Saturday, December 15, 2012

Best Way to Finance a Commercial Solar Energy Project

This article examines one of the best choices for businesses when financing a solar energy project.

Many industries are discovering the benefits of installing solar power systems to save money on energy while offering protection to our fragile environment. Solar power has benefitted schools, government and municipal clients, corporations, water districts, housing developments and commercial real estate endeavors, utilities and more. Since switching to a solar powered energy represents a large capital outlay for most businesses, it is important to choose a financing vehicle that allows your business to maximize incentives and rebates while protecting resources and managing risk. Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and integrated financing represents one of the best ways to do this.

What is a Power Purchase Agreement?

Technically, a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) is a contract that defines terms of sale of electricity between a buyer and a seller.  These can last anywhere from five to 20 years and they are subject to regulation as the state and federal level depending on the project site and the nature of the PPA.  In the case of solar power, the provider of the PPA absorbs the costs associated with the project, such as design, construction, O&M and more.  Customers can watch their utility bills fall immediately since they are purchasing clean energy as a substitute for on-the-grid power. The provider receives any rebates and tax incentives associated with the production of clean energy, but these savings are passed on to the customer in the form of lowered bills.

Why is an Integrated PPA the Best Choice?

An integrated PPA occurs when the PPA provider and installer are one and the same. In a standard PPA, the provider is looking to increase return on investment, but the installer is also interested in lowering the costs of design, supply and project build costs.  If the installer and the provider are the same, their interests are joined to provide the highest quality project that will produce an appropriate return on investment. 

What benefits can an integrated PPA offer your business?

Besides the obvious energy savings, an integrated PPA offers commercial businesses significant savings over traditional financing options.  For one thing, they will not experience any increase in energy rates over the life of the project, despite predicted hikes in power costs due to increasing global growth and environmental regulation. As an investment, it is a win-win: if the project does not perform according to predictions, the onus falls upon the PPA provider to absorb the cost of failure. There are no operation or maintenance costs as these are paid for by the PPA provider and not having to finance the cost of a megawatt solar power project up front allows the business owner to use his capital for other investments.  Finally, making the switch to clean energy provides a business with a plethora of marketing tools that can help generate positive PR for his business.

Borrego Solar is a commercial solar power installer in the United States. Please visit their website at

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Varieties of Children’s Toys and Their Benefits

There are so many different purposes for having and utilizing children’s toys. The whole concept is to provide entertainment for the little ones. However, most parents are looking for educational toys that will teach as well as entertain. This is why many companies have created visual, audio, and strategic styles that can fulfill any child’s need.

One of the most popular toys for kids is typically doll related. Action figures are usually a boy’s preference while dolls and babies are perfect for a little girl. And since times have changed and the world has become technologically advanced; these particular children’s toys now offer different features and benefits.

For instance; an action figure can speak while a baby doll will cry. It’s an instant way of a child relating themselves to their toys. Nowadays; there are even small computers, cell phones, and PDA devices that kids can play with to relate to their parents. This explains the high demand for more technology based toys for kids.

Baby’s toys are actually one of the most educational sold. This is due to the rapid intellectual advancement that children endure during infancy lasting through their toddler years. This also explains why most baby and children’s toys have altering lights and sounds making it entertaining for a short attention span. Let’s face it; children need multiple toys like this in order to continue to be thoroughly entertained. Luckily, there are many of these educational toys that are able to teach words, animal sounds, and counting for those younger ages.

In regards to the older kids that need more than flashing lights and sirens; there are now video games that can keep them visually entertained while enhancing motor skills. Technology has really made a difference in toys making it one of the most sought out items during the holidays. Besides, if a parent is able to mix an education game along with an entertaining one; then it can please everyone in the household. These are just a few benefits that a variety of children’s toys can offer.

Do you know the benefits of your childrens toys?

