Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Solar Power...and...Time Marches On...

and pretty soon you realize it's marching right over your face (thanks, Steel Magnolias). My dark brown hair is beginning to sprout little white hairs, but oddly enough only where I've had halo screws. It seems trauma spots can develop? Who knows. I'm not concerned. "Oh, those are just the stripes where I've been screwed..."

My other half just finished up therapy on his hand. It still hurts him a lot, not surprising since he has a huge lump on the back of it. He also has some shoulder pain. Hopefully with time it will improve. Since Physical Therapy just ended and the doctor agreed, the lawyer can go after the driver who was cited. SHE runs HIM down, admits fault, gets cited, and WE have stacks of bills for ambulance, x-rays, therapy, surgeon and dr appointments, you name it. We owe thousands in medical bills. To keep from being sent to collections for the bills, we had to put it all on our emergency credit card and max the damn thing out. With that full, how is an already struggling family supposed to make ends meet, do things like feed growing children? Keep warm when it's 27 out?

My kidney is feeling better, well better than after last month's surgery anyway. I still am getting these intense ripping pains toward the middle. I don't know what that's about; it developed not too long before the kidney stones/infection/shutting down business. I was thinking earlier about how the surgeon at the hospital on the morning of my discharge said to see my bladder surgeon again, that my bladder may need more work because he suspects it's causing the ureter to be in such a position it may end up literally tearing off the kidney due to the Ehlers-Danlos. The trouble urinating has returned, the part where I frequently feel I must rush to the restroom but only go a few drops, and still end up having those awful contractions at the end, to no avail.

I don't remember if I have posted about the issues we've had with some of our older appliances that came with this house when we bought it almost two years ago as a foreclosure. We knew there were only a couple years left in them but at the same time, we were hoping this legal battle with the law enforcement agency would get worked out, in our minds giving them the benefit of the doubt that they would do the right thing. (Of course they didn't do that, despite giving them the chance to make things right; there was no choice but to continue on and allow the attorney to serve them papers.) Taking them to court extends things, including our plans of buying a new a/c, water heater, etc.

Anyway, our water heater has gone downhill much more quickly than we expected. While anywhere in the entire western half of the house, we can hear the water heater in the garage sounding exactly like it's popping popcorn. It's definitely on its way out. We have a lot of appliance issues and considering we have been in this house for 1 year and 10 months, we have spent a TON of money on servicing co-pays which has still only puts a band-aid on the problems the appliances have.

This morning we had a home consultation with GreenMonsterUSA. I'd already completed in-depth research on this company and others like them; indeed there are similar others but no one seemed to compare. GreenMonsterUSA serves to help homeowners go green, aka energy-efficient, and make it so cost-efficient we can save between 25 to 80%.

We were just hoping for a good deal for a replacement water heater, since ours is going to die at any moment. GreenMonsterUSA explained about the rebates that are currently available through our local and state utility companies, and also through the federal government. However, they are going to expire at the end of the year. All of these rebates add up to an amazing amount of money. Since it takes some time for the rebates to come in, GreenMonsterUSA (who is owned and operated by a man and wife in Phoenix, the gentleman is a well-known home-builder and passes his contractor savings along to GM customers) will float any balance for 12 months S.A.C. to allow plenty of time for the rebates to come in from all of those utility companies, and from the state and federal governments as well.

The amount of rebates available to us was tremendous. We are getting a new water heater, but it's solar with a back-up; this will save us around 90% of the energy used for hot water. We'd only dreamed of getting a solar water heater! They also are installing a KVAR capacitor, which in a nutshell equalizes energy use of all motors in the home, saving up to an additional 25% on each power bill. Lastly, they will AeroSeal our ductwork, which is basically a unique type of sealant developed out of the need to address how 90% of used AND new homes have leaky ducts! Once the ducts are sealed, air is not only cleaner but flow is increased and energy consumption is reduced 40-50%.

We are getting all of this for less than we expected to pay to replace one of the appliances. Tomorrow the solar panels for the water heater go on the roof, and the water heater and the back-up tank go in the garage where the dying popcorn-popping-imitation machine currently stands. The KVAR will likely go in as well. AeroSeal takes a few days longer because they are booked a little further out, but no later than two weeks max. They provided us with a folder of how everything will proceed regarding the rebates, all rebate forms are included from city, state, and federal, there are timelines and contact numbers, explanations and guarantees of each item and/or process, etc.

Within only a few years they have been able to open in multiple states, and even though they grow through pretty much word of mouth and media features from the difference being made (their main purposes are to not only to go green and help our planet, but to focus on the USA and end reliance on other countries for their energy resources). Part of how they spread the word is because of how happy their customers have been; GreenMonsterUSA does the 12 month SAC etc, and relies on the customers to let others know about the great deals. And so I am sharing with others here, especially those in Phx as well as in my town. There are thousands of dollars in rebates from the city, state, and federal government to make 'green' improvements to the home, and rebates from utility companies. BUT The rebates were to end December 31 2010. Though those rebates may now be gone, they can still tell you if others are still available, or if there are any new ones. Saving money of course is awesome, but taking care of our planet is a responsibility, something to constantly model for our children. There is a 30% energy saving guarantee with the GreenMonster programs! If you have an HOA, it is federally mandated now that they can't stop you from getting solar; the company has info on this if you need it as a reference. Oh and an added plus--with the company owners having been well-known builders long before they started this business, they are offering customers guaranteed best prices on all home improvement items for 5 years after becoming customers, whether for something major like an air conditioners, or something smaller like a toilet.

Being 'green' is important to me, which most people know. I am hopeful people will consider GreenMonsterUSA, even if they think they can't afford it (because goodness knows we can't afford a darn thing at the moment), because the rebate combinations are awesome. I agreed to put a sign in my yard for awhile.

If anyone wants to know any more about them, please let me know.

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