Consumers Energy Aims to Expand Solar Capacity

Landowners and communities looking to partner on creating solar power plants are encouraged to contact Consumers Energy, as the company plans to add 8,000 megawatts of solar energy to the power grid. According to their Clean Energy Plan, they plan to pull more than 60 percent of their electric capacity from renewable resources and be carbon neutral in 2040. 

Dennis Dobbs, Consumers Energy Vice President of Enterprise Project Management and Environmental Services, said, “We need to support Michigan, especially in rural and agricultural areas, and we want to work with landowners and local leaders interested in sitting solar power plants to deliver environmental and economic benefits for their communities. Harnessing the sun is Michigan’s moonshot – and we won’t achieve this historic goal without help.” 

Consumers’ timing is just right, as wind and solar energy accounted for 20 percent of electricity generation throughout the United States for the first time in history. Solar energy is also experiencing a boom worldwide, as wind and solar were the fastest-growing sources of energy for the 17th year in a row. Between 2015 and 2021, wind and solar energy doubled electricity production to 10 percent.

Dobbs said, “Our goal is to meet Michigan’s property owners and communities where they are to start a conversation about mutually beneficial solar solutions.” 

Consumers Energy is looking for roughly 500 to 900 acres to install solar panels and suggested three locations that would work well for what they need: publicly owned property, brownfield sites, or fields.

While the Clean Energy Plan focuses on improving the environment, it will undoubtedly create more jobs and provide an economic boost as well. According to experts, the plan has the ability to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 63 million tons. 

Are you interested in installing solar panels to power your home or business? Contact the professionals at State Electric Company today. 

State Electric Company is a leader in the electrification of the nation. Our highly educated and experienced team of professionals uses industry-leading software technology and has partnered with manufacturers to deliver affordable solutions for all your electrical needs. State Electric Co. is also an exclusive distributor for Enel X JuiceBox EV chargers for residential and commercial use. We are fully licensed, insured, and bonded to install charging stations for homes, offices, hotels, and more. With our extensive knowledge in renewable energy, our team provides customers – large or small – with efficient electrical solutions. Contact us today to learn how we can safely and affordably meet your energy needs.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/

EV Charging Connectors Explained

Electric Vehicle (EV) chargers are standardized based on the market and technology limitations, and are constantly changing based on innovation. Major markets such as North America, Japan, the European Union, and China have set charging infrastructure, but power availability makes them limited. 

Every EV sold in North America is compatible with J1772 connectors. All EVs – except Tesla – use the J1772 for Level 1 (120 V) and Level 2 (240 V) charging. Tesla owners have an adapter cable to use J1772. 

Europe does not typically have 120 V power, so Level 1 charging is not used. Instead, the IEC 62196 Type 2 connector is utilized for Level 2 AC charging. Tesla uses a proprietary connector for its European EVs, but a few models use the IEC 62196 Type 2 connector. 

EV charging connectors are as follows: 

AC Charging Connectors

  • North America: SAE J1772 Type 1
  • Europe: IEC 62196 Type 2 (Mennekes)
  • China: GB/T

DC Charging Connectors

  • North America & Europe: variations of the Combined Charging System (CCS) 
  • Japan: CHAdeMO 
  • China: GB/T

DC Fast Charge Connectors

  • North America: CCS Type 1
  • Europe: CCS Type 2 
  • Japan: CHAdeMo
  • Teslas: Supercharger; or uses a charging converter for Level 1, Level 2, and DC Fast Charge

Wireless charging is under development; they would be installed in parking lots or underneath roads. 

Are you interested in installing an EV charger in your home or business? Contact the experts at State Electric Company to receive a quote today. 

State Electric Company is a leader in the electrification of the nation. Our highly educated and experienced team of professionals uses industry-leading software technology and has partnered with manufacturers to deliver affordable solutions for all your electrical needs. State Electric Co. is also an exclusive distributor for Enel X JuiceBox EV chargers for residential and commercial use. We are fully licensed, insured, and bonded to install charging stations for homes, offices, hotels, and more. With our extensive knowledge in renewable energy, our team provides customers – large or small – with efficient electrical solutions. Contact us today to learn how we can safely and affordably meet your energy needs.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/

Michigan has Big EV Charging Plans!

