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    Dan’s Best of the Best 2019 Winners: South Fork Home & Personal Services – Dan’s Papers - December 8, 2019 by admin

    You cast your votes. We counted them. And now we present the winners of the2019Dans Best of the Best contest! Below, youll find all the winning businesses, organizations and personalities in the many South Fork Home & Personal Services categories!

    Dans Best of the Best 2019 Winners: North Fork Home & Personal Services

    Keep your eye out as we announce more 2019 winners online, but you can find them all in theDecember 6, 2019 issue ofDans Papers!

    View all our2019 Dans Best of the Best winners, and dont forget to visitDansBOTB.comto rate and review all your East End favorites.

    BEST AUTO BODY REPAIR SHOPPlatinum Rubio Premier MotorsGold Joes GarageSilver Village Auto BodyBronze Corwiths Auto Body

    BEST AWNING COMPANY*Hall of Famer East End AwningPlatinum Brock AwningsGold The Awning Company Inc.Silver C.E. King & Sons

    BEST BUILDERPlatinum TelemarkGold Eastbay BuildersSilver G.B. Construction and Development, Inc.Bronze Farrell Building Co.

    BEST CAR WASHPlatinum Hampton Auto WashGold Strebels Hand Car WashSilver Beach Hand WashBronze Southampton Car Wash

    BEST CHIMNEY SERVICEPlatinum Ace Chimney Experts, Inc.Gold Done Right Roofing and ChimneysSilver Advanced Chimney Inc.Bronze Cunningham Duct Cleaning

    BEST CLEANING SERVICEPlatinum A Votre Service!Gold Schindler Carpet & Upholstery CleaningSilver Cs Home & Office Management, Inc.Bronze New Yorks Little Elves

    BEST CLOSET DESIGNPlatinum California ClosetsGold Custom Closets DirectSilver Long Island Closet DesignBronze Hampton Closet Company

    BEST CONTRACTORPlatinum G. B. Construction and Development, Inc.Gold Farrell Building Co.Silver Eastbay BuildersBronze Kean Development Co.

    BEST DOMESTIC AGENCYPlatinum Hamptons Employment AgencyGold Hire SocietySilver Al Martino AgencyBronze Hampton Domestics

    BEST ELECTRICIAN/ELECTRIC COMPANY*Hall of Famer Ocean ElectricPlatinum Leos ElectricGold G. Craig ElectricSilver All Wright Electric

    BEST ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICESPlatinum Eastern Environmental SolutionsGold TechClean IndustriesSilver Affordable Cesspool Sewer & Drain, Inc.Bronze ACV/Clearview Environmental

    BEST FENCE COMPANYPlatinum East End Fence & GateGold Craftsman Fence Corp.Silver Safe HamptonBronze The Deer Fence

    BEST FIREPLACE STOREPlatinum Hampton HearthGold Beach Stove & FireplaceSilver Sag Harbor Fireplace

    BEST FLOORINGPlatinum Well Floor U Inc.Gold CarpetmanSilver Cancos Tile Corp.Bronze Long Island Paneling, Ceilings & Floors

    BEST HANDYMANPlatinum All Island HandymanGold Southampton HandymanSilver BEST LevelBronze Baywood Construction

    BEST HEATING/AIR CONDITIONING*Hall of Famer Flanders Heating & Air ConditioningPlatinum Hardy Plumbing & HeatingGold Kolb Mechanical Corp.Silver East End Heating and Air ConditioningBronze Nugent & Potter

    BEST HOME INSPECTIONPlatinum AC&E Home Inspection Corp.Gold Southampton Home InspectionsSilver A-Pro Home Inspection East Hampton

    BEST HOME STAGERPlatinum Styled and SoldGold Home Staging by SPCSilver Dream Windows & InteriorsBronze D & J Concepts

    BEST HOUSE PAINTER/PAINTING COMPANYPlatinum Joes Custom Home Decorating Inc.Gold DiNome PaintingSilver Roses Painting ServiceBronze Kaplan Painting

    BEST HOUSE WATCHER/PROPERTY MANAGEMENTPlatinum TA Property ManagementGold A Votre Service!Silver HCMC Home Care MaintnenanceBronze Chaloners of the Hamptons

    BEST INTERIOR DESIGNPlatinum Dream Windows & InteriorsGold Styled and SoldSilver D & J ConceptsBronze Sea Green Design

    BEST IRRIGATIONPlatinum K. Clemenz IrrigationGold RB Irrigation, LLCSilver Irrigation SolutionsBronze Irrigation Man

    BEST KITCHEN/BATHPlatinum Ciuffo CabinetryGold All County MillworkSilver Ron Morizzo Kitchens & BathsBronze Green Art Kitchen and Bath

    BEST LANDSCAPER/GARDENER*Hall of Famer Unlimited Earth CarePlatinum Natures Guardian Inc.Gold Stinchi LandscapingSilver Creative Design LandscapesBronze Jose Camacho Landscaping

    BEST MASONRY/STONE/TILEPlatinum Southampton MasonryGold Ace Chimney Experts, Inc.Silver BEST View Landscaping & MasonryBronze Eastern Concrete

    BEST MOLD INSPECTION/REMOVAL*Hall of Famer Mildew BustersPlatinum Enviroduct CleaningGold East End WaterproofingSilver AC&E Home Inspection Corp.Bronze Mold Pro Inc.

    BEST MOVING COMPANYPlatinum Despatch of SouthamptonGold Hall LaneSilver Twin Forks Moving & StorageBronze Plycon Plycar

    BEST OIL/GAS/PROPANE COMPANY (Learn More)*Hall of Famer Paraco GasPlatinum Suburban PropaneGold PetroSilver Danisi FuelBronze Twin Forks Oil

    BEST PARTY RENTAL/SERVICES (Learn More)Platinum Bermuda Party RentalsGold Sperry Tent HamptonsSilver American Tent CompanyBronze Darling Events

    BEST PEST CONTROL*Hall of Famer East End Tick & Mosquito ControlPlatinum Fox Tree ServiceGold Twin Forks Pest ControlSilver Natures Guardian Inc.Bronze ArborTech

    BEST PLUMBERPlatinum Ken Massa Plumbing & HeatingGold R. Essay Plumbing & HeatingSilver Hardy Plumbing & HeatingBronze J.P. Mulvey Plumbing & Heating

    BEST POWER WASHERPlatinum Schindler Cleaning CompaniesGold Clearview House Washing ServiceSilver Hamptons Power Wash

    BEST REMODELINGPlatinum G. B. Construction and Development, Inc.Gold Eastbay BuildersSilver Joe Burns Contracting Corp.Bronze Gutierrez Home Improvement Inc.

