Power4Patriots ReviewPosted on November 14th, 2012 75 comments
I’ve been hearing an ad on the radio lately about a discovery that the power company doesn’t want you to know about from a guy named Frank Bates. He mentions that he could get in a lot of trouble for talking about it and calls the power companies and the government “incompetent, lying crooks who are counting on your ignorance and fear to keep your electric bills and heating bills criminally high.” OK, I’m intrigued, so what’s this guy selling?
He wants to show you the secret of how he beat ‘em, and how you can beat ‘em too. It’s described as a “weird” trick on the website. It sounds almost too good to be true. You can hear the commercial along with a video at the Power4Patriots website.
Upon looking further into what Mr. Bates is selling, I discovered it’s a CDROM and downloadable access to a series of pdf ebooks (about 300 pages total) and videos covering the topics of solar and wind energy. Much of it involves DIY information on how to build your own solar panels, wind turbines, and solar water heaters from components you can find in local hardware stores and online for less than you can buy equivalent off-the-shelf products. The value of this ‘package’ is $297, but with the 90% discount, the CD and downloads can be yours for only $27 + 2.99 S&H. After purchasing it, you’ll find that if you pay $67 more, you get a physical spiral bound book along with 3 DVDs that also cover solar and wind DIY projects which is basically the same material, just in a format that might be more convenient for you. If you turn that down, you’ll be offered the printed book for another $27. After that, you’ll be offered heirloom seeds for another $67 to help you through any upcoming societal collapse. So there’s a lot of upselling going on after the initial $27 investment. I’m also now on the email list and I suspect I’ll be hearing a lot more from the company in the future.
How do I know this? I know this because I invested the $29.99 in the ebook/CDROM product. After all, what kind of blogger would review a product he didn’t own? I gotta tell you, this guy’s good. I’m surprised I got out without spending another $134 for the physical book/DVDs and heirloom seeds.
You’d have to be living under a rock if you haven’t heard all the fuss about how Chinese solar panels are coming down in price so fast that they are putting companies out of business that were trying to manufacture solar panels in the U.S. Witness what happened with Solyndra and Abound Solar.
One of the ebooks and 6 of the videos are related to making your own solar panels. I was curious to see just how cheap these homemade panels would be and the book shows a bill of materials of $175 for a 65 watt panel. That’s almost $3/watt not including your labor, and the amount of labor looks quite substantial. I’d estimate the labor at 10 hours per panel or more. That’s not cheap, especially now that you can get manufactured panels that are $1/watt that are already assembled and guaranteed. The manufactured panels are designed to last 25 years, are safety agency-approved, and can withstand all kinds of weather, including hail up to 1 inch in diameter. So trying to roll your own solar panels would be a waste of time and money. And the cost of a solar system doesn’t just depend just on the panel cost. The inverter costs about $.50/watt which is quite expensive in the grand scheme of things, or about half of what you’d be paying for the panels.
And then there’s the installation cost. Of course, you can do the installation yourself if you’re capable and comfortable working on roofs. Once you add in the other ancillary parts and equipment, you can put together a solar system for about $2/watt these days using off-the-shelf components. That’s about half of what they cost just 4 years ago, thanks primarily to the drop in panel costs.
A typical house in the U.S. uses about 730 kWh in electricity per month. To satisfy this need, you are looking at approximately a 5 kW system. That system would cost about $10,000 for materials even if you’re handy and can do the installation yourself. With U.S. electricity rates now at an average at $.12/kWh, it would take about 10 years to pay for itself. That’s not too bad, considering most things you buy for your home will just depreciate over time and not save you a dime, let alone break even or start making you money in the long run. My grid-tied solar system is 5.6 kW and I haven’t purchased any electricity since it was installed nearly 4 years ago but I do get charged about $8/month to be connected to the grid. I have accumulated a surplus (about 5000 KWh) on the meter that could run an electric car for more than 20,000 miles.
The radio commercials imply that you could slash your energy bills and live free of these greedy utility companies but you cannot do that if you install a grid-tied solar system with net metering, which is the most common kind. To disconnect from your utility company, you’d need to have a battery storage system, a charge controller, and a backup generator for those times that you may have a few cloudy days in a row. A set of batteries that would hold a day’s charge of 24 kWh would cost at least another $4K and generator would add another $1K to it. So you’re looking at a much bigger expense when you talk about completely disconnecting from the power grid, I’d say at least $5K more. And those batteries would need to be replaced every 6 years or so. That makes the whole payback period kind of a moot point because of this extra recurring expense so unless you live in an area where there is no grid power, or you believe we are on the verge of complete societal collapse, it’s hard to justify an off-grid system when you can get away with the less expensive grid-tied solar system.
There are some other books included in the package related to making and installing a wind turbine (probably good for 5-10% of the average household energy needs), and some simple solar hot water and solar hot air DIY projects. Bonus materials include ebooks on surviving disasters, storing emergency water, and building a solar cooker.
So for $27, you get 10 ebooks all of which contain some useful information, especially if you’re into renewable energy or worrying about Armageddon. I didn’t feel ripped off afterwards, although the quality of some of the graphic images in the pdf files was pretty poor. I don’t know what the printed materials might look like, but the numbers on many of the charts were unreadable like the image shown below.
I’m always intrigued when I hear an over-the-top advertisement for an energy product. Most of the time they turn out to be truly worthless and horrible investments. But this one is harmless enough, and you might even find a few good ideas for your $27. But don’t get your hopes up that you’ll take your electric and heating bills down to nothing without a significant investment in time and money even if you follow all of the DIY information in the ebooks.
75 responses to “Power4Patriots Review”
Thank you for the review. I have a few questions I was wondering if you would take the time to answer?
1. Though you yourself did not feel “ripped off” did you discover any new ideas or information worth the $30 you spent on this product or do you think you received a fair amount of generaly free knowledge packaged at a reasonable price? If so, what information do you think carries that $30 value?
2. Have you yourself built or attempted to build any of the components(Solar Panels, the Wind Turbines or Solar Water Heater)? If so, do you plan to blog those results? If not, do you know someone who has?
3. Based on your own technical skills, on a scale of one to ten, where one is incomprehensible and ten is outsatnding easy to understand. Where would you rate the step by step DVD manual instructions for assembly of any of the given components?
