Energy Wyze–Intelawatt

A few months back I went with a neighbor to the LA Green Expo at the LA Convention Center.  While walking the floor we stopped at the Energy Wyze booth.   Here I met Dr. Tony Zarza developer of the Intelawatt solution.  

I was intrigued by the Intelawatt solution as Tony indicated I could save from 10% to 40%+ on my energy bill.    For those of you that follow me, you know I have 4kw of solar on my home and that I am averaging ~$500 a year for my electric bills.   I would like to get that down as close to $0 as possible.   I have been reducing my power consumption by numerous means over the last few years.  But to go farther I would need to look at more expense solutions. 

Some of those considered are 1) adding more solar (expensive) 2) adding small wind turbine (running into HB City Planning issues & cost) 3) more Energy Star compliant devices (running out of things to replace).

So the Energy Wyze – Intelawatt solution appears to be a great solution for the cost with a short ROI.   Energy Wyze will measure your Power Factor (PF) with a meter, perfect scenario is a factor of 1, but typical systems will vary from .70 to .90 range.  The Intelawatt system will correct your Power Factor so that you use your purchased  electricity more efficiently.   My PF was corrected to .98%!!  I had the solution installed by Tony on July 2nd 2010, and am anxious to see what the impact will be on my overall power usage.   I won’t have a full month as my meter is read around the 16th of the month, but I am hoping to see a downward trend Smile 

If you contact Tony (888) 899-8696, tell the Kirk Nason sent you!!

Energy Wyze - Brochure 6-2010

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Nason Family – Full Year Electric Bill


We have been Time of Use (TOU) Net Metering with our Solar System for a full year and have put new products, timers and conservation efforts into effect.  As you can see from the SCE graph above I was able to get Jan Year over Year usage down by 5kwh for Jan between ‘08 – ‘10.


 With my 4kw Solar System, my full year bill was $256.28. Being a TOU customer,  I only have to pay my electric bill once per year.


I also use Microsoft Holm to track my electric and gas bills to get some great household graphs and also get helpful power saving tips.   Hopefully in the future SCE & SoCal Gas will let Holm pull my usage data directly vs. me having to manually add this info.

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Project Driveway Driver Experience – GM Equinox Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV)

I have been involved with the GM Project Driveway community for about a year.  As part of this innovative program by GM, average customers have the opportunity to learn about, provide feedback on and test drive GM’s FCEVs.   Here is a review of the program by AutoBlog.

About 3 months ago Mary and I went up to Burbank to learn more about the Equinox and had the opportunity take a 30 minute Ride & Drive which was amazing.  Based on the Ride & Drive event I was put into a queue to get a extended loaner. 

Well I am happy to report that that I was notified last week that I was selected to receive a vehicle and took delivery of a FCEV GM Equinox yesterday.   Here is a picture of me receiving the Equinox at the UCI Hydrogen Fuel Station in Irvine, CA.  I will be able to drive the car as my primary vehicle for two months and am already sure it will be a sad day when I have to get the keys back 😦

GM - Kirk receiving the Equinox PHEV
Scott Brierley (GM) handing me the keys

Day 1

Picked the Equinox up at UCI,  about 1 mile from the Microsoft Irvine office.   After a 30 minute fueling overview by the Lorin Humphries, UC Irvine Fuel Cell program, Scott gave me the thumbs up to drive off.    First thing I noticed is instant power with tons of low end torque as compared to a normal Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) and superior to Hybrids out today.   Compared to a Hybrid you don’t have to change your driving habits with this vehicle to get superior mileage.  If you read about HyperMilers driving hybrids, they have all kinds of tricks to get the best mileage.

Driving home I changed my route and used the HOV lane on 405 N as a single driver, that is cool as I can’t get the HOV stickers for my 2010 Toyota Prius as allocations have run out.

Drove to Super Mex for dinner, first time in the car for my wife, son and daughter, did not get a good parking spot so the Equinox was not visible.

Day 2

Today I noticed that turning radius is not as good as I would like, though better than my Lexus RX400h.  I really want to be able to do a U-Turn on a neighborhood two lane street, but it turns into a 3-point turn. 

Drove down Adams Ave (E) to get to the 405 freeway,  stopped at @ Starbucks (Adams & Brookhurst), parked in the lot vs. the drive through hoping I would get Q’s, but besides one long extended look, no one asked me any questions.

