Brower Power Hour Radio Show Archive

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About the Show

Brower Home Power Hour: Formerly the CHERP Energy Wise Forum, Brower Mechanical has now recrafted the program to further promote the process of home energy optimization thru home energy audits, insulation, windows, solar and more. Continuing the relationship with the non-profit Community Home Energy Retrofit Project (CHERP)monthly seminars are designed to provide access to virtually free home energy assessments ($300+ value!)that can then lead to maximizing government and utility rebates and incentives to both reduce expense and increase home values. An incredibly informative show to help anyone considering solar or home energy upgrades make the best investment decision utilizing the small solar process by reducing before producing.

Presented in Part by: Ygrene Home Improvement Financing

Ygrene Home Improvement Financing
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two children kissing and hugging their mother
So you’ve heard the abbreviation before. B-T-U. What’s that mean anyhow and how does it tie into Mother’s day? Well, a BTU is a British Thermal Unit and it’s a gauge of heat. And what’s that got to... Read more
man worried and frustrated over utility bills
When it comes to energy, efficiency is everything and efficiency is what we’re all about. That’s why you’ll hear your hosts Duane Knickerbocker and Bill Small talking about the recognition Brower... Read more

Radio Show Archive

May 12, 2019: BTU’s and hugs for Mom!

So you’ve heard the abbreviation before. B-T-U. What’s that mean anyhow and how does it tie into Mother’s day? Well, a BTU is a British Thermal Unit and it’s a gauge of heat. And what’s that got to do with Mother’s day? The more people in the house the higher the energy released in the room and the greater the heat. (I know… it’s a stretch!) So your hosts Duane Knickerbocker and Bill Small want to get into the value of keeping Mom cool. OK, she may already be “cool” but we’re talking comfortable cool!

You know Mom is special and you want to be able to get her something special for a gift on her day today. So don’t go wasting energy on your home. Spend it on a great gift for Mom. The best way to be able to do that is to reduce the expense of your home energy. How’s that for a great analogy to making Mom happy? But seriously, there is a great deal of energy wasted every day. You’re going to hear an incredible story of efficiencies and air conditioning. If your car was supposed to be getting 20 miles to the gallon and was running at 59% efficiency, that would mean you’re only getting 12 miles to the gallon! The majority of homes that go thru a clipboard audit are producing energy at about that efficiency. 59% of the 100% that’s ideal. Ouch! Simple math for everyone, I hope. Don’t let that be the case with your home. Get that 40% inefficiency back and take advantage of that money…for Mom of course. Get your home from a D- and upgrade to an A+ by making that call for a clipboard audit.

Calling the fire department for your hot water tank? That’s what happened in today’s callers’ inquiry. It blew! And that meant no water. A very serious problem but turned out to have an excellent outcome. When you have a problem, Brower Mechanical can come to the rescue. This is also great time for you to take the opportunity and check your water heater. Just a short visual to be sure you’re OK and not be on the receiving end of any surprises. 

This is important so be sure to listen up when you’re on the podcast. Before it gets too hot, you may want to start practicing your home energy usage to get used to the “Time of use” billing that SMUD introduces beginning in June. One thing you don’t want to find is that you’re a “Superuser” or some of biggest bills the utility sees from customers. Don’t be that person! Have somebody, anybody you trust, get out to the house and see what you can do to minimize the waste in your homes’ energy systems. Higher bills sap your after-tax income. Get things fixed and start saving money sooner than later. Enjoy Mother’s day today and then call Brower Mechanical @ 916-624-0808, or visit online at www.browermechanical.com.
Start saving for Mom next year... today!

May 5, 2019: Utility bills giving you gas? Get it out and electrify!

When it comes to energy, efficiency is everything and efficiency is what we’re all about. That’s why you’ll hear your hosts Duane Knickerbocker and Bill Small talking about the recognition Brower Mechanical has been receiving as the best in the trade at home energy efficiency by P,G &E. In other words, the delta from your prior energy consumption before a home energy upgrade and the energy consumption after your upgrade, was the greatest on those homes upgraded by Brower Mechanical. That’s a long way to say that after 40 years in business, these guys know what they’re doing.

