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Our Mission
  The Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Association (MAREA) is a nonprofit organization, dedicated to informing and educating the public on renewable energy production, energy efficiency, and sustainable living through meetings, workshops, educational materials, and energy fairs.
Your membership makes these activities possible. If you can help, please
[Join MAREA]. The support is greatly appreciated and your dollars are used carefully.

Event Announcements
ATTN: New FEES & SIZE LIMITS for solar in PA?
 
Thanks to all who signed the petition to the PA PUC regarding proposed changes to net metering rules.

A 49-page document
(wow!) of signatures and comments has been submitted on your behalf. We’ll keep you posted.

Solar Advocates Fight Utilities Over Grid Access
  Across the country the solar industry is battling utilities over the financial details of feeding electricity from renewable resources back into the power grid.

Vera Cole, president of the Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Association, a group arguing against proposed rules in Pennsylvania that would put stricter limits on how much grid-connected solar power homeowners can produce on their property.

PA Sunshine Counts: Our Common Solar Wealth - July 2014
This report is an analysis of records obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for more than 7,000 solar electric systems receiving PA Sunshine Rebates, with detailed findings related to cost trends, system size, installation locations, component manufacturers, and installers.

In the interest of good solar, MAREA has chosen to provide this report at no charge to members and nonmembers alike. MAREA believes strongly that the more informed voices in the conversation the better the outcome.Thank you for reading this report.
MAREA is funded entirely though memberships, events, grants and donations. Your support is needed and genuinely appreciated.

Thinking about going solar? Resources for Homeowners & Small Businesses
"Solar Electricity for PA Homeowners" — Aug 2014 presentation slides
  If your organization would like a speaker on this topic, we’d be happy to help.
Please contact: [themarea@gmail.com]. [DOWNLOAD THE PRESENTATION]
On-Line Resources for those Considering Solar
  List of on-line resources to help you find an installer, estimate electricity generation, understand environmental value, consider financial aspects and more.
  [MAREA’s Recommended Resources]
SunnyMoney Residential Solar Electric Estimator
  Easy, on-line tool (updated 2014!) developed by MAREA to help Pennsylvania homeowners plan & budget for solar electric projects. Quick & accurate estimates for system size, electricity generation, savings, cost, Federal tax credit, environmental payback & more.
  [CHECK OUT SUNNYMONEY]

  Solar Hot Water Benefits Homeless Shelter
  To help reduce monthly expenses for Opportunity House, a multi-service organization improving the quality of life for children, families and adults who face various obstacles to independent living in the Reading area, MAREA has spearheaded a project to install a solar hot water system on their main building.
  [READ MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT]
Check out the Progress: [READING EAGLE 8-1-14] [WFMZ NEWS VIDEO]

MAREA produces its first movie:
"Saving Sunshine"
Keeping the Lights on with Batteries and Solar Power”
In plain language, master electrician and solar installer Bruce Hankins explains AC Coupling, the combining of a grid-tied solar electric installation with an off-grid battery backup system. This technology, made possible through advanced electronics, offers benefits for all users of the entire electric system—both those with and without solar. Teachers, electricians, system installers, owners of grid-tied systems and solar advocates will find Hankins’ clear explanations in “Saving Sunshine” helpful in learning the specifics of an AC Coupled system and how it forms a local electric distribution system.
Free DVD with MAREA membership
While supplies last, all new and renewing MAREA members will receive a free copy of "Saving Sunshine, Keeping the Lights on with Batteries and Solar Power,” the 30-minute DVD produced by MAREA this year with funding from the Berks Community Foundation and distributed by Bullfrog Films. It’s terrific film, offering an interesting and easily understood explanation of the electricity grid and distribution generation, especially the role of batteries with solar. MAREA is a 501(c)3 non-profit. Donations and memberships are how we keep the lights on. Thanks for your help.
[Watch the Trailer on YouTube]
[Read More and Purchase the DVD]

MAREA Monthly Meetings, the More the Merrier!
Free and Open to the Public
(Always the last Tuesday of the month)

TEK Park, 9999 Hamilton Boulevard, Breinigsville, PA 18031-9300
[DIRECTIONS]
**Please follow signs for parking and entrance to room location**

7:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 27, 2015
"Supply Shock: Economic Growth at the Crossroads and
the Steady State Solution"

Dr. Brian Czech, PhD

The figures are in and holiday sales were up! Compared to 2013, online sales increased a whopping 15% and good ol’ in-store sales even grew 1%. GDP (gross domestic product) had a good year too, after a slow start, tacking on another winner! All great news…right? Brian Czech would have us re-think this. In fact, he would have us rethink a lot of things about how we measure and manage the economy. Starting with, how on earth have we come to believe that it is necessary—or even possible—to have an economy that continues to grow and grow and grow?

