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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Warning: Fun show ahead. Well, you’re not going to really find much out about electric guitars but you will hear about why electric cars are becoming more and more significant to our environment. And... Read more
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Home Energy and Everything That CoversIt’s hot, it’s been hot and it’s likely going to get a bit hotter yet. Now what? Your hosts Duane Knickerbocker and Bill Small enter into a fun discussion on... Read more

Radio Show Archive

June 9, 2019: Cold beer and hot showers. It’s that time. It’s that simple!

What to do in a Public Service Power Shutoff

OK…we’re into the heat of the summer. What’s important? Your hosts Duane Knickerbocker and Bill Small discuss some of the key elements of what to expect with the new PSPS, Public Service Power Shutoffs. And as you know, this weekend was a test of the system with power shutoffs due to the high winds. What can you do to prevent significant gaps in your energy usage and loss of those things you care about most? Your food. (… or your beer!) There are options.

What's the value of a whole house fan?

Whole house fans are always a hot topic of discussion. This show is no exception, providing great dialogue regarding the value the whole house fan to reduction of energy consumption. They work great for some. Not all. Are you a supporter of whole house fans? You’ll learn more by listening to this segment.

HVAC + Solar + Solar Batteries

Next, hear from a caller that’s returning to Brower for a solar system with battery backup after a complete HVAC replacement. Something must have gone right! And she’s even getting the same tech out to her home again. Over a year later! Now that’s pretty remarkable. All that and more …

Closing up the show is a quick conversation about the teeny tiny solar club. If you're not familiar, give a listen, as it's the story of homeowners who have been able to go with less solar panels to accomplish their goals and save big! Always fantastic stories to hear.

Healthy Home upgrades

Hardly a show goes by where the attic isn’t a topic of discussion. You’ll hear a great upgrade case study that was critical, as the homeowner suffered from a disease that made him sensitive to temperature swings. The outcome included huge rebates on his total investment that could have easily been overlooked by other companies. Not Brower! Everything was completed, including the rebates, by the Brower team.

Learn how you can save on your home energy system by calling Brower Mechanical (916) 624-0808 or visit them online at www.browermechanical.com.

June 2, 2019: The drip and the temp. You need both. Huh?

Celebrating the 200th Power Hour Podcast

Duane Knickerbocker and Bill Small get you started on an unusual phrase today for this special 200th Power Hour podcast! Yep, the drip and the temp. Your simple way to get quick confirmation your HVAC is working properly in the summer. You’ll have to listen to hear what to do but it’s free! And simple. Doing this simple test could save you thousands this summer.

How do you set it and forget it?

You’ve heard “set it and forget it” in several of the shows historically. Duane goes deeper into the discussion on what that all means and how it gets completed. You’ll hear the results from a 1500 sq ft home and the incredible outcome that included more than just the basics. Would $325 annual energy expense to keep your home at 75 degrees all year be reasonable? It is with this home. And that’s a great reason to listen in for this case study. And there were rebates as well! Keeping the heat out and the conditioned air in is exactly what it is you want for your home. It can be accomplished if you take the correct steps.

One stop shopping for home energy upgrades!

Is there a place that can handle the majority of the home energy upgrade process? Well, yes, we can think of one that handles the roofing, the attic, the HVAC and the process to remove and replace the solar as well. You really can one-stop shop the majority, if not all, of your home energy upgrades.

Prepare for Public Service Power Shutoffs

PSPS is upon us and home energy issues are becoming of paramount importance. You don’t want to get caught with a Public Service Power Shutoff and not be prepared. Listen to what Duane has to say today about the options you have and steps you can take to be certain your home is doing what it should be doing.

There’s so much more to learn than can be shared in the confines of the show. It’s just best to call Brower Mechanical at 916-624-0808. Or simply visit them on-line @ www.browermechanical.com. Start saving sooner.

May 26, 2019: The season of heat harkens!

Get Ready for the Heat!

