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Elon Musk - Puerto Rico

solar panels puerto rico muskThe island of Puerto Rico has seen many hardships, but none the likes of Hurricane Maria. A storm so powerful it knocked out power to 100% of the island, and only 10% regained power two days later. That’s 90% of a very populated island, the very same island who’s electrical company declared bankruptcy several months ago befortoe the storm. After the damage was surveyed, the cost reached that of the billions, an estimated $85 billion to be exact. Out of 3.4 million residents, 80% of them are still without power while 30% are still without clean drinking water (Coto - ABCNews).  

The time to restore all of the power to the island does not have an estimated time, only that it “will take a while." Not to mention the amount of money it will take to build an entirely new power grid, while Puerto Rico is still severely in debt already. At this point, it’s time to find new alternatives, and one of the hottest topics is solar power. That’s where Elon Musk and Tesla Technologies come into play.

The governor of Puerto Rico recently reached out to Elon Musk via twitter, saying “Could @ElonMusk go in and rebuild #PuertoRico’s electricity system with independent solar & battery systems?” to which Mr. Musk responded with; “The Tesla team has done this for many smaller islands around the world, but there is no scalability limit, so it can be done for Puerto Rico too. Such a decision would be in the hands of the PR govt, PUC, any commercial stakeholders and, most importantly, the people of PR” (Alexander – Telegraph UK/Twitter). A couple more tweets were sent back and forth, and Elon mentioned being happy to talk further about the project.

What this could mean for Puerto Rico is no more importing and burning oil for energy. Because of this method of power, it’s cost the island an exuberant amount of money. Along with planet and money saving, using Tesla’s solar power units, it is 100% self-powered, meaning there is no grid. If there is a power outage, this source of energy ensures no loss of power for 7+ days after an outage (and that’s just with one of the most basic and smaller options offered).

If Elon Musk decides to use Puerto Rico as the flagship project for Tesla Technologies power and innovation, it would greatly benefit the island in the long run. No longer burning up money on oil to power an entire island, but renewable sources that don’t come with high priced monthly dues. After a disaster like Hurricane Maria, it’s time to make some changes forward into how power is produced and kept on.

Sources 1, 2, 3

Wiring a Finished Basement for the Future

by Nicole Stevens

basement electrical wiringBuilding a new home with a basement, or redoing an existing basement typically will require lots of new wiring down in said basement. Wiring a finished basement is a quite simple procedure, but it should be taken into though to wire for the future. What is the purpose of the basement? Will it be more for storage or used more like a den, or entertainment room? This decision will better help you prepare for the future of your basement’s wiring plans.

Using a basement as the main storage area really wouldn’t require any far ahead planning with wiring. A basic wire set up with multiple outlets would be sufficient enough.  This allows the use of any pluggable appliances to be used and moved at will. If you wanted to go a bit more involved, a wired setup for a washer and dryer is an easy fix, as well as adding an addition refrigerator or deep freezer (most just require a simple plug-in).

If you wanted to  take a bit more interesting route with the finished basement, say an entertainment room, wiring for that is a bit different. Technology is always changing, and along with the change of consumer tech products, the wiring may change as well. A home theatre is one of the more popular  choices for a finished basement, but it provides you with that in the movies feel, a large open room, cool air, and hopefully no sticky floors. Now I know what you’re probably thinking since we want to focus on the future of the wiring, why not go wireless with all the new technology? Well of course, but it’s not always 100% reliable. With sturdy wiring, you know you’ll always have it working correctly, instead of cursing the slow wifi and general bad connection down in your basement. The type of wiring involved for a home theatre/entertainment room include;

  • Coax cabling – For your cable and HDTV antenna
  • Ethernet cables – For internet access and also very important. CAT6 is a better version to use.
  • Electrical circuit – Having plugs that don’t share the same electrical line will prevent power surges or drops in voltage.
  • Speaker wires – Much better than a stereo system sitting on the floor with unsightly wires in plain view.

This type of wiring will keep your finished basement up to date and ready and wired for the future!

How touch plate lighting can make your life so much easier

touchplateSince the 1940's, Touch-Plate low voltage lighting remains among the last historical-era remote control lighting/wiring systems that are still manufactured. With a wide variety of switch styles to choose from, Touch-Plate devices are stocked regularly and available at home improvement stores or authorized dealers. Touch-Plate control stations deliver convenience and cost-effectiveness in a single unit system that includes the devices, the mounting brackets, the cover plates and the screws. Touch-Plate systems are also able to be wired to work with various other three-wire low voltage systems, like GE, Remcon, and Bryant -  for which replacement parts are more difficult to find.

Modern and stylish, these low voltage lighting systems come conveniently packaged with all of the materials needed for a quick installation. 

