AuthorKris Kasawski

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Winter Sunshine Can Help Reduce Your Energy Costs

Have you ever considered how passive solar energy from the low winter sun can help you reduce your energy costs?

Passive solar is the concept of collecting, storing, and distributing solar energy without the aid of any mechanical devices.  Solar energy is collected during daylight hours through a building’s south facing windows, stored as thermal energy in the floors, walls, and furnishings, then distributed as heat during the later part of the day when the amount of solar energy entering the building decreases.  This concept can be quite useful in the sunny Capital Region where we rank #7 in Canada for Sunny Days During the Winter Months.

How can  you take advantage of passive solar energy to reduce your energy costs?  If you have any south facing windows in your home or office be sure to open the curtains or shades during the sunny hours of the day to capture the solar energy and ensure that those same curtains or shades are closed during the darker hours so as not to waste any of the heat collected.  Other things to consider when trying to capture passive solar energy is that materials with more mass or density (floors, walls, countertops) capture and hold that energy better and release it slower than materials with less mass, so try to expose the denser materials in your home or office to more of the sunlight entering through the south facing windows.  Capturing solar energy passively will help reduce the need to actively heat a building with a furnace thereby reducing both the electricity and natural gas consumption.

So as we carry on through a cold but sunny streak of weather consider trying to capture some of that lovely free energy that shines down upon us.

New Community Partner – The altView Foundation

Park Power is proud to announce the addition of our newest Community Partner, The altView Foundation for Gender Variant and Sexual Minorities.

The altView Foundation is a great group of people creating positive change in our community.  Their core values of Acceptance, Community, Openness, and Honesty and a Vision Statement of creating and encouraging acceptance and inclusion of diversity within Alberta aligns well with Park Power and our goal to help build community and create positive change.

Please check out www.altview.ca and see how open, inclusive minds can help create better communities.

The Community Partner program provides another source of funding and support for the altView Foundation.  When customers sign up with Park Power, with their monthly power bill they can choose to make a donation to the altView Foundation.  Also, Park Power has committed to sharing our revenue with our Community Partners, The Boys and Girls Club of Strathcona County and the altView Foundation for Gender Variant and Sexual Minorities.

Choosing Electricity Rates in Alberta – Floating or Fixed?

When choosing electricity rates in Alberta, should you choose floating or fixed?

In Alberta, we have a deregulated electricity market and you can choose who you buy your electricity from.  You can buy from a Competitive Energy Retailer like Park Power either at a fixed price for a certain term or at a floating rate that will follow the market price. If you don’t choose to buy from a competitive retailer you will be put on the Regulated Rate Option (RRO).  The Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) regulates Alberta’s investor-owned and municipally-owned utilities to ensure that customers who have not signed up with a competitive retailer still receive electricity at a just and reasonable rate.  This rate changes each month and is set at the beginning of the month.

If you choose to go with Park Power, a competitive electricity retailer, and you want a rate that follows the market price, then you can choose a Floating Rate Plan. Typically, competitive retailers set the rate at the end of the month, dependant opon the average market prices for that month. Over the long term the average floating rate has proven to be lower than fixed contract prices and the RRO prices.

Alternatively, if  you are risk averse and would like to protect yourself from spikes in the price of electricity on a month to month basis then you can choose to go on a Fixed Rate Plan. The Fixed Rate (or contracted rate) is an electricity rate sold to you by the retailer for a specified  term. Currently Park Power is offering fixed rates on 3 year terms and you can cancel for free anytime with only 10 days notice.

What is important for consumers to understand is that they have a choice when purchasing their electricity supply and that who they choose as their retailer does not affect how the power is delivered to their home or business.  If you are looking to reduce your monthly expenses and save money on your electricity bill then consider shopping local and powering our community.