Weather Alert  

AIR QUALITY ALERT IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM THIS MORNING TO 11 PM EDT THIS EVENING The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has issued an air quality health advisory for the following counties... Suffolk...Nassau...Richmond...Kings...Queens...New York...Bronx...Wes chester...Rockland. from 11 AM this morning to 11 PM EDT this evening. Air quality levels in outdoor air are predicted to be greater than an Air Quality Index value of 100 for the pollutant of Ground Level Ozone . The Air Quality Index...or AQI...was created as an easy way to correlate levels of different pollutants to one scale. The higher the AQI value...the greater the health concern. When pollution levels are elevated...the New York State Department of Health recommends that individuals consider limiting strenuous outdoor physical activity to reduce the risk of adverse health effects. People who may be especially sensitive to the effects of elevated levels of pollutants include the very young...and those with preexisting respiratory problems such as asthma or heart disease. Those with symptoms should consider consulting their personal physician. For additional information, please visit the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website at,, or call the Air Quality Hotline at 800-535-1345.


Sun powers the home and charges electric vehicle

Print Email

LYNBROOK, NY - September 30, 2011 - The Olsen family of Lynbrook has found a way around high energy costs at home and at the gas pump by taking advantage of the sun's great power. A recently completed 7.31 kW solar energy system installed by EmPower Solar of Island Park, frees the Olsen's from high electric bills at home, while a Leviton Evr-Green ® solar-powered charging station provides the juice for their Chevy Volt electric car, keeping them away from the gasoline station.

"I decided to go solar to avoid the ever-increasing cost of energy, eliminate my electric bill and reduce my carbon footprint," said homeowner Ed Olsen. "After freeing myself from the monthly LIPA bill, I decided to buy the Chevy Volt to do away with yet another growing expense, the high cost of gasoline. I charge the Volt using the power of the sun and feel good about doing my part to help the environment."

Olsen estimates that he will save nearly $1,500 a year in gasoline (at today's prices) by driving the Volt and $2,600 on his annual LIPA bill by converting his home to solar power. Olsen's enthusiasm for alternative energy has also led him to pursue a career in the field and has since joined EmPower's sales team and is helping spread the word about the benefits of solar power.

"The Olsens are part of a growing trend of people on Long Island and across the country who are saying 'no' to high electric and gasoline prices and harnessing the power of the sun and using other forms of renewable energy to lower their energy costs," said David Schieren, CEO of EmPower Solar, himself a Chevy Volt owner. "Solar energy has proven itself ready for prime-time and is well on track to become the dominant energy source of the 21st century."

According to Gordian Raacke, executive director of Renewable Energy Long Island, a leading nonprofit organization promoting clean, sustainable energy, over 4,000 Long Islanders have installed solar energy systems, with some of them paying as little as $9 a month to LIPA. Federal tax credits, LIPA rebates and increased competition has made solar an affordable option for many Long Islanders, with a total return on investment realized in as little as six years. Average installation costs for a typical Long Island home are $17,000 after factoring in incentives, tax credits and rebates.

Nationally, the U.S. solar photovoltaic market is one of the fastest growing segments of the energy market, on track to double last year's installations with an estimated 1,750 megawatts predicted for 2011, enough to power 350,000 homes. As an economic engine, the U.S. solar industry employs over 100,000 Americans, twice as many as in 2009, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. The majority of those working in the solar industry are small businesses, like EmPower.

High resolution photos of Ed Olsen's solar home can be downloaded at:

About EmPower Solar
EmPower Solar is a leading solar contractor serving Long Island's residential and commercial markets. Since 2003, EmPower has installed over 350 residential, commercial and nonprofit solar power systems in the Tri-State Area. Additionally, EmPower has consulted on many clean energy projects throughout the country, including solar powered hydrogen fueling systems and electric vehicle charging infrastructure. EmPower is committed to the EmPowering Way operating philosophy, defined by the highest quality work and professionalism. More information about EmPower can be found online at:

# # #