340 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

    • Technology
    • 4.4 • 52 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).

    My AC Broke - Is a Heat Pump Cool?

    My AC Broke - Is a Heat Pump Cool?

    Yes, definitely. Heat pumps are literally and figuratively cool. And without a doubt, the best time to consider installing a heat pump is when your AC (or furnace) dies.

    Heat pumps do double duty, providing both heating and cooling. They offer significant savings and improved comfort -- which I confirmed first hand after my old outdoor air conditioner compressor died. Replacing both my old AC and gas furnace with a heat pump was one of the best home improvements I’ve ever made. The system operates almost silently, has better temperature control throughout my house, and my heating and cooling bills are down significantly.

    New heat pump models use inverter-based variable speed compressors with efficiencies in excess of 350%. These high system efficiencies mean that your total heating and cooling costs will almost always be lower with a heat pump than an ordinary AC and gas furnace. And from a comfort standpoint, with mini-split models you can even heat/cool individual rooms in your house!

    Sure, a basic AC replacement might seem cheaper initially. But keep in mind, federal tax credits and state rebates (part of the Inflation Reduction Act) will bring down the cost of your heat pump installation by $2k-$10k. So in most cases it makes sense to price out a heat pump when your AC fails in the summer, or your furnace fails in the winter.

    Want to learn more? Tune in to the full podcast at EnergyShow.Biz and discover why heat pumps are the smart choice when your AC can longer stand the heat.

    • 14 min
    Save the Photons

    Save the Photons

    Consider the poor photons! If your panels are dirty you are causing trillions of premature photonic deaths when they collide with dirt molecules. Please give those photons the chance to knock an electron loose from an eager semi-conductor. Instead of being converted to heat and banished to quantum hell.

    Save The Photons. Clean Your Solar Panels

    After just a week, your panels might look slightly dusty. But a light coating of dust doesn’t significantly block sunlight. However, severe grime, especially on low-tilt panels, can slash your output by over 25%!

    You can’t save all the photons all the time, but by watching your solar monitoring system you can tell mathematically — as well as visually — when your panels should be cleaned. If you have a larger system in an area with high electric rates and a dry climate, the economics of cleaning become more favorable.

    When it comes to cleaning solar panels there’s lots of bad advice on the internet…and even from manufacturers. On this week’s podcast we address WHEN you should clean your solar panels, as well as HOW.

    Please listen to the full “Save The Photons” podcast on The Energy Show at www.energyshow.biz. And keep these three things in mind: safety, the type of water, and the best cleaning agents.

    • 23 min
    5 Reasons Not To Install A Heat Pump

    5 Reasons Not To Install A Heat Pump

    Are you sick of all the heat pump hype? Skeptical about why you should buy one right away? Don’t mind paying huge bills to your utility for methane (natural gas)? Even heat pump enthusiasts like us agree with you — they are definitely NOT for everyone.

    Here are five reasons why heat pumps may not be the right thing for your house:

    1. You don’t believe in global warming and prefer to burn fossil fuels
    2. Heat pumps are too expensive
    3. It's too complicated to install a HPWH or HP HVAC
    4. You rent your house or plan to move
    5. Your existing HVAC and water heater works fine

    With all the tax credits, rebates and financing options, heat pumps are more affordable than ever. They deliver significant energy savings, offer better comfort and provide superior indoor air quality — even for complicated installations. With efficiencies over 300%, heat pumps are almost always less expensive to operate over the long term, and can be installed in almost all existing homes. On the other hand, from an economic standpoint it often makes sense to wait until your existing heating equipment dies before replacing it with heat pumps. If you don’t believe in the science of global warming, maybe saving money with a heat pump will change your mind. For the full scoop and a heat pump reality check, please tune in to the full podcast at EnergyShow.Biz.

    • 25 min
    Limits of Growth in the Clean Energy Industry with Jon Semingson

    Limits of Growth in the Clean Energy Industry with Jon Semingson

    This week's Energy Show dives into the tumultuous landscape of the clean energy industry, painting a picture of contrasting fortunes akin to the classic “Tale of Two Cities.” On one hand, we witness a surge in demand for clean energy, driven by improving economics, lower equipment costs, and rising electric rates, alongside enticing incentives. Yet, on the flip side, California experiences its first-ever decline in rooftop solar installations, coupled with a slowdown in electric vehicle growth and a resurgence of incumbent fossil fuel companies.

    Amidst this dichotomy, our guest, Jon Semingson, President of Peak Demand, Inc., sheds light on the critical challenges plaguing the industry's infrastructure and human resources. From a scarcity of skilled construction labor to a dearth of executive-level talent, the hurdles to industry growth loom large. Moreover, financing remains a linchpin, with uncertainties surrounding tax equity and interest rate trends.

    The urgency of these issues is underscored by the grid's perilous state, with transmission and interconnection queues adding to the mounting backlog of energy projects. As California grapples with policy-induced setbacks in residential, commercial, and community solar segments, the looming question remains: can utility-scale solar bridge the gap as electricity demand escalates, fueled by the surge in electric vehicles, AI, and heating needs?