Surviving the Financial Crisis

Financial experts and analysts all point to an impending financial crisis by 2013. While most experts want us to realize that this event is indeed coming and we cannot avoid its outcome, some are quite concerned what will actually happen to regular folks like you and me. How do regular people prepare in surviving the financial crisis when 2013 is just several days away? There is still hope; you can survive any crisis when you keep this checklist in mind:

1.       Reduce your debt – whenever you have debt, someone else controls your financial future: the lending company, the bank or a finance company actually have their hands around your neck. As early as today, you need to plan on important ways to stop accumulating more debt as well as plans to reduce your current debt. Overpay mortgages monthly and you will find an extra couple of months off your debt or how about consolidating your loans so you can take care of paying them in a more efficient manner. By consolidating all your loans in one due date you will decrease the risk of missing your payments. You may also use automatic debit from your bank account so you will never have to worry about missed payments in the future.

2.       Simplify your life choices – learn how to live simply so you will never accumulate more debt and you will also be able to save. Instead of eating out or shopping you can cut down on these activities so you can save money. Switch to more productive and FREE hobbies like reading, gardening or taking your dog for a walk.

3.       Think of ways to reduce your family’s expenses – when the impending financial collapse happens, you and your family will be able to cope faster if you start living more simply. Cut down on cable costs and just subscribe to basic TV. Car pool or plan your trips to the store so you can save gas and energy as well. You can also indulge the family in eating simpler but more nutritious meals; choose home grown vegetables and fruits to replace eating out or eating takeaways. Simple choices like this will be able to help your family cut down on everyone’s budget.

4.       Work security – are you an employee? If you are, then it’s time to question your work security. When the looming financial collapse happens, the least tenured workers will be the ones to go first and if you are the least experienced in your department then start creating plan B today. You can start thinking of a home based job that can help augment the family’s needs or how about switching careers so you can get a higher pay and better security in your work. You may also decide to forgo additional expenses until you feel that you have better security in your current job. There’s nothing wrong with being prepared and you must share this vision to all your family, friends and neighbors to start the change in everyone today before it’s too late.

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U.S. Financial Collapse in 2013

What do economist Max Keiser and investor Peter Schiff have in common besides keeping a keen eye on the US economy? Both predicted a possible US financial collapse by the year 2013 which will last for several years in the future. At this day and age when everything is a financial struggle there is somehow a huge probability that this impending financial collapse could happen. Both want us to notice the signs all around us. The two financial experts want each of us to prepare and to take this short amount of time to check how far we all are in preparing for our personal and family’s future.

Max Keiser is also a television show host and has been studying and reporting on local and international economy. He has made predictions regarding the downfall of the country’s economic system through the use of several mathematical laws. Even the Congressional Budget Office cited his prediction in August 2012 as Keiser described a sort of “fiscal tightening”. He explained in August that the possible collapse could happen anytime between August to April. To a regular guy, Keiser is talking all mumbo jumbo but he said that he simply looks at the local and global economy as a systems analyst would look at any problem; it’s clear that the US is headed for a huge upset and everyone should pay heed.

Peter Schiff on the other hand is predicting a US dollar and bond crises that will happen over the next two years. He is quick to blame the movement of bond markets where the current trend is excessively low. He describes the upcoming collapse to surpass the 2008-2009 financial crises. Schiff who also runs Euro Pacific Capital, further mentions that recent behavior or the bond market is already supporting his claims; he expects a terrible crash over the next two to three years due to bond market difficulties and US dollar depreciation. This situation worsens as the government’s debt increases. Schiff ends his predictions with a simple advice and that is to start investing as soon as you can.

It’s just days before 2013 and how far are we really into preparing for this impending financial collapse? Have we considered investing? How far you in your mortgage payments? Have you saved for your son’s college? How secure is your current job? Next year could be a frightening year for all of us if this financial collapse should happen. And as Keiser mentions in one of his shows: “There is no avoiding the collapse. There is no remedy for the collapse.”

The future looks grim with civil unrest and possible civil war looming in the horizon. Federal laws to deploy military troops in the case of an economic collapse will be enacted with the devastated economy looking very hard to resuscitate. Understanding the possible root cause of the problem is Shiff’s advice; learning all about the cause of previous economic collapses will help us understand the “big one” that is about to come very soon.

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