4. Did you contact Power4Patriots in regards to the blurry PDF given as an example in your review? If so, what was thier response? Did they offer to update the image or images?
Thank you for taking time to review my questions. I look forward to you reply. Should you know of someone or somewhwere (another blog or a website) that may contain more detailed information pertaining to the Power4Patriots system please post or forward me the information.
Hi Brian, Thanks for your comment. I did not try to build any of the solar panels or wind turbines. As I mentioned in the article, I already have a solar array for my house that is assembled from commercial panels and that as the cost of these panels have come down over the years, it makes less sense to build a solar panel as a DIY project.
I have another book on making your own wind turbines, but my opinion of wind turbines is that they are useful if you’re off the grid and have a lot of land with good wind conditions. In a residential neighborhood like mine, you need to have a ‘fall zone’ where if the turbine were to blow over, it would have to land on your property and so that’s not practical to do for most people who live in a city.
If things really go south and the doomsday preppers are right, these ebooks and videos would certainly be valuable since the energy grid and Internet may have gone away and so one might look at having them like an insurance policy for a future armageddon where this kind of knowledge would be in short supply and high demand. The instructions were detailed with clearly written bills-of-material and step-by-step instructions on how to build the items. I’m quite confident that if I were to use them to build the items from components, they contain sufficient detail.
The poor graphics were generally limited to some government-generated graphs that could be found elsewhere (like heating degree days, insolation or wind speed charts, etc.) I was contacted by a representative of the company who found the review and thanked me for it saying they are always looking for ways to improve their products, so it’s possible something will be done to improve them in the future.
The videos were well done, easy to follow and I think they were well produced (i.e., they weren’t a cheesy, quickly thrown together videos like you find many times on YouTube). I’d give them a rating of 8 out of 10.
To be honest, listening to the commercials on the radio, I was expecting a PFC correction device or some kind of energy product ripoff that are common with energy saving ‘inventions’ sold via high pressure sales techniques, so I was relieved that it was an information product. True, much of the information could be found in other sources and in various locations on the internet, but it is nice to have it all packaged up in a single product.
I did not find any other reviews while searching around that weren’t done by people who seemed to either have a relationship with the company or of a ‘whistle-blower’ type review by someone who said it was just information you could find elsewhere (which is true of most information).
So again, I didn’t feel like I was ripped off based on the cost. Most ebooks you can buy today are in the same cost range per page and if you want to ‘upgrade’ to the printed book and physical DVDs, you also have that option (at additional cost).
I got this program also. I understand its stupid to read reviews after I already spent the money but I did. This review is dead on. Nice to see someone with an honest review. Not just bashing for the hell of it.
BriHeart January 11th, 2013 at 19:50
Lee seems to be a very competent guy with a good sense of what is truly practical .. KUDOS.
Rick Smith January 27th, 2013 at 23:57
I have not bought this product as of yet however, I do have a post graduate education in sustainability and renewable energy. I’m not bragging but I’m trying to qualify my statements. I’m not a bleading heart liberal but I do ‘drink the koolaid’ when it comes to alternative energy for many reasons.
The one obvious thing that hit me is why not geothermal? Fact- by digging down at least six feet around your property and burrying a closed-loop system which can be commercialy made or DIY with PVC, you can maintain your residence at a constant 72 degrees year round. It may be a little bit of work to rip up your yard but if you have a friend or know someone with experience in running the needed machines, its easy and the system once installed will last for 200 years. Geothermal can be achieved anywhere and leaves PV (solar) and turbine (wind) in the dust. Too much energy is lost with carry capacity and efficiency with the afformentioned. Solar is only about 55% efficient if done by a contractor because they don’t know or care about the needed array adjustments that are needed by follow the right azimuth. I do believe that you can do a lot of this on your own if you have the time and since wind credits are over as of Jan 1 and solar looks to be not too far behind, the one that will still be subsidized is geothermal if your DIY components can be written off at the end of the year.
I don’t want to ramble but I do agree that with a little education like these CDs and manuals, anyone could do a better job than those scumbag install folks. If you choose to use them, make sure you are the one calling the shots and watching them like a hawk. Finally, what I find frustrating is that my HOA has a conniption when I get going on something like this. If I even had the space for a turbine, they would burn it to the ground. At least with geothermal, it could be done in one day, the sod could be laid and I would be laughing because I would tell them I was replacing the grass because of grub damage and they would’nt even question it because they don’t want grubs creeping into their yard.
Have fun everyone. Sounds solid to me and I concur that it was great that a blogger actually took the time to sniff this out. Thanks.
Please tell us more about Geothermal systems.
mahesh February 8th, 2013 at 08:52
from what i understand, geothermal is quite expensive to install (about $20,000 in Massachusetts) and you need easy access for equipment to enter your yard/backyard for the installation to be done. thus, i can’t use it because of the inital cost & because access to open space isn’t easy in boston (building density is high).
regarding solar panels, people often don’t consider the *real* TCO (total cost of ownership) which includes maintenance and replacement. i do not know the current state of the art but i find it hard to believe that a solar panel can go 25 years without damage and without degradation in performance. any third-party solar panel installation service i’ve talked to typically doesn’t save me too much on the total bill after their monthly fees are taken into account. not quite the free energy that solar promises :-). i have no desire to spend time on maintaining the quality & health of the solar or geothermal system. i’d rather pay the utilities to do that.
Thank you Lee for a real, frank and well researched review. It has saved me the 20 plus minutes hype and yet is a decient product and information.
Thanks to Rick, for his comments on the geothermal loop which I would like to know more about.
James Barclay March 1st, 2013 at 18:57
I was going to write to you about the complications and expense- and dangers of geothermal, but I decided not to except to say that if you have some amazing technical knowledge and know-how and the megabucks to back it, you’ll not be doing it anytime soon. but you are allowed in our America to dream the impossible dream and go for it. My blessings go with you.
I enter into this blog as, and throughout remain as, a “questioner”, never an “accuser”.
I do like Mr. Devlin’s seeming “objectivity”.
However: The matter regarding the promotion of the Power4Patriots material as he and others comment on here remains quite a bit more complex in my view. As to the complexities allow me to supply only a relatively few examples here, and not a more complete review.