It’s no secret, your energy bills are most likely rising and are likely to continue rising in the future. If this is a concern of yours, you’ll want to listen closely to better understand your options to reduce your home’s energy consumption. You can be in control of your energy consumption and know exactly what your bill is going to be. Guaranteed! Yes, Brower Mechanical will guarantee your power consumption to be the same for the duration of the solar on your roof. How about that! Stable utility bills for 20 years.

So what are “cool roofs” anyway? Listen as Kathy calls in and asks questions about what she knows and wants to know about “cool roofs” for her home. You’ll get a great overview of what these cool roofs can do for the excess heat in your home. You’ll really appreciate how Neal from Brower shares his knowledge and support with the caller.

Why do the attics continually represent the most significant opportunity you have to improve your homes’ energy efficiency? This is a drum the guys beat often but there are a few tips in this closing discussion today that you’ll appreciate it. Especially if you’re like most and haven’t done anything in that part of the house. As always, when you have questions, give Brower Mechanical a call @ 916-624-0808, online at www.browermechanical.com.

April 28, 2019: Triple AAA or 9 volt, we know our batteries. What will you use to run your home?

Hey, did your A/C kick on this week? If so, you may need an energy upgrade. It’s generally not really that hot yet all day long or at night, so if your home is correctly insulated and energy efficient, the recent daytime heat should not have caused the A/C to turn on. Listen to Duane Knickerbocker and Bill Small share the steps necessary to get there. You know cooling the home means spending money. Not needing that cooling means the opposite. Yes! Savings. Money in your pocket and that feels good for most of us.

Electrification is here. That means things are changing and it’s likely your home is going to be fully electric at some point in time. It’s inevitable. Solar has changed the landscape of home energy and right behind that are batteries. Hear a great discussion of how the next step, the natural evolution of electrification, is taking place and what that means to you, your home’s energy efficiency and ultimately, your energy bill. The case studies are incredible.

Wondering how to finance those next energy upgrades? Derek from Ygrene goes a little deeper today into the mechanics and resources to help you build that bridge between product and payment. It really can’t get any simpler, quicker or more convenient. We think you’ll agree.

Quiet, efficient and healthy. That’s how your home should be. What is the number one step to take? If you’re a regular listener, you know. If not, listen up. It’s the single most important element to home energy upgrades. That means it’s the number one change to make to save the most money. This is not complicated. Want to know the reality of what you’ll notice? The answers are in the show.

Ready to act? Give Brower Mechanical a call @ 916-624-0808.

April 21, 2019: Is all this talk about electrification charging you up like an Energizer Easter bunny?

Your hosts Duane Knickerbocker and Bill Small are really amped for todays show. You’re going to learn a lot about your options when it comes to keeping the power on in your home when the power in your neighborhood is out. Yes, there’s a lot of value in considering battery backups. And you’ll never even see them, like a well-hidden Easter egg. And yes, they come with rebates you didn’t’ even realize existed. Yes, they are now affordable.

One of the benefits of the Brower Home Power Hour is really learning about the benefits and options you have when considering a home energy upgrade. You’ll hear real life case studies that could only come from someone who has been in the business for over 40 years. This segment gives you one of those examples of a customer who saved big on energy upgrades without having to spend a penny more than they were already spending. Call it “anyway” money in your Easter basket. You would have been spending it anyway, right? The benefits are immense.

Now here’s a way that you can get plugged into some great choices. Like deciding between the jelly beans or peanut M&M’s. Evaluate what your best options are with a plan and then build it out to see how you are in control with nothing extra out of pocket than what you’re already used to. It’s like sweet treats for free! You control your own inflation.

In another case study, you’ll hear how the financed solar system will lock in the payments to keep your payment predictable and not change for the life of the system. That makes even the Energizer bunny look tired. You’re locking in your electricity bill for about the next 20 years. How many things can you say for certain will be the same 20 years from now? That’s an incredible feeling especially if you’re on a fixed income. Just think about that. Your friends and neighbors will all be moaning and groaning about the utility expense increase when all you’ll be doing is smiling and eating candy. Learn more by giving Brower Mechanical a call at 916-624-0808.

April 17, 2019: Small Solar = Bigger Value?

What’s that house of yours worth? Same as the guy down the street with a similar floorplan? Hmmm. Maybe not! Listen today as your hosts Duane Knickerbocker and Bill Small discuss how real estate professionals look at homes with small solar. Hint: done right, they’re worth more.

