Guam-A Different Perspective

Last weekend, the Guam Visitors Bureau celebrated its 50th anniversary as an autonomous Government of Guam agency and celebrated the men and women who GVB says "pioneered" our visitor industry which has brought 1.18 million tourists to Guam this year.  The list was long and very noteworthy.  But I must write that there were at least two notable figures who were missing from that list.  Not sure if it was an oversight or chalk it up to politics. 

The first is former Guam Governor Carl Gutierrez.  The architect behind the Pleasure Island in Tumon and the man who pushed an aggressive visitor agenda that yielded 1,381,513 tourists to Guam in 1997 was not a part of the recent GVB acknowledgements.  Governor Gutierrez was actively in his two terms reaching to new markets including Australia and Europe to bring new investment and opportunities. 

The other is former Guam Governor Carlos Camacho.  The last appointed and first elected Governor of Guam is credited for among other things bringing a brash young tourism professional from Alabama named Bert Unpingco back home to draw more people to Guam and its fledgling industry.  Governor Camacho also was the man who brought the "sister city" agreements to the fold and started with Taipei City, Taiwan upon his election in 1970 which has yieled over 330,000 visitors to Guam in just the last 10 years alone.  He is also credited a number of other agreements that has been the modern Guam feeder of tourists to our island now.

These two would have been my vote to be honored if asked-I wasn't.  I did not mention the younger former Guam Governor Felix Camacho who ushered in the inclusion of Russian visitors we have today and his work with another noted leader-current Guam Congresswoman Madeline Bordallo-who ensured  the passage of the China and Russia Visa Waiver legislation on Capitol Hill.

The funny thing about these types of events is that you run the risk of missing people who should be honored similarly.  From experience, these oversights are not pretty.  In fact, they can be downright painful.     

Message to GVB-you had a whole year to figure this out and how quickly you forgot some of the people whom you ushered all across the Pacific Rim and beyond, whom you asked to speak at your countless events and whom you sought counsel to ensure continued funding for your work both here and abroad.  

Maybe the pioneers honored should have been the past and current staff at GVB.  They did all the heavy lifting.  They executed what the Board of Directors charged them to do. They are tourism for Guam.

We should always think through some of these actions.  

Earlier I noted that the exclusions may have been political.  That might be somewhat true.  It is hard to place four of Guam's living Governors in one room in the climate today-a month shy from the start of the new election cycle.  But what is the harm in bringing them into a room to celebrate our economic life blood-tourism.  

They and everyone that worked for them also contributed to growing tourism over the past five decades.  Let's see what the 60th anniversary of GVB shapes into and make this right. 

Bill 74-32 Signed Into Law

Guam Governor Eddie Calvo today signed Bill 74-32 into law that paves the way for the introduction of solar photovoltaics via Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) into the Guam Public School System.  Thanks to the Guam Renewable Energy Association (GREA) for their advocacy of this important issue for the U.S. Territory.  

Can power rates get any higher?  Guam's cost for power is $0.26/kWh and expected to rise over the next five years.

Should good money continue to be thrown at a bad situation in one of the most challenged education systems in America?  

This effort turns around years of efforts of educators who are finally able to control their own collective destinies and take the savings generated from these private sector led PPA efforts and place these funds into much needed classroom improvements, books, and other learning aids.

This blogger can confirm that the Guam Power Authority was absolutely against this effort.  GPA employed tactics to fight against the bill's implementation  and were unsuccessful in the end. 

This battle was not won overnight.

GPA has stood in front of progress to introduce renewable energy solutions for the island for the past 10 years-calling it perilous to their precious revenue bonds.  Keeping coal fire burning turbines moving versus solar and wind energy is more important to Guam Power.  GPA has been so hypocritical that they pushed hard for solar as a member of the Guam Energy Task Force and through the Guam Consolidated Commission on Utilities attempted to influence the Speaker of the Guam Legislature to buy their arguments that further study and phasing this effort in is best for the people of Guam while their liquefied natural gas proposal was rammed through the Public Utilities Commission of Guam and Guam Legislature .  

GREA stood firm to educate the public and lawmakers that GPA has been wrong in their dealing with this and to force public policy in the right direction in relation to sustainability.