1. Mr. Devlin, in effect, it seems to me, remains very careful, in the words he writes to not “libel” this Mr. “Frank Bates”. The name itself, “Frank Bates represents perhaps a “false name” or pseudonym, I simply have no clear idea, and I too have done at least some “homework” on this subject.
2. I do seem to agree with Mr. Devlin, I found Mr. Bates’ presentation, on the internet, shall I say “smooth”, or, as to another word I one might (probabilistic sense of this “modal” verb) employ “slick”, as, for example (but not necessarily limited thereto,) a word one might use for the patter of a “snake oil salesman”, of yesteryear.
3. On the other hand, how do we, except perhaps Mr. Devlin and Mr. Bates,
know Mr. Devlin, does not, as well, represent a promoter, in an even deeper and more subtle way, of Mr. Bates’ CD’s, with, shall I say, a “stake-in-action”, even a rather direct and profitable one?
4. Based on my research with the United States Postal Service (USPS), etc., on this very subject of “Power4Patriots”, the $2.99 “postage & handling” fee charged for the CD-ROM sent out represents, at minimum, something like approximately $1.62 for “handling”, as a “presorted” (PRSRT) “bound printed material” (BPM), which can only become sent out in groups of either 300 minimum as PRSRT or if also bearing a “Bar Code” a minimum of 50 in each bulk mailing. If my researches and calculations correct that means the underlying operation behind other publications such as the ones handled under the name “Power4Patriots”, yields either approximately four-hundred-eighty-five dollars ($485) or eighty dollars ($81). For a worker even paid at a rate of say $20/hour to mail by hand the material, that would make a very tidy extra profit, more or less minimally, of $60-460 and in fact probably hugely more, i.e., maybe even in the thousands for the way these mailings of the CD-ROM get handed out in “bulk” presorted, bar coded batches.
5. The CD’s themselves can become reproduced and packaged in their individually imprinted mailing “envelopes” cost something like maybe $1.10 each, for a production run of 1,000 copies, or even well under a dollar for the next level of 2,500 copies @88 cents ($0.88 per copy), and even lower for bigger runs.
6. Further research indicates the “Frank” on the sales internet video may even turn out as actor and none of the information the actor sends out there as true.
7. So far at this writing, I don’t yet have a reasonable “production cost” for each of the CD-ROM’s content as mailed out, but say for an overall run of one-hundred thousand (100,000) CD-ROMs as completed, say $100,000 all costs potentially get covered by a total say of maybe two-dollars ($2.00) per CD-ROM mailed out to Mr. Devlin, me, or any other consumer. That turns out potentially as a profit overall of maybe twenty-five dollars ($25.00) each CD-ROM.
8. Now in the end, though possibly fully legal, in terms of federal and/or state laqw (and maybe not), this represents in one of my meanings for the word, a “scam” pure and simple. Another word, as to my meaning as I might employ it, it represents a “fraud”, pure and simple, etc.
9. As indicated at the beginning I could put down more “suspicious” evidence, to my view, I’ve so far gathered.
In conclusion, I do hope Mr. Devlin, you do have a “legitimate” blog, and therefore you will publish this. And, again, I emphasize I accuse no one of anything in a manner that would constitute (in particular) a libel (as written). I’ve just reported some of what I’ve put together so far. If any want the CD-ROM great, even if somewhat of a “scam”. In one sense of meaning, now that I’ve done the research I have I find what I’ve discovered as “laughable” in a sardonic humor sense, i.e., as rather a sardonic “joke”.
Hope this all proves useful to others for the hours of additional research I’ve just done today while writing what here appears.
Dear H., I can assure you that I am not affiliated with this company. I do promote other products on my site, including products for which I earn a commission, but this program is not one of them. I’ve written some other reviews on energy products (Cool Surge, and Heat Surge, and the Energy Saver 3000) that are not very flattering and I pride myself in being objective. When I first heard the radio ad for this program, I was pretty sure it was going to be a scam like a power factor correction device, since that’s how scams are often advertised, in a slick presentation style that you’re about to be let in on something ‘secret’. But in the end, the program was a set of e-books and videos, all of which had some value and so I was relieved when I found out it wasn’t some kind of a scam. I use solar energy at my home and haven’t purchased any electricity from the power company in 4 years. I’d like to see more people do the same. Even if the e-books don’t convince someone to build their own solar energy or wind energy system, they will at least educate the purchaser on the technology and get them thinking about it, which I think is a good thing. I’d like to see people become more self-reliant and less dependent on the power grid and the fossil fuels we use to keep it running.
I hope I do not seem too forward in leaving off the formality of the honorific “Mr.” and your last name, as I did use them in formality in my first blog to your blog site, out of a sense of respect and courtesy for you, at minimum, as another human being like myself.
I do like the less formal first name basis I now take the liberty of using –I hope without offense to you, as I have intended none in either my first blog posting or this follow-up one.
The fact you did publish my comment I find admirable and bespeaks a great deal more to me about your “legitimacy”, “forthrightness”, “honesty”than any amount of words you might have written in bothering to reply to my posting as well.
I have no specific argument with your reply. If Buying Power4Patriots at $29.99 a pop satisfies someone in their need to spend money for something the underlying “Power4Patriots” empire at a profit of about $25.00 a “pop” puts out there, (with perhaps hundreds of thousands of copies sold,) then more “Power” (for Patriots) to them the buyers — sardonic pun here intended.
My wife and I paid out a total of $59.98 for two CD copies, the extra copy unintentional on our parts, yet charged for by the company people that sent it. I did not open the prepackaged CD’s, and we plan to send them back, (within 60 days or you lose your money it now seems,) finally realizing, after great original care, I had become most likely “scammed” – something, under like circumstances I seldom if ever do under similar circumstances.
As I wrote as suggesting in my original posting, I learned more than I outlined there. I type very slowly with relatively poor editing (few “fast twitch” fibers in my fingers, remaining a problem limiting my touch typing speed to at most about 35 wpm and usually a lot slower, even though I largely do know how to “touch-type”.)
My wife when backing out the driveway to mail the DVDs back actually caused significant damage to her car (a day or two after to my recall from when I first posted to your blog and awaited for your approval in posting it so it would appear.)
Because we have insurance coverage the insurance company people will pay to get the car repaired, in the amount that may, exceed our $1,000.00 deductible – if it does, as it most probably will.
