What's new with solar power at Envinity, in Centre County, and beyond. 

 
 
 
 
 

Top 5 Cool Things from Allegheny SolarFest 2019

June 27, 2019

This past weekend our very own Andy Porter got to participate in Allegheny Solar Fest 2019 , a 100% solar-powered event to celebrate the sun and help Allegheny residents learn about how to go solar.

Envinity joined this awesome event and found the Top 5 things you should know for next year:

1. Electric Vehicle Car Show: Learn what models are out there and how they compare to other vehicles on the market.

2. Food trucks: Who doesn't love a tasty treat and sampling local fare?

3. Live music and information on solar, energy efficiency, efficient solar home design, community solar projects

4. Discussion on ways to strengthen Pennsylvania’s renewable energy laws with State Representative Dan Frankel and State Senator Jay Costa

5. Andy was giving out 100% solar powered Kombucha from Salud Kombucha he makes on Love Farm in Penns Valley, PA

Do you have questions about going solar? Andy himself lives off-grid on a farm as a prime example of how solar panels and battery storage systems can power a sustainable lifestyle. Give him a call at 814.231.3927 or shoot him an email at solar@envinity.com. He'd love to grab a glass of kombucha and explain more about what solar can do for you.

April is Earth Month: Pennsylvania Joins the U.S. Climate Alliance

April 30, 2019

Tip #2 We Have the Power

As a green-focused company who's products help our clients live in a healthier, more cost-effective environment, we're thrilled to see our state is taking action.

The Pennsylvania Climate Action Plan 2018 was release with recommendations on how citizens, businesses, and government leaders can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to a changing climate. Which method caught our eye?

Increasing renewable energy , incentivizing energy efficient building, and increasing the use of electric vehicles which would all lead to an estimated 21% reduction by 2025 are all legislative actions that support the mission of Envinity and the services we strive to make more accessible so every member of our community can make a difference. Whether it's solar panels for your home or business, adding more insulation to your home, or tapping your facility manager on the shoulder at a larger commercial facility for an energy audit, we can help!

“We’ve seen lately even more evidence that there is a need for leadership on climate change. For that reason, Pennsylvania will join the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of 24 governors, representing over half of the U.S. population to work to implement policies that uphold the commitments our nation made in the Paris Agreement,” said Governor Wolf. “With the federal government turning its back on science and the environment, I am proud to join with states that are leading the way towards new climate solutions, and taking concrete actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. States like Pennsylvania must take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect our communities, economies, infrastructures, and environments from the risks of a warming climate.”

Read More on how Pennsylvania is taking steps on the state level to mitigate climate change HERE

April is Earth Month: Envini-Tip #1

March 29, 2019

Tip #1 You Have the Power

 

The number one question we get as energy experts is, "How can I save money going green"?

 As a solar company with more than 14 years of experience in solar technology, we’d be crazy not include on this list a suggestion to install a home solar system. Not only can you enjoy lower electric bills, solar will help protect you from utility rate increases, and your home will likely have a higher resale value. And if you purchase your solar system before the end of this year, you can qualify for a 30 percent federal solar investment tax credit.

As the sunshine returns to PA, enjoy a photo from one of our latest projects here in Centre County. This project is the perfect blend of classic cabin-chic with a modern focus. Read more about how to save money and be more "green" HERE

Polar Vortex 2019: What did it tell you about your home?

February 01, 2019

The Polar Vortex probably was a great eye-opener for you this season for how well insulated your home is. What did you learn this week?

Before Envinity usually installs Solar Panels, Step 1 is the Energy Audit as the cornerstone of our business. Why not look at the bigger picture of energy efficiency as you focus on such a great project and stretch your dollars as far as they go for the best benefit? The bottom line is, you can reduce the amount of panels you need to offset your energy usage if you're using less energy, right? If you focus on all-inclusive energy efficiency projects like insulation, that energy you're paying for won't drift right out the door.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, homeowners can shave 15 percent off heating and cooling bills on average by properly sealing their homes!

 

Our Energy Audits cost $500

- Include  $100 worth of energy efficiency upgrades 

- $250 rebate from West Penn Energy (regional location and provider limits apply).