From Michigan’s upper peninsula to the Motor City, this great state has set a path to continue the journey of expanding the EV charging market. From new startups and increasing services, read on to learn more!

The first utility-led Electric Vehicle (EV) effort has been approved by the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) for the Upper Peninsula (UP). This authorization will let the Upper Peninsula Power Company (UPPC) and its customers access funding to help offset costs associated with EV fast chargers.

UPPC is based in Marquette and serves roughly 52,000 customers in 10 counties throughout the central and western UP. The installation cost will be split by the power company, state, and individual customers. UPPCO can recover costs with the MPSC at a later date through filings.  

As more tourists become EV owners, the UP needs to adapt, according to Tom Nemacheck, Executive Director of the UP Travel and Recreation Association. He said, “We can’t afford to give them a reason not to come.”

Nemacheck continued to say that having a network of Level 3 fast chargers would complement the ongoing installation of Level 2 chargers. “There are hotels that are more and more putting them [EV chargers] in. They’re not the commercial ones that you might pull up to like a gas station, but people can plug them in at the hotel,” he said. 

In roughly 10 to 20 minutes, fast chargers can partially recharge an EV battery, which lets drivers go on longer trips without having to stop for lengthy periods to recharge. 

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Plug Zen, a new startup in Detroit, has featured its new electric vehicle charging platform, which is due to showcase at the Detroit Auto Show in September. Presented in the New York and LA Auto Shows, Plug Zen is one of the few black-owned businesses in the EV industry. Founded by Kwabena “Q” Johnson, who worked at Ford for ten years in the alternative fuel division, has moved into the EV arena before launching Plug Zen in 2020. 

Johnson said, “I saw the vision early on.” Companies like Tesla, BP, and Shell are tough competitors in the sizzling EV market, but Plug Zen is looking to be among the thousands of EV charging stations across the United States. 

Similar to a parking garage, Plug Zen is set up like an EV gas station, which is ideal for multi-family housing and workplaces. Plug Zen can charge up to 10 EVs at once, with a unique approach of the ability to sort of daisy chain the charging. 

“Most people, they’ll be topping off at home or work so they’ll never run out of juice. Anywhere where a vehicle will likely sit for two hours or more will be an ideal place for our EV chargers,” Johnson said.

Despite being in the automotive capital, Johnson said he had to seek funding and investors outside of Michigan. Plug Zen received its $250,000 seed capital from Brown Venture Group, LLC, a venture capital firm based in Minneapolis. 

Looking to buy an EV charger for residential or commercial use? State Electric Co. is an authorized reseller for Enel X JuiceBox EV Chargers. We have them in stock and ready to ship! Need installation or have questions, give us a call or contact us today.

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State Electric Company is a leader in the electrification of the nation. Our highly educated and experienced team of professionals uses industry-leading software technology and has partnered with manufacturers to deliver affordable solutions for all your electrical needs. State Electric Co. is also an exclusive distributor for Enel X JuiceBox EV chargers for residential and commercial use. We are fully licensed, insured, and bonded to install charging stations for homes, offices, hotels, and more. With our extensive knowledge in renewable energy, our team provides customers – large or small – with efficient electrical solutions. Contact us today to learn how we can safely and affordably meet your energy needs. 

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

New Strides in Gathering Solar Power at Night!

An April 2022 publication in the Applied Letters in Physics notes that new research from Stanford University is gaining way to obtain solar energy from nighttime skies. By modifying commercial-grade solar panels, researchers were able to harvest a small amount of electricity at night through a process called radiative cooling.

“We tend to think of the sun as the important renewable energy resource,” said Shanhui Fan, the lead researcher. Adding, “The coldness of outer space is also an extremely important renewable energy resource.”

Though they were not specifically searching for this, Shanhui Fan and his team found that radiative cooling generates solar electricity at night based on the temperature difference between the solar cells (of the panels) and its surroundings.

