One of Verdical Group’s offices are located in the inspirational Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) in Downtown, Los Angeles. This sustainable business hub is filled with dozens of start-ups, non-profits, and established companies working to create a better world. We were recently fortunate enough to catch up with one of LACI’s major players — Pick My Solar. This blog post covers the interview we conducted with Kyle Cherrick, Head of Business Development at Pick My Solar. Pick My Solar is one of the best solar companies in the county and we are very excited to have had the opportunity to speak with Kyle.
Photo Credit: Glumac Engineering
When reviewing a high-performance building, it is instantly apparent how much time, effort, and resources went into making the project so efficient. Knowing that nearly every aspect of building operation requires extensive amounts of energy, do you ever find yourself wondering how architects design such efficient buildings? A tool known as Whole-Building Energy Modeling (BEM) is where it all begins.
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Buildings account for nearly 40% of US carbon emissions. This means that low emission buildings must be part of our clean sustainable future. Initiatives such as Architecture 2030 and California’s Title 24 are not only helping to pave the way by creating a general framework for sustainable buildings but pushing the boundary with Net Zero Buildings (NZB’s) or Zero Energy Buildings (ZEB’s) that aim to almost completely offset a building’s adverse climate change impacts. These buildings will produce just as much energy as they consume and will be commonplace by 2020 and 2030.
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Elon Musk is probably one of the strongest proponents for sustainability today. His first strategy to reduce carbon emissions was to phase out inefficient combustion engines through the mass adoption of electric vehicles. Now, as evident from Tesla’s merger with Solar City, Musk’s second strategy is to strategically supply green power to the grid.
Musk wants to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles through Telsa, home batteries through the Power Wall, and solar panels through the acquisition of Solar City. By bringing together these three components under one house, it enables the potential for full home energy management systems. Though there is a mixed response in terms of the business case for the merger, what are the technical motivations behind it? It all has to do with the future of smart homes, the grid, resiliency, and cross compatibility of services.
Photo credit: Chai Energy
By now, everyone has heard of the “smart home.” Just in case you missed out on this buzzword, a home is considered “smart” if it is connected to the internet. This usually means that the appliances within a home are all wirelessly gathering data online via your Wi-Fi. They can then convert this data stream into useful information for you to use (i.e. your oven telling you the best temperature to cook a pizza). There is another interesting perk about smart home connectivity (the list keeps growing) that has just recently come to light. Through the power of smartphone apps, users can now gain information about and control certain smart appliances while they are away from their house. What is even more interesting, is that when these appliances are also connected to smart energy meters via Wi-Fi (there are about 52 million installed in the U.S. residential sector), the exact amount of energy that each one is consuming can be sent right to your phone in real-time. How can this data help the consumer in ways that traditional utility-provided energy consumption information doesn’t? What consumer-based smart energy management platforms are pushing us into a new age of energy awareness?