    BEST ROOFERPlatinum M. Stevens RoofingGold Fast Home ConstructionSilver Line Home ConstructionBronze Martins GC

    BEST SECURITY ALARM COMPANYPlatinum Intelli-Tec Security ServicesGold All Suffolk SecuritySilver Briscoe Protective

    BEST SHIPPING/PACKINGPlatinum Navis Pack & ShipGold The UPS StoreSilver EB Dunkerley & Sons

    BEST SWIMMING POOL BUILDERPlatinum Spring & Summer ActivitiesGold M&M PoolsSilver Prestige PoolsBronze Casual Water Pools

    BEST SWIMMING POOL SERVICEPlatinum Aquaman Pool ServicesGold Spring & Summer ActivitiesSilver M&M PoolsBronze Prestige Pools

    BEST TREE SERVICEPlatinum Fox Tree ServiceGold Natures Guardian Inc.Silver Jose Camacho LandscapingBronze Integrity Tree

    BEST WASTE MANAGEMENT/TRASH DISPOSALPlatinum Mickeys CartingGold College Hunks Hauling JunkSilver Emil Norsic & Son Inc

    BEST WATER SERVICESPlatinum Better WaterGold Simply PRSilver Casola Well Drillers

    BEST WINDOW CLEANINGPlatinum Schindler Cleaning CompaniesGold We Do WindowsSilver Crystal Clear Window CleaningBronze Triple C Window Cleaning

    BEST WINDOWS/DOORS/GARAGE DOORSPlatinum AJ Garage DoorsGold All Island Garage DoorSilver Long Island Egress ProsBronze New York Window Film Co.

    More here:
    Dan's Best of the Best 2019 Winners: South Fork Home & Personal Services - Dan's Papers

    Why your pub’s back bar should be front of mind – MorningAdvertiser.co.uk - December 8, 2019 by admin

    There was a time when it was enough for pubs to serve a decent pint of beer and get away with it, but increasing variety in customer profiles and drinking habits means the back bar now has to service a range of functions.

    Theres a need for ample refrigeration for craft and world beers and ciders, an attractive and efficiently organised spirits bank to cope with long mixes and cocktails, and enough space for soft drinks, tea and coffee to meet the needs of those who arent drinking.

    And customers have become more demanding than ever before, with the instant ability to publicly call out bad service, putting bar hygiene high on the agenda. It helps to keep on top of latest developments to allow the back bar to evolve organically, while refurbs offer a perfect opportunity to get things right in one big hit.

    If you are going the whole hog soon, many suppliers offer a full back bar design service. London-based Nelson says that a well-run bar attracts customers but a well-designed one ensures they return.

    It says its bespoke service trumps modular configurations by incorporating irregular shapes so the space can be used to its best effect, with workstations accommodated in optimum locations and dirt-traps eliminated.

    Power points can be installed so equipment such as ice makers and crushers, blenders, coffee machines, glass-frosters, bottle coolers and EPoS stations are sited conveniently.

    Nelson specialises in glasswashers and its latest addition is the Compact, designed for small spaces but which it says has washing power to rival machines twice the size. It has a soft start option to prevent chipping and rinse arms at both top and bottom to give a better wash finish.

    IMC also offers a full back bar design service to improve speed of service and effective operation.

    UK head of sales Martin Venus says: The type of equipment, and where it is positioned, is crucial to the smooth and successful operation of a pub or bar, and its important that its tailored to individual establishments.

    Before we advise any outlet on layout design and equipment, we assess their needs and understand what they want to achieve, so space can be maximised.

    We find out how many staff there will have to be behind the bar at busy periods, whether the glass washers and ice machines will be front-of-house or in the back, and whether they have handwashing facilities within reasonable distance, to adhere to health and safety regulations.

    It also takes into account the contribution to a venues sales from draught product, single-serve bottles and made-from-scratch drinks.

    The priorities for a cocktail bar and a real ale pub will be very different, adds Venus, who suggest creating workstations for each staff member, with beer taps, cocktail ingredients, glasses and a till all within easy reach.

    Every minute a bartender isnt in front of a customer, service is slower, which affects sales and profits, he adds.

    If there was one piece of kit I would advise investing in, it would be an IMC glass refresher.

    This sprays a jet of cold water and is great for glasses that are still hot from the washer. It enables bar staff to serve drinks quickly, without having to wait for glasses to cool.

    The sheer range of drinks a busy pub has to be prepared to serve means the amount of useful kit on offer grows all the time.

    Jestic supplies a number of high-spec Vitamix blenders designed for making quality smoothies and blended cocktails.

    Sales director Steve Morris says: Ensuring consistent quality when it comes to a diverse cocktail menu requires consideration of the type of blending equipment used.

    As they are on display to the customer and used regularly throughout the day, operators need to ensure their equipment is not only capable of delivering an excellent product, but also looks good and, most importantly, is reliable.

    The range includes the Bar Boss Advance. It features automatic shut-off, which allows the operator to prepare the beverage and start the blend before continuing with the rest of the customers order, safe in the knowledge the unit will automatically stop when finished, says Morris.

    The widespread awareness of quality cask beer and the resurrection of keg as a result of the craft beer craze has made beer line cleaning more important than ever.

    Chemisphere UK specialises in drinks dispense system hygiene and says its Pipeline detergents range is uncompromising and totally effective in the removal of yeast deposits, biofilm and bacterial and protein growth.

    Its purple cleaner changes colour if the line is dirty, but if it stays purple pubs can be confident lines are free of yeast and bacteria.

    Cocktail and soft drinks service also requires a clean and efficient postmix dispense system. Abbeychart, which specialises in Wunder-Bar and Schroeder bar gun equipment, offers an intensive deep clean and refurbishment service for post-mix kit, over and above a pubs regular daily cleaning.

    It includes a complete strip-down, deep-cleaning, sanitising and replacement of seals and plastic parts.

    Most people would be quite surprised at the amount of unsightly residue and grime that accumulates on bar guns, particularly with heavy use over the summer, says managing director Mark Taylor. This harbours germs and undoubtedly has a detrimental effect on the taste of drinks.

    Hubbard Systems offers a next day delivery service for replacement Scotsman icemakers, which could be a boon if things go wrong during busy periods such as Christmas.

    The range includes the EcoX EC, an eco-friendly machine that produces long-lasting supercube ice, and comes with capacities ranging from 25kg to 170kg a day.

    Marketing manager David Rees says theres a lot that pubs can do themselves to maintain existing machines that hopefully wont mean them having to rely on an emergency bailout.

    Ventilation grills need to be kept clear of obstruction, filters replaced at least every six months, and the scale guards and air filters cleaned regularly.

    If it gets clogged with dust it will make the icemaker less efficient, so youll get less ice, says Rees. If its a quality icemaker this should be a simple, two-minute job.

    Having a maintenance schedule for the components that need regular cleaning will help keep the equipment in peak condition.

    Rees also warns not to ignore warning lights.

    If the machine has self-diagnostics itll indicate whats wrong, and should be sorted straight away, he says. Dont wait. If necessary, call in the equipment service provider. If the icemaker isnt being looked after by a service company, get one in sharpish.