They (the insurance company people), and most certainly not the potentially ersatz “Power4Patriots” people won’t of course pay for the aggravation my having purchased the DVDs, and other matters, may have actually help lead to her accident. I could well argue, to my perception, the misleading nature of the original ad I saw on the Internet almost certainly led at least in part to a not totally insignificant portion of the $1,000 deductible we’ll have to pay regardless, to get the car fixed (though of course it will never “be the same”.)
So, in one manner of “speaking” (“writing” in this case) my getting fooled by the Internet promotion helped cause us, overall, more than just the $59.98 (for two DVDs inclusive of double postage and handling even though sent together in the same larger envelop enclosing the two separately packaged DVDs, for the same “postage and handling” as it would have taken for sending just one DVD or the two DVDs separately.)
We of course will have to foot the bill and the significant amount of other time and expense to return the merchandise, something I think think this supposed “Frank Bates” doesn’t warn you of in the Internet very “sophisticated” sales video.
Now because of the “agony” I go through in writing any blog posting I most likely will not write much more to your blog.
Lee, as I presume the “web-master” for your blog site, you have access to the e-mail address I supplied in registering. You might like to consider — in the case you might wish to privately contact me in accordance with the following proposal: send me an e-mail to the e-mail address you have for me with a return address I can address you privately at, and I will supply you personally with my private phone number which you can then “choose” to call me at so we can “talk”. I think you might find it quite “edifying” if you did.
On getting my private number, if you wish to call me from a “call blocked” number that will remain fine with me. You can, even in a very brief while set up a special e-mail address with say Yahoo, that will further protect your identity. I will take the chance you will not misuse the fact that you then have my “private” phone number, which you could use to reverse look me up, where I live, etc.. That chance I will take. Either I privately will hear from you or not, the decision remains yours to make.
In goodwill and caritas to all, I remain,
P.S. I normally consider almost anything I write, even to your or other’s blog sites, as copyrighted by me or any of the entities I in any particular case represent. I do so in the technicle meaning of the term as “common law copyright”, thus I here append the following:
©2013, by “Hugh”, CC licensed use permitted.
Mhyke April 1st, 2013 at 12:40
Thanks very much for your review. It provides much more information than the Power4Patriots video.
I didn’t like the false premise of the video. namely that there is a power conspiracy to prevent patriots from accessing alternative energy.
If that is the case, then why do power companies provide subsidies, the government provide tax credits, and billions of public money being spent on researching solar, wind, geo, and other forms of alternative energy.
If Mr. Bates was such a patriot he would point out that much of the information he provides is already on the Web.
I purchased the P4P CD-ROM system. I was unimpressed with the documentation, mainly due to the lack of detail. Take for instance the videos on how to make a solar panel; more time was spent on how to make an angle cut in the frame then how to wire the series of cells for proper function. Needless to say there is no video on what to do with your panel once it is completed. In all I would say that the package is a hodgepodge of materials on the principle of solar and wind and no real help on how to go about putting together a working system.
One good thing, the money back return does work, as I did receive a full refund.
Catherine April 15th, 2013 at 09:37
I’m always suspicious of angry accusations about “Oh-bah-ma!” when you want my money, esp since “Oh-bah-ma!” was suggesting the costs wuld go up as tied to getting people into alternative energy… what THIS guy is selling!
And what kind of self-styled “Patriot” helplessly tells his kid he can’t get the power turned on? I thought people like that taught their kids to rough it… you know, not like a “liberal”.
And by the time the ad/video gets to the “how to buy”, his tone-of-voice changes significantly to nice-guy… because he’s fishing for your cash.
I knew he was up to something, capitalizing on a “patriot’s” capacity to being angry at everything.
Interesting points, Catherine. I was wondering why they would be willing to alienate so many people with that sales pitch. The president wants you to pay more for energy ??? I guess they did some market research that suggested to target angry “patriots”.
I was doing research about alternative energy for my classes at Crane International Academy in South Africa and I came across this guys advertising. The advert pictures do not tally with what he has to offer. This is the beef I have with him. The advert will pull you in thinking you are going to discover a trick that would change your life too. Well the fact is that it will not
Thanks for the analysis. You saved my $30.
I watched the sales pitch video, and the funniest contortion in the whole, contrived, scammy sales pitch was that somehow the hated liberal Obama and the arch-republican owned power companies are in cahoots trying to steam money from hard workin’ ‘Muricans. What a big, steaming pile of disingenuous, paraoid fear-mongering. “They’re all out to get you. They’re coming for your money. So instead, give me your money.”
Thanks to all who have provided a wide variety of insight to purchasing this product – I will not! And special thanks to “Tom” who made me laugh aloud with his both democratic politicians and republican big business utility owners are after my money, “So instead, give me [the product seller] your money.”
I have sent numerous message via email, called the phone number given for this company at 615-208-3027 because I DID order the seed vaults but their system inserted an incorrect delivery address. After days of trying to connect through email and getting the “we’re so busy we will have to get back with you when we get to you” routine [that was not a direct quote], I have gotten no response via email and the phone # when called gives another message with “Frank’s” voice saying that you can’t leave a message and that the best way to reach him is via email. Meanwhile, my seed vaults are going to an incorrect address that I was unable to change in their system. Any thoughts???
After patiently listening to the promotional internet video for over 15 min of blah blah blather with no examples of actual content, I gave up, realizing this Frank guy is just full of hot air and that the videos and manuals would be nothing more than the same. Too bad he made it a snake oil pitch. It could have been a much better received product if he had been sucinct and to the pointand honest about what you get. The ad also is misleading showing manuals and CDs when in reality it is all ebook for $27.
Mike Flanery May 14th, 2013 at 14:42
Thanks for your comments, just what I was looking for, when I googled “weird electrictiy scam”. The maker of the CD complied a bunch of stuff together, made a CD. Relieved, not really a scam. But for the ad to keep working, the scare tactics re Obama taking it off the web must work — interesting reflection on our society.
May I add two comments re Florida, the geothermal doesn’t work as well as in northern states, as groundwater temp is 75 degrees, and you must access an “acquifer” — add expense for permitting and more cost for constuction in the groundwater table – often only 3 ft down (you can visualize the water table depth by looking at water surface in our many lakes and drainage swales). Also, add hurricane rated roof mounting – must have cost my solar water heater installer an extra $1000.