= True Cost $150

This visit results in a detailed report showing your current energy load and how far Envinity thinks they can take you with insulation, sealing, HVAC installs or commissioning projects in partnership with your proposed solar project. Some of the suggestions are easily done over a weekend for a DIY project.

The Natural Resources Defense Council reported that improving energy efficiency in homes is the single-largest intervention in cutting greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. By 2050, residential efficiency could offset 550 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year.

What can YOU do TODAY?

1. Reserve your Energy Audit today: HERE

2. Prioritize the energy projects in your Energy Audit Report based on the payoff

3. Start saving money and minimizing your risk during chilly PA winters

*(Ask us about our State College Young Professional Passport Member Discount)

First Statewide Goal to Reduce Carbon Pollution in Pennsylvania

January 08, 2019

The GreenGov Council will serve as a central coordinating body to promote the implementation of the executive order and the achievement of the following state agency performance goals:

  • Reduce overall energy consumption by 3 percent per year, and 21 percent by 2025, as compared to 2017 levels.

  • Replace 25 percent of the state passenger car fleet with battery electric and plug-in electric hybrid cars by 2025.

  • Procure renewable energy to offset at least 40 percent of the commonwealth’s annual electricity use.

Solar is going to play a huge role in this initiative and on top of that, 2019 is the last year for the 30% tax credit. Don't worry, there will still be federal tax credits into 2020 but they will be slightly reduced.

“In the absence of leadership from the federal government, states and cities are stepping up and doing their part to reduce emissions,” said Governor Wolf. “Today I am proud to declare the commonwealth’s intention to address climate change, the most critical environmental threat facing the world.”

Read more here: goo.gl/uwchD4

Envinity on the Solar Array Project at Centre County Prison

December 06, 2018

Envinity will be bidding on the Centre County Prison Solar proposal. This project aims to reduce the overall coast of energy to Centre County Government and its tax-payers with a solar install approach that is sustainable, local, and has correctional work-release potential.

We're proud to work towards a Centre County initiative that focuses on renewable energy solutions with a great pay-back. More details coming soon!

“I am pleased to see us moving forward with this. Solar, at this point, is what is called grid parity, so it costs exactly the same to produce a megawatt of electricity with solar than it does with fossil fuels. Obviously with solar, you are fixing your costs. Who knows what coal, oil, natural gas are going to cost 10 years from now, but we are going to know to the penny what that solar array will cost us 10 years from now,” said county commissioner Mark Higgins.

WATCH THE VIDEO

The Allegheny County Solar Co-op has selected State College-based company Envinity to install solar panels for the 41-participant group.

October 25, 2018

Co-op participants selected Envinity through a competitive bidding process over three other firms. This selection played a part in the firm’s decision to open a new Pittsburgh office in January 2019, bringing new jobs to Allegheny County.

“Envinity is honored to be chosen as the solar installer for the Solar United Neighbors Allegheny County Co-op,” said Andy Porter of Envinity. “We will work diligently to provide all of the participants with a positive ‘going solar’ experience. We appreciate this opportunity to help contribute to a sustainable energy future for Allegheny County. We also want to express our gratitude to Solar United Neighbors for all their amazing efforts to promote solar power. The collective strength of their cooperative model provides homeowners with a wonderful resource that gives them peace of mind and helps them to achieve their goals of going solar.”

When Envinity opens its new Pittsburgh office, it plans to hire additional solar installers, designers, and sales team members. It also plans to establish a solar training program to help area residents learn the skills needed for a career in the solar industry, and to play an active role in promoting a solar-powered future for Pennsylvania.

Learn more here.

Congratulations to Norm Horn!

August 03, 2018

Congratulations to Norm Horn for getting his Certified Passive House Tradesperson certificate this month.

"Becoming a Passive House Institute CPHT certifies that I have the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully execute details related to building envelope and building systems that will result in significantly reduced energy demands, and increased comfort for a building's occupants. Further, it’s one step closer to my goal of becoming a Certified Passive House Consultant and our company’s goal of establishing Passive House methods as our standard of building. " - Norm Horn

Learn more about how the Envinity team can uniquely integrate these standards into your dream design: info@envinity.com

Envinity + PVCA = Energy Savings and Environmental Benefit

July 18, 2018

We're Excited to Announce...