    Excerpt from:
    Why your pub's back bar should be front of mind - MorningAdvertiser.co.uk

    What is load shedding and who decides whose power is cut when there’s not enough electricity? – ABC News - December 8, 2019 by admin

    Updated December 06, 2019 15:03:30

    When the demand for electricity exceeds supply, sometimes people need to be cut off from power to prevent the whole system from collapsing.

    This is called load shedding.

    Here's how it works.

    Load shedding is when power companies reduce electricity consumption by switching off the power supply to groups of customers because the entire system is at risk.

    This could be because there is a shortage of electricity supply, or to prevent transmission and distribution lines from becoming overloaded.

    A number of factors can result in load shedding, including extreme weather and infrastructure outages.

    In January, a perfect storm of events placed the energy system under unusual strain.

    While temperatures soared into the 40s in much of Victoria and South Australia, driving demand for air conditioning, three electricity generation units at coal-fired power plants in the Latrobe Valley were out of action, reducing the amount of available power.

    To restore the balance, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) instructed electricity networks to reduce load, which left more than 200,000 customers without power for up to two hours.

    It's important to note that such load shedding is different to planned local outages, such as for maintenance, and unplanned ones caused by damage to wires by events such as storms, bushfires or car accidents.

    AEMO decides when load shedding is needed in the National Electricity Market (NEM), which includes Queensland, New South Wales, the ACT, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.

    Before it turns to load shedding, AEMO has other measures it takes to try to overcome a power shortfall, such as importing more power from other states and tapping into emergency energy reserves (such as South Australia's diesel-powered generators which were switched on for the first time last summer).

    It can also appeal to consumers to voluntarily reduce their energy consumption for example by postponing their use of dishwashers and washing machines and pay large industrial electricity users such as Alcoa's Portland aluminium smelter in western Victoria to power down for a period of time

    But after exhausting these options, if it still needs to reduce demand, AEMO instructs electricity transmission and distribution companies to carry out load shedding.

    AEMO tells the companies how much power needs to be saved, and the transmission and distribution companies then work out how to achieve those reductions.

    Approaches vary between the states and territories, and each has a plan in most cases developed by the state or territory government in collaboration with the electricity industry for how load shedding is to be carried out in their jurisdiction, including a schedule for the sequence in which particular loads will be shed and restored.

    These plans are based on nationally consistent principles and seek to maintain critical services and spread the inconvenience equitably: a limited disruption to many, rather than more significant disruption to a smaller number of customers.

    In Victoria, in its special role as the state's transmission system planner, AEMO works with the State Government to determine the priority order of load shedding.

    In WA and the NT, which aren't connected to the National Electricity Market, state and territory authorities decide when load shedding is necessary and how it's carried out.

    Areas are disconnected from the power supply by distributors switching off the feeder serving that area.

    A feeder is a high-voltage line that could supply anywhere from a few hundred to many thousands of customers.

    Which feeders get switched off depends on a number of factors, including where the area sits in the state or territory's priority order of load shedding, how much power needs to be saved and which areas are using the most energy.

    The penetration of solar energy also plays a part.

    Some areas with a lot of solar panels could be feeding more energy into the grid than they are using.

    These areas are unlikely to be disconnected, as to do so would make the shortfall worse.

    AEMO says it works with the electricity industry to minimise the impact on the community, particularly major health facilities, emergency services and public transport.

    But it says such services can still be affected by load shedding and should have backup arrangements in place.

    Distributors also say they seek to avoid disconnecting power to other kinds of critical infrastructure, such as sewerage and water pumping stations, and to large shopping centres.

    Energy Queensland said it first switches off "controlled load" energy. These customers receive lower prices in exchange for allowing the distributor to switch them off for a few hours each day.

    The impact of this is generally less than other options, because these tariffs are typically used for non-essential equipment such as pool pumps.

    Energy Queensland also has demand management agreements with a number of large industrial customers, which are offered lower bills throughout the year in exchange for being available to reduce their consumption at peak times.

    In general, the first areas to be turned off will be mainly residential.

    Victorian distributors CitiPower, Powercor and United Energy say they annually review the types of customers connected to each feeder in their networks, to determine which should be given priority because they serve critical customers.

    Distributors try to minimise the impact of load shedding by rotating the disruptions between different areas: for example, disconnecting one area for a period of up to two hours before restoring its power and disconnecting another area.

    "Typically, critical customers are last to have power turned off and first to have supply restored," said Andrew Dillon, the chief executive of Energy Networks Australia, which represents electricity transmission and distribution businesses.

    Feeders serving hospitals are less likely to be disconnected, but being located near a hospital doesn't necessarily mean you share its feeder.

    Living near a big industrial energy user is unlikely to have any bearing on whether you lose power.

    Victoria's biggest energy user, Alcoa's Portland smelter, is served by its own dedicated transmission lines.

    If load shedding is necessary in your area, you may not get any advance warning.

    "Networks are often only given short notice by AEMO that load shedding is required," Mr Dillon said.

    "This may be because a generator fails, creating an unexpected and rapid drop in supply."

    When load shedding was ordered in Victoria in January, the rapidly moving situation seemed to take even the state's Energy Minister, Lily D'Ambrosio, by surprise.

    On the morning of January 25, Ms D'Ambrosio told a media conference she didn't anticipate load shedding being necessary.

    Later that morning, AEMO ordered load shedding.

    South Australia publishes a list of which feeders are next in line for load shedding, based on which areas were shut off last time.

    It is the only jurisdiction to publish its arrangements.

    Michael Brear, the director of the Melbourne Energy Institute at the University of Melbourne said if other jurisdictions were as transparent as South Australia about their plans, it might help reassure people that load shedding was being implemented fairly.

    "I think it would be a good thing if they did it [published plans] in all states, so that everybody realises that there's no sort of political or other, less legitimate considerations involved," he said.

    "Some people might think, 'They'll turn off that seat because it's a safe seat, but not that one because it's a swinging seat,' or something like that. That doesn't come into play."

    Professor Brear says the alternative to manual load shedding would be more widespread and longer-lasting interruptions to power supply.

    "There are very good reasons as to why we load shed and why we do it in a systematic way. It's to minimise the inconvenience and share this inconvenience across the whole population so that collectively we don't experience much worse.

    "The choice is not between manual load shedding and continuing to have your air conditioning on and drinking your cold beer," he said.

    "The choice is between coordinated and controlled load shedding and uncoordinated, uncontrolled load shedding, which might lead to greater problems."

    AEMO's summer readiness plan, released this week, warned of a risk of blackouts across the national market but particularly in Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia, due to a combination of extreme weather, bushfires and plan outages.

    The state most at risk is Victoria.

    In August, AEMO warned that more than a million Victorian households were at risk of being without power this summer during extreme heat if two of the state's power plants which are out of action following faults earlier this year are not returned to service in time for peak periods.