James Spain May 22nd, 2013 at 05:09
Hmmm…. very glad I found this place. Went looking for reviews on P4P and found about exactly what I thought I would find. MY poor wife is such that, if a snake oil salesman is selling, she’s buying at her argument this time was, “it’s only 27 bucks…. When the initial reviewer held harsh words for this troll. He is indeed a troll that walks around the caverns of deceit. I’ll wager he ripped off most of the useful information which you can get at many source for nothing. Yes you can spin a car alternator with the wind and run a TV set, (when it’s windy) but there is a lot more to saving 75% of your electric bill than he “WOULD WANT YOU TO KNOW.” (one of his catch phrases about the government not wanting you to know.
If I saw this guy my first inclination would be to punch him in the face for calling himself a patriot.
Marty A May 22nd, 2013 at 06:46
Ok if I said to use a generator say for a cabin; not so much for residential because of noise; you probably would say that’s not green at all because of the gasoline that’s used. However if I said you could run the Gen on 75% water and 25% Gas with virtually no pollution then would you consider? Google Paul Pantone “The GEET System”, complete with instructions, completely free. I’ve built this for an old lawn mower and works perfectly fine. The system is a Plasma Fuel Reformer.
I saw another web site that had a similar pitch as P4P. powerfreedom.com. Same high speed chalkboard style video. The two little girls wanting light, or cold. Though their price was 47 dollars.. I was wondering if anyone had tried their product.. Or is it just more of the same ? I believe there are a lot of us out here interested in, if nothing more than to gather enough information to make an informed decision on solar, wind, and or geo.. Utility costs are a killer..
Great blog, if we could find something else for “H” to do..
Thanks for the objective review of this — you have verified my impression of this ‘deal’.
Harry June 11th, 2013 at 09:18
To be honest I think this guy is a marketing genius. I watched his sales video online and I couldn’t help but laugh at his whole anti-government, anti-corporation, tea party patriot shtick. If you remove the theatrics, this guy is selling a plan to build a renewable/clean energy solution for you home, which any “red-blooded American Patriot” would shun because “Obama wants that so it must be wrong!” This guy just packaged it as an energy solution that won’t put money in the pockets of Big Government, Big Corporate and Big Oil with the added benefit that you can live off the grid when our society dissolves into a scene from “Lord of the Flies”. As a result he has had 150k true patriots part with $30 (btw that works out to $4.5m) in order to stick it to Obama and his plan for renewable energy.
I do want to thank Lee for reviewing this. It sounds like there are some good ideas in it, but there isn’t anything someone could find out about by doing some straight forward research.
Do you have any ideas how to get off the Power4patriots email list? Have requested that they remove me (at least a dozen times)and all I get is an auto reply about how busy they are. Either no one is reading their email or they are just not interested in listening or complying with my wishes to not receive any more email from them.
your comments will be appreciated.
At the bottom of each email from Frank Bates, there is a “Manage Your Subscription” link that takes you to a page where you can click on a box to tell them you want to stop the email. The email is sent by a service called Office Autopilot and those companies are usually very good about removing subscribers when requested or they would otherwise be labeled as spammers. There’s even a button on the form that lets you report abuse in the event that you’ve tried to unsubscribe from the list but keep getting email from the company.
Iniobong Markson July 7th, 2013 at 16:46
Thanks so much Lee, was filling the request form when it cross my mind I should Google this guy before submitting the form. That’s when i found your review. Is there no law in place to lockup guys that play on the intelligent of corporate citizen in US? Cos if there is this guy should be behind bars by now.
Hugh, You seem to be very impressed with yourself. I am not. My suspicion is that someone left a computer unattended in the home and you sat down to write what you thought was a brilliant bit of legalese. Your arguments do not make sense and with all your brilliance you can’t even spell the word technical.
I also don’t understand why you would number your statements that are written in prose rather than written as bullet points. Further, it can’t possibly be anyone else’s fault that your wife doesn’t have the skill to back the car out of the driveway without causing damage.
Lee, I do think this was a decent review and thank you for disclosures about your affiliate ads. The $27 dollar upsells and discounts for the really stubborn who wait for the final offer reek of Clickbank products.
James Spain July 11th, 2013 at 14:17
Can everbody see this guy is a complete Bozo willing to take your money?
206Frosty July 25th, 2013 at 16:42
Go to the BBB you will see this.
Alternate Business Names
Reboot Marketing, LLC, LibertySeedVault.com, SurvivalSeeds4Patriots.com, Hard Copy Warehouse, FatBurningFurnaceHardCopy.com, Power for Patriots
James July 26th, 2013 at 11:25
That’s funny…. “POWER FOR FAT BURNING PATRIOTS!”
Veronica August 2nd, 2013 at 11:13
Thank you! Hugh sounds like a crybaby who wants to blame others. Bad judgment on his part doesn’t constitute an emergency on mine. I bought the system and love it. Cant wait to get started on my windmill. Yeah, this information can be found all over the place with research and time. BUT THE POINT THAT YOU ARE ALL MISSING IS THAT FRANK HAS SAVED YOU ALL THAT TIME!!! And for that I say thank you Frank! I like the idea of being able to access those videos and book to get my household off of the never ending cycle of debt to utility companies. Do you EVER see your electric costs go down? It is never going to happen. So why not invest in what you have around you, and with Frank’s information I intend to do just that. And Hugh, if you wife cant even back a car up, maybe you should consider trading her in a more capable model!!!
Thank you Lee for the candid and (what sounds to me)fair review. I too came across this while searching for reviews on the “powerfreedon.com” site/offer like A.J. Sounds to me like the two are similar in many ways but that pitch is very clear that the information is all available out there and his offer is for books and DVD’s that put them all together in one place and make them easier to use. I had the sound turned off for the majority of the “pitch” so I don’t know if he rant’s about “Obama” or the government though I know he does say something about “conspiracy” or something by power companies I just don’t know how much or how long the focus is. So I can’t say selling his stuff is as based on fear mongering as it sounds like this one is based on the comments. But I do give him credit for being up front about what he is selling and it sounds much like what you describe but perhaps the next step up or the up sell step in your review. Anyway I really appreciate your efforts here and agree that everyone bothering to find this is probably interested in other methods of power and that’s a good thing. The Geothermal sounds very interesting as well though with it’s own set of obstacles just like everything else. Guess that’s why there is room for many different methods of generating power, everyone’s needs and obstacles are different depending on the area and situation.