    This podcast doesn't just highlight the industry's challenges but offers a platform for critical discussion and solutions. For a deeper dive into these pressing issues and insights from industry experts like Jon Semingson, tune in to the full episode at EnergyShow.Biz.

    • 23 min
    Elon Musk Is Right About The SuperCharger Business

    Elon Musk Is Right About The SuperCharger Business

    I read an avalanche of media criticism when Elon Musk fired his entire SuperCharger team a few weeks ago. In spite of all the whining, it was a good business decision for Tesla.

    Here’s why: expanding and running a fast charging network is a lousy business.

    Installation costs are high, permitting and construction delays are extensive, and revenues from charging cannot overcome the high electricity costs charged by utilities. According to a McKinsey and Company study in October of 2023, most EV fast charging sites are swimming in red ink, losing $45,000 a year at every 4 port charging station. A back-of-the-envelope calculation shows that a typical Starbucks in California would have to sell 56,000 extra cups of coffee every year just to break even on EV charging. That’s a lotta Joe.

    In spite of complaints about high gasoline prices, gasoline is a worldwide commodity with reasonable substitutes. Prices are set by the free market. But prices for electricity supplied to charging stations are set by utilities who have a monopoly on electricity sales. It's illegal for anyone other than a utility to resell electricity, so utilities can charge whatever they want. To make matters worse, Public Utility Commissions in many states let utilities run wild with sky-high electric rates and record profits.

    I’m a big EV fan, but the lack of EV charging infrastructure coupled with the extraordinarily high costs of charging will stifle the industry’s growth. California’s goal of selling only zero emissions vehicles by 2035 is a pipe dream. In order to hit that goal we need to quickly change the monopoly utility business model so that EV charging makes sense.

    But there's another faster and cheaper option: solar-powered EV charging. Solar charging is easy to do for homes — the average driver in California needs just 7 more solar panels to meet their annual driving needs. Taking it one step further, we should couple EV chargers with commercial solar installations. Think about it: shouldn’t we charge our cars during the day, when it's sunny, from inexpensive rooftop solar, at work, where the cars are parked? Instead of waiting to charge our cars at public stations which get expensive power from utility solar farms 500 miles away?

    Tesla’s Supercharger network challenges are just the tip of the iceberg. For more about costs and practical solutions to EV charging, please tune in to the full SuperCharger podcast at www.energyshow.biz

    • 24 min
    40+ Successful Years in Solar and Storage

    40+ Successful Years in Solar and Storage

    10 years in the solar and storage industry qualifies most industry veterans as a solar old timer. But there is one person who stands out as a beacon of leadership, longevity and success. Ed Murray has been heating water molecules (solar thermal), converting photons to electrons (solar PV) and saving customers money since 1978.

    That’s 322 dog years!

    Ed Murray, CEO of Aztec Solar in Sacramento, knows solar thermal, PV and storage technology like the back of his hand. He’s managed to run his successful solar business in spite of the “solar coaster” craziness.

    But what impresses me the most about Ed is his industry leadership. Ed has been on the Board of Directors of the California Solar and Storage Association for 40 years, has been serving as its president since 2016, has been on the Board of the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners for 14 years, and served on the Board of the Solar Energy Industries Association for 14 years.

    For a detailed dive into what it takes to be successful in the solar and storage industry for the long term, you don’t want to miss this episode of the Energy Show at www.energyshow.biz

    • 27 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
52 Ratings

52 Ratings

jtimothyknox ,

Great, but needs to be weekly, as advertised!

No one packs more useful information into 20 minutes than Barry Cinnamon. Also, no one could ever accuse Barry of not being respectful of his listeners’ time, as he makes a point of getting it all in as quickly as he can. In fact, a case could be made that Barry is too respectful of our time as this is far from a “weekly” podcast. A “monthly” podcast would be more accurate. I do love, however, how Barry breaks down and thoroughly analyzes current hot topics, not only in the solar industry, but in the energy industry in general. During his quick deep dives, Barry can often be funny, which is always a plus. So, in sum, this is a great podcast, but I just wish it were weekly, as promoted in the intro.

XylophoneKing ,

Just trying to keep up

I started listening to Barry‘s podcast couple months ago and I find his insights valuable. I work in the Solare space but it moves so fast. I tried to draw from as many experts in the field as I can like Barry.
Thanks for sharing all those great information.

Ttuono ,

If you ever wanted to hear the best sales pitch..

There was a time when Barry had a lot of good information to give but these days this podcast is just a long winded sales pitch where every year is the last year to put solar on your probably marginally qualified roof because the bottom is about to drop and utility is supreme evil. It’s Fox News of solar agenda. He doesn’t take a moment to consider anything else but how utility is preventing him from selling you probably a solar LEASE where they can fill their coffers, which isn’t that much different from PGE, you just have a different provider. I also found it funny how readily he jabs at prevailing wage rules for CA commercial installs. No worries, you can still sell your banker buddies leases and finance deals and install without higher wages on resi roofs. While he is dreaming up of his next topic in the new hot tub, I wonder if his electrician makes a good living wage and has retirement (like Barry does).

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