    AGL said this week its Loy Yang A coal plant in Gippsland would be back online by mid-December, while Origin said its Mortlake gas plant would not be operational again until the end of the year.

    The market operator and Victoria secured extra power reserves ahead of summer to reduce the blackout risk, but Ms D'Ambrosio was not giving any guarantees this week.

    "I don't think it's a sound position for anyone to give guarantees [about power] when effectively the Victorian Government doesn't own any of these generators," she said.

    Professor Brear said since the closure of Victoria's Hazelwood coal-fired power station in 2017, which removed 1,600 megawatts of generation capacity, the state did not generate enough power to meet demand at its peak.

    As for whether load shedding will be necessary this summer, he said it would largely depend on the weather, as well as the preparedness of coal and gas-fired generators.

    Weather conditions influence demand for electricity as well as how much wind and solar energy is generated, and how reliably the state's remaining coal-fired power plants operate.

    Longer term, he said Victoria needed more capacity to generate dispatchable power power that can be turned on when it's needed, even if the wind isn't blowing and the sun has set.

    He said this could be delivered with more batteries, gas plants or pumped hydro.

    "We could do with a new power station," he said.

    Topics:business-economics-and-finance,industry,electricity-energy-and-utilities,melbourne-3000,australia,vic,nsw,qld,tas,act,sa,nt,wa

    First posted December 06, 2019 05:48:49

    The rest is here:
    What is load shedding and who decides whose power is cut when there's not enough electricity? - ABC News

    San Francisco plans to power-wash the poop out of the Tenderloin – SF Gate - December 5, 2019 by admin

    San Francisco has seen a five-fold increase in complaints about human feces since 2011.

    San Francisco has seen a five-fold increase in complaints about human feces since 2011.

    Photo: San Francisco Dept. Of Public Works

    San Francisco has seen a five-fold increase in complaints about human feces since 2011.

    San Francisco has seen a five-fold increase in complaints about human feces since 2011.

    San Francisco plans to power-wash the poop out of the Tenderloin

    The Tenderloin should soon see fewer piles of feces waiting to befoul the shoes of hapless pedestrians.

    San Francisco Supervisor Matt Haney is announcing a plan Tuesday that will power-wash the sidewalks on every block of the city's most poop-plagued neighborhood once a week instead of the current rate of once a month.

    Haney's district was allocated $260,000 for cleaning under this year's budget.

    Some 25,000 reports of human waste were logged through the city's 311 services this year through October. The number of complaints across the city for all of 2018 was 28,084.

    In parts of the Tenderloin and South of Market neighborhoods, it's not uncommon to see people openly defecating.

    As Supervisor, I've been committed to fighting for deep regular sidewalk power washing across D6. Today, alongside the @TLCBD, we are finally announcing pressure washing of every TL block once a week. TL and SOMA residents deserve clean and healthy streets and sidewalks. https://t.co/GseUJstqrm

    The city's "Poop Patrol," a five-person team tasked with removing excrement, will be handling the power-washing duties. At Haney's press conference Tuesday, a new portable pressure-washing system was to be showcased.

    Based on the San Francisco Chronicle's estimate that each Poop Patrol employee earned a $184,000 in pay, perquisites and pension benefits, Forbes calculated that each human waste case cost taxpayers $32.75 in 2018.

    Responses to Haney's plan on Twitter were mixed, with one calling the action a "band aid that doesn't stop the real problem" and others noting that the plan will flush raw sewage into the bay via storm drains.

    Haney has also called for the city's Pit Stop public bathrooms to remain open 24 hours a day. A pilot program launched in August staffed 3 of city's 25 mobile public bathrooms around the clock, with the bulk of the funding coming from Haney's district budget.

    straight to the bay, well played.

    sanctuary for some, hell for others. pic.twitter.com/D2BVJLGd9R

    ---

    Mike Moffitt is an SFGATE Digital Reporter. Email: moffitt@sfgate.com. Twitter: @Mike_at_SFGate

    Read the rest here:
    San Francisco plans to power-wash the poop out of the Tenderloin - SF Gate

    Power Business Spin-Offs: Is This the New Normal? – Transmission & Distribution World - December 5, 2019 by admin

    In December 2018, Hitachi Ltd. announced an agreement to buy ABBs Power Grids business for US$6.4 billion. On the Hitachi side, the move was seen as a grid grab that would enable the Japanese conglomerate to compete head-to-head with the likes of General Electric and Siemens AG in the electric sector. Not more than a few months later, General Electric began selling off many of its power businesses, while Siemens spun its gas and power businesses off into an as-yet-to-be-named entity with the placeholder name of NewCo.

    What might be behind some of these power play spin-offs? And, are there more to come?

    Behind the Spin-Offs

    The first factor seems to be activist investors pushing for simplified pure-play companies. For ABB, that meant dropping its lower-margins grid business to focus on robotics and factory automation. In addition to carrying ABBs lowest return on assets in 2018, the companys grids business saw its third consecutive quarterly slide in the third quarter of 2018.

    On the other hand, Hitachi has almost 800 separate businesses, spanning from construction machinery to health care and nuclear power. The company has stated it wants to streamline and focus on four core areas going forwardone of which is power and energy, thus the reason for ABBs Power Grids business.

    Hitachi may have other things in mind, as well. For instance, by getting a piece of the power grid, the company may be able to help drive a global shift away from coal and toward renewable energy. The company also may be lining up grid services as a platform on which to deploy and connect its equipment to the massive internet of things (IoT) market, connecting sensors and devices through the internet for building controls in homes and businesses that can marry the opportunity of smart devices and smart buildings with the smart electric grid Hitachi will now help to build.

    We believe that both companies will complement each other, said Anders Sjoelin, lead division manager, ABB Power Grids North America. Together, they cover the global energy value chain from generation to transmission and distribution. In addition, Hitachi sees areas like the integration of renewables into the power grid, smart mobility and cities as strategic pillars where ABB Power Grids can contribute significantly with its leading technology solutions.

    The Siemens spin-off is of a slightly different nature, but perhaps has a similar goal. In May 2019, the German-based industrial giant announced the spin-off of its Gas & Power (GP) businesses as part of its Vision 2020+ strategy to focus its core competencies on digital industries and smart infrastructure. To be formed out of what was Siemens GP, the new company will be an independent one in which Siemens projects to have 30 billion Euros in orders and 80,000 employees based on former GP staff and the transfer of the Siemens renewable energy business, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE).

    With Vision 2020+, were further sharpening Siemens focus and making our businesses faster and more flexible, said Joe Kaeser, president and CEO of Siemens, in a conference call with reporters announcing the move. These changes are laying the foundation for sustainable economic success in growth markets that will be attractive over the long term. Were also creating solid perspectives for those businesses that have to prove themselves in the structural transformation now underway and address new growth fields.