I also have to say (I tried to restrain but as you can see couldn’t) Hugh, you lost credibility with me when you made the second post. It became apparent that when Lee didn’t meet your expectations (to not allow your post of dissent) by responding cordially to all of your concerns and posting your comment your true objective wasn’t met. Other than perhaps trying to discredit the subject of his review and it sounds like Lee Devlin perhaps, I’m not sure what that objective is but your second post gets so far off track and is so poorly written or translated (the first is far better edited) you simply lost all credibility with me and makes me suspicious about you and your motives. A shame if you are the cautious skeptic I thought you were originally. But the exchange speaks volumes about both you and the legitimacy of “Mr. Devlin” who couldn’t have responded better (both times).
I object to any marketing that preys on peoples fears and hatreds. As someone who has always supported alternative energy I find this sales approach reproachable.
I spent the 27 dollars. What I got for it was one broken CD in an envelope not designed for mailing CDs, not even in a case. Totally useless. Will attempt to return but not too optimistic on how that will go.
Ann and Lynn you guys are nice people so I’ll just spell it out…. Power4Patriots was not started by a patriot….
The man is simply a BOZO trying to get your cash. Another sad commentary on the state of America. Lucily the sleeping giant is awakening and there are still too many good people to let it go into the hands of people like this.
BrianW August 25th, 2013 at 03:22
I attended a sales pitch for timeshare vacations many years ago. P4P is using many of the same tactics that those scammers used. To paraphrase – If you don’t buy my product you don’t love your wife and kids.
This is tried and tested pitch man dialoge.
I lived aboard a sailboat for many years and depended on solar power. That is actually a simpler use than residential because a boat uses Direct Current while residential is Alternating Current. The cost and reliability of inverters are a big issuue for home systems that the P4P pitch does not even mention.
Give the pitchman a pass.
Willie August 27th, 2013 at 09:32
As soon as I got to the part in Frank’s sales pitch about his shivering kids when the power went off and wood stove wasn’t keeping them warm I clicked it off. If the guy can’t figure out how to put more wood in the stove or invest in a bigger stove how the heck does he posses enough knowledge to power the whole house for $47?
Only reason I clicked on his sales pitch to begin with is it had a picture of some “weird” looking device that I had never seen before.
My kudos to Frank Bates for a scam that surely will make him some easy money.
Michelle September 4th, 2013 at 01:40
After watching the interminably long video selling the P4P system, I started checking for reviews. So far, it sounds like I got a lot more help out of the Backwoods Solar catalog that has a really good overview of how to build your own alternative power system (yes, of course using their products, which quite frankly I have found to be reasonably priced). In addition, they have several well-written articles on their website on a variety of topics great for those wanting to build an off-grid home. We break ground soon on our own alternative energy, off-grid home. I was glad to see a decently written review of the P4P system. It sounds like I would be better off putting that $30 somewhere else.
Norm Derbyshire September 5th, 2013 at 23:51
I am curious, not one of these reviews mentions a successful and money saving installation.
Has anyone out there installed a system on Power 4 Patriots recommendations… I think not ?
Mike in Chicago September 12th, 2013 at 09:06
If this PowerForFreedom product was legit, then they’d have a real website, and be selling the materials for more than $27 or $47.
Think about it people.
I’ve done a TON of research on Solar PV, and myself have been in the energy business for more than 27 years. I’m also a mechanical engineer, and have wired up many electrical systems for lighting and HVAC.
Lee does provide some very objective advice here, which is good.
The fact remains however, people are being ripped off by far worse things than the power company. Here in the midwest we pay 11 cents/kwhr for electricity. In General, the US energy costs are overwhelmingly cheap compared to other countries. Natural gas on $/mmbtu basis is around $3 to $4, whereas, the vast majority of other major countries like China or Japan is over $15 to $19/mmbtu for natural gas. The majority of US electricity is now generated using natural gas, and in fact NG fired generation just recently surpassed coal fired as the largest percentage of generation.
Efficient appliances, and all of the home efficiency products out there, create the opportunity to ‘slash’ bills as these videos promote in legitimate ways.
With energy here in the US as cheap as it is now, relative to the rest of the world, my suggestion is spend your mental energy and efforts elsewhere, such as ridding yourself of costly phone plans, and cable. Those two alone well exceed the cost of my own utilities for our 3000 sq ft home.
And as far as emergency power, go invest in a quality Honda generator, sized primarily for critical outlets in your home (NOT your A/C), but at least for your furnace fan motor, and some lights, and refrigerators, and couple it with an APC automatic panel that can shed appropriately loads. You can get the generator that runs on gas, and later buy a trifuel carberator (sp?), that allows the generator to run on natural gas or propane, to decrease your reliance on gasoline as that happens to be hard to store in any sufficient quantities. I own both the Honda,and the APC.
In parts of California, where power is above 20 cents/kwhr it MIGHT make sense to do solar PV, but for most people between the coasts, don’t waste your real money on solar, and worry about more important things in life, at least until power costs more than double from the current US average.
My two cents…
I would have probaby purchased this ,but Frank never mentioned how the evil power compnies were going to take away my guns or how 25 % of all the money you pay power companies were going to support Gay Marriage.
Why does one have to get politics involved in a sales pitch? Many MLM schemes use religion. Athough it sounds enticing, I just dont do business with people that have “Fish” on their business cards or that if I dont buy his wares the bad guys win politically.
I paid for this product, but when I went to enter the members site it was gone and they failed to send me a access password, I contacted them and they said they were having trouble, so I have waited weeks and connot get a straight answer from them, then sent me one disc and a book, but they are useless without access to the web site, as far as I’m conerned it’s a scam, people, stay away!
I’m so sorry Steve that you got taken… I just don’t know how else to put it…. My wife came to me and told me to go there and get it so I clicked around and found this site thank goodness… He infers himself a patriot and it is my sincere hope that a real Patriot will deck him straight to sleep. This guy is indicative of creeps that are putting this country in turmoil in the first place… Running their mouths with one hand in our pockets talking us out of honest earned money. He will get his! I understand Anonymous is looking into it. This guy is a pee-on and he might get crushed.
