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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Do you find yourself barking commands in your home when no one is there? And it all seems perfectly normal doesn’t it? There would have been a time when people would have thought you’ve gone mad.... Read more
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Your hosts Duane Knickerbocker and Bill Small get into the opportunities some of you have been asking about. What things can you actually do yourself? And this is the weekend to do something yourself... Read more

Radio Show Archive

September 4, 2018: Do you know the signs of Solar Buyers Remorse?

Oh boy. Yes, it’s true you could be unhappy with your solar purchase once you make additional energy upgrades in the future. How much could that have cost you? Listen up as your hosts Duane Knickerbocker and Bill Small get into the common mistakes people make when going solar. It all starts with the utility company and their process for pricing your energy. Did you know there are “tiers” for consumption? Yes, they may bring you to tears but in a nutshell, the more you use the more you pay in PG&E territory. Up to double the starting cost!!! For SMUD it’s a little better but still priced according to time of use. Naturally, when you want it the most, it’s most expensive. Don’t buy solar until you’ve checked out the process on your utility’s web page. Then get the 9 steps to reducing your energy consumption before producing energy through solar. They’re available on the website below. You may find solar isn’t the option that’s best for you. Simple math is one solar panel per every 150SF of home. If that’s not the case for you, then get a plan together. Do a clipboard audit. Or even a full energy audit before you spend the dollars to minimize those crazy utility bills. Getting a healthier, more comfortable and more affordable home to operated is really quite simple Call Brower Mechanical today. 916-624-0808. On-Line at www.gosmallsolar.com.

August 31, 2018: Cooler Temps mean Cooler Utility bills, if...

Well, your hosts Duane Knickerbocker and Bill Small chill out a bit as they enjoy the cooler temps. That also leads to a lively discussion on how you can benefit in more ways than just using the AC a little less. Now really is a great time to get both the heater and the AC unit revitalized while there’s a bit of a cooling down. Then it’s only one trip, one visit to be there for and you’re set for the next heat wave and the coming cooler seasons. 


Doing it all right is the equivalent, as Bill puts it, of driving a gas guzzling vehicle to LA or a gas sipping vehicle. Which do you think is going to cost you less? And costing you less, of course, is what the show is all about. Hear the example of a home in Sacramento that went from estimates of 30+ solar panels while the home was an energy guzzler to how only 16 panels were needed once it became an energy sipper! Now that’s a huge swing. You’ll also hear about AC unit relocation opportunities and how your “anyway” money might be better spent on a longer-term investment. If you’re going to spend it on a utility bill, might it be better spent as an investment in solar or home energy upgrades? You’re going spend it anyway, right? Find out how far your “anyway” money can get you today and learn the most efficient way to save money on your energy expense. Call Brower Mechanical today. 916-624-0808. On-Line at www.gosmallsolar.com.

August 19, 2018: Does your home sip or guzzle juice?

Oh boy. Today’s show gets a little forward thinking by identifying ways that energy companies can monitor your activity for the benefit of your wallet. Information is power and in this case that power is literal! It’s your power bill, your energy bill. Knowing how you’re using energy gives you the information you need to save money. And that’s what the utility companies are hoping to accomplish with 3rd party monitoring. They’ll even pay YOU to participate! The end result is you save money and in learning how to do so, you even get paid. That’s a great deal. Good for all.

Knowing the relationship to solar panels and the size of your home, you can really save money on solar and invest it in other options to help you save both money and have a more comfortable living environment. “Just right” solar is the way to go once you’ve gone through the reduce before you produce process.

It’s one thing to save a bunch of dough but what if you also got rebates as a result? How do you know what you’re entitled to? You’ll hear the answers in today’s show.

Thermostats can range from complex to the most basic and simple. Guess what? When your house is sealed tight and operating right, do you really need all the gizmos? Is there a simpler way? Of course there is. You don’t have to have the latest greatest operating systems if your home is truly efficient. A simple on off temperature thermostat could suffice and still keep your home running right. If all you’re doing is setting and forgetting, that’s perfectly fine.

Did you know you can actually get a guarantee for your homes’ energy consumption and outcome on a monthly basis? New or existing homes, older homes, can be brought up to the most efficient levels and can rival new construction. You can be as comfortable in your existing home as the newest homes being built today. There is a way and it starts by making a call....
Reach out to Brower Mechanical. 916-624-0808. On-Line at www.gosmallsolar.com. You’ll be glad you did.

August 14, 2018: Is electricity from solar any different than from your utility company?

OK, first things first. The Brower Home Power Hour is now into the fourth year of broadcasting and is the longest currently running home energy show on the station. That’s very exciting. The reason a show would last that long is because it works for the listeners in providing them with quality content. Today’s show is no different. Your hosts Duane Knickerbocker and Bill Small get right into it to share ways to get your home into a more efficient operating system.

