260 episodes

The Energy Show, hosted by Barry Cinnamon, is a weekly 30 minute talk show that runs every Saturday on KDOW Radio AM in San Jose California.

Every week Barry provides practical money-saving tips on ways to reduce your home and business energy consumption.

Barry Cinnamon heads up Cinnamon Energy Systems (a San Jose residential and commercial  solar and energy storage contractor) and Spice Solar (suppliers of built-in solar racking technology). After 10,000+ installations at Akeena Solar and Westinghouse Solar, he's developed a pretty good perspective on the real-world economics of rooftop solar -- as well as the best products and services for homeowners, manufacturers and installers. His rooftop tinkering led to the development of integrated racking (released in 2007), AC solar modules (released in 2009), and Spice Solar (the fastest way to install rooftop solar modules).

The Energy Show Barry Cinnamon 366248

    • Technology
    • 4.3 • 45 Ratings

The Energy Show, hosted by Barry Cinnamon, is a weekly 30 minute talk show that runs every Saturday on KDOW Radio AM in San Jose California.

Every week Barry provides practical money-saving tips on ways to reduce your home and business energy consumption.

Barry Cinnamon heads up Cinnamon Energy Systems (a San Jose residential and commercial  solar and energy storage contractor) and Spice Solar (suppliers of built-in solar racking technology). After 10,000+ installations at Akeena Solar and Westinghouse Solar, he's developed a pretty good perspective on the real-world economics of rooftop solar -- as well as the best products and services for homeowners, manufacturers and installers. His rooftop tinkering led to the development of integrated racking (released in 2007), AC solar modules (released in 2009), and Spice Solar (the fastest way to install rooftop solar modules).

    OhmConnect with Cisco DeVries

    OhmConnect with Cisco DeVries

    Copyright 2020 - The Energy Show, Barry Cinnamon

    Unless you’re totally off the grid -- both literally and figuratively -- you know that there are power shortages in California. With California experiencing hotter weather, people working at home, dirty power plant retirements, fires, and Public Safety Power Shutoffs, power outages have become a fact of life.

    But the solution to these problems does not have to exclusively be more power generating capabilities. Demand Response is a concept that describes the reduction in power consumption by utility customers to better match the available supply of power. An example would be if homes and businesses reduced their air conditioning needs — by simply raising the set point on their thermostats — during a peak power demand event at 4 PM on a hot summer day.

    There are challenges to implementing Demand Response programs, including communicating to customers when they should cut back their power usage, compensating these customers for their inconvenience (keep in mind that utilities profit when they don’t have to purchase very expensive peak power), and installing the hardware and software necessary to initiate and support these services.

    OhmConnect has a better way to for customers to participate in Demand Response without expensive equipment and metering. Their approach is to use your existing internet-connected thermostat and smart plugs, in conjunction with data from your electric meter, to provide these Demand Response benefits to the grid. Their business model is simple: customers get paid for lowering electric usage during high demand, and utilities can keep the power on without purchasing expensive peak power.

    My guest on this week’s Energy Show is Cisco DeVries, CEO of OhmConnect. Cisco is a legend in the energy industry, having transformed solar financing by pioneering Property Assessed Clean Energy financing programs (PACE). Now he is transforming Demand Response with OhmConnect. Please join me as we discuss how Cisco and the OhmConnect team are deploying their technologies to help reduce power demands during peak periods.

    • 31 min
    Protect Your Solar and Battery Storage Rights

    Protect Your Solar and Battery Storage Rights

    Copyright 2020 - The Energy Show, Barry Cinnamon

    You just invested in a brand new EV charged by your rooftop solar and battery. Then, a year later, your utility adds a $50/month fixed charge to your bill just because you have rooftop solar. How would you feel? This scenario is not just hypothetical. Utilities all over the country are lobbying to change rates for solar and battery customers by adding large fixed fees, eliminating net metering, delaying interconnections, and deliberately mismanaging incentive programs.

    This anti-competitive behavior should be no surprise. Businesses don’t like competition; it hurts their profits. Homes and businesses can generate electricity for much less than their utility charges. So rather than find ways to be more efficient, competitive and environmentally friendly, utilities spend hundreds of millions of dollars suppressing competition from rooftop solar and battery storage and diminishing your solar and battery storage rights. To add insult to injury, the money they are spending was collected from ratepayers. You!

    Unfortunately, the solar and storage industry doesn’t have the bankroll to counteract these utility lobbying efforts. But what we do have is public support: polling shows that 95% of people support solar and battery storage. The Solar Rights Alliance was founded to convert the support of millions of solar and storage enthusiasts into action that will change these anti-competitive, environmentally-hostile policies. The Solar Rights Alliance operates under the premise that everyone should have the right to generate his or her own power directly from the sun, and that no monopoly company or special interest should try to block or “own” the sun.

    My guest on this week’s show is Dave Rosenfeld, the Executive Director of the Solar Rights Alliance. He’s spent his career building movements and institutions that expand freedom, liberty and justice -- including National Public Radio, the Public Interest Research Group and the Public Interest Network. Please listen up to this week’s Energy Show as Dave and I discuss the issues that the Solar Rights Alliance fights for every day to protect your solar and battery storage rights.

    • 38 min
    Solar and Battery Reliability with Jenya Meydbray

    Solar and Battery Reliability with Jenya Meydbray

    Copyright 2020 - The Energy Show, Barry Cinnamon

    Solar panels are long term assets - guaranteed by every manufacturer for at least 25 years. Lithium ion batteries are guaranteed by most manufacturers for at least 10 years. But there are no major solar panel manufacturers have been in business for 25 years, and no major battery manufacturers for 10 years.

