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“Produce” Electricity with a Potato!

Uncategorized May 20, 2020

Got a potato in the pantry? Then you can “produce” electricity! Certain metals can react with the “raw” ingredients in the potato to create an electrical circuit. This post from Sciencing shows you how to set up this experiment for your kids (or the inquisitive kid in you adults!). Unless you have a fully stocked workshop in your garage or shed, you may need to make a visit to your local hardware store to get the right type of metal nails, plastic-coated wire, and a 1-volt LED bulb. But any excuse to get out of the house is welcomed at this point, right?

Post a Tik-Tok or other video of you producing electricity from a potato below!

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Energy Saving Tips

Uncategorized May 07, 2020


While we are battling this microscopic COVID-19 enemy, at least we have the creature comfort of electricity powering our homes. In World War I and II, blackouts were imposed in some European countries requiring windows and doors be covered at night so no glimmer of light could be detected by enemy aircraft. Streetlights and vehicle lights were adapted to deflect light downwards.

Thankfully, our electricity is not restricted during the Coronavirus pandemic. But with more time spent at home, your utility bill may be increasing while your income may be decreasing. Here are some tips to lower your electric bill.

Save on Air Conditioning

Air conditioners are known energy hogs. With summer around the corner, electricity bills can jump up due to air conditioner use. Here are a few ways to keep A/C costs down:

· Use your air conditioner only when necessary. Take advantage of cool nights and not-so-hot days to give your A/C a break.

· Replace the filter, so your unit...

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Bicycle Power

Uncategorized Apr 29, 2020

When sprinting, professional cyclists produce enough power to power a home. – Snapple Real Fact #1424

A random Snapple cap fact led us to further research this claim. Indeed, according to, Tour de France bicyclists can power the average American home – for over 170 days!

The energy from the peloton (that’s French for “group;” who knew?) could keep your iPhone charged for 1,344 years and your laptop operational for 183 years. A single Tour de France rider can power an air conditioner for 19.8 hours, a washing machine for 51.6 hours, or a 100-watt lightbulb for 257.9 hours.

If you don’t want to waste all the energy from your stay-at-home workouts, you can use this self-isolation time to build a bicycle generator in 9 steps. Hook it up to your cell phone charger or make a post-workout smoothie with an attached blender.

Most of us mere mortals only generate a third of the energy of the elite Tour de France athletes, so the dream of...

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Say Watt? Take an Electricity Scavenger Hunt

Uncategorized Apr 22, 2020
We know a lot of you are at home with your kids, helping them with their schoolwork.
This fun Electricity Scavenger Hunt activity (from will get the whole family thinking about how many things require electricity in and around your home. (And aren't you grateful to have it?)
After finding all the ways electricity is used in your home, post your total score in the comments below!
Bonus points if you tell us which one you are most grateful for and why. 
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Electric Power Companies Help Customers Struggling Due to Coronavirus

At Santa Barbara Sparky, we're dedicated to keeping your lights on. To that end, here is some information on how utility companies are offering help if your household is having trouble paying your electric bill during this pandemic.
Southern California Edison is suspending service connections due to non-payment, and is waiving late fees by request for both residential and business customers. Visit or call 1-800-950-2356 to work out payment arrangements that could spread out your payments during this difficult season.
PG&E is offering financial assistance programs for those affected by COVID-19. Even if you are receiving unemployment benefits, you may still qualify for a reduced energy rate through California Alternative Rates for Energy (CARE) or Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA). Apply for the discounts here: ...
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