The Stanford team constructed a photovoltaic cell that harvests energy from the atmosphere 24/7, avoiding the need for storage batteries. While only a small amount of energy was harnessed at night compared to daytime, the results are impressive and warrant further research.

At night, solar panels facing the sky radiate the heat they gathered back out to space, making them cooler than the air temperature around them. This effect could have positive applications in cooling buildings, but the difference found here is how this temperature change can potentially generate a significant amount of electricity.

Sill in its infancy, if these findings gain future practical applications, it’s exciting to know that it can easily be deployed as the modifications were made to standard commercial solar panels. Improvements in design are still required, but the idea of using outer space as a renewable energy source is interesting, to say the least. These findings are another great step in obtaining alternative sources of clean energy.

Thinking of installing solar panels? State Electric Company designs and installs rooftop and ground mount solar panel systems that can integrate with a backup generator and/or an EV charger. Contact us to learn more!

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State Electric Company is a leader in the electrification of the nation. Our highly educated and experienced team of professionals uses industry-leading software technology and has partnered with manufacturers to deliver affordable solutions for all your electrical needs. State Electric Co. is also an exclusive distributor for Enel X JuiceBox EV chargers for residential and commercial use. We are fully licensed, insured, and bonded to install charging stations for homes, offices, hotels, and more. With our extensive knowledge in renewable energy, our team provides customers – large or small – with efficient electrical solutions. Contact us today to learn how we can safely and affordably meet your energy needs. 

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com

Hotels Race to Meet Growing Demand for EV Chargers

Electric Vehicles (EVs) are quickly charging their way forward, growing from niche to normal. According to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance report, titled, “Electric Vehicle Outlook 2018,” sales of EVs will increase from 1.1 million worldwide in 2017 to 11 million in 2025, followed by 30 million in 2030.

Hotel operators are racing to meet the demand for charging stations by installing EV chargers and attracting customers. A charging station manufacturer, EOS Linux, struck a deal with Choice Hotels International to install charging stations at specific properties.

Blake Snyder, President of EOS Linx, said, “Choice Hotels properties are often located close to highways, making them ideal locations for EV chargers.” Each of the EOS Charging Stations to be installed includes a 75-inch digital display to showcase public service announcements.

Rick Summa, Vice President of Partner Services at Choice Hotels International, said, “This will provide drivers with access to EV chargers while traveling, and potentially uncover new customer engagement opportunities for our 6,000-plus domestic franchised hotels.”

Companies such as Hilton and Destination Hotels have partnered with Tesla or other businesses such as General Electric or Kerbspace, with some contracts sparked back in 2019.

Jonathan Wilson, Vice President of customer experience and innovation at Hilton, guessed that roughly 300 properties in the United States and Canada have EV charging stations. While some companies are rushing to install chargers, some have had EV charging stations for roughly a decade, such as Marriott International.

Denise Naguib, Vice President of sustainability and supplier diversity at Marriott, said Marriott properties today have over 1,700 charging stations at more than 600 hotels. The number of chargers range from one unit to 15, depending on guest demand.

Looking to attract the EV demographic to your place of business? You’ve come to the right place! At State Electric Company, our professional and experienced team will review your goals, inspect your infrastructure, design, and install the EV charging station(s) customized for your property and key metrics – all with unmatched service. Contact us today to learn more.

State Electric Company is a leader in the electrification of the nation. Our highly educated and experienced team of professionals uses industry-leading software technology and has partnered with manufacturers to deliver affordable solutions for all your electrical needs. State Electric Co. is also an exclusive distributor for Enel X JuiceBox EV chargers for residential and commercial use. We are fully licensed, insured, and bonded to install charging stations for homes, offices, hotels, and more. With our extensive knowledge in renewable energy, our team provides customers – large or small – with efficient electrical solutions. Contact us today to learn how we can safely and affordably meet your energy needs.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Electrification Viable Solution to Climate Change

Extreme temperatures such as unordinary polar vortexes and heat domes have plagued the United States – a classic example of climate change. As the situation worsens around the globe, we are afflicted with more frequent extreme weather caused by greenhouse gas emissions.