    So how can a homeowner, building owner or financing company assess the reliability of solar panels and batteries? The best way is to scientifically gather and assess reliability data for these components. To be objective, this reliability analysis must be done by an independent organization - not by manufacturers.

    PV Evolution Labs is the leading independent lab for equipment testing. They assess the bankability of PV modules, inverters, storage, and other balance-of-system equipment. Joining us on this week’s Energy Show is Jenya Meydbray, CEO and co-founder of PV Evolution Labs.

    Please Listen Up to this week’s Energy Show as Jenya talks about the founding of PV Evolution Labs and shares his insights on reliability of solar panels and batteries. Jenya and I also share our real-world reliability advice as manufacturers, contractors and technologies come and go over the years.

    • 33 min
    How Often Should I Clean my Solar Panels?

    How Often Should I Clean my Solar Panels?

    Copyright 2020 - The Energy Show, Barry Cinnamon

    There are over a million homes with rooftop solar in the U.S. – out of about 100 million detached single family homes. So we are looking at market penetration of about 1%. There is a lot of growth potential for solar, storage and maintenance work.

    Once people have a solar power system the first question they ask is “how do I read my electric bill?” The second question they ask is “how often should I clean my solar panels?”

    Now reading your electric bill – that’s another show altogether given how complicated the bills are. But on today’s show we’ll mathematically and practically answer this second question –how often should I clean my solar panels.

    We will base our recommendation on daily and annual performance analysis of systems before and after cleaning and also provide advice on how – and especially how not -- to clean solar panels.

    To start, you might be wondering how the solar panels get dirty. They get dirty basically by wind-blown dust. Just like your car or your windows, the dust accumulates on the surface and builds up over time. And, if you are in a dusty area like a farm or near dirt roads, the accumulation may be worse. Pollen accumulation is another factor which typically happens in the spring. Some people talk about cleaning up after the birds, but bird debris is usually not a problem unless your name is Hitchcock and you live in Bodega Bay.

    What happens when panels get dirty the accumulated dirt absorbs or reflects the photons that hit the solar panels and output begins to decline. The amount of output decline varies based on location and amount of soiling. Interestingly enough, it also depends on where on the panel the soiling happens.

    So if you are like most solar power system owners and you have been wondering how often should I clean my solar panels, please listen to this week’s Energy Show as we walk through the performance implications of dirty solar panels and the best method for cleaning your system.

    • 18 min
    Why Did My PG&E Power Go Out And What Can I Do?

    Why Did My PG&E Power Go Out And What Can I Do?

    Copyright 2020 - The Energy Show, Barry Cinnamon

    For the first time in 20 years California is experiencing rolling blackouts. Reports indicate that over 3 million residents were recently affected. Conditions that caused these blackouts will continue, and the situation will get worse during fire season when we can expect Public Safety Power Shutoffs.

    In the olden days, blackouts were an opportunity to sit around by the fire and read by candlelight. Not any more. We rely on electricity to keep our food cold, to keep our lights on, to charge our cars and to keep our family connected to both school and work.

    PG&E is not being candid about the real cause of these recent blackouts. Ostensibly, the rolling blackouts were caused when hot weather caused air conditioning demand to spike at the same time that several 500 MW natural gas power plants went offline, either due to scheduled maintenance or failure. But when I checked into the cause of several extended Silicon Valley outages, it became apparent that these outages were due to local transformer failures — not the one to two hour rolling blackouts that were announced.

    The solution is almost universally recognized: more battery storage capacity charged by solar. I say “almost” because PG&E and other utilities are still recommending flashlights, candles and gas generators. Their logic is entirely based on their profit motive to install more of their own generating and storage capacity. PG&E and other utilities don’t want homeowners to install solar-charged battery backup systems — which are safe, reliable and affordable.

    Please tune in to this week’s Energy Show for the gory details about this latest rash of blackouts — as well as what you can do to keep your lights on, your food cold and your family connected.

    • 17 min
    Solar and Battery Reliability with Jenya Meydbray

    Solar and Battery Reliability with Jenya Meydbray

    Copyright 2020, The Energy Show, Barry Cinnamon

    • 33 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
45 Ratings

45 Ratings

Krill sandwich ,

Impressive

This podcast has excellent production quality and great insight to the solar industry. I really like how the podcast flows, very user friendly.

castro valley guy ,

Podcast July 3rd 2019 about upgrading your electric service.

Just wanted to share my experience so far with upgrading my electric service. In this episode it is stated that a 200 amp service should allow you enough capacity to electrify your house. This is simply not true. I have a “200 amp” panel, and was told by my electrician that I don’t even have enough capacity to put in a 30 amp circuit for a heat pump water heater. I have since talked to 2 of my neighbors who told me that their electricians made them abandon a circuit in their houses just to install EV chargers. I put “200-amp” in quotes above because a 200 amp panel doesn’t really have 200 amps of capacity (something about the code limiting the actual capacity of a panel to some percentage of the rated capacity). So I am in the process with PG&E to upgrade to a 400-amp panel (that is only really good for 320-amps continuous). Now Barry said he put in a Mitsubishi heat pump. As far as I can tell, this is the only manufacturer that offers a heat pump not requiring auxiliary heat, so if you already have an air conditioner you don’t have to add a circuit for the auxiliary heat. Problem is, the bids I got for Mitsubishi were $25k and $17k!!! Yikes. Barry must be a very wealthy individual to be able to afford that unit. The rest of us will probably have to put in a circuit and go with a much cheaper unit.

abscomp ,

Wow. Kinda bogus.

Talks about all EV’s EXCEPT the model 3. Very odd. Why would Barry ignore the biggest seller of ALL ev’s put together in his list of EV comparisons. Very odd... Inexplicable... Hmmm...

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