Day 3

Averaging 50.7m/kg. First solo fill-up today.  Was hoping to have a no issue experience, but got hung up after hooking up the data cable, did not remember I had to open the Fuel Cap cover before getting the OK to hook up the 750bar Hydrogen line.  Had to make a quick call to Scott to get past this step, doh!  Once I was told my error, fueling went fast!  Hope in the future the data connection will be wireless or in the nozzle itself.

I had a Director from Quicksilver Travel leave a business card on the window asking for more info.  We have been playing phone tag, hope to touch base with him soon.

Cut away view of the FCEV powertrain

Day 4

Today is Friday 9/11/09 and I am driving up to the LAPD Police Academy to see my daughters boyfriend graduate. I am glad to be driving the future as the whole war started around our need for OIL!!  Very symbolic day.   Drove 123 mile round trip, averaged 49.7 m/kg and the fill-up required 3.472 kg.  This was my longest trip so far and on the way back had the Equinox cruising with traffic around 75 mph.  The Equinox so far loves all the driving around SoCal:  slow, fast, freeway, neighborhood or city.   

Day 5

Picked my son up after he returned from HBHS Cross Country event and had about 35 high school students hovered around the Equinox.  Wish I would have remembered to get out my camera 😦   Lot’s of interested by the kids, glad they are concerned about the environment.   One of them is writing about alt-fuel for his Modeled United Nation (MUN) project.

Day 6

HBDrove over to my local Starbucks,  grabbed a Ice Coffee with my wife Mary,  parked right outside so that passerby’s could see and then ask about the Equinox.  Ran into a guy from Quantum Technologies whose company actually made the hydrogen tanks in this vehicle.   Quantum has capabilities to convert Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) to Hydrogen.   This is similar to CNG based cars.Newport Ferry

 Did a lot of slower driving today and was able to get the Equinox up to 55m/kg, cruised around Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Balboa Island and Newport back bay.   The picture to the right is the Equinox on the Balboa Island Ferry which has been in continuous operation since 1919.

Day 8 & 9

These days were filled by work,  just was able to drive back and forth to work 😦

Day 10

Today on the way to drop my son off at school as HB City Parking Enforcement officer came screaming up to the car.  I was worried he was going to ticket me for something, but thank goodness he was super interested in learning about the Equinox

Nov 16

Equinox by Oakley CorpOne of my last days with the Equinox was a trip up to Oakley Corp, what a cool building, to get my X-Metal sunglasses repaired.   Here is a picture of the front of the building.   Oakely is located in the foothills of Orange Co and has some nice grades via a Toll-Road.   These grades are not that aggressive but as usual the Equinox cruised along with out effort.  Fortunately our Toll-Road responders are moveable between cars 



Nov 17

Very said day today :-(,  I had to turn in the Equinox to my GM contact Scott Brierley today.   I can’t say enough about the efforts by GM,  from E85 (not a fan) to EREV like the Volt, changes are happening rapidly.     Check out all the cool announcements about the Volt at, this is were I am going to be focusing my attention going forward as the Volt and many other EV’s, PHEV’s and EREV are coming in 2010

Thanks for checking out my write up



Kirk J. Nason

First recipient of the “HB Goes Green” home award

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Please consider the environment before printing this blog

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HB Surf & Sun Program


sharp1aMayor Keith Bohr and City Council have established a solar goal of 8.5  Megawatts of installed solar capacity in HB in less than 5 years.

8.5 Megawatts of solar is about 1.85 million square feet or 42.5 acres.

The goals are for:

2 Megawatts of Commercial systems

4 Megawatts of Residential systems

2.5 Megawatts of Municipal systems

This program saves you money and helps the protect environment.

This program helps HB, its citizens and businesses reduce their utility bills and go solar in just 3 easy steps.

1. Reduce energy expenditures through energy efficiency

2. Get savvy about solar renewable energy

3. Visit Sharp Solar’s (an HB company) website to run numbers and request a proposal.

Sharp Solar is offering HB Hometown Solar rebates to HB citizens of $150/kW up to 10 kW for HB citizens.

Step 3 is to click here to go to Sharp Solar’s website to have someone contact you about a proposal for Solar for your building.

HB Surf & Sun – Get Solar locally!


View the 3 easy steps to go solar.