    Kaeser added the new company will be well-positioned to offer a wide range of services in the electric industry, from power generation through gas-fired turbines and wind turbines to oil and gas services and high-voltage transmission. The success of Siemens businesses of the next generation will be determined by new factors, said Kaeser. Breadth, size and a one-size-fits-all approach will be replaced by focus, speed and adaptability.

    Meanwhile, Lisa Davis, who has been CEO of Siemens GP for the last five years, will take over the reins of NewCo. She touts the new companys independence from Siemens as well as the opportunity to offer a wide range of power services in its new incarnation. Being independent will enable us to more effectively leverage our position of strength to further support our customers in rapidly changing energy markets, Davis said. Global electrification continues to be vital to economic and environmental progress around the world and, as the only company with a leading portfolio along the entire energy value chainin both conventional and renewable energywe are uniquely able to help both public- and private-sector customers benefit from these developments.

    For Siemens, the companys Digital Industries and Smart Infrastructure operating companies will comprise its future industrial core, to be supplemented by company-wide technology and service units such as Siemens Healthineers and Siemens Mobility. Plans call for NewCo to be completely spun off with its own stock exchange listing in September 2020.

    General Electric also is in the game of selling off power divisions. In March 2019, the company unveiled a $3.25 billion deal to sell its distributed power business, focused on the building of smaller gas-fired turbines used in backup, remote or cogeneration power opportunities. The sale to private equity firm Advent International includes the companys Jenbacher and Waukesha brands as well as manufacturing plants in the U.S., Canada and Austria.

    GEs rationale apparently is different from that of ABB or Siemens, however. The company must shrink itself to pay down significant debt, a result of years of troubled acquisitions. Earlier this year, GE was kicked out of the Dow Industrial Average after more than a century on the prestigious company stock listing. For GE, the distributed power business is just the latest in a line of businesses being spun off, including both its fabled light bulb unit and GE Transportation, the companys 111-year-old railroad division.

    The power business was not helping GE, as the company saw declines in revenue in recent quarters as power plants started moving more toward renewable energy to replace fossil fuels, especially coal.

    Underlying Currents

    Though GEs move differs from the moves of Hitachi-ABB and Siemens, all three signify changing times in the power and utilities sector, something that is more likely to continue than abate in the near term. These are definitely changing times for utility and energy companies, said Scott Smith, U.S. power utilities leader for Deloitte, before adding, It is going to continue. Decarbonization of power, energy efficiency, renewables, the customer experience being different [power companies and utilities] are going to have to adapt quickly, and I think they are.

    In his 2019 U.S. Power and Utilities Industry Outlook, Smith wrote about what he calls the new normal for the sector, which features a period of transformation and profound change driven by technological and competitive forces, as well as changing customer expectations.

    This is partly generational; younger users have become very comfortable with apps, social media, and always-on connectivity, Smith stated. And, its also partly a spin-off from the increasing ubiquity of e-commerce in all spheres, for products, services and entertainment. These developments are coming from all directions, not just the big-tech giants that are household names. Were seeing evidence of this new normal in electricity customer preferencesthe desire for choice, in rate plans, in sources of delivered electricity, and in options to tap into behind-the-meter or localized sources of generation, or to integrate electricity with other home services. Commercial and industrial customers are looking to combine more cost and utilization control with opportunities to self-generate and while setting themselves and their suppliers ambitious targets to reduce emissions from their energy use.

    On the generation side, Smith argued, three dominant trends have been in place for years and look to continue:

    Smith pointed to decarbonization as the driver but added these trends also have created opportunities for both new technologies and new business models in the sector.

    On the new technologies side, Smith noted utilities are developing apps to give customers greater control over energy usage, even managing heating and cooling, lighting and window blinds from smartphones. Some utilities are entering the IoT market by offering smart appliances, such as washing machines, thermostats and hot water heaters. Wireless meters and sensors enable users to monitor energy use in real time, receive alerts if bills deviate too far from the norm, get outage alerts, and even get estimates of crew arrival times in the case of storms or widespread power failure.

    Customer retention is no longer just a question of reliability and cost, Smith said of this new normal in the power and utilities sector. It is now a question of providing options, being connected, and allowing customers more control over their energy use.

    When it comes to technology, utilities and power generators exist in an ecosystem ripe with opportunity, Smith contends. We could point to sources of generation, with the cost performance and scalability of wind and solar continuing to improve year over year at a rapid pace; to grid operations, where smart-grid technologies provide real-time information into all aspects of grid status (not just electron flows) and where batteries are now able to provide multiple services, such as load shifting, frequency regulation and localized reserves; to distributed or localized sources of energy for which utilities can partner with customers or communities to install and operate power systems customized for specific needs, Smith wrote in his report.

    Smith summed it up that all this combined is opening the door for new business models for utilities as well as market structures allowing for the entry of new, nontraditional players. He specifically cited the rise of behind-the-meter generation, community energy projects and new options for households, such as rooftop solar coupled with battery storage. Utilities have a tremendous opportunity to develop new profitable businesses around offering services related to these developmentsfrom installation, maintenance, and reliability services to tracking and load balancing with on-grid resources, Smith wrote.

    Smith sees the sector evolving into an entire energy tech ecosystem that could include traditional utilities, large device makers, tech companies, infrastructure players, and small- to medium-sized venture-backed energy technology companies and a host of other business models.

    Smith proclaims himself not surprised at all by news of power and utility sector spin-offs and realignments. In fact, he predicts that, too, is part of the new normal for the sector.

    By definition, the future is uncertain, so we know there will be surprises along the way, Smith wrote in his market report. The electric power business has proved increasingly resilient to some kinds of surprises, like hurricanes or snowstorms. Other kinds of surprises, from technology and new competition to customer expectations, may require more deep-seated cultural change. This promises to be an interesting year.

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    Power Business Spin-Offs: Is This the New Normal? - Transmission & Distribution World

    Theres nothing new about tomorrows city – Financial Times - December 5, 2019 by admin

    Cities, belching pollution, clogged with traffic and stuffed full of the buildings that are responsible for nearly 40 per cent of energy-related CO2 emissions, always appear as the villains of the sustainability narrative. They consume more than 75 per cent of all natural resources; they produce more than 50 per cent of global waste. They are monsters. Yet they are also, perhaps paradoxically, the most efficient and, potentially, the most sustainable way to live.

    Cities can be compact and reliant on efficient public transport rather than cars; they can be walkable and cyclable; and, thanks to the proximity they foster between people and services, they can achieve impressive efficiencies in energy use. Even cities with harsh climates such as Oslo or Helsinki can develop communal heating systems as a byproduct of power generation that are clean and efficient compared with, say, the individual gas boilers that are the norm in the UK.

    If the circular economy is about moving beyond a take-make-waste model of consumption, buildings can be a conspicuous case in point. Just look at two recent French housing projects, Tour Bois-le-Prtre in Paris and Cit du Grand Parc in Bordeaux, designed by architects Lacaton & Vassal and Frdric Druot. Both go radically against the conventional practice of demolishing old, nominally inefficient housing to build anew in more fashionable forms. Instead, they have managed to preserve existing social housing infrastructure and to keep tenants in place while transforming their slab blocks with a new outer layer of structure.