To help remedy the situation, Congress is considering a new bill that presents a historic opportunity to significantly lower emissions, improve home efficiency, slash bills, and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs.

Replacing appliances run by fossil fuels with electrical appliances will improve efficiency and create clean energy, one of the most viable solutions to lower emissions and remove toxic indoor air pollutants. Some examples of these technologies include fully electrical heat pumps, dryers, and induction stoves.

To help the electrification effort, incentives are sprouting up country-wide. Scientists agree we must reach net-zero emissions to ensure Earth stays livable by 2050.

Unfortunately, this goal might be more difficult than anticipated, as over one hundred million buildings burn fossil fuels daily, contributing to 13 percent of the total amount of emissions. Almost 1.4 million new homes that were constructed in 2021 were made with fossil-fuel-driven gas heating or appliances.

The average home appliance lasts 10 to 15 years – buildings total roughly 50 years – so each new build that includes fossil fuels will result in higher costs for decades to come. To reach the goal of net-zero by 2050, all new buildings should have electrical appliances by 2025 or replace old equipment by 2030.

Fully electric homes can reduce homeowner costs in addition to toxic emissions. Research conducted by Rewiring America showed that 85 percent of all United States households would save money on monthly energy bills by converting to electrical appliances.

Electrification is much more than just appliances – electric vehicles are also a monumental factor when trying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Contact the professionals at State Electric Company today to learn how we can help you reduce your carbon footprint and help fight climate change.

State Electric Company is a leader in the electrification of the nation. Our highly educated and experienced team of professionals uses industry-leading software technology and has partnered with manufacturers to deliver affordable solutions for all your electrical needs. State Electric Co. is also an exclusive distributor for Enel X JuiceBox EV chargers for residential and commercial use. We are fully licensed, insured, and bonded to install charging stations for homes, offices, hotels, and more. With our extensive knowledge in renewable energy, our team provides customers – large or small – with efficient electrical solutions. Contact us today to learn how we can safely and affordably meet your energy needs.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

The Best Whole House Generators

Seasonal storms, downed trees, and computer malfunctions can all cut off your connection to the energy grid, sometimes for days. Investing in a backup energy source for your home can make a big difference when the power goes out.

Depending on where you live, losing power could leave you without heat or air conditioning and threaten the food you have stored in your freezer and make it difficult, if not impossible, to work from home. The answer is a backup whole house generator that will supply your home’s energy needs until you get back online.

A whole house generator differs from portable generators in that this type of system kicks on automatically when your power goes out, even if you’re not home. In addition, it doesn’t need cans of gasoline to keep it running.

An article in Forbes advises that the best time to get a whole house generator is before you need it. We agree! Stay ahead of the never-ending fluctuating prices of gasoline and supply demand – when a storm or other crisis is looming, you can’t risk the variables.

Read on to learn who Forbes gives top five honors to as the 2022 best whole house generator:  

1. Generac Guardian WIFI-enabled Standby Generator

This system is powered by either liquid propane or natural gas, has an automatic switch to turn on the minute you lose electrical power, and allows you to monitor the system’s status from any WiFi-enable device. We like it because it’s quiet, affordably priced compared with similar units, and has an automatic high-temperature shutdown function.

2. Briggs & Stratton 12,000-Watt, Automatic Air-cooled Standby Generator

This unit packs a big punch in a small package. It has an automatic voltage regulator, smartphone app control via WiFi, and an efficient alternator. We like that it requires little room in your home and has a durable engine from one of America’s premium engine makers.

3. Champion 14kW aXis Home Standby Generator with 200-amp Whole House Switch

This generator is the most expensive option on our list, but it’s also the most powerful at 14,000 kW. It has an automatic switch and performs automated self-diagnostic tests to keep it running smoothly, even in extreme temperatures. In addition to its power, we like this one because it’s the quietest on our list.

4. Generac PowerPact 7,500-watt Standby Generator

The PowerPact generator is a good choice for a cabin or small home. It can power up to eight circuits in your home and have an automatic turn-on switch. This unit has the smallest footprint of the generators on our list, so virtually every home has room for it. We like it because of its lightweight, compact size and relatively affordable price.

