Smart Phone for your Smart Home

Monday, August 1st, 2016

Technology has already become an integral part of our lives, and now it is entering the home. Homes today can be equipped with different monitoring and control systems to allow owners to close blinds, lower heat, lock doors and more from their mobile phones.

smartphone for the home

  1. Thermostat – It is easy to forget to turn the thermostat to a neutral setting when you are away at the office all day. Nest Learning Thermostat connects your thermostat to a computer, laptop or tablet for easy access. The system can sense when you are near or away from home and adjusts itself accordingly to save you money and energy. Eventually, it will remember your temperature habits and set a schedule to maintain a temperature schedule.

Project Sunroof

Monday, March 21st, 2016

Google’s Project Sunroof, an online service designed to help homeowners figure out whether installing solar power panels on their rooftops would be a good option, has expanded to include homes in Denver.

roof

The website asks for an address and provides basic information about the size, scope, and potential cost of adding a solar power system to provide electricity to the home.

It offers enough information to get a rough idea of:

  • How big the home’s roof is
  • How big a solar power system would have to be to handle a substantial part of the home’s power needs
  • How much it would cost to install such a system

The website also offers estimates of the cost of buying a solar power system versus leasing one.

Click here to test it out.  

Expect Lower Heating Bills This Winter Season

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

Natural gas prices nationwide are low, which means that XCEL’s customers in Colorado will be saving big on their heating bills.  In fact, XCEL recently confirmed that, for the second half of the current winter heating season, customers will see significantly lower bills.

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Natural gas bills for the average residential customer are expected to drop about 21 percent to $62.81 per month, compared to $79.97 for the first quarter of 2015.

 

Monthly electricity bills for the average residential customer are expected to drop about 5 percent, to $65.41 per month, compared to $68.74 for the current quarter.

 

Be sure to check out and follow us on Tumblr where we blog about these kinds of topics and others that affect our real estate market. Please call upon any of our knowledgeable brokers to assist you with your real estate needs.  You can email us at info@alarisproperties.com or call us at 303-526-7400.

Wind Generation Records

Saturday, November 21st, 2015

Untitled design (7)Xcel is the nation’s largest utility wind power provider and has set new records for single-­day and one­-hour wind-­energy production in Colorado.

For the first time on October 2, wind generation supplied more than half of its Colorado customers’ energy, averaging 54 percent. Almost all of that wind energy was produced within Colorado.

Xcel also set a new Colorado record for wind generation over a one­hour period on October 2: 2,352 megawatt hours from 3 to 4 p.m., compared to the previous record of 2,203 megawatt hours on Dec. 23, 2014, from 5 to 6 p.m.

Weather records show sustained winds up to about 17 mph in both Denver and Boulder on the afternoon of Oct. 2. Plans are in motion to expand wind generation capacity by 20 percent within next year.

Have a question or want to see a blog on a particular topic, contact one of our brokers today. Also, please feel free to read about our committed team. We have a solid understanding of the impact of alternative energy and would be pleased to assist you in your next real estate transaction. Call our office today to speak with one of our knowledgeable brokers.

Lower Heating Bills

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

Heating and cooling air conditioner concept

As fall and winter gradually approach, it may cost lower to heat your home this year. Natural gas prices were at about $3.20 per thousand cubic feet earlier this year and haven’t been above $3 in the last three months.

This translates to upcoming monthly heating bills likely being a lot smaller compared to last year.

In fact, the average monthly natural gas bills for residential customers during October, November, and December are expected to be 20 percent less than the average bills during the last three months of 2014.

To put that in perspective, natural gas bills are expected to be about $56 per month during the fourth quarter of 2015, compared to the average $70 during the fourth quarter of 2014.

On the electricity side of the bill, expect a smaller change.

Typical residential electricity bills are expected to be about 2 percent lower during the fourth quarter of 2015, averaging around $69 per month.

Colorado’s Wind Power Rankings

Monday, October 19th, 2015

wind

According to new reports from the U.S. Department of Energy, Colorado ranks 7th nationally for wind-power generation capacity installed in 2014, and 10th for total wind power installed through last year.