The first example of a real home situation demonstrates how “solar only” solutions tend to be an overload of panels and waste of money invested. Learn how getting the house “right” first, can reduce the investment in solar panels. Typical process is one panel per 100SF of home. When the home is energy efficient, that matrix changes to one panel per 181sf! You can choose to spend the extra dollars on black panels on your roof or you can take those savings and have them applied to a more comfortable living environment, less panels on the roof and all the benefits of a more efficient home. It’s your choice.

Thermostat, Freon, what’s the issue? Oh, so many more things can impact your systems’ operation. Hear from a frustrated homeowner looking for relief and the next necessary steps when Duane explains what’s happening with challenged A/C systems.

When is one type of electricity different than the other? In other words, does SMUD deliver better electricity than PG&E? NO! The only difference in the product is the pricing. Ironically, the more you buy, the more you pay. There is no discount for volume, for example with PG&E electricity. But the more you use, the higher your cost per kilowatt. If that isn’t a good enough reason to get the house more energy efficient then I have no idea what would constitute making a change.

If you’re looking for a most efficient way to save money on your energy expense, call Brower Mechanical today. Now is the time to begin saving on utility bills. 916-624-0808. On-Line at www.gosmallsolar.com.

August 5, 2018: 40 and 3. What’s the significance? You’ll appreciate the answer.

Your hosts Duane Knickerbocker and Bill Small celebrate a couple of milestones with today’s show. First, the Brower Home Power Hour celebrates 3 years running on KFBK and is now the longest running home energy show on the station. There’s a reason the show has continued to serve the community for this long and part of it is that Brower is also turning 40! 40 years of taking care of your in-home comfort, convenience and health. There’s so much in the show that you’ll learn on any given week and todays’ show does not disappoint.

Are you one of the people who has a marathon AC unit? One that runs and runs and runs as if it’s doing 100 miler? It doesn’t have to. Many times, it’s not the units’ fault that it’s running so much. It’s your house that’s leaking and allowing heat in and cool air out. Yes, that’s a problem. Fix it and save big money. How? Well that’s where you need to listen up. All of your questions are likely going to be answered by listening to the show.

You’re also going to hear a remarkable call in todays’ show that is quite incredible. This is a testament to what you can expect when you deal with Brower. And to help close the show, you can expect a solution by “The Home Energy Pro” as he does a little comfort counseling on how to make it work, short of a divorce! Getting the house right is always going to be a lot cheaper. Heck, save a marriage, cool your home with this simple solution. 

If you’re too hot, your bills are too expensive and your AC is running too long to get the house comfortable, give Brower Mechanical a call. Now is the time. 916-624-0808. On-Line at www.gosmallsolar.com. You’ll be glad you did.

July 29, 2018: Why is flexing your home’s energy not like flexing a muscle?

What’s all this consternation about your energy/utility company calling for voluntary or even mandatory flex alerts? What the heck is a flex alert anyway? It’s surely not pumping your home up for a bodybuilding contest! Find out more when your hosts Duane Knickerbocker and Bill Small discuss ways to be able to better support your utility’s concerns and help you lower those utility bills when the high heat hits.

Knocking down your utility bills requires looking at the true cost of the project. Consider the rebates, consider the general expense and then be sure to deduct the savings so you can evaluate the true cost of the project. In every case, your net cost out of pocket should go down and if it isn’t, you may want to reconsider your plan. Evaluating the true cost is so much better a way to go then simply throwing solar on the roof. The options are changing so much faster than ever before that you need a professional to help you make the assessment to your best advantage.

So, you’re committed to the changes, to lower utility bills and a cleaner, healthier and more comfortable living environment. But does it help the value of your home now that you’ve made these investments? Absolutely! And now there’s even a mechanism for the appraisal of your home to include the value of your investment. This is really important. Now your energy efficient home is going to have a greater value than your neighbor down the street without energy upgrades. It’s all in today’s show for your benefit.

For details on your “TrueCost”, call Brower Mechanical today. Now is the time to begin saving on utility bills. 916-624-0808. On-Line at www.gosmallsolar.com.

July 22, 2018: The home is perfectly comfortable... but what about the garage?