To read about our home improvements and products we use used click here

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Video: An Animation of How the Chevy Volt powers the wheels


Ever wonder how the Volt is powered? This animation explains it all.  The Chevy Volt is a Extended Range Electric Vehicle (EREV),  the Volt runs off of batteries and drives a electric motor, the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) is only there to recharge the batteries once the 40miles of pure EV mode has been reached…

How the Volt Works
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Video: Building the Chevy Volt Prototype


Check out this video on GM testing out the production line of the upcoming Volt. As part of the development of the Chevrolet Volt, a team builds a fleet of Volt prototypes by hand for quality testing and other purposes.

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Cash Back policy change with Costco’s American Express OPEN card

American Express HomeYesterday I received a letter from American Express’ Richard F. Flynn (SVP & GM Amex OPEN), telling me that they want to reduce our cash back reward on Costco gas purchases from 5% to 4% with a yearly cap of $6,000 then drop the rebate down to 1%.   I had to ask why?  Doesn’t AMEX make enough money already to not SCREW their customers?

I called Richard F. Flynn and was able to get to his voicemail.   I did ask Richard to give me a call back but not sure if he will.   If you are pissed like myself, feel free to pick up the phone and call 1-212-640-2000 ask for him.

Costco.comIf you want to voice your opinion to Costco, contact Sandi Torrey
(425-313-6744) or email or Dave Fuller Editor of Costco connections @

 Update 11:35am 6-5-09:  Talked to Paul Kim at American Express.   He indicated to me that Amex needs to make changes to help their bottom line.  Thus the change in policy.  I indicated to him that the policy has a much larger effect on Small Business Owners and consumers and that they should consider policies that don’t affect their good customers.   He indicated that he understands my concerns.   He said that Amex can’t make policies that benefit their good customers over others.  So because of the bad customers we all suffer

Update 1:00pm 6-5-09: Received a email reply from Dave Fuller, Costco,  that he was forwarding my email to Sandi Torrey

Update 3:30pm 6-5-09: Ah the power of the web to get info, thank you!  I received another call  Margery who works with Sandi Torrey.   She indicated that that Costco has nothing to do with the rebate schedule by AMEX, though she is willing to document my comments and provide the dissatisfaction to American Express when the meet next.

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GM Equinox: Fuel Cell HEV Ride & Drive

Wow,  I had an amazing experience, as part of Project Driveway, to learn about and test drive a Chevy Equinox Fuel Cell Electric SUV.   IMHO, HEV is the future!!!   Hydrogen used to create electricity via a Fuel Cell stack and exhaust is H2O, yes water vapor.

GM - Equinox HEV GM - Equinox HEV Fuel Cell GM - Equinox HEV Screen

Here are numerous pictures of the SUV, picture one shows that this is a normal looking (from the outside) Chevy Equinox,  picture two shows the Fuel Cell Stack where a normal Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) would reside and picture three shows the modified GPS screen showing the HEV in operation.

Here is a 7 minute video of the driving experience:

7 minute video of our drive

The amazing thing about the drive is the silence.   You start the car, no engine noise, you step on the “gas” and you get instant power (10% of the moving parts of a ICE engine) to the electric motor that moves the SUV.  All you hear is the road noise of the tires.   GM has done an amazing job of making the test HEV SUV quite.  My Lexus RX400h (with engine off, but moving with the electric motor) makes more noise both moving and regenerative breaking.  

I hope the best for GM, with EREV’s like the Volt and HEV’s like the Equinox.  In late 2010, I hope to be able to buy a Chevy Volt and move a huge step forward in removing on dependence on Foreign Oil.

To understand how the GM Fuel cell works click here.

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Fusion Hybrid goes 1445.7 Miles on Single Tank, achieving 81.5 mpg!

AllElectricCars has indicated that Ford surpassed 1,000 miles on a single tank of gas in a production 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid.  The team surpassed the 1,000 mile  mark with Nascar Driver Carl Edwards behind the wheel. Not a person you would normally associated with the slow driving techniques and other hypermiling techniques used to achieve feats like this.

Article Image

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Lyle from gets to drive a Chevy Volt “Mule”

Read about the experience at the GM-Volt site, what a exciting day.  Hope GM gets to produce this PHEV by next year!!

Love the sound of silence, except for wheel road noise!!   There is discussion about coasting vs. regenerative mode.  No shifting as there is no transmission, can hit 100mph.   At 6:31 minutes into the video Lyle climbs a 16.5% grade on the GM test track!! 

Test Drive of Chevy Volt Mule (10min)
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