Solar Questions and Utilty Company Changes Print

7:00AM - Arizona Staycation Hour

Broadcasting on KTAR: Click the segment links below to listen to the archive or click the iTunes icon to the right to download this hour's Podcast.



Segment 1 (running time 12:04)

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Lindsay Ignatowski & Ryan Wood with Water Shed Management Group join us to talk about what they're doing and how you can get involved. 

  • Statistics and how we compare to neighboring states.
  • Water Shed Management Group's mission.
  • Projects from Tucson to Phoenix.
  • The hold events you can attend year round.

Segment 2 (running time 7:44)

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More on Water Conservations with Watershed Management Group:

  • Romero Family Confessions....
  • "Slow, Spread & Seek" & how to apply this concept on your property.
  • Some examples around Phoenix.
  • Learning through trial & error what types of plants work in our extreme heat.
  • Keeping water out of the drainage systems and on YOUR property. Keep that water!
  • Unique projects you can see for yourself. Like the Phoenix Zoo's Harmony Farm Section.

Segment 3 (running time 14:00)

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Rosie admits to being skeptical about the water conservations industry. Jennifer & our guests set him straight.

  • Our guest does a great impression of Bob Ross, the late PBS artist.
  • Statistics on how much water your roof could capture.
  • There are thousands of gallons coming off your roof! Not hundreds. Thousands!
  • Ryan talks about the process of rain harvesting and classes you could take.

Rosie takes timeout to remind you to sign up for the Sanderson Ford Arizona Staycation!

Romey talks about different train rides you can take all across Arizona.

*Find them at the Fun Train Rides Site. Click here for Arizona!

Back to our topic of water: Did you know you can get rebates for removing your lawn? Learn about all your options from the crew.  Lindsay talks about coop opportunities and how you can get help with your home project. Find all the ways to help, here!

Segment 4 (running time 7:18)

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  • How Arizona's conservation stands compared to the 1950's.
  • "Best Practices" are a great way to change daily habits.
  • Proper use of grey water.
  • Creative ways to save money on utilities and to add plants to drain gray water.
  • Everyone's goal should be to cut down 10 percent of their usage.
  • Why black plastic is a bad idea out in the yard.
  • Where Watershe Management Group is a non profit group. DONATE HERE

Thanks to Lindsay & Ryan for joining us today.

8:00AM - Outdoor Living: Notes from the Nursery with Jay Harper

Broadcasting on KTAR & KNST, KAFF & KGVY: Click the segment links below to listen to the archive or click the iTunes icon to the right to download this hour's Podcast.



Segment 1 (running time 12:04)

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After his brother Jeff took your landscape questions last week, Jay is back to help this weekend. You can find both the guys at Harper's Nursery & Landscaping Company.

Tip of the Week:  It's almost Labor Day weekend. You should be getting your garden prepared for fall vegetables!

  • Why nurse plants through our summer heat?
  • Citrus needs to be fertilized Labor Day weekend.
  • What our easy spring into a very hot summer has done to AZ plants. 
  • How to help your plants recuperate from the recent heat.


  • Chris - He planted pumpkins months ago, but he's not seeing any actual fruit. Will he get a plant by halloween? He also has yellowing on his watermelon and it's "Cracked all over."

Recommendation - Without actual fruit on the vines at this point in the season, it's going to be tough but now that the days are shorter, he could get some smaller ones by halloween. Jay would harvest it now. It's sunburned and will crack during late summer. The fruit could still be good, though.

  • Raymond - There is a leak in his irrigaton, do we have someone that he can use instead of a plumber?

Recommendation - He needs to call a landscaper, because a plumber is spendy compared to a landscaper on this service call.

Segment 2 (running time 6:29)

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  • Danny - He has a chilean mesquite and all the leaves have dropped...."Is it dead?"

Recommendation - At the trees age, it should be bigger than 10 feet. Jay investigates and there could be a better tree for the space it's in.  Find out which trees are options with his H.O.A. Take the list to a nursery and find a great tree that would thrive in the space. He could stop in at Elgin Nursery in Surprise.

  • Vivian - Her 27 year old sumac tree is losing it's leaves one side. What do we think is happening?