5. Generac Guardian 3-phase 20kW, Automatic Standby Generator WIFI-enabled

This unit is one of the most advanced 3-phase, air-cooled generators available. It generates enough power for a large home or a small business. We like its capacity, and it’s reasonably quiet for the amount of power.

For professional and safe installation of automatic backup generators, call State Electric Company today!

State Electric Company is a leader in the electrification of the nation. Our highly educated and experienced team of professionals uses industry-leading software technology and has partnered with manufacturers to deliver affordable solutions for all your electrical needs. State Electric Co. is also an exclusive distributor for Enel X JuiceBox EV chargers for residential and commercial use. We are fully licensed, insured, and bonded to install charging stations for homes, offices, hotels, and more. With our extensive knowledge in renewable energy, our team provides customers – large or small – with efficient electrical solutions. Contact us today to learn how we can safely and affordably meet your energy needs.Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Most Important Factors Currently Driving the EV Market

Electric vehicle (EV) awareness and sales have been steadily growing over the past decade. According to the latest forecast published by AutoPacific, a respected future-oriented automotive marketing research and product-consulting firm for vehicles in the U.S. market, fully electric light vehicle sales are currently estimated at their highest yet. With sales of 700,000 units forecasted for 2022, the report suggests a continuing upward trend for the next six years. But what are the factors currently driving this demand?

U.S. drivers, like others globally, certainly want the most value for their buck. Traditional economic aspects such as gas prices play a significant role; however, the recent pandemic caused consumers to change their driving habits radically. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the transportation industry in the U.S. is responsible for 55% of nitrogen-oxide emissions. Reducing greenhouse gases emitted from cars and trucks improves air quality. EV’s main components, a motor, reducer, battery, on-board charger, and electric power control unit, distinguish them from internal combustion engines, thereby eliminating the need for the engine and transmission, which exhausts fossil fuel to generate power.

Advancements in charging technology are a significant contributing factor to the increasing popularity of electric vehicles. EV solutions companies such as Enel X are committed to preserving the environment while continuously adapting to the changing needs of consumers in a digitalized world. EV chargers are breaking ground and opening energy to new uses, focusing on decarbonization, digitalization, and renewable energy.

AutoPacific’s forecast predicts total EV sales to rise to more than 900,000 in 2023, after that accelerating over the following four years, hitting 2.5 million in 2027. There is no denying that the advantages of driving and maintaining an EV vehicle, such as better driving experience and renewable electricity tariffs, will, in the long run, have a positive effect on U.S. consumers. “Green vehicles” are the natural choice for the future of driving. The stakes are growing, and EVs are pushing into the mainstream, providing consumers with faster, more connected, and user-friendly products designed to satisfy commercial fleets and at-home charging.

Looking to buy an EV charger for your home or business? State Electric Company has EV charging stations in stock and ready to ship for immediate use. Call and speak to a rep today (866) 976-8890 for more information.

State Electric Company is a leader in the electrification of the nation. Our highly educated and experienced team of professionals uses industry-leading software technology and has partnered with manufacturers to deliver affordable solutions for all your electrical needs. State Electric Co. is also an exclusive distributor for Enel X JuiceBox EV chargers for residential and commercial use. We are fully licensed, insured, and bonded to install charging stations for homes, offices, hotels, and more. With our extensive knowledge in renewable energy, our team provides customers – large or small – with efficient electrical solutions. Contact us today to learn how we can safely and affordably meet your energy needs.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/.

Drawing Solar Panel Energy at Night

Solar panels work with help from the sun, which provides light converted to power. Photovoltaic cells absorb the sun’s energy, converting it to DC electricity, and a solar inverter converts DC into AC electricity to use throughout the building.

Optimism is growing around how solar panels can continue to generate a substantial amount of energy during nighttime. With widespread implications for solar panels of all kinds, this hybrid solar panel model could utilize daytime and nighttime power.

Dubbed NSP (Night Solar Panels), these novel panels were created by Tristan Deppe and Jeremy Munday from the University of California Davis. In their paper, “Nighttime Photovoltaic Cells: Electrical Power Generation by Optically Coupling with Deep Space,” the team points out the current drawback with solar energy only harnessing energy during daylight hours.