It’s whole house fan time and now is when you need to seriously give it consideration before the heat of the season hits. Do you know what you need to know? Have you considered the pros and cons and have you seen the new styles of whole house fans available to you? Your hosts Duane Knickerbocker and Bill Small discuss a lot about how these new fans can have an effect you desire and a few you may not. Pay attention to the segment as it may help you make that decision. Whole house fans are great but may not be for everybody.

Don't Wait for your HVAC System to Fail. Rebates = Savings = Confidence

Moving into a topic that can help you save more money with rebates, here’s a thought: why wait on an older unit, like a water heater, to fail and miss a rebate when you can pro-actively move and replace the system and get the rebate for that upgrade. Of course you wouldn’t do this on a newer system of any sort but if you have a system you know to be older, maybe on the edge, why not take this step before it’s a panic situation? Then you aren’t in control. Take control. And it doesn’t stop with water heaters. It’s similar with HVAC units as well. Don’t wait for a catastrophic failure. When time is of the essence, you’ll want to move to get ahead of it all. Act now for a win-win-win situation. Rebates-Savings-Confidence. Know you’re set for the future.

What to do with High Energy Bills?

There’s a great call you’ll hear in this 3rd segment from someone who had an $800 utility bill…in a month! And that was enough to get his attention to act. Fortunately, he’s doing his homework and even more fortunately, he called Brower Mechanical. Hear his efforts and I’m sure you’ll find some familiar situations. His choices and logic may surprise you.

Are You Ready for a Power Shutoff?

Lastly, why does a red flag alert from the California Department of Forestry mean anything to you? How about PSPS? A Public Service Power Shutoff is what that means. No A/C. No refrigeration. No WiFi. No good from this writers’ perspective! Do you have options? What to do to support the situation if and when that happens? The answers are in the last segment of this show and you’ll pay attention if you’re in one of the fire prone areas likely to have power shutoffs.

If any of today’s information piques your interest, do something give Brower Mechanical a call at 916-624-0808 or visit on-line at www.Browermechanical.com.

And finally, with the utmost respect and sincere appreciation, the entire Brower Mechanical team recognizes the sacrifices given and honors those who gave their lives for our country this Memorial Day weekend.

May 19, 2019: A guarantee on your energy bill? C’mon...

Your hosts Duane Knickerbocker and Bill Small open on a really high note today as Duane shares the recognition by PG&E for their home performance success. It’s all about saving energy and Brower Mechanical is a leader in the process.

All about Whole House Fans

The shift from home energy successes to whole house fans is one not to be missed. This is one of the best seasons to consider a whole house fan but know the value and the challenges they can present. And yes, you can have Brower give you a guarantee on your utility bill for the foreseeable future. How about that if you’re on a fixed income? It’s all in a jam packed segment.

Oversizing A/C units

Why do so many builders and HVAC firms do it? You’ll learn more when you listen but the bottom line on this is that the efficiency of your home, not the A/C unit, is what’s important. 62% is one of the low points in efficiency which means you’re wasting 38% of that cooling. How could that be? Just a couple of simple reasons. But don’t rush out and buy a new A/C unit. Don’t oversize. Get things right. Your air conditioning unit needs to run to reach its’ most efficient operation. You’ll use less energy with a smaller system running longer than a bigger system running less. Now that’s a concept that’s not familiar. Learn more when you listen to the discussion.

How to finance energy upgrades?

Did you know there are ways to help you finance the energy upgrades you’re looking for? And that you can also use these same opportunities for commercial use as well? Like multifamily dwellings. Hear what Derek from Ygrene has to say and how you’ll not even need to do a credit app to make it happen!

So what the heck is PSPS?

You’ll hear that acronym in home energy circles more and more but it means Public Service Power Shutoff. And that is a clear description that you’re not going to have power. Period. One hour or maybe even up to one week. Hear the guys discuss variations in proper sizing for A/C and solar installations and how they correlate to the correct size of battery system for backup… or generators, or even other options. You may want to consider these if you live in an area with high likelihood of PSPS activity. This is key information and the one place to get it all remains the same.

Call Brower Mechanical at 916-624-0808 or contact us on line at www.browermechanical.com.

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.

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