Power4Patriots Beware

Power4Patriots says on their title page that they are going to show you a, " 'Weird' trick to slash your power bill and beat Obama's electricity monopoly for good".  The narrator, Frank Bates, says he lives outside of Nashville, TN and if Frank is a real person, he does his best to prey on your fears and tries to convince you that President Obama is behind a massive conspiracy with the power companies to raise your power bills. Frank then claims he can help cut your power and heating bills by 75% , but then warns you that he may have to take the video down soon because the power companies are coming for him! He then drones on and on about how he lived in the northeast and he paid a lot for power and oil and it was unreliable and blah blah blah.  This droning on is meant to infuriate you with the "direction this country is headed thanks to the liberals". Finally Frank gets to the rub, he is going to show you how to generate your own power because the solar and wind installers are also crooks and they are trying to rip you off. Frank then introduces us to Brian Clark, an underground energy expert who showed him how to crack the solar code and he's "personally built 100's of solar panels". Frank then tells you that you don't need to buy expensive solar systems from approved vendors.  He says you can just buy all the components online on sites like ebay! 

But then there is no real information revealed.  To get all those goodies, you have to buy videos and manuals on how you can build your own power system to slash your power bill by up to 75% .  With Power4Patriots, you get 6 videos and 2 companion manuals on solar and 4 videos and 2 manuals on a wind turbine.  The solar panels are 70 watt panels and a the wind turbine can produce 100's of watts!  (this is great if you want to power 1 TV with your wind turbine).  Frank advertises the wind turbine as under $200 dollars in materials.  How much power do you think that will really produce?  This isn't the first time Mapawatt has warned readers about cheap wind turbines.  Finally, Frank throws in the fact he will also show you how to build and install a solar hot water heater.  A Mapawatt team member has a solar hot water heater on his house, but it was installed by experts, because it's a bit complicated. But wait, there's more!  A 35 page guide on solar heating systems!  And there are also free bonuses, it goes on and on and on.  The great news, is that Frank says that if his system doesn't reduce your bills after you install your system, you just have to send him pictures of your system and your bills and he'll give you triple your money back.  If it sounds too good to be true.... The great news is that all this only costs $27! Over at the site Open4Energy, they call Power4Patriots a scam, saying : "You cannot build your own solar cells anymore than you can make your own plasma TV. You can purchase the parts, but the silicon solar cells are most of the cost of the panel. You can wire up your own cells and mount them in a frame, but there is no way you are going to get anything for $150 that will be of much use. You would be lucky to put together a 10W system that could power a compact florescent bulb for about 6 hours a day. This is no power sucking gadget at all! If by some chance, the plans were for a real DIY solar panel, or DIY wind generator there is still no possible way to build a solar panel from components at a reasonable cost. It would like trying to build a car from spare parts. These scams offering near free energy have hijacked the social media, Internet and search engines. The need for affiliate marketing has duped many publishers into allowing false positive commentary on these "near fraud" practices. Added to this, the perpetrators have engaged in a systematic program to create new web content, targeted at search terms looking for reviews, containing bogus rebuttals and further false energy saving claims." While calling it the Power 4 Patriots scam may be overkill, because the information Frank provides may actually show you how to build solar panels and wind turbines, I don't think investing in a system like this is a good idea for the following reasons:

  • The claim that your own 70-watt PV panels and "hundreds' watt wind turbine can produce 75% of a home's electricity needs is preposterous. Is Frank going to show you how to build a battery backup system or DC to AC inverter?  Because that is not cheap or easy.
  • If you could build clean energy systems that could cut 75% of your home's energy needs, I doubt it would be cost effective from a product or labor perspective.  How much time would you spend building, designing and testing these?  How much space would it take up.  How much more inefficient would it be than the real products?
  • Frank asks you to imagine how it will feel when your family is "warm, safe, and happy when the next black out hits".  How does he propose this will happen?  Is he going to show you how to build a battery bank that will store enough power from your home made solar PV and wind turbine?  That is the only way to ensure his claim is valid.
  • You absolutely will not be eligible for the Federal tax incentive, any state tax incentives, or utility rebates on clean energy systems you build yourself.
  • Most importantly, building and installing systems like these can be dangerous (potentially lethal), and without the UL label, could damage your homeowner insurance policy.  Imagine your house burning down and the culprit is a solar panel you built yourself.  Do you think the insurance company is going to cover that?

The information Power 4 Patriots provide may be legit, but the tactics used to sell these videos and guides to you are shady and misleading at best.   This "service" is similar if not run by the same people as the Power4Home system.  If you're looking for a nice DIY hobby then maybe this is a good investment, but please don't think you're going to produce significant power generating system that can have a meaningful impact on your home's energy needs.  If you want to trust Frank's "double guarantee", try the videos and guides out and let us know what you think.   But for others, all we can say is buyer beware.

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