What can I do in my Home or Office?

TOP 10: WHAT SHOULD I DO IN MY HOME OR OFFICE BUILDING?

A Guide by The Stella Group, Ltd.
Prepared in 2012 by Scott Sklar

PREPARE (KNOW YOUR BILL): Rates change seasonally and in some areas by time of day. Demand charges and peak
power rates for businesses are common, and ratchet rates will begin to appear. Forget the ‘combined rate’ for natural gas,
fuel oil, propane, and electricity – breakdown your rates, compare your bills by month, seasonably, and by year.

LIGHTING: Wherever possible use compact fluorescents or the new bundles LEDs – outdoor and stairwell lights, in
closets, bathrooms and in lamps. Skylights and daylighting, and windows, glass brick also disperse light. Use lighting
timers where possible.

APPLIANCES: Shop for highest rated appliances particularly refrigerators, window air-conditioners, and washer/dryer
sets. Minimum SEER 10 for air-conditioners. Check out: ENERGY STAR, a government-created program helping
businesses and individuals protect the environment through superior energy efficiency.
www.energystar.gov

POWER STRIPS: Buy surge protector power strips with “on/off” switches and use them for televisions, stereos, all
transformer-based chargers for toys, cells phones, iPods, cameras, and other electronic devices – parasitic electric
loses are now over 10 percent of residential energy bills. New construction, add on/off switches to certain room electrical
outlets.

FANS (CEILINGS, ATTICS): Ceiling fans are worth every penny (particularly in winter), and attic vent fans save money
(primarily in summer). Watch out for closet, bathroom and stove vent fans without timer switches – they cost you money.

INSULATION and THERMAL BARRIER PAINT: Keep heat in during winter and cooled air in during summer. Reduce attic
heat in summer and increase heat in winter. Fastest payback after lighting investments. Don’t forget double pane and
triple pane gas-filled windows when renovating.

WATER (SPOUTS, SHOWER HEADS, LOW FLO TOILETS, DOWNSPOUT COLLECTION): Heating wasted water costs
money as does wasted water – flow restrictors for sinks and showers have fast payback. Bend down the toilet float and
buy low-flow toilets when renovating. Note – energy efficient washers use 40% of the water a regular washer uses at its
lowest water setting! Buy rain-collector barrels for your gutter downspouts – stops water runoff and lowers your water bill
all at the same time.

SOLAR WATER HEATING: Heating for swimming pools, water in buildings, and even radiators or radiant space heat
are all possible and cost effective – paybacks under 5 years – when incorporated in mortgage, immediate positive
cash flow. Need UNOBSTRUCTED southern exposure. Flat mount on roof. Only buy SRCC certified solar systems
(www.srcc.org).. Only use an experienced solar installer – see pictures and call references. MD, DC, VA – MDV-SEIA, E-
mail: director@mdv-seia.org Website: www.mdv-seia.org.

SOLAR ELECTRIC OPTIONS (CONSUMER): Many great consumer products for home, business and garden, which
include solar powered: pathway and security lights, porch and driveway lights, attic vent fans, cell phone and iPod
chargers, backpacks, mole and vole evictors, pond and bird bath pumps and sprays, electric fences for gardens, window
ornaments and plant pot turners, trickle chargers for electric lawnmowers, cars, and tools, and the list goes on and on and

on ……

– other side –

page two

SOLAR ELECTRIC (PHOTOVOLTAICS), SMALL WIND, AND OTHER OPTIONS: What do you want to do? Make a
statement? Protect expensive electronic equipment from surges, swells and transients? Provide back-up power for
refrigerator, home office, frail/handicapped person, or for communications? Reduce higher costs electric or natural gas
rates or heavily-used appliance? Zero out electric bill? Become an energy net producer? Be a high profile technology or
environmental consumer?

If you want to – Make a statement. Zero out your electric bill? Become an energy net producer? Be a high profile
technology or environmental consumer?) purchase a net-metered photovoltaics system – no batteries. Produce more
electricity than you use and turn your electric meter backwards – purchase a photovoltaics (pv) or small wind system
without storage.

If you want to – Protect expensive electronic equipment from surges, swells and transients? Provide back-up power for
refrigerator, home office, frail/handicapped person, or for communications? Reduce higher costs electric or natural gas
rates or heavy used appliance? Zero out electric bill? Make a statement?) – purchase a photovoltaics or wind system with
a battery bank.

In either case, you need an UNOBSTRUCTED southern exposure. Flat mount on roof or ground mount. Only buy UL
certified solar system components. Only use an experienced solar installer – see pictures and call references. MD, DC,
VA – MDV-SEIA, E-mail: director@mdv-seia.org Website: www.mdv-seia.org.

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Scott Sklar, President
The Stella Group, Ltd.
Phones: 703-522-1195 or 202-347-2214 Fax: 703-522-0638
E-mail: solarsklar@aol.com or solarsklar@yahoo.com
Websites: www.TheStellaGroupLtd.com and www.StellacCapitalLLC.com

The Stella Group, Ltd. Office building in Arlington, Virginia has a 1 kW photovoltaic solar roofing shingles (by UniSolar),
a .5 kW small wind turbine (by SW Windpower), an advanced ‘smart’ battery system (by GridPoint), and the first leased
commercial 5 KW fuel cell in the US (GenCore by Plug Power), a solar daylighting tube (by HUVCO), a ductless heat
pump (by Sanyo), and two high efficiency R-7 & R-9 windows (by Serious Materials) and the building has passive
solar design with R50 insulation. The Stella Group’s Washington, DC office building has a 1.5 KW photovoltaics
system, financed in part, by an award from the DC Government, featuring modules from 10 PV companies. Stella
Group CEO Scott Sklar has a 2.2 kW photovoltaics system on his Arlington, VA home which also includes 0.5 kW of
photovoltaics ‘peal-and-stick’ panels on the front porch’s metal-seamed roof (by UniSolar), along with various PV modules
since his 1985 install Solarex PV (now BP Solar), along with a solar water heating system (by SunEarth), LO/MIT thermal
barrier (by Solec), double-paned argon-filled windows, R-38 insulation, and energy efficient fixtures and appliances
including the Whirlpool Cabrio washing machine. Scott Sklar owns a solar Prius, a 2010 hybrid which routinely achieves
49 – 62 mpg.

The Stella Group, Ltd. is a strategic technology optimization and policy firm advancing the utilization of clean, distributed
energy applications such as advanced batteries and controls, energy efficiency, fuel cells, geo-exchange, heat engines,
marine energy & microhydropower, minigeneration, modular biomass, photovoltaics, small wind and solar thermal (air-
conditioning, water and industrial process heat, and power generation); with blended financing and customer facilitation.
Scott Sklar, the Group’s founder and president, lives in a solar home in Arlington, Virginia, has solar on both his VA and
DC offices, and his coauthored book, A Consumer Guide to Solar Energy, was re-released for its third printing, and his co-
authored book, “The Forbidden Fuel” was re-released by University of Nebraska Press.

Scott Sklar serves as Steering Committee Chair of the Sustainable Energy Coalition, composed of the renewable energy
and energy efficiency trade associations and analytical groups, and sits on the national Board of Directors of the non-profit
Business Council for Sustainable Energy, Renewable Energy Policy Project, and The Solar Foundation.