Envinity has partnered with the Penns Valley Conservation Association to provide special discounts to PVCA members! In addition to the discount, Envinity will also make a donation for each Energy Audit or Solar System Installation!

Solar Installations:
-Free Solar Consultation
-$100 off per kW system installed (Avg system size 5-10 kW)
-Envinity will donate up to $1000 per solar installation to the PVCA

Energy Audits:
-$50 discount on a Residential Energy Audit
-$250 rebate from First Energy
-Envinity will donate $50 to PVCA for each energy audit completed
(What does an Energy Audit Entail? Learn more here!)

 

Not a member? That's ok, join today at pennsvalley.net!

NABCEP Certified!

May 24, 2018

The people who install a solar energy system on your home or business are as important to its success as the system you invest in.

We'd like to congratulate Asa Myers for passing his NABCEP exam this month! 

What is NABCEP? The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners. NABCEP wrote the book on standards for renewable energy installation and efficiency. While this certification requires OSHA 10 , Asa has also completed his OSHA 30 as well as vigorous design and installation training.

Solar Credits Could be on the Rise!

May 02, 2018

Great news last week for PA Solar!

You could see your Solar Credits value rise in the next few years!

Invest in a model to keep your SRECs up front so you will benefit later.

Out of state solar projects will no longer receive solar production tax credits (SRECs). This was a terrible law that was unique to PA and essentially subsidized out of state solar projects with PA tax dollars and sent jobs out of the state.

Now solar owners will likely see a greater value for their Solar Credits helping PA Solar compete with MD, and NY.

CALL US TODAY TO LEARN MORE: 814-231-3927 ext 7026

Envinity Can Help You Install Your Electric Vehicle Charging Station!

March 28, 2018

Alternatives to traditional combustion vehicles have progressed rapidly in the last few years; from Hybrids, to Hybrid-Electric Vehicles (HEVS), to Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs), and now finally to completely Electric Vehicles (EVs). EVs are gaining popularity, with several established car brands offering promising EV options to consumers. EVs can now travel greater distances, and perform much better as compared to their predecessors.

 

Need an Electric Vehicle Charging Station? Envinity Can Help with That!

 

If you’re thinking about purchasing an EV, then your next question may be “How am I going to charge it”? Envinity can help you with any and all electric vehicle charging questions!

 

Two Envinity employees recently took several courses through Tesla, including “Charging Fundamentals”, “Tesla Fundamentals for Certified Installers”, and “Home Charging Installation Training”. These courses enable our staff to install Tesla charging stations!

Don’t Have a Tesla? Don’t Worry!


Tesla stations have an adapter option that allows you to charge other EVs off of the wall connector. Alternatively, our team is also equipped to install the two charging stations below, which are compatible with all EVs:

 

Want to Take It a Step Further?
 

If environmentalism factors into your EV purchasing equation, an important consideration is the generation source for your electric grid. If you plug an electric car into a coal-powered grid (like ours here in Pennsylvania), then the vehicle will still be powered primarily by fossil fuels. The emissions from an EV are less direct, coming instead from the source needed to produce electricity.

 

Envinity offers an option to outfit your charging station with solar panels for greater environmental impact mitigation. We can either do this via a grid-connected system (most financial benefit), or with a battery backup system (most independence from the utility).

 

What are the next steps?

 

Call us today to discuss your EV charging needs at 814.231.3927, OR send us an email at solar@envinity.com. We are here to help you find the right charging solution for your vehicle!

Envinity's 2017 Solar Recap

March 06, 2018

2017 was a great year for solar at Envinity! This year we installed over 158 kW of solar capacity for both residential and commercial clients in Central Pennsylvania. Systems installed in 2017 generate an estimated 182,680 kWh of clean, sustainable electricity.

In the last 10 years, Envinity has installed around 1500 kW of solar capacity on homes and business in Pennsylvania. Envinity solar installations currently offset about 1,755,400 kWh of electricity every year. This lessens demand on fossil fuel burning power plants, and helps to contribute to reduced peak energy demand.

This amount of electricity offset is roughly equally to the carbon sequestered by:

 

 


 

 


The amount of energy offset by our clients’ solar arrays on their homes and/ or businesses is equal to the CO2 emissions from:


 

 

 

We think 2018 is going to be the best year yet for installed solar capacity and annual production increases! We are most excited about expanding our solar installation services to the Pittsburgh area this year!