Things to benefit your home energy expense can be tracked. They can be documented. They can give you a road map to where you want to be once you know your objectives. Did you know 2019 is the last year of the full 30% solar tax credit? We’re four months into the new year. You’re still thinking of putting it off? The end of the year is going to be here before you know it. Don’t wait! Start that process now. It’s worth every penny of it.

Now every so often, a very unique call comes in that you really just have to shake your head at. Today’s caller has a situation with her water heating system in an apartment complex that code enforcement has stepped in to request to fix. You’ll never believe what the problem is but you’ll appreciate how Brower steps up to help.

Wrapping up today’s show, you’ll hear about a customer who is using his energy savings dollars to apply toward his mortgage, reducing the life of it by 3 years and over $18,000 in savings! And it’s not a lot of money he pays forward. Hear what it is, how he’s disciplined about it and what the reality of it is like. And not to get too terribly complicated, this is an effortless way to reduce a mortgage. To find out how you can not only live more comfortably and possibly reduce your mortgage expense, give Brower Mechanical a call. 916-624-0808, online at www.gosmallsolar.com. The benefits are all yours.

April 7, 2019: Does your home have a sticker on it labeled “organic”?

Duane Knickerbocker and Bill Small take you on a discussion today that opens with the health of your home. Like great fruit, vegetables and meats, can you say it’s “organic”? What does that even mean anyway? The answers come in a variety of choices. Just like fruits and vegetables. And they can be tailored to fit your personal home energy diet just like your body’s needs.

Funny how the theme of todays show actually has a strong solution in the sun. Yup, just like fruits and vegetables. Now, they may enjoy heat a little more than you do but the sun can do something different for the human than it does for plants. Like cool. Yes. Cool. Using solar to cool your home is one of the best ways to minimize your expense with the installation of small solar. And to insure your home is using its’ energy properly, you need to maximize the performance of the system…before you do anything else! Think of it like pruning your plants or trees. You have to help them draw from the resources with maximum efficiency. Hey, your home is no different! Analogies aside, you do need to get your home right to save the most money on your utility bill. That’s why the energy assessment is so critical.

SMUD and PG&E rebates mean everything in your home energy upgrades…but only if you get the attic to do what it needs to do in order to keep the heating/cooling in the home. Rather than buy a unit that is big enough to handle all the flaws in the home, get the home right and you can downsize on the equipment. And, that’s how you get your utility company to give you the biggest rebate. I guess that would be like harvesting the most fruit from the land, or getting the most heating/cooling from the equipment. Hey, get the most out of your energy crop. You’ll find so much more when you actually get there.

We would be remiss if we didn’t touch on the reality approaching just around the corner. Tax time is here and you need to be sure you’ve got all your documents in order. Be sure your energy upgrades are totally accounted for, do you have any tax credits coming? Did your vendor handle everything for you? Brower does. But most importantly, do you have everything you need? And if last year wasn’t the year, is this the year? Get your home right. Reap the rewards of your hard work with a great harvest of efficiency. Save money and maybe save on taxes too. 

Call Brower Mechanical at 916-624-0808, online at www.gosmallsolar.com.

April 4, 2019: Is your home energy budget set for summer?

You’ve heard it. You know it’s coming. The heat will eventually be here and it’s going to be different this year. Your hosts Duane Knickerbocker and Bill Small get into the discussion of options for you to consider to help minimize the impact of the changes you’re sure to see with SMUD’s time of use cost and PG&E’s rate increases. Don’t let these become surprises. They could cripple your budget if you’re not paying attention. There are options, however, and to get the straight scoop, listen in. Are you on the right rate program? How do you know? Talk with an expert, that’s how. It’s a wonderful discussion of what to expect and even better, what to do!

Later in the show, listen to a very astute caller asking if rebates can be stacked in the same year, is there a way that an electric car and home energy upgrades can be combined and taking it so far as to consider it in his business as well! All with one company to handle everything? I’ll bet you can guess the answer to might be perfect to help with everything! You’ve heard of “Power Purchase Agreements”… Spot on.

To close out today’s show, learn how the benefits of a wet winter can wreak havoc on your health. Yes. Allergies are going to be a nightmare if you don’t take precautions and did you know, there are steps you can take to help your home be more healthy, allergy resistant and generally more comfortable to live in! It’s all in today’s show and if you need to take action, do it! Call Brower Mechanical at 916-624-0808, on line at www.gosmallsolar.com.