Listen to Duane Knickerbocker and Bill Small as they walk you thru the significance of understanding your utility usage. And why it’s good to know they actually have a kilowatt geek at the showroom to help you plug into the proper socket of this home energy process. One of the more common questions popping up is what about the garage? It’s hot, it’s ruining things stored in the garage, melting grease all over the place and just can’t be good for all the things stored in there. Does the garage impact the house when it’s that hot inside? Of course it does! And while the house is the highest priority, there are ways to get that garage in the whole house energy plan. The clip board audit is a great place to start, move on to the garage and know what you can do as steps along the way. Having that plan together all the way around is really about as good as it gets especially if the garage is a part of that plan. It does matter and it can make a difference in the value of your home as well as the likelihood you’ll enjoy it more. If your home is right with energy efficiency, if you take advantage of the upgrades and rebates, if you do it with professional guidance then you’ve created value, raised the appraisal and put yourself in a position where you may not even have any interest in moving!

Find out how you can make it all work by calling Brower Mechanical today at 916-624-0808 or on line at www.gosmallsolar.com.

July 15, 2018: Who’s the thermostat Scrooge in your home?

The happiest homeowners right now are those with the least expensive utility bills and most comfortable homes in the neighborhood. The most efficiently running home doesn’t have to be new either. In some cases, older homes that have gone thru the retrofitting process to maximize energy can even run less expensively than newer homes. Join your hosts, Duane Knickerbocker and Bill Small today to see what it is they’re talking about.

The big bills are on the way after the first month of high heat. Does that create friction in your house? By the way, friction creates heat so the less the better in the summer, especially when it’s with a spouse! Find out the steps that can be taken to get your house to function like a Yeti cooler. They take very little to ice to keep things cold for a long, long time. Imagine your home set up the same way. Very little AC to keep your home cool for a long, long time. Sealed tight, insulated right will get you into the ideal space where you can estimate 4.5 cents for every square foot of home you’re working to cool. Do that math and see if that’s the case for you. If not, keep listening. If it sounds too good to be true, check it out on-line with your utility company. They want you to make these changes to your home and they’re willing to help pay for it too. That’s how important it is. Really! You’ll learn how on the show. 
Plus, you can make your “anyway money” work for you with a return, not just spend it. Not sure what “anyway money” is? The answer is in the third segment of today’s program. You’ll hear real life examples of what people just like you can do and what steps they took to take advantage of their “anyway” money.

If you’re too hot, your bills are too expensive and your AC is running too long to get the house comfortable, give Brower Mechanical a call. Now is the time. 916-624-0808. On-Line at www.gosmallsolar.com. You’ll be glad you did.

July 8, 2018: Does your home offer the ultimate in comfort? It can if...

Don’t let a simple repair/replace project hold you up from investing in a complete energy upgrade. Why? Well, that’s what Duane Knickerbocker and Bill Small address in the show today. Does a home that gives you extraordinary comfort create value? Hear how the appraisal of your home with complete energy upgrades can be quantified and how that happens to show value. And this does not include solar! Could you get a bigger refi? Could you make that PMI go away? That alone might even offset the investment into the project of maximizing the efficiency of the house. Wow. How often does that happen? 
There’s so much in the show today to help you build out that energy plan. Do the comparisons year over year to identify the expense and the changes. Does a documented lower utility bill show value to the appraiser of a home’s value? YOU BET!

Once you’ve made the decision to move in the direction of maximizing your home’s efficiency, you have to explore the rebate options. $5,000, $10,000, $15,000 or more! The process is handled by, you guessed it, your friends at Brower Mechanical. And, even the simplest of options, like a whole house fan, create value. You’ll hear a great testimonial on a referral with a solution that’s hard to believe. How often do you hear a manufacturer refer a vendor? How does the process unfold? It’s quite unique. Electrification of your home is where the industry is headed. The first steps start here. Call Brower Mechanical at 916-624-0808. On-line at www.gosmallsolar.com.

July 3, 2018: How to celebrate your independence from high utility bills in 9 easy steps.

Duane Knickerbocker and Bill Small start the show with an overview of what to expect as the summer heat hits. With the hot holiday just ahead, you’ll also likely appreciate nice showers and frosty beers. Well, that happens with multi-fuel (electricity and gas) but when it comes to options, do you really care about how your water gets heated or beer chilled? Probably not. However, when it comes to cooking with electricity, most prefer that gas burner. Now there truly are options to consider. Induction cooking is faster than gas and you can hear all about it in today’s show. There are very compelling reasons to explore the options. 5 that you can get from today’s show. It’s well worth the effort. Especially if you’re in the market for a new stove or cooktop.

We all love third party references and when the local TV station does a story on maximizing efficiencies in the home as the best first step to reducing utility bills, you have to pay attention. Visit the website to see the complete news story courtesy of KOVR-TV. It will change your perspective on the first and easiest step you can take to minimize your utility expense. As you’ve heard on the show so often, it all starts with the energy audit. And then, you’ll want to take full advantage of all the rebates you can get. How best to do that? Learn from the professionals. Give Brower Mechanical a call today. 916-624-0808. On line at www.gosmallsolar.com.

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