4 Photos of the Structural Deck Repair- 
Installing the Handrails
Rebuilding the Lower Staircase
Simpson Strong Tie Connectors


 "Bring the Deck to Current Building Codes or Tear It Down


Part 4- Saving a Deck from the Landfill will post soon ( Power Washing and Paint Next Steps)


Day 4



  • Upper Staircase
  • Hand Rail
  • Bracing
  • Clean Up
Upper Staircase Completed

  • Simpson Strong Tie Connector for Post Beam Location
Simpson Strong Tie Connector Post Beam Location


  • Simpson Strong Tie Connector for Staircase Stringers
Strong Tie Stair Stringer Support Straps 20 ga


  • Lower Staircase
  • Hand Rails
  • Bracing
Completed Lower Staircase 



  1. All Structural Issues Passed Inspection Mar 5, 2012
  2. Power Washing and Paint Next Steps







Thank you for stopping by St Louis Renewable Energy. Feel free to comment in the section below or contact Scotty for any Home Improvement Projects or Energy Reducing Needs and Scotty, Scotts Contracting will respond ASAP. Company Web Address: http://www.stlouisrenewableenergy.com

3/03/2012

Saving a Deck From the Landfill Part 2- Rebuilding the Lower Staircase


Day 3 Photos of the Structural Deck Repair- 
Rebuilding the Lower Staircase


 "Bring the Deck to Current Building Codes or Tear It Down
Part 2- Day 3
  • Lower Stair Case
  • 1x8 Risers
  • 2x12 Treads

Rebuilding the Lower Staircase- 2x12 Treads with 1x8 Risers


  • Lower Stairs Top View
Lower Stairs Top View


  • Simpson Strong Tie Connector
Photo will post soon
  • Upper Stairs
  • 1x8 Risers
  • 2x12 Treads

Upper Stairs Side View 2x12 Treads with 1x8 Risers








Part 1- Saving a Deck from the Landfill 
Part 2-Saving a Deck from the Landfill
Part 3- Saving a Deck from the Landfill will post soon


Thank you for stopping by St Louis Renewable Energy Green Blog. Feel free to comment in the section below or contact Scotty at the new company website http://www.stlouisrenewableenergy.com for any Home Improvement Projects or Energy Reducing Needs and Scotty, Scotts Contracting will respond ASAP.

3/02/2012

The cost for Solar has decreased


Check out the Latest Solar Panel Offerings from one of my Solar Equipment Providers

...The cost of Solar has went down.  Let Scotts Contracting, St Louis Renewable Energy provide you with a competitively priced Solar System especially designed for your location.


Twitter         <----    Find Me   --->        Facebook

 So a special deal for March: Canadian Solar 240 watt poly panels $1.02 a watt for 40' container loads; $1.07 a watt for single pallet, $1.05 a watt for multi-pallet quantities!!  For mono 240s, add 10 cents a watt to above prices. (FYI, expect Mono-crystalline prices for all brands to go up substantially in 2012).
These prices are FOB California AND New Jersey.
ALSO now have Ontario-made Canadian Solar panels (for Fit & MicroFit) at very aggressive pricing. Call to discuss!
U.S. made Star Harvest Solar black-on-black 260 watt panels, $1.09 a watt pallet quantities!
U.S. made BOSCH 230 watt panels, $1.09 a watt! BOSCH 245 watt, $1.17 a watt.
U.S. made Suniva black 250w & 260 watt 60 cell panels, $1.27 a watt container loads, $1.31 a watt for pallet quantities, SHIPPING INCLUDED to 48 states!
ALSO HAVE new financing programs that just started up, for projects in both U.S. and Ontario Canada. Both LEASE and PPA style financing available....depending on location & size of deal.
And yes, I do still have the Satcon 110 kw 480 volt inverter available, MAKE OFFER.
And the SMA 250 kw 480v inverter, MAKE OFFER.
For your best solar success in 2012...





3/01/2012

Missouri's solar energy future on the line


Dear Friends,

There are two solar bills moving through your state legislature right now – one harmful, one helpful.  Can you help us stop the bill that threatens to derail your state's citizen-passed solar energy goal (SB 759)?  And help show support for the bill that would encourage energy consumers to generate their own clean, reliable electricity from the sun (HB 1305)?



Technically, Missouri has a strong renewable energy goal on the books.  Thanks to Prop C, a citizen-backed ballot initiative in 2008, 15% of Missouri's energy is supposed to come from renewable resources by 2021.  2% of that goal must be met with solar energy.  However, in actuality, powerful interests in the state have successfully blocked implementation of the state's renewable energy goal since Prop C passed.

The latest effort to stop progress towards meeting the goal comes in the form of SB 759.   SB 759 would destroy the state's emerging solar industry by removing the solar goal from voter-enacted renewable energy standard (Prop C). It also would allow utilities to meet the renewable energy goal with projects from outside the state rather than using renewable energy produced at home. It's a bad bill.

HB 1305 on the other hand would improve Missouri's weak net energy metering (NEM) policy. Commonly known as the policy that allows your electric meter to spin backwards. NEM is a simple billing arrangement that ensures solar customers receive fair credit for the electricity their systems generate and deliver to the grid during daytime hours.

Click here to take action.

Onwards,

Annie + Vote Solar Team

The Vote Solar Initiative
1120 Pearl Street
Boulder, CO 80304
www.votesolar.org

http://twitter.com/votesolar



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