The Guam Renewable Energy Association was started on Guam to bring together all of the renewable energy experts on the Island to establish this well needed industry and to educate the public and private sector on the importance of renewable energy and also the affordability of renewable energy. With Governor Calvo's  recent appointment to President Barack Obama's State, Local and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience,  now is the time to stop the business as usual mentality and curb the extreme amounts of monies that the community of Guam has given to use our energy made from fossil fuels. It is equally disturbing to see that our island who is perceived to have taken leadership in renewable energy to be contemplating the exchange of one fossil fuel for another-liquefied natural gas.

 In a few short years we will be at grid parity in the United States with renewable energy and Guam will follow right behind her. The acceleration of energy storage is also becoming mainstream with logic technology being introduced and the pricing becoming competitive to the exportation of this energy to the grid whereas facilities will be able to store their own excess energy that they over produce during the day.  

Today is a great day for renewable energy on Guam and Micronesia-the first in many battles in the war to push our island towards energy independence.

Price of Electricity Up By Nearly Half Over the Last Decade

Virginia-based on-line news organization reported late last week that the price of electricity hit a record for the month of October, according to data released a week ago by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. For the eleventh straight month, the average price of electricity hit or matched the record level for that month.

The average price of electricity in America last month was 13.2 cents per kilowatt hour (KWH), up from 12.8 cents per KWH in October 2012—and up from 9.3 cents per KWH in October 2003.

Americans now pay 42 percent more for electricity than they did a decade ago.

Put Guam's numbers in perspective.  Costs per KWH on island back in 2003 was $0.18. In 1995 it was just a dime per KWF.  Today that number is $0.26 and about to rise following recent bond issuances poised to pump in over $500 Million for the next couple of years.

The 15-year old journal, led by parent-company Media Research Center, reported that the 13.7 cents per KWH price of electricity of June through September 2013 was the most expensive electricity has ever been in the United States since BLS started tracking electricity prices in November 1978.

Did I say Guam's costs for electricity is a hair over a quarter dollar? Guam Power Authority has reported that customers consumed on average 11, 985 KWH.

In November 2012, electricity Nationwide was 12.7 cents per KWH, which was down from the 12.8 cents per KWH price of November 2011. But, in December 2012, the price of electricity stayed at 12.7 cents per KWH, matching the record monthly price of 12.7 cents per KWH that had been reached in December 2011.

In each of the ten months since December 2012, the price of electricity in the U.S. hit record levels for that month. Although the average price of electricity hit the all-time October record this year, the price in October actually dropped in the States from September, when it was 13.7 cents per KWH.

Give GET, LLC a call or drop us an email to learn about the lines we represent-specifcally our lighting products including Independence LED and our newest partner-Deco Lighting! More to come on that.

US Department of Energy Releases Report on Dimming LED Lights

Our friends at the Tennessee-based EdisonReport recently wrote an on-line article on a recent publication of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE): Dimming LEDs with Phase-Cut Dimmers: The Specifier's Process for Maximizing Success.

This particular Solid-State Lighting GATEWEAY Demonstration Project was created in response to issues raised by the industry about dimming by energy efficiency organizations and specifiers-namely poor performance with existing dimming control systems.

The DOE report noted that while progress has been made in the dimming capabilities of LED luminaires with carefully matched dimming systems, challenges remain with compatibility and performance of LED replacement lamps and dedicated LED luminaires on existing phase-cut dimming systems, which dominate the installed base of dimmers. The new report reviews how phase-cut dimmers work, how LEDs differ from the incandescent lamps these dimmers were originally designed to control, and how those differences can lead to complications when attempting to dim LEDs. Such complications are often due to incompatibility between the LED source and the dimmer, rather than to any shortcomings in the LED source itself.

EdisonReport noted the report provides both general guidance and step-by-step procedures for designing phase-controlled LED dimming on both new and existing projects, as well as real-world examples of how to use those procedures. The general guidance aims to reduce the chance of experiencing compatibility-related problems and, if possible, ensure good dimming performance.

Specifiers should also consider alternatives to phase-control dimming for LED sources, such as digital addressable lighting interface (DALI) or even wireless approaches. While they, too, have their pluses and minuses and typically cost more, separating the control signal from the AC mains voltage may result in higher levels of performance, more predictability, and fewer headaches.