Recommendation - She needs to water it much longer than she has been. The drip system is not providing near enough to supply the size of tree she has.

Segment 3 (running time 12:21)

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Rosie & Jay have a competition to save more water during the last year.


  • Tim - His Palo brea Tree's trunk has gotten large and the bark is falling off and on the sun side there's evident of bugs damaging it too. Half the tree looks good, the other half has yellowing leaves and are dried up. 

Recommendation - It sounds like sun burn caused the damage and the boring critters took advantage and damaged other parts of the tree. Unfortunately, there's not a whole lot to do if the damage is in the main trunk. He can take a picture to a tree expert in Tucson, like Mesquite Valley Growers.

  • Martin - His Chinese Elm hasn't fully blossomed this year and is thin. Any suggestions?

Recommendation - It's time to fertilize, so do that first. Elms are heat tolerant, but need deep irrigation, so check the watering schedule and make sure it's getting plenty of water. This is very common.

*Use Landscaping Watering Guides at Water Use It Wisely.

  • Cal - His Texas Fan Ash has 3 branches that died, recently.

Recommendation - Ash trees need an lot of water. Jay would add mulch around the basin he has and then slow down the water drip and let it run longer and deeper.  It's also time to fertilize too.

Segment 4 (running time 6:42)

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Jay shares tips on keeping plants healthy after most of our callers have stressed plants from the hot summer heat. Fertilize!

  • Follow the label directions on fertilizers.
  • Use the correct formula in fertilizer for your exact situation.
  • Use the correct amount. No more, no less!
  • Don't Fertilize on dry soil surfaces. Fertilize hydrated plants, not stressed.

*Dry versus liquid fertilizers.


  • Siri - He has a large tree that is leaning toward his neighbor's house, so he took it down last year. He took it down to the stump, but the roots are still shooting up everywhere and wants to kill the whole root system.

Recommendation - There are several options; brush & stump killer, undiluted roundup, drill holes into the stump down into the system. Jay shares several options.

*Rosie's funny battle with his pomegranite and other plants in his yard.

You can always stop in during the week and on Saturday's after the show to talk to Jay at Harper's Nursery & Landscaping Company.

9:00AM - Housing Topic Hour 1

Broadcasting on KTAR & KNST, KAFF & KGVY: Click the segment links below to listen to the archive or click the iTunes icon to the right to download this hour's Podcast.



Segment 1 (running time 12:12)

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In Studio with solar experts, Mike Bartelitti from Southwestern Solar & Dan King with Harmon Solar

  • Rosie has a few warnings about some groups running solar scams, recently.
  • A few updates on the industry between the utility companies & solar companies.
  • Rate Hearings set your rates and how they're settled.
  • What it means for APS customers.
  • T.E.P.'s request was shot down....good news for homeowner's.
  • Mark talks about how the changes are effecting southern Arizona and Southwestern Solar. 
  • How the industry and the businesses can make it a win-win for everyone.
  • Leasing versus Purchasing solar systems?

Segment 2 (running time 6:38)

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  • Romey talks about Green Valley Cooling & Heating's relationship with Southwestern Solar.
  • Mike talks about "What Makes Solar Work"
  • What home orientation means to your prospects of saving with solar.
  • Fixing the "wasted energy use" in your home 1st.


  • Emilio - He's skeptical about the solar industry because he's seemed them taken off of homes around his place? Why should we trust the industry when it's being so heavily subsidized.

Recommendation - There is a lot of questions about subsidies, but remember oil and gas are subsidized too. It's not exclusive to the solar industry and there could be a lot of reasons (unpaid bills, etc.) the panels were removed on his neighbor's house.

Segment 3 (running time 12:57)

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Both of our guests give out a few specials for Rosie On The House listener's.


  • Dave - He was wondering why there aren't more stand alone structures with solar panels on them?

Recommendation - Money, money, money. The roof is already there and the return on investment isn't there. If you're designing a new home, this is much easier to plan for. This is great for shaded parking structures.

*How do schools afford solar systems? Our experts answer it for you.

  • John - He has a few bids together and noticed his consumption should be on "off-peak" rates. He needs a push to be confident enough to go forward.