March 24, 2019: Positive Cash Flow from home energy upgrades? Oh yeah…

40 years ago a company called Brower Mechanical started and wow, what a 40 year run! You can not believe the changes in technology that have occurred over the past 40 years. Your hosts Duane Knickerbocker and Bill Small talk about some of the key changes they've seen over the course of the years and how they have impacted your home energy activity. Even as specifically as the best way to time your highest energy consumption for the most efficient usage.


In this segment of the show, Derek from Ygrene really takes the lead from Duane on the literal terms for financing and how it ties together. The novelty of the relationship with the contractor like Brower makes the process incredibly seamless and fully transparent and it can be done right at the kitchen table in real time at the point you choose to make the decision. There is no need for credit history. This is about equity in the home. Ygrene is the ultimate win win all around and the driver to help you get to a positive cash flow situation with your home energy upgrades. Listen in and see how that becomes possible.


Finally, closing the show is a discussion taking us into the warmer seasons and the values of whole house fans. Good and bad... they're not for everybody and if you're thinking about one, this is a great segment to listen to. This will get you started heading in the right direction.

As always, with every show, education is everything. If you want to learn more, head this way...


Call Brower Mechanical at 916-624-0808 or visit them online at www.gosmallsolar.com. There's never been a better time.

March 17, 2019: Home energy done right is truly a Savin’ o’ the green!

Your hosts Duane Knickerbocker and Bill Small start it all with comments on cabbage. Not with corned beef but still green. As in your money! And you’re going to love what you hear. Your friends will be green with envy. You’re going green and helping the environment. Yes, you’re saving green too and that’s what the show is really all about, every week!

Starting strong with a case study today is particularly important as the temperature and dust in this home was becoming detrimental to a pre-existing illness the homeowner had. It was critical to get it done right and done right the first time. The homeowner was very clear about that. And did it work? You have to listen for the unbelievable outcome. With rebates and energy savings and forward looking options, it’s a very good story. And that “green”? Oh yeah, less of it going out with the energy upgrades for sure.

Todays call is quite unique in that the caller is looking for a whole house fan to get the kitchen cooking smell and smoke out of the home. Now that’s either a very savvy chef or a terrible cook burning things too often. What you’ll find out though is that maybe it’s not really a whole house fan that this customer needs. There may be options but that’s more a problem with the current ventilation than requiring a whole house fan. And that’s why you want a home energy company coming in to assess your situation. If you want a whole house fan for the right reasons, they’ll steer you in that direction. Not simply to get the fan in the house regardless of the reason. And seriously, a whole house fan isn’t really the right way to go to stop your smoke detector from going off when you cook. It’s all about trust.

Finally, closing out the show, is a discussion taking us into the warmer seasons and the values of whole house fans. Good and bad… they’re not for everybody and if you’re thinking about one, this is a great segment to listen to. This will get you started heading in the right direction. 
As always, with every show, education is everything. If you want to learn more, head this way…
Call Brower Mechanical at 916-624-0808 or visit them online at www.gosmallsolar.com. There’s never been a better time.

March 10, 2019: Spring ahead….uh oh, that means high utility bills are right around the corner.

Your hosts, Duane Knickerbocker and Bill Small open with a little birthday celebration as the company turns 40. And what a great run it’s been with so much interest in the future ahead, especially in the essence of what home energy is really about. Isn’t it really all about living better? A more comfortable home really is the expectation of living better. That’s what you want when you invest in home energy upgrades after all.

The show continues to a discussion of big money rebates, how it all happens, how simple it is and the value of it all. The example of rebates demonstrates the significance of it all with a real life story of a $25000 upgrade that yields dramatic energy use reductions AND a $10,000 rebate. That’s 40% reduction. You’ll also hear how you can trade your energy bill for a solar payment and own your power in a shorter period of time. This is incredible.

Today, you’ll hear from a caller looking for an emergency hot water situation and Brower comes to the rescue with a same day appointment…and a wealth of knowledge on how to best get the project done in the most efficient way. That’s what 40 years of experience can show you.

Closing the show out is a brief discussion of tax credits on solar, choices on solar and considerations for what may be rolling power outages going forward. They’re coming this summer and you’ll want to know you have options. As always you can reach the Brower team for more information at 916-624-0808 or visit them online at www.gosmallsolar.com.

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