Solar Looks For A Sunny Outlook In Pennsylvania

SolarCity Corp., the nation’s largest rooftop photovoltaic developer, is hoping a new day is dawning for solar in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

The San Mateo, Calif., company announced Thursday a bundle of new financing options aimed at customers in the Peco Energy Co. service territory. SolarCity and its competitors typically install their systems on customers’ roofs for no money down.

The campaign is aimed at reversing the shrinkage in the Pennsylvania solar market, which went into hibernation after 2011, when federal and state incentives dwindled.

“We have a few hundred customers in Pennsylvania, but it’s been slow to develop over time,” said Leon Keshishian, SolarCity’s regional vice president.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20150313_Solar_looks_for_a_sunny_outlook_in_Pa_.html#lSQXTxsBwMKzL3DW.99

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Montgomery County Officials Declare County A Natural Disaster Area

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NORRISTOWN, PA — Montgomery County officials issued a disaster declaration Wednesday in the wake of Tuesday night’s ice storm that intensified Wednesday morning. By 9:30 p.m., Governor Corbett signed a disaster emergency proclamation. Corbett explained through his Twitter account that the proclamation will assist state and local authorities in responding to the winter storm.

The county’s disaster declaration means that if needed, the county can receive funds from the federal government and the state government. Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro said the declaration of a disaster also allows for the county to bypass the RFP process for items, like blankets, to give to shelters. He said the disaster declaration does not allow the county to purchase more road salt.

He said the county roads are cleared for the most part and crews are on standby to salt the roads as melting snow and ice freezes into the night.

According to Montgomery County Director of Communications Frank Custer, between 4 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Wednesday there were 340 electrical fires reported throughout the county, 1,207 road obstructions and 164 vehicle accidents.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140205/montgomery-county-officials-declare-county-a-natural-disaster-area

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Business Booming At Montgomery County Hotels Due To Power Outages

Location of Upper Merion Township in Montgomer...

Location of Upper Merion Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

UPPER MERION TOWNSHIP, PA — If area residents who were without power may have felt like the losers in Wednesday’s icy winter weather games, the winners were the area’s hotels, where “no vacancy” seemed to be a recurring theme.

Then again, depending on where they chose to spend Wednesday night, some of those displaced “losers” may have felt as if their luck was about to change for the better.

“Where else would you want to be but at a casino on a night like tonight, right?” said Michael Bowman, CEO and president of Valley Forge Casino Resort.

With every one of the resort’s 485 rooms due to be snapped up within the hour, Bowman said the lobby was buzzing with folks who had closed up their dark and unheated homes in search of plush lodgings on First Avenue in King of Prussia.

Read more:  http://www.timesherald.com/business/20140205/business-booming-at-montgomery-county-hotels-due-to-power-outages

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Storm Topples Trees Throughout Berks, Causing Power Outages

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The heaviest precipitation that will hit Berks County today is over, but the storm has toppled numerous trees in the area, blocking roadways and causing power outages.

Nearly 9,000 customers are without power in the Met-Ed and PPL service areas in Berks.

As of 10 a.m., Met-Ed reported there were 5,500 outages in Reading and eastern and northern Berks, while PPL reported 3,200 customers were without power in Wyomissing, western Berks and the Morgantown area in southern Berks.

PPL reported 60,679 of its customers in a 16-county area of the state were affected by outages, while Met-Ed’s parent company, FirstEnergy, said there were 78,000 Pennsylvania customers affected.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/news/article/storm-topples-trees-throughout-berks-causing-power-outages#.UvKMBWOPKM8

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Electricity Costs Increase For PECO Customers

The 473,000 PECO customers who have made the switch to an alternative energy supplier must have felt pretty good about their choice Monday.

“PECO’s energy delivery rates have not changed but the price we are paying to purchase electricity for customers who have not switched to an alternative provider has gone up 21.5 percent from the third to the fourth quarter,” said PECO spokeswoman Cathy Engle Menendez.

“The price is adjusted quarterly and tied directly to the wholesale cost of electricity.  We have no control over this price.  It’s a pass-through.”

Read more: http://business-news.thestreet.com/the-mercury/story/electricity-costs-increase-peco-customers/1