John O. October 3rd, 2013 at 18:01
Did you pay with a credit card? 90% of credit cards (especially AMEX) have a guarantee that if you are NOT satisfied and/or did not receive what you paid for, you can call them and dispute it. They will give you your money back! It’s worth calling and trying out anyway. Good luck!
Joseph Phipps October 6th, 2013 at 20:00
to Mike -
You were the last and the best by far.
I happened upon the power4patriots video today, and I am glad I watched it. Not that I was convinced to buy anything. Just hearing him say that “I am not sure how much longer this video will be allowed on the internet” was enough for me to realize that this was a “neuro linguistic programming” (NLP) technique. His initial anger in the video (Mr Bates is on our side, the little guy, trying to help us out) to his more subdued tone toward the end was quite comical – it was very entertaining.
I use it as a teaching lesson to my children. I instruct them to listen to the “voice” of the narration and see if they can pick out the deception. Alot can be ascertained just the way the information is presented. Just like preachers have a certain voice, car salesmen, telemarketers, etc.
Anyway, just thought I would throw my two cents out there.
For me, I don’t like to be lied to, and he basically lied from the “get go” by intimating that his video would be removed because the information it contained was so valuable. Just too funny. But alas, this is how many internet hucksters get rich these days.
REED!!! First, I see that your childrend are in good hands….My guess is a Thundring Velvet Hand. I’m hoping that someday, I will come to have the command of the English language as you…. I use words like, “Bozo” and “troll” and how many names does old franky have… who knows…. Patriot? Absolutely not! I mentioned earlier that someone will find this idiot someday and put him to sleep, (probably a cross-dresser) I’ve seen other types of adds that have the same M.O.
Anyway I loved your two cents! Please keep up the good work… it really does matter because 18, (soon to be the national dept figure) trillion divided by the number of people in this country, (300 million) comes to 60 thousand a piece. So every man woman and child owes this much, (if you spread the dept to all).
REED! Please keep up the great work!!! We, (The Real Americans) need more like you!
The only reason I watched the video was that the device looked like a Dalek. I listened for about 10 excruciating minutes then quit. When people are that repetitive, I feel like they are wasting my time. My time WAS wasted. There were no Daleks, no rainbows, and no pots of gold. BOO.
Well Chris, at least you didn’t waste you money… this guy is not a patriot at all… he’s a crook.
steve c. October 29th, 2013 at 12:49
I would give this info away if anyone wated it. This guy is a scam Frank bates knows nothing about beating the power company. The fact is if you conserve and you use less is the way to beat the power company. You can install solar pv panels but to keep up with a standard home it will cost 15K or more and off grid it will be 20K or more, I know because I spent the money and learned the hard way. Save your money and buy led lights, make a solar heater and water heater,
Funny how the guy calls himself a Patriot while he lines his pocket with suckers money.
I was completely turned off when he misspelled the word calender (calandar), not once but twice in the drawings. He also misspelled the word paid (payed). If he is producing instructional ebooks and cannot spell properly then how are we to learn? Hahahahaha
After watching that video of the hand doodling for a while, I realized that it added absolutely nothing to the message. I think it was just done to amuse you while the sales pitch was going on, maybe soften you up a little. It’s been a while since I wrote this review and I’m still getting email on a regular basis from Frank Bates, along with a few others who he cross-promotes in his emails (David Morris and George Shepherd). Some of the emails are really scary, like that FEMA is loading up on assault weapons and ammo and building concentration camps to incarcerate Americans (probably those with a patriot mentality), presumably to re-educate them and get their minds right like the Communists did in Russia not all that long ago.
I think it’s healthy that free speech about government conspiracies can still happen in this country. I’ll be really frightened if these ‘nuts jobs’ are ever silenced. Not that OUR government would ever try to silence critics of its policies…
He should have misspelled the word, “patriot.” because this bozo is so far from it.
Frank Bates = BOZO willing to get his hand on your wallet.
Cave-In November 8th, 2013 at 15:24
Hey, Mike in Chicago —
Good points. Nothing smells fishier than the washed up Edelweiss on the shores of Lake Michigan than a product promotion pitched WITHOUT A WEBSITE.
I’ve lived off grid since 1971 in the Colorado foothills, and invested in a small photo array 10 years ago. Before that, dual batteries under the Jeep’s hood. For me, it was practical, but only because the cost of a wired utility hookup was prohibatively expensive (plus the ongoing monthly payments and dependency on “the Man” for my juice), and I had long before curbed my use of high consumption appliances. For almost everybody else… be my guest and invest in Solar. It may well make you feel good, but don’t expect it to make a significant difference in your power bill without a lot of home enegy use reduction on your part. And a long wait for your ROI.
Thanks for your site, and insight, “Dev”… gotcha on my favorite bar now.
Above the flood,
John Faillace January 5th, 2014 at 06:19
I am not sure about the rest of the country but in south Florida you can not alter or attach anything to your home without a building permit. And you most mechanical and electrical require work to be performed by licensed contractors.
Solar panels attached to roof must have a product approval. And able withstand winds of 125 miles per hour. plans must be submitted to building dept for permit before commencement.
LaVern January 10th, 2014 at 18:54
A true Patriot I think would be willing to give it away for their fellow Patriot’s. But that’s just me. Glad I have read all the review’s. People would just put it out there if it’s true. But I guess I’m the only one who thinks like this. If I knew how to do any of this you bet I would want to help anybody I could. That’s the way I was taught by my grandmother. Help people out when you can.
A true crook would do exactly what 4patriots is doing. To bad this clown is probably raking it in with other people’s work.
We live in a free country … at least for now. We are all free to buy what we choose, hem and haw about it however we like and/or not buy most things and deal with whatever consequences if any that entails. I dont believe P4P ever claims to be the ultimate source of information on anything they market. Their material can be somewhat of a primer to stimulate someones interest to possibly do more research for themselves in addition to using what is provided. I get email regularly from P4P and each one includes an area where peoples comments and ideas are requested and I believe some forum takes place although I have as yet not entered in. Regardless of what political stripes you wear either openly or covertly, you are free to voice your opinion when you sell anything, the fact that most dont might possibly be considered a sales strategy far more than people who do as doing so will not appeal to the “other” team. Honestly what do you expect for 27$ on the internet?