DOE's SSL Technology Demonstration GATEWAY program features high-performance SSL products for general illumination in a variety of exterior and interior applications. The  products are installed at demonstration host sites, where their performance can be evaluated. Performance measures include energy consumption, light output/distribution, and installation/interface/control issues. Qualitative performance is investigated via feedback surveys of the relevant user communities.

To learn more about the lighting controls products that GET,LLC provides, please check out our website at or call us to discuss solutions for your important lighting needs-Made in America!!!

Phase Change Energy Solutions-National Retrofit Rollout Begins

In San Diego, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Guam a big rollout is underway.  Phase Change Energy Solutions has kicked off their six locale rollout of the innovative thermal mass product in commercial buildings.

What are Phase Change Materials (PCM) you ask?

Phase change materials do just what their name implies-change "phases" (for example, liquid to solid or solid to liquid) between set temperatures. A October 2009 Metal Construction News article describes it best as during the process of liquefying and solidifying within a set temperature range, PCMs absorb, store and release large amounts of energy. The report notes that these natural properties of latent heat energy help maintain a product's or structure's temperature and buffer it from temperature swings. PCMs recharge as ambient (outdoor) temperatures fluctuate, making them ideal for many everyday applications.

There is no question that available in a variety of forms, bio-based PCMs have myriad applications in the construction industry, with the most popular uses being an aid to insulation, and in flooring and ceiling tiles. They also can be used in bridges and sidewalks to prevent icy surfaces from forming.

Four years ago ,the industry magazine pointed out that PCMs are effective in residential and commercial new construction and remodels. The material works by absorbing and releasing energy(heat) based on the outside temperature to regulate the inside temperature of a structure. During the day it absorbs heat (cools), and at night it releases heat (heats). This makes a structure's energy cycle more efficient-intelligently capturing and releasing otherwise wasted energy.

Today, the way forward is much simpler.

1.You provide us Energy Bills for at least 12 months of service to your facility.

2.We make a site visit to inspect actual mechanical equipment and take installation measurements.

3.We will present proposal for Guaranteed Energy Savings and free labor and materials.

4.We will also install Measurement and Verification Data (M&V) Loggers for a test period, (typically 15 days) to establish energy use-then we review the data with you.

5.We install the bioPCM and run for 15 days to show energy savings.

6.If documented savings not as good as promised, product remains free. If energy saving is met, then you pay for product based upon a 5 year ROI.

Want to try this in your building and save money now?  

To find out more about how GET, LLC through, our metal building partner MCR Guam Inc.-and licensed Phase Change Energy Solutions partner, can help you be a part of this important roll out, give us a call at 671-483-0789 or our website at for more information. 

By the way-get up to 19 LEED Points with Phase Change bioPCM in your next project.

Guam-A Different Perspective

Bill 74-32 sits before the Guam Legislature-a measure that will allow the Guam Department of Education (GDOE) to enter into one or more power purchase agreements (PPA) to purchase solar energy from qualified provider or providers which will be at the best financial interest of the Government of Guam for a period up to and not exceeding twenty five years.  This week, the Guam Renewable Energy Association went on a full court press onto Hessler Street to get this important piece of legislation passed to help grow a fledgling industry in Micronesia.  

GREA was started on Guam to bring together all of the renewable energy experts on the Island to establish this well needed industry and to educate the public and private sector on the importance of renewable energy and also the affordability of renewable energy.  

There are Senators still undecided on this matter.  There are some industry folks including some members of GREA attempting to turn the Bill into a renewable "Christmas" tree law. The Guam Power Authority is fully resisting its passage. 

The time has come for this isolated American community to stop talking about being "green" and demand action to finally bring a sustainable energy solution to our respective doorsteps.

This blogger has learned that in a few short years we will be at grid parity in the United States with renewable energy. The acceleration of energy storage is becoming mainstream with logic technology being introduced and the pricing becoming competitive to the exportation of this energy to the grid whereas facilities will be able to store their own excess energy that they over produce during the day.