Recommendation - Solar systems can be designed around the "Time of Day" price plans John is talking about. Dan and Mark break down costs and what he should look for on his current bids.

*Building up credits during the winter season to use during the peak times of summer.

  • Steve - He wants to know if he could solar panels on his pergola?

Recommendation - It would need a site visit, but generally speaking this will not work. The weight is fine, but the uplift would most likely be too much.

*Some roofs that are East-West facing, it might still be possible to install solar panels. Each home is unique.

Segment 4 (running time 6:51)

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  • Arthur - If someone has solar panels on their roof, is it a problem when the roof is damaged?

Recommendation - Yes! The roof should be inspected and made sure that it's in good shape BEFORE a system it is installed. Don't put a solar system on a bad roof. It will cost much more $$$ if you have to remove solar panels and re-install them on a bad roof.

  • Steve - He and his wife have recently heard about new batteries to store power. What have we heard and what is the timeline?

Recommendation - Tesla has just come up with a new battery solution, but they are extremely expensive now. This would cut down on your return on investment and make it too spendy to be worth it.

10:00AM - Housing Topic Hour 2

Broadcasting on KTAR & KNST, KAFF & KGVY: Click the segment links below to listen to the archive or click the iTunes icon to the right to download this hour's Podcast.



Segment 1 (running time 12:17)

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  • Jay - He is very close to making the decision on solar, but the last quote they got included an "optimizer." What is it and should he include it?

Recommendation - An "Optimizer" balances out the power, but it depends on how much they are charging him for it. Dan's advice is to make sure you're getting your money back and it's worth the cost.  Optimizers can be a waste of money in some cases. Just make sure you need the product.

  • Andrew - He's generated a lot of solar energy on his last bill and he wants to know how all the taxes and charges are justified on his bill? He feels like he's being punished by the utility companies for using solar.

Recommendation - Rosie is having Andrew send in his statements to see what he thinks. Rosie might have some suggestions.

*Dan shares his knowledge on utility rates he's seeing.

  • Victor - He's considering solar and he's concerned about the lifespan of a solar panel?

Recommendation - Most panels have about a 25 year expectancy and both of our experts weigh in on the degredation times homeonwer's can expect.

Segment 2 (running time 6:32)

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We cover going "Off The Grid" with Solar Energy:

  • New Technology is improving.
  • You'll need storage for the power.
  • If utility companies & the solar industry work together, it could be much easier.
  • Our experts think it will increase over time.

What about "The technology is going to be better tomorrow, why should I buy today?"


  • Johnny - Is 24 cents a kilowatt right now going to change and will rates go up soon?

Recommendation - That's tough to answer, but there are things that utility companies are doing to bring down costs too.

Segment 3 (running time 13:30)

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  • Jenny - She and her family couldn't afford the leasing solar option was too expensive and she'd be consuming a lot of power. With the extra people in her home now, will it be too big of a system and make it hard to sell the home?

Recommendation - This is a common problem and should be considered in the decision. She could go with a smaller system. Also, make sure the escilator is right for her situation. She could always call Harmon Solar!

*We discuss the benefit of getting an energy audit done BEFORE you start looking at solar systems for your home.

  • Sally - Her parents have solar panels and after a very high utility bill in July. After they called, an engineer says that some of the panels have shut down. Now the company is not returning calls and they have not shown up?

Recommendation - Dan thinks it might be a faulty inverter and could be replaced free of charge. Harmon Solar is an authorized dealer with these inervter's and she might get them up and running soon.

  • Richard - Do the sun generators work when there is no sun?

Recommendation - He's talking about a camping or disaster solar power generators. It's probably more cost effective and reliable to go with a gas or propane generator. If you're up north, you can call Barrett Propane.

Segment 4 (running time 6:20)

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  • Scott - He has concrete patios with awnings. Could they be strong enough to use them as a structure for setting panels on them?

Recommendation - It would take structural analysis to make sure the footings can hold the weight. It could be possible, so without an analysis it's hard to know.

If you have questions about solar at your home and you live in southern Arizona, call Southwestern Solar and in the Phoenix area, call Harmon Solar.

*Don't forget, if you're in Tucson call The Solar Store.

Join Rosie On The House Every Saturday Morning!!!