I was reading your review on power4patriots, you mentioned your grid tied solar system. Would you share some info on it ? I’m looking at this and liking you approach.
Thanks, Lee Devlin, for your initial review and intermittent comments, especially those addressed to Hugh. (Hugh was as tiresome as Frank Bates’ chatty video, both lacking in substance and integrity, but not verbosity.)
Hi Dan, I have a description the solar system here. It’s been nearly 5 years since since it was installed and we haven’t had to purchase any power since then. In fact, we have about a 6 month surplus stored. There is an $8/mo. charge to be connected to the grid, but in looking at its total production, it has generated 40,500 kWh of electricity which is worth about $5,000 at the national average of $.12/kWh.
Well Rick Smith seems to be very confused about his loop.
Of course there are probably a lot of places where the temperature of the ground might really stay in the seventies through the winter at depths of about six feet under snow cover?
If that is the case then maybe his circulator could really keep your house from freezing?
Besides that I would think that his loop might really be a valuable technology since wars will happen and various things might happen and if you can keep your pipes from freezing then maybe you could cuddle up close to a little bitty wood stove somewhere… or maybe in these good times it would be a good way to heat some warehouse somewhere?
Apart from that I find it surprising that he thinks that a six foot deep heating system is geothermal when really it should be much more permanent than a geothermal power-plant and I would have thought that it should be classified among the solar powered systems?
Paul Davenport February 28th, 2014 at 14:38
If you want to be removed from their mailing list…keep hitting the “spam” button. Eventually they’ll get blacklisted.
I watched this advertisement video today. Ironically, the last time I saw one of these (from a different seller), the price was $99 for the info, and because of that, this looked like a bargain to me. I almost bought in just because of that. Instead I decided to do a quick check on P4P first.
I would like to be able to have an off-grid solar and/or wind generating system. I am not particularly concerned about the ulterior motives of the power company “conspirators” or the president’s “plans” in this context. I would like to have an option in case of natural disaster or other catastrophe. Saving a couple bucks on my energy costs would be nice too. This product will not be my vehicle to get there.
One thing I would like to mention as noteworthy is that I did a “right-click” on the video and found there was an option to copy the URL of the video. The video is hosted on YouTube which is now owned by Google. I found that interesting only because Mr. Bates specifically states that Google has banned P4P.
Thanks, Lee, for your review. I am glad to hear that this is not scam in the sense of getting nothing for your money, and what you do get may well be worth the price for some. I’m going to have to pass in favor of better sources of information.
mike v April 26th, 2014 at 14:00
I order this p4p product on March 17 2014. Now, April 26 2014 still not received any .
May be scam. Watch out!!!
Jim in Cinti October 11th, 2014 at 10:41
Thanks for the posts. It was all very informative. Whenever there is an advertisement on the internet, I search for the scams, blogs and BBB reviews before I made any decisions. I went to the BBB website for Tennessee, first, and saw the 38 complaints against the site, all of which were resolved. I’m went to the review of the Power4Patriots blog (thank you, Lee) and learned quite a bit more. I decided not to order the product, as I’ve managed to find the same information from other resources, online. Mike from Chicago has some very good points. I’ve learned that you can purchase a Generac generator,usually from Lowes or Home Depot, or directly from the manufacturer, have it installed to your Natural Gas line, with an automatic switch, and when the power goes out for any length of time, the natural gas powered generator will still keep essential power going to your home. As far as solar and wind generation is concerned, its not the generation of solar or wind power that is important but the storage of the power generated, when the power is out, the sun isn’t out or there is no wind blowing. The costs of the inverter and storage batteries greatly affects the Return On Investment, not to mention care and feeding (maintenance)of lead acid batteries. There are alternative batteries, if you are willing to pay more. DOW Power touts new solar shingles to customers in select states but the catch is the state has to have Net Metering. Not all states offer Net Metering. The average amount of sunlight in my area is 5 hours. Therefore, I need to invest in a large enough solar array to attain the highest amount of electricity, to offset my power consumption. But there is another catch to net metering. You only get a credit from the Power Company if the meter runs backwards for three months in a row. My home is producing electricity for the power company during sunny days and always when my family and I aren’t at home, five out of seven days for work and school but when I’m at home when the sun has gone down, is when I’m using electricity and the meter is no longer running backwards. Therefore, the sum of each day hopefully will grant me a credit. By the way, I live in a small home and the highest electricity bill has been no more that $175 a month. The Return On Investment just isn’t cost effective. Sorry to ramble on so much. As I said, this has been very educational.
Jim in Cinti
Chris Sawyer January 19th, 2015 at 07:54
Just another guy spreading fear across the country for political reasons… I have been in alternate energy business since 1980. All the info a person would want is available for free. There is no new info, unless perhaps it is the QEG work furthering Tesla’s research and patents. So farm QEG looks promising but is still not working as claimed, however many great people are working on the open sourced project. Open sourcing is the way of the future, even Tesla motors and Toyota are throwing the patent office into the wind and opening up their so called secrets to the public… times they are a changing.. how many years do we have to sing that song before it manifests thoroughly…fear is the root cause of cancer and all societies ills.. It lives in self centered thinking. We all need each other, repub or dem to turn this world around. All it will cost is a little time and learning to listen to the heart.
Damian January 21st, 2015 at 12:54
This Power4Patriots scam is a replica of the Power4Home scam. It is being advertised on the Fox news site and others using a similar banner and the same claim. We suggest that the information published on the Internet debunking this product has forced a name change.
In keeping with the tactic of appearing to be endorsed by Fox News – from Chris at MapaWatt: “The narrator tries to rely on the Beck tactics of over dramatization, blaming the government and greedy corporations, trying to appeal to the audience’s emotions while playing loose with the facts, etc. …
The Power4Patriots on-line (link is external) presentation includes “As seen on” Fox News and other reputable media sites. On further investigation (August 8th) we have found no content on the Fox News web site relating to this claim. It appears that Fox News is serving adverts for Power4Home on it’s pages. To Fox News; this is not helpful! We have contacted Fox News to advise them of the misuse of their brand.
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.
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