Colorado had 261 megawatts of wind-driven energy production capacity installed last year, roughly the equivalent of the power needed to serve 69,600 typical homes.

As for the percentage of each state’s power generated by wind, Colorado ranks 8th, at 13.6 percent.

Also, a recent report from the American Wind Energy Association said that Colorado employs more than 6,000 workers in wind-power manufacturing, which is the third highest amount nationally.

Alaris is also committed to preserving the environment. We can help you market or buy properties with “green” features. The future is going to be full of alternative energy generation. Make sure you are on top of this topic when you are ready to buy or sell a home. Email us at info@alarisproperties.com if you have a question you would like us to answer. We are here to serve you.

Solar*Connect Shutdown

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

Solar*Connect (XCEL’s solar power program that would have allowed customers to pay a premium on their monthly utility bills to support solar energy) has officially been shut down by Colorado utility regulators.

The utility planned to allow customers to buy blocks of solar power equal to a percentage of their monthly power usage, from 25 percent up to 100 percent, and XCEL planned to have 50 megawatts worth of solar power in the program if state regulators approved the plan.

XCEL has run a similar monthly premium program that supports wind power, called WindSource, since 1998. WindSource has 36,000 subscribers in Colorado who have purchased more than 1 billion kilowatt hours of power over the years.

However, the three members of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) voted unanimously to deny XCEL’s application to start Solar*Connect. The commissioners said XCEL didn’t show its customers wanted the program and worried that it didn’t provide a level playing field with companies already working in the community solar power sector.

Solar Loan Market Exploding

Monday, October 12th, 2015

Solar panel installation

According to a new study by GTM (Greentech Media) Research, thousands of solar power panels were installed on home rooftops in 2014, but very few of them were owned by the homeowners.

About 72 percent of the 1.2 gigawatts worth of solar power panels installed on residential rooftops were owned by third parties, with homeowners paying for the panels or the power generated by the systems via leases or power-purchase agreements.

The remaining systems were owned by the homeowner who typically used loans to pay for the systems up front.

In fact, the residential market in the U.S. has grown in 15 of the last 16 quarters, largely due to third-party financing arrangements such as leases.

With third-parties picking up the tab for installing the systems, homeowners pay for the systems via a multi-year contract that’s a lease on the system itself or a power purchase agreement to buy the power the systems generate.

Solar Rewards Update

Monday, October 5th, 2015

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Xcel Energy is adding nearly 30 megawatts of solar power to its Colorado operations via its Solar*Rewards Community program.

These projects are larger, commercial-sized solar power projects that allow individual businesses, nonprofits or people to buy or lease a portion of the project and get credit for the solar power on their monthly utility bills. The projects are designed for companies or people who can’t put solar power on their own roofs, such as if they live in an apartment or lease their office space.

The new projects will be built in Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Conejos, Douglas, Garfield, Jefferson, Logan and Summit counties.

Due to a recent change in the program, Xcel customers can sign up for the solar power gardens located in their county or an adjacent county. Previously, the project had to be located in the same county where the customer lived.

Leading Locations Report

Monday, September 14th, 2015

holding house representing home ownership

Area Development magazine rates Denver the best metro area in the nation for economic development and jobs. Three other Colorado cities placed in the top 20.

The 2015 “Leading Locations” report compares 375 U.S. metro statistical areas on creating jobs and nurturing sustainable economic development.

The cities were evaluated based on three categories:

  • Skilled, well-qualified workers
  • Patterns of economic strength and growth
  • Recession recovering attributes

The Denver-Aurora-Broomfield metro area was rated first among the 375 metros for economic strength indicators, seventh for year-over-year growth, and eighth for both workforce and recession recovering attributes.

It was also noted that Denver and northern Colorado combined rank sixth in the nation for clean-energy development.

Here is Area Development’s top 10 U.S. “Leading Locations” for 2015:

Denver

Houston

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Greeley

San Francisco

San Jose

Seattle

Columbus

Boulder

Austin