    Boasting new terraces and winter gardens, formerly tired apartments now seem distinctly chic. No less important, both interventions conserve the huge amount of energy embodied in the existing structures; according to a report last year from think-tank Chatham House, cement production accounts for 8 per cent of the worlds annual CO2 emissions which, if it were a country, would make it the third-biggest emitter, after China and the US.

    There are harder-to-quantify savings too: new construction often tears apart established communities, disrupting the networks that facilitate sustainable city living through small exchanges of favours and chores, through trust and company.

    Cities are the most efficient and, potentially, the most sustainable way to live

    When the original tower blocks were conceived and built, in the 1950s and 1960s, architects were in thrall not only to concrete but also to the car. Motorways, flyovers and car parks swept old buildings aside. Yet cars proved to be disastrous for cities, enabling the vast expansion of the suburb and the exurb, which are radically unsustainable not just in their distance from places of work and leisure, but also in their failure to build communities.

    Mobility is the first problem, says Malo Hutson, associate professor of urban planning at Columbia University in New York. Not just the electrification of cars, but also of marine transport, perhaps even aviation. We need to approach the city in a different way how do we not build huge parking lots and [how do we create] more compact cities? Autonomous cars may change things for the better, he thinks, as they could readily lend themselves to sharing schemes; that in turn could reduce the need for parking spaces and allow more efficient land use.

    But overcoming the consequences of decades of sprawl is a formidable task. The changes required are so huge that advocates are careful to frame them as a positive not only in terms of sustainability, but also in terms of economic growth. The Green New Deal sponsored by congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the US is exactly such an attempt at reframing green imperatives in a Rooseveltian image, as a boost to the economy rather than a brake.

    Friday, 22 November, 2019

    We need an honest conversation about this, Mr Hutson says. There will be job losses and huge changes but also opportunities around construction and housing, new skills and innovation. A 2016 World Economic Forum report notes that 40 per cent of solid waste in the US derives from construction and demolition, and represents a significant loss of valuable minerals, metals and organic materials that could feed into a circular economy.

    Perhaps the most interesting shift currently under way in urban thinking picks up this thought and runs with it. An EU-sponsored initiative known as Bamb Buildings as Material Banks aims to change the construction industrys approach to demolition, construing it as not a destructive but a constructive process, in which buildings are picked apart, their component parts and materials reused. Bamb wants buildings to be designed with this in mind; it advocates the use of material passports, which reside on a digital platform and define materials and show their circular pathways, their loops of use and reuse.

    There is a change of attitude in taking down existing buildings, with buildings conceived as banks, says Georgia Price, an architect from global engineering group Arup. We could be using materials passports, tracking and tracing materials through their life. One possibility is to embed RFID chips in construction components, enabling them to be tracked from factory to building site to salvage depot. So far it is an idea that has gained little traction within the industry. The resulting database would be enormous and who would own the data?

    Meanwhile several new non-profits are already trying to salvage materials from buildings before demolition and to sell them on at a fraction of their cost when new to architects with an interest in sustainability and an eye for a back-story. Among them are Rotor Deconstruction in Brussels and the School of Architectures Bank of Materials in Aarhus, Denmark. Both are beginning to scale up to offer a real choice to architects and contractors.

    One crucial recent piece of legislation from the EU may accelerate the change in attitudes. In October, right to repair rules were introduced, which put the onus on manufacturers to design products capable of being repaired, instead of succumbing to planned obsolescence, the dubious design philosophy that became prevalent during the US postwar boom. If our expectations of washing machines and phones can change, perhaps they will similarly change regarding buildings and infrastructure.

    In those latter cases, the ability to reimagine will be as important as the ability to repair or rebuild. Perhaps the seemingly defunct architectures of the recent past can be repurposed in the same way the industrial buildings of the 19th and 20th centuries have been made into lofts, galleries and restaurants.

    A multistorey car park may seem the least adaptable of building types, yet one example in south London, Peckham Levels, has been reimagined as a cultural space, with artists studios, social enterprises, restaurants, and a now famous rooftop bar. Could similar ideas be applied to the ghost shopping centres and strip-malls of fading suburbs? Could they accommodate small workshops, markets, and hydroponics farms enterprises that could densify those suburbs into places of production and change, rather than just dormitories?

    According to a report by Arup, in a circular city, products and assets are designed and built to be more durable, and to be repaired, refurbished, reused and disassembled. That will require a fundamental change in approach by planners and architects, and by the citizens they serve.

    Yet in a way, it is all rather old fashioned. When imperial Rome collapsed and its buildings gradually succumbed to violence or neglect, the stones were taken and reused to build houses and churches, wells and piazzas. The fragments are still there.

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    Theres nothing new about tomorrows city - Financial Times

    Cleantech companies: in the UAE funding and trust are hampering efforts – Verdict - December 5, 2019 by admin

    As regional governments become increasingly aware of the social and economic threat posed by climate change, population growth and resource over-consumption, there is growing appreciation that improved energy efficiency, reduced use of non-renewable resources and environmental sustainability can only be achieved by successfully developing and harnessing new environmental technology clean technology, or cleantech.

    As in other industries, it is likely that many of the disruptive cleantech solutions needed to address these challenges will come from new, startup companies and from other small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

    The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is already setting the pace for cleantech development in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region.

    Abu Dhabi has set ambitious renewable energy and emissions targets and wants to generate 44 per cent of electricity from renewable sources and 6 per cent from nuclear power. It also wants to cut 30 per cent of its carbon emissions by 2030.

    The UAE is the most attractive ecosystem in the Mena region for startups, says Steven Griffiths, senior vice-president of research and development and professor of practice at Khalifa University of Science and Technology.

    Broadly speaking, the Mena region is incentivising local talent in the realm of environmentally sustainable startups.

    We [in the Mena region] are seeing a lot of startups and SMEs developing really interesting cleantech solutions across the renewables, waste and marine space, says Dana Liparts, co-founder and director at Ecocoast, a sustainable marine technology developer.

    The interest in cleantech specifically has been evident since as early as 2012, when Dubai-based peer-to-peer lending platform Beehive funded Enerwhere, a solar energy SME.

    More recently, Abu Dhabi-based Catalyst a startup accelerator jointly organised by Masdar and BP has invested $10m since 2015 in eight cleantech startups engaged in renewable energy, agricultural technology, waste management and electric mobility.

    In early 2019, New York-based Modus Capital launched a $75m Mena fund for startups through which it hopes to fund more cleantech companies, which founder Kareem Elsirafy says could include opportunities such as renewable and sustainable technology that mitigates negative environmental impact.

    Still, investment and support for these are low compared to other types of technology startups.