Also, after years of bellowing that there are no experts in the renewable energy field on Guam, GREA has brought forward home-grown folks that have been involved in school-related energy projects in the US mainland.   Each with great success.

Why 74-32 now?

GET, LLC and the Association has since been in the process of establishing renewable projects with both short and long term benefits to the utilities grid over the past couple of years. Once this Bill is passed. the costs saved by this solar energy generation would include among other things:

  • Social Benefits: including business to business commerce, job creation, a new tax base, training of skilled workers.
  • Environmental Benefits: Guam’s contribution to the reduction of fossil fuel becoming a Pacific leader in Island climate change.
  • Fuel Price Insurance: Electricity generation from solar resources has an embedded fuel price hedge like value, since its cost of generation is known with reasonable certainty over the expected system life.
  • Utility Energy Purchases/ Generation Impacts: Solar Distributed Generation (DG) reduces the onsite energy requirements of the utility customers who employ these systems. As the number of DG systems increase, sufficient energy may be generated by these systems to offset utility purchases of energy or utility generation. These will create a net economic impact associated with avoided fuel purchases and generation plant O&M costs. 
  • Transmission and Distribution Line Loss Impacts: Distributed solar projects generate energy at the point of use, reducing consumption of energy from the utility grid. In reducing grid energy requirements, the localized distribution feeders and transmission lines serving the utility experience reduced line losses
  • Reliability Benefits: Solar is a proven technology that is very reliable. In larger systems added with storage this can be a very beneficial source of energy for the utility.
  • Energy Security: By adding DG solar this will add to Guam’s energy security reducing the effects of any political impact and the associated price of fuel, such as wars, weather, and the relentless manipulation of supply and demand on fossil fuel. 

GET, LLC is proud to be a part of the Association.  We will continue to work with Senators and GPA as a partner in Energy, and continue to establish a credible Industry. An industry that we believe will not only secure our future as becoming less reliant on fossil fuel but securing our future and our children’s, children future as a carbon neutral society.

We, the people of Guam are the owners of our utility and some of us are rate payers.  Our role as owners carries with it an awesome responsibility to our island, its people, its environment, and its economy.  The utility is not an isolated entity unto itself.  We are the utility. Its action or inaction affect all of us. 

Guam Senators-you are the voice of the owners.  

Please vote yes on 74-32.

What Is The True Cost of Ownership-a Furniture Tip

Our friends at Savoy Contract Furniture shared with us recently a couple of things to think about when looking at the cost of ownership of the furniture in your office, dorm or retail outlet. 

Maintaining furniture can be exactly like having a leaky pipe.  There is no question that you can patch the leaks, but the problem will continue to grow.  They ask us to consider the following when calculating the true cost of your furniture:

  • How many maintenance hours are spent on furniture repair calls?
  • Number of furniture items replaced during the calendar year?
  • How long is your furniture lasing-seven, 10 or 15 years?

Keeping with the comparison, time and again the purchase of low price furniture leads to a leaky pipe.  Calculating the total expenses over a seven year period is usually enough to see how much profit is lost to maintenance.  Look for value added and quality furniture and you should be OK.

For more on how GET,LLC through our friends at Savoy Contract Furniture and teaming partner American Hotel Register can assist you with your specific FF&E needs- please check out our website at or give us a call at 671-483-0789 to discuss the best solution for your facility.  All the solutions are Made in America!

ANNOUNCEMENT-GET, LLC is a Cisco Business Partner

Managing Partner Tricia J.S. Gumataotao is proud to announce that GET, LLC is officially a registered Cisco Business Partner.

As a Cisco Business Partner, we can now provide the latest Cisco products and services direct to businesses and organizations.

Cisco Systems, Inc. is the worldwide leader in Internet networking with its Internet Protocol-based (IP) networking solutions providing the foundation of the Internet and most corporate, education and government networks around the world.

Additionally, as a Cisco Business Partner we enjoy access to a wide variety of Cisco partner tools and its world-class products and service packages.

We are also eligible to apply for Cisco certifications and specializations including its online training and technical support passing these advantages onto you and your respective business in the form of high-quality services.

For more about our role as a Cisco Business Partner and the benefits it brings to you and your business contact us on 671-797-0789 or at