Dr. Brian Czech, an interdisciplinary biologist in the headquarters of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and president of the [Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy], explains that some of our most deeply embedded (and flawed) economic beliefs stem from a time, many years ago, of questionable academic activity influenced by business interests. In his most recent book, [Supply Shock], he tells the fascinating albeit disturbing story of how we’ve gotten to where we are—believing that the economy must grow, at any and all cost—and explains why, on a planet of limited natural resources, an economy of non-stop growth won’t work (can’t work) in the long run. Arguing that, at this point in history, economic growth really causes more problems than it solves (loss of biodiversity, climate change, resource wars), he proposes we transition to a new kind of “steady state” economy, one that puts land and natural resources at the forefront. (After all, before we can engage in economic activity, we do need to eat and drink!)

But wait, what about a “green growth” economy—where the economy continues to grow, but instead of buying more stuff we spend our money on less carbon-intensive services? Massages…piano lessons…do-it-yourself workshops! (I know my audience ;) Our speaker will explain (with the “trophic theory of money”) that services are inextricably linked with goods and the best we can hope for is “less-brown growth.” It may buy us more time, but even this kind of growth is unsustainable on a planet of limited means.

An engaging writer and natural story teller, Brian will share with us a well-researched historical perspective of economic thinking and his creative ideas for transitioning to a new, sustainable way of thinking about what we produce and consume as individuals, countries and a planet.

We hope you can join us for Dr. Brian Czech’s talk on Tuesday, Jan 27 at 7:00 in Breinigsville, PA (between Kutztown and Allentown) at TEKPark. We are delighted to have him! Click here for detailed [directions].
Meetings are free and open to the public.

Copies of his widely acclaimed book, [Supply Shock: Economic Growth at the Crossroads and the Steady State Solution], will be available for purchase at the meeting from locally-owned [Firefly Bookstore].

(For advanced copies, drop by, email or call (484) 648-2712. )

Dr. Czech will be available for book signings after the meeting.
After the meeting, plan to stick around and chat with friends old and new. We're also interested in your ideas for MAREA speakers, activities and services.
Light snacks will be served. Hope to see you there!
For questions, more information or to suggest a topic or speaker, contact:
Vera Cole: 215-258-0526 or veracole@comcast.net
[Information Available From Previous Talks]

Upcoming Tuesday Night Topics
Tuesday, Feb 24 TO BE ANNOUNCED
Tuesday, March 24
"PJM’s perspective on Demand Response,
Distributed Generation and the SmartGrid"
Susan Covino
Susan Covino is Senior Consultant for Emerging Markets at PJM.

Court Affirms Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Association’s Right to Know,
Orders DEP to Release Solar Data
September 18, 2012, Kutztown, PA A renewable energy organization's request for access to information regarding solar installations receiving rebates from the $100 million state [Sunshine Program] was recently upheld by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. [READ THE FULL RELEASE]

Community Projects & Workshops

MAREA conducts small group workshops on practical alternative energy projects throughout the year.
[Learn from experts in the field. MAREA members receive special discount on workshops]

MAREA Board Member Don Bucci talks about the benefits of a solar hot water system.
(Reading Eagle 2/10/2013)
Several decades ago, Don Bucci began heating domestic hot water at home using solar energy and still cherishes that original setup's benefits today. [READ THE FULL STORY]
MAREA President Vera Cole on electricity conservation (Allentown Morning Call (12/16/12)
The impulse to save electricity may have its roots in an environmentalist ethic, or it may stem from a simple urge to save money. [READ THE FULL STORY]
MAREA board member Anna Digate talks about recycling (Reading Eagle 12/17/12)
With gift-giving holidays approaching, wrapping paper and décor deserve a chance to be looked at in a greener way.
[READ THE FULL STORY]

MAREA Educational Programs
MAREA is planning a series of two-hour workshops on possible topics that include, so far, solar electric design, solar hot water design, structural engineering for solar electric mounting systems, thermodynamics, commissioning solar electric systems, solar oven cooking, reducing electrical use in the home, all about RECs, considerations for commercial solar electricity installations, solar electricity for homeowners and wire crimping for solar installations. Whew! Let us know topics you would like covered and if there's a topic you, or someone you know, would like to instruct. Dates, locations and times will be announced soon. We expect them to be on Saturday mornings with a fee of around $45 for members. We're also nailing down plans for the next solar electric installation workshops. We'll send details as soon as they're available.
With ideas or questions, please contact
Bill Hennessy, 484-560-4666, bill@berkssolar.com.




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