If you'd like to learn more about going solar, please visit our "Why Go Solar" Page, where you can find out all the benefits of installing solar on your home or business!
 

State College Greenbuild Project Net-Zero Duplexes Come to Life

January 25, 2018

Starting as a PSU student architecture and engineering project, these zero-energy duplexes are coming to life. The properties have double insulation, an air-tight frame, energy efficient appliances, windows and solar panels. Utility costs should be around $10 a month. 

 

While the State College Community Land Trust owns the land, the buyer purchases the home itself.

Each home is $187,500 and only a first-time buyer with a maximum income of $69,000 will be considered.

Envinity is proud to partner with the SCCLT, Penn State's College of Arts & Architecture, West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund, and Henry Architecture & Design to complete project that aligns with our goals of greener home building and affordable housing in the Borough.

 

Contact us for more details!

 

For more information on the homes from the State College Community Land Trust, CLICK HERE.

 

Envinity Installs Solar Bus Stop on PSU's Main Campus

November 16, 2017

If you find yourself on Penn State University’s Main Campus, be sure to check out the new solar array at the bus stop near the Stadium West Parking Lot on Curtin Rd! This solar array is a gift from the class of 2015, and intends to highlight Penn State’s dedication to sustainability.
 

The solar bus stop is situated in a highly visible area, adjacent to Beaver Stadium and across the road from the Bryce Jordan Center. The bus stop was designed by architects at Weber Murphy Fox, and the solar array was designed and installed by Envinity’s solar team.
 

The system features eight (8) Lumos LSX 290 watt solar modules with a total capacity of 2.32 kW, an Outback FlexPower One and (8) batteries. The system will power a LeGrand USB Charging station which has already been installed. An LED lighting display and LED monitor featuring a bus schedule and solar data are planned for the near future.


Overall, the system is expected to generate 2,400 kWh annually.
 

Congratulations to Penn State, and special thanks to the class of 2015 for enabling this great project!


 

SCCLT GreenBuild Project Update

June 08, 2017

The State College Community Land Trust (SCCLT) has received $100,000 in grant funding and a $350,000 construction loan from the West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund (WPPSEF) .

"Project funding from WPPSEF enables our Land Trust to expand affordable housing to middle-income households in the Borough of State College," SCCLT President Susan Venegoni said in a release. "For 20 years, the SCCLT has focused on increasing housing opportunities for low to moderate income households. Through our GreenBuild project, we will be able to help two middle-income individuals or families to buy a Land Trust duplex and lower their overall housing costs by reducing energy costs.”


SCCLT is a nonprofit organization addressing the need for affordable housing and increasing home ownership. Since its beginning, the land trust had helped nearly 60 individuals and families purchase affordable homes in the borough.

WPPSEF is a nonprofit organization that invests in the deployment of sustainable energy technologies in the commonwealth.

Envinity, Inc., of State College, will construct the duplex, working with Henry Architecture & Design and Macht Architecture.

Read the full press release

For more on SCCLT and GreenBuild, visit www.scclandtrust.org 

RE Farm Cafe Update

December 16, 2016

We can finally tell everyone that our friends at RE Farm Cafe bought a farm!

Duke and Monica Gastiger, owners of the Rathskeller and Spat's Cafe, purchased 57 acres of land in Patton township that will serve as the home for the RE Farm Cafe. The property is Windswept Farm, formerly owned by the Songer Family. An existing home on the site will be transformed into the cafe, and the land around cultivated using innovative agroforesty and agricultural practices. The farm has already started transitioning to being certified organic.

 

This amazing farm-to-table restaurant will emphasize local, seasonal, sustainable, and healthy foods. In addition to offering a unique "theatre in the round" dining experience, the site will serve as an educational resource for the community, and promote food system transparency.

RE Farm Cafe will be built to the specifications of the Living Building Challenge. It will be net-zero energy, net-zero water, and constructed with healthy materials. The project seeks to minimize waste at all stages of construction, and reuse or recycle materials whenever possible. This project adopts a truly holistic approach to sustainability. 

Envinity is honored to be part of this incredible project!

Be sure to visit RE Farm Cafe’s website to stay up to date on the farm and the cafe!

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