Their research shows that NSPs could emit radiation via infrared that would then create electron-hole pairs. Operating differently than conventional solar panels, NSPs still share some core elements.

Professor Munday said, “A regular solar cell generates power by absorbing sunlight, which causes a voltage to appear across the device and for current to flow. In these new devices, light is instead emitted, and the current and voltage go in the opposite direction, but you still generate power. You have to use different materials, but the physics is the same.”

For now, NSPs are not as powerful as conventional solar panels, but their 24/7 duration offsets that disadvantage. Munday and his fellow researchers are in the prototype stage. Soon they will convert their theory into a functional, live setting.

In developing nations where a high amount of sunshine shines bright, the opportunity for solar panels to provide a solution to communities is high. Solar power is low-cost, easy to install, and is long-term. There are plenty of third-world nations that do not have a lot of sunshine; NSPs would be a monumental addition to these areas. 

Though NSPs won’t be popping up today or tomorrow, the transformative effect they could have in the future gives a bright outlook to the possibilities.

State Electric Company is a leader in the electrification of the nation. Our highly educated and experienced team of professionals uses industry-leading software technology and has partnered with manufacturers to deliver affordable solutions for all your electrical needs. State Electric Co. is also an exclusive distributor for Enel X JuiceBox EV chargers for residential and commercial use. We are fully licensed, insured, and bonded to install charging stations for homes, offices, hotels, and more. With our extensive knowledge in renewable energy, our team provides customers – large or small – with efficient electrical solutions. Contact us today to learn how we can safely and affordably meet your energy needs.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

EV Battery Recycling Becomes More Cost-Effective

At the ReCell Center, the country’s first advanced battery recycling center at the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, a team from Michigan Technological University (MTU) has pioneered a method for separating batteries. The cathode is a positively charged electrode within a lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery. This innovative process paves the way for large-scale recycling of substantial batteries.

Electric Vehicles (EVs) are powered by lithium-ion batteries, as are most portable electronics, including smartphones, tablets, etc. Especially in the EV realm, the demand for batteries has outweighed the technology available to recycle them.

Called “froth flotation,” the process has been used for awhile according to the study, “Used for many years by the mining industry to separate and purify ores, froth flotation separates materials in a flotation tank based on whether they repel water and float, or absorb water and sink. Generally, cathode materials sink, which makes them difficult to separate from each other. That’s true of lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC111) and lithium manganese oxide, two common EV battery cathode materials that the ReCell team used in its experiments. What the researchers found was that separation can be achieved by making one of the cathode materials, NMC111, float via the introduction of a chemical that makes the target material repel water. Once the cathode materials were separated, the researchers determined through testing that the process had a negligible impact on the electrochemical performance of the materials. Both also had high purity levels (95% or above). [F]or now, the ReCell Center team is laser-focused on creating, step by step, a complete recycling process for lithium-ion batteries that is economically viable.”

Before 2032, researcher’s guestimate that two million tons of end-of-life EV Li-ion batteries will be expiring every year, so the process for recycling them is extremely critical. As an increasing number of older model EVs reach the end of their lives, the recycling technology is currently not up to speed.

Since the cathode materials in each EV battery vary by automaker and production year, recycling consists of mixing lithium metal oxides and individually separating each one for them to be reused. Once impossible, this is now feasible thanks to the novel research done by MTU.

Are you looking for an EV charger to power your vehicle? You’ve come to the right place! Contact the experts at State Electric Company to schedule an installation today.

State Electric Company is a leader in the electrification of the nation. Our highly educated and experienced team of professionals uses industry-leading software technology and has partnered with manufacturers to deliver affordable solutions for all your electrical needs. State Electric Co. is also an exclusive distributor for Enel X JuiceBox EV chargers for residential and commercial use. We are fully licensed, insured, and bonded to install charging stations for homes, offices, hotels, and more. With our extensive knowledge in renewable energy, our team provides customers – large or small – with efficient electrical solutions. Contact us today to learn how we can safely and affordably meet your energy needs.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.