    In5 is a startup incubator that has supported more than 160 startups since it was founded in 2013. Data from the company website shows that only one business in each of the energy, sustainable agriculture and waste management fields received funding from the In5 technology centre.

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    Lack of adequate funding and investment is a major issue, says Rishi Kohli, co-founder of Waterwise, a Dubai startup turned SME that has developed an eco-friendly car cleaning service that uses a biodegradable cleaning spray in place of water.

    A few years ago, a lot of cleantech startups attracted large amounts of funding but had large amounts of monthly cash burn-out, which impacted cash flow and often made them unprofitable, he says.

    Khalifa University of Science and Technologys Griffiths also highlights several financial challenges faced by startups and SMEs: Early-stage investors in cleantech face challenges in bringing deep tech to the scale-up. Software is not so hard, but capital-intensive technology development is yet to have a good supporting ecosystem.

    He says he is impressed with certain industry-led cleantech investment initiatives, such as those of Saudi Aramco, but adds that we do not have a lot of examples in the region.

    CEO of Catalyst, inar Kurra, adds that there are not many dedicated research and development (R&D) centres. Most research continues to happen at universities and government-funded entities, he says.

    Market conditions can also prove difficult. Waterwises Kohli says that about 180 litres of water are used on each vehicle at UAE car wash facilities, despite the fact the UN classifies the country as one of the worlds most water-scarce nations.

    Even so, Kohli has faced many difficulties when it comes to selling his product. Our initial plan was to redistribute our product to other car-washing companies, but that did not get much buy-in, so we decided to set up our own car-washing business.

    When asked why this might be, Kohli notes that the adoption of cleantech products and services has been generally slow, and points to the largely price-driven priorities of many consumers, which can prejudice them against alternative, eco-friendly products and services that typically carry higher costs.

    In the UAE, a compounding factor, especially on a large commercial scale, is what he calls green fatigue.

    Consumers have failed to see the tangible benefits for eco-friendly products and services, he says.

    Besides, says Liparts, were also seeing that a lot of the technologies are struggling to offer a real commercial advantage to the end-user over more traditional technologies. Cleantech startups and SMEs that can show a commercial value proposition to their technologies will face far fewer challenges when it comes to funding than those companies that are more costly than traditional.

    This raises questions about consumer awareness and engagement when it comes to environmental issues.

    Indeed, the high failure rate of new products and services especially those that call for behavioural changes on the part of individual consumers is a common problem for new enterprises. Catalysts CEO, Kurra, says that currently, only 2 per cent of all startups make a profit in the region.

    A different approach could nevertheless significantly improve the uptake of cleantech.

    At Catalyst, where a venture capital would look merely at growth potential, the firm provides not only funding but also access to R&D facilities at the Masdar Institute.

    It also highlights the need for financial transparency, both as a precondition of funding and as a route to providing more appropriate guidance to startups.

    As a startup accelerator, we would require more transparency in how cleantech startups are running their business, says Catalysts Kurra.

    Griffiths also explains, Perhaps the best way cleantech startups can earn profits today is by building software, power electronics and other small services, and then selling them to large corporations.

    Meanwhile, Waterwises Kohli advises that startups and SMEs should start with a limited number of products or services that have a low cash burn-out and quicker return on investment (ROI), then attract funding with the aim of scaling up.

    By way of example, he explains that investment in agriculture and food-based cleantech has increased as the cost of producing such products has made ROI for the end-users and investors more attractive.

    Lately, more cleantech businesses attract smaller investments from angel investors that allow them to grow with profitable margins, which in turn can then lead to venture capital funding, Kohli says.

    Yet a great deal of activity in the sector continues to be government or public-sector led, leaving significant room for more initiative to be taken by private companies and individuals and especially by local entities to support innovative cleantech opportunities.

    The author of this report, Sania Aziz Rahman, is a graduate of MA Data Journalism from the UKs Birmingham City University, with a special interest in reporting stories through data. Twitter: @saniaazizr

    This article is sourced from Verdict Technology sister publication http://www.meed.com, a leading source of high-value business intelligence and economic analysis about the Middle East and North Africa. To access more MEED content register for the 30-day Free Guest User Programme.

    GlobalData is this websites parent business intelligence company.

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    Solar panels seem like a good idea. But are they really worth it? – ABC News - December 5, 2019 by admin

    Updated December 05, 2019 15:42:37

    It's going to be a long, hot summer for the Wilkes family.

    Their home in Sydney's outer suburbs has westerly facing windows and last year, the first in their new build, the electricity bill for summer was $1,000.

    This year, they're hoping it will be significantly less, having scraped together enough cash to install solar panels on the roof.

    "It was definitely a stretch," said Crystal Wilkes, who is currently at home on maternity leave after having her third child.

    "After tax time we were like, we've got a refund from tax. We decided to put that plus a small amount of savings [together] and cash flowed the rest.

    "You get very good at eating beans and rice to get it together."

    But have the Wilkes made the right decision? Is getting solar the best way to cut down on costs this summer?

    About a decade ago, many state governments were keen to encourage solar uptake, introducing generous rebates and feed-in tariffs.

    It created a lot of hype around the financial benefits of solar, and hundreds of thousands of homes took it up.

    Those same offers are now long gone.

    According to Chris Barnes from consumer group Choice, the answer is pretty clear.

    "In almost all cases for almost all homes, yes, it's still worth it," he said.

    "That's a reflection of the fact the price of the actual panels has gone down and the capacity of the solar panels has gone up. So really it makes sense to put as many on your roof as you can afford."

    The Wilkes bought a 6.6-kilowatt system for $7,500 after the federal government rebate, which was about $4,000.

    This out-of-pocket cost included the panels themselves and the inverter, which transfers the power into usable electricity.

    That's about the average size and cost of a solar installation, according to Choice.

    But prices do vary and could be between $4,000 to $8,000, after the rebate, and depending on the quality and the size you're after.

    "There's a really wide range of pricing," Sarah Morton, from Green Energy, said.

    "Solar panels definitely vary in quality. For more peace of mind you could choose Tier 1 panels, which have a better reputation for performance and quality."

    Mr Barnes suggests getting recommendations and shopping around for installers, while avoiding door-to-door sales tactics.

    He also says it's important to understand the product warranty on the panels and inverter.

    For example, a 10-year product warranty on the panels and at least five years on the inverter is fairly standard.

    "You'll often see a 25-year warranty mentioned. Be a little careful with that, because that's actually a performance warranty," he said.

    "What they're saying is over its 25-year expected lifespan, this panel will deteriorate in a predictable and linear fashion and in the 25 years will still be producing 80 per cent of what they claimed."

    This is where it gets a bit tricky.

    In the past, different rebates have been offered separately by state governments and the federal government.

    All states have stopped offering generous rebates for solar installation, except for Victoria, which still has a rebate of up to $2,225 for households earning less than $180,000.

    Some other states are trialling schemes for low-income earners. It's worth looking at the Department of Energy website to see whether you can claim for this.