Apple HomeKit and Your Lights

apple homekit electric lightsWe live in a time unlike any before. With countless technological advancements at our fingertips, our lives are improved, which is advantageous considering the rapid pace at which we live. In recent years, tremendous strides have been made in home automation. This technology allows the homeowner to run their home while they are away using a remote app on their Smartphone or iPad. In fact, automated homes are known as  “smart homes,” due to their ability to seemingly think on their own. This ability to “think,” helps homeowners in some of ways.

The future of automated lighting is here in the form of Apple’s HomeKit technology. “Apple HomeKit technology provides an easy, secure way to control HomeKit-enabled accessories from any of your iOS devices. Tell Siri to "turn on the upstairs lights." Dim the lights from your Apple Watch. Use your iPhone to change colors. And much more! All you need is a square-shaped Philips Hue Bridge 2.0 and your favorite iOS device to get started.”

Apple HomeKit adds safety and security through appliance and lighting control. You can always check to make sure your daughter turned off her curling iron or ensure that your oven has been flipped off from the morning family breakfast. Your home and family also enjoy an added measure of safety through your ability to control the lights in your home. Not only does this allow you to make sure lights are off when you are gone to save electricity, but it also allows you to turn them on at specific times if you would like it to look like you are home.

Electrical Safety Tips for the Summer

electrical summer safety tipsWhile it is absolutely imperative to exercise caution around electricity regardless of the time of year, summertime is an important time to remind yourself and your family of a few basic electrical safety rules. Print out the following list and keep it in an easily visible spot to refer to regularly:

  • Be on the lookout during high winds and storms: look up and all around and be aware of the location of transformers and power lines. If you’re ever stuck outside in a storm, stay clear of these and take shelter.
  • Use extreme caution when working anywhere near power lines attached to your home. Always keep yourself and your equipment at least 10 feet away from lines.
  • Never trim trees that are growing near power lines – if you spot a tree growing too close to power lines, call your utility company to report it and don’t attempt to address the issue yourself.
  • If you undertake a project that includes digging, like building a deck or planting a tree, call your utility company to determine underground locates at least two business days before digging. This service is free of charge and prevents the inconvenience of having yours or your neighbor’s utilities interrupted, and can help you avoid danger.
  • Electricity and water do not mix! If it’s raining or the ground is still wet from rain, refrain from using electric yard tools until the area is completely dry.
  • Protect your outdoor electrical outlets with weatherproof outlet covers and ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). Indoor electrical outlets near water (like aquariums, kitchens, and bathrooms) should also have GFCIs.

Remind your children to:

  • Always, always, always stay away from power lines. Always assume they are "live and dangerous" and will cause serious, even fatal injuries.
  • Never climb any trees growing near power lines.
  • Never touch outdoor wires with your hands or any other part of your body or by using other objects.
  • Always keep flying kites, model airplanes, etc. to great open areas like fields and parks, outside of the danger of trees and overhead power lines. If a kite gets stuck in a tree that is growing near a power line, let it go -  do not climb up to get it.
  • Never go into or near an electric substation for any reason. Electric substations contain extremely dangerous high-voltage equipment, which can kill you. Never attempt to rescue a pet that goes inside. Instead, call your local electric utility company.

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What Others Say About Us

I called Best Electric for a problem I was having with non-working pendant lights. Joe promptly called back to schedule an appointment. He arrived on time, was straight forward with the pricing and was able to diagnose and fix my problem in a relatively short time. While he was at my home he also was able to hang a new chandelier. I would highly recommend Best Electric!

I was extremely pleased with the work Joe did for me this past week and wanted to say something positive so others would consider him for jobs.  But the rating has to be done through a google account, and I do not want to have an account with them - the information required is personal, and I have no doubt sold immediately to places that do solicitations.  But if there is a way to insert my comments, so they contribute to the rating system, here they are. I wanted to say this:  I have an older home and a not-so-robust budget.   Joe inspired confidence with his knowledge, solved a sticky problem for me with my new range, left everything looking good and accommodated my work schedule.  His fees were competitive and, most importantly,  I am confident the work will stand up to the test of time.  I would recommend him highly to anyone asking for an electrician.

I hired Joe Bartels and Best Electric Service to add a 240V circuit for a hot tub at my home. I couldn't have been happier with their thoroughness and customer focus. They worked with our installation schedule, listened to my input and were creative in routing the final conduit. Quick and very professional. They have my highest recommendation!

Brands We Carry

  • Square D
  • Siemens
  • Touch-Plate Lighting Controls
  • General Electric
  • Cutler Hammer

Brands We Service

  • Siemens
  • Casablanca Fan Company
  • Square D
  • General Electric
  • Kichler
  • Federal Pacific
  • Bryant Heating & Cooling Systems
  • Cutler Hammer
  • Touch-Plate Lighting Controls

Areas Serviced: Black Forest | Castle Rock | Colorado Springs | Falcon | Fountain | Larkspur | Manitou Springs | Monument | Palmer Lake | Peyton | Security-Widefield | Woodland Park