    And on top of all of this, most households can still get a rebate from the federal government's small-scale renewable energy scheme.

    "When you buy a solar panel system each will be rated to a certain number of certificates and each is worth a certain amount," Mr Barnes explained.

    "At the moment they're worth just under $40 per certificate typically you're looking at about $600 per kilowatt of solar system you add on. So it does add up."

    Usually the installer will process the certificates and consumers pay the balance of the cost.

    It's always going to be different for each household. But for the Wilkes, they're thinking about four years.

    Why?

    Well, there's the size of the system itself, how much electricity a household uses, how much is sold back to the grid and where you live.

    "If you live in a place that gets a lot of sun north-west Victoria or inland New South Wales or Queensland you're going to get more output from the same sized solar system than if you're living in southern Victoria or Tasmania," Ms Morton said.

    With three young children under six, and the baby using cloth nappies, the Wilkes's washing machine is constantly on.

    Like most Australians, the family tended in the past to use a lot of appliances in the evening, but since getting solar they've changed their habits.

    They use an app to monitor their usage and set timers on their appliances to run during the day.

    That way they're using the solar energy produced on their roof for free, rather than paying for electricity from the grid.

    "I worked out how to set our appliances the dishwasher, washing machine, we've got a heat pump drier, so to put a delay on them to operate during the day when the Sun's up. We just don't use things overnight anymore," Ms Wilkes said.

    "With the app we can also see the drain of the air-con when we do switch it on. We've learnt that after the house is cold we switch it to a dehumidifier setting which is a lot less expensive to run."

    Any extra electricity they don't use is sold back into the grid, which means they get some extra money.

    It also makes the payback period for their panels shorter.

    Well, solar power is only generated during the day.

    You need to ask yourself: are you better off using that during the day? Or keeping old habits and using the bulk of your electricity at night, essentially buying it from the grid?

    "As a general rule for most people, you're far better off using your own solar power and using as little as you can from the grid," Mr Barnes said.

    About a decade ago, retailers were paying up to 60 cents for every kilowatt hour that households fed back into the grid.

    Only those who are still enjoying the benefits of a legacy contract get to keep reaping the benefits of that deal.

    For everyone else, those days are long gone.

    But every retailer can offer a different price for your power. It can vary from nothing to 30 cents a kilowatt hour in the Northern Territory.

    "It varies significantly between retailers. Even within a state, it can vary a lot. People should shop around," Ms Morton said.

    Victoria is the only state to have a mandatory minimum rate which is set by the Essential Services Commission. It can either be a single rate (which is currently 12 cents per kilowatt hour) or a varying rate depending on time of day (between 9.9 and 14.6 cents per kilowatt hour).

    The Wilkes get about 11 cents per kilowatt hour for the electricity they send to the grid, but are paying double that for any electricity they buy.

    In short, that's not an unusual story. It's common to pay way more for electricity than what you'd earn if you sold it back to the grid.

    "At the moment we're actually ahead, we've just come in to credit. We're selling more back to the grid than we're using," Ms Wilkes said.

    Despite being keen on sustainable energy, the Wilkes won't be getting a battery any time soon.

    "We looked in to getting a battery but the payback was closer to 10 years and the battery's life is about 10 years. So it doesn't work out," Ms Wilkes said.

    Mr Barnes agrees.

    "Our view is that for most people, [batteries] don't make full economic sense yet," he said.

    "If you're in the NT and you're getting a generous feed-in tariff, you're probably better off getting that than putting your surplus energy into a battery that may not pay for itself in time."

    As technology advances, it's hoped batteries will either last longer, or the prices will come down.

    "We're still watching and waiting for that magic moment to happen," Mr Barnes said.

    Topics:solar-energy,alternative-energy,environment,box-hill-2765,nsw,australia

    First posted December 05, 2019 05:59:32

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    Solar panels seem like a good idea. But are they really worth it? - ABC News

    pressure washing Knoxville | Veteran Owned 865-382-3548 - November 3, 2019 by admin

    We are your professional pressure washing services for Knoxville TN and Maryville TN. A1 specializes in exterior house soft washing. Our deck cleaning and fence cleaning is also done with a soft as not to harm composite materials. Our high-pressure cleaning and hot water power washing is utilized for concrete cleaning and driveway cleaning.

    A1 pressure washing does residential and commercial pressure washing Knoxville, Farragut, Powell, Seymour, Maryville, Alcoa, Louisville, TN. Steam power washing, and soft washing for houses, driveway, deck, fence, pool deck, boat dock, concrete, pavers, Tread tex and Hardy Backer. Call A1 pressure washing Knoxville TN at 865-382-3548. We are a Veteran Owned, and an environmentally friendly pressure washing service company.

    Our sister company, A1 junk removal, will help you with garage clean out, appliance and furniture removal 865-724-3601

    Residential deck before and after A1 Pressure Washing cleaned away the dirt, grime, mold and mildew.

    We perform pressure washing on concrete, driveways, patios, pool decks and Pavers. Concrete steam power washing is available.

    pressure washing October special:House pressure washing: exterior of gutters, down spouts, soffit, fascia, trim, vinyl siding, shutters, doors, garage doors, front and back stoops

    Houses up to two stories (20 feet)0-2000 sq. ft. $3502001-2500 sq. ft. $4002501-3000 sq. ft. $4503001-3500 sq. ft. $500A third story add $100

    A1 Pressure Washing before and after pics of our residential and/or commercial soft washing technique. Soft washing is like a touch-less car wash; just spray the soaps and detergents on, let them work, and rinse, therefore there is no high pressure.The only thing that we high pressure anymore is concrete.

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    Rolling Suds Inc. | Power Washing Services in PA, NJ, DE & MD. - October 12, 2019 by admin

    Because your homes siding is exposed to the elements, it gathers dirt, mold, and mildew.

    Power washing can make your siding look new again. Rolling Suds uses cleaning products that are environmentally safe so they wont harm plants or animals.

    Over time, UV rays, mold, mildew and dirt discolor, making your once beautiful deck appear old and worn.

    Rolling Suds deck cleaning service thoroughly cleans each board and spindle.

    Roof discoloration is caused by a species of algea called Gloeocapsa Magma. This growth is dirty and reduces the life of your shingles.

    Rolling Suds uses low pressure equipment to eliminate algea, mildew stains, streaks, and dirt from shingles all without damaging your roof.

    Concrete patios are durable and long-lasting, but they do collect dirt, mold, mildew and algae over time.

    Rolling Suds concrete cleaning equipment is exactly what your walkways or patio needs!

    Our skilled professionals can safely clean your multi-level buildings or store fronts, restoring their professional appearance.

    This fresh, clean appearance welcomes customers and prolongs the life of your building.

    We Restore Concrete, Masonry, Brick, Fiberglass, Cedar, Stucco, Stone and many other surfaces.

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    Rolling Suds Inc. | Power Washing Services in PA, NJ, DE & MD.

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