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Solar power catching on among Cache residents

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Posted: Sunday, July 25, 2010 12:00 am | Updated: 4:11 pm, Mon Oct 25, 2010.

Todd Fallis’ tidy backyard features the best of country living, from the rabbit hutch to the gurgling pond — but this postcard-pretty setting also includes some cutting-edge technology.

Nestled among the fruit trees is an array of 10 large solar panels mounted on a pole, a new addition that Fallis hopes will dramatically reduce his electric bill.

“We just turned it on Tuesday,” said the Utah State University music professor. “I’m really proud of them. This is our orchard, and now we have a solar tree in our orchard.”

While Fallis and his wife, Liz, are definitely trendsetters in their neighborhood, the couple is far from alone in embracing “green” energy.

Solar systems are quickly sprouting up across northern Utah, and the interest shows no sign of slowing down.

“There is a mindset shift — people are more aware of what energy they use and how they use it,” said Doug Shipley, business manager at Intermountain Wind and Solar, a Woods Cross-based company that has installed eight residential solar systems in Cache Valley since 2009 and has more in the works.

Environmental consciousness is the main motivator, but Shipley noted that unprecedented government incentives have also buoyed the trend.

The rebates can cut the cost of a renewable energy system by 40 to 45 percent, putting them within reach for many who otherwise couldn’t afford them.

Retiree Nancy Pitblado falls into that group.

Thanks to a 30 percent federal tax credit, state rebate of up to $8,750 and state tax credit of up to $2,000, Pitblado got a price that fit her budget, paying about $6,000 for eight 225-watt panels. The incentives saved her about $4,000. Pitblado hopes the eight panels will cover all of her electricity usage.

“I probably wouldn’t have done it otherwise,” explained the Montana transplant, who recently built a home in Green Canyon Estates, a North Logan subdivision.

People who want a similar deal should act quickly. Shipley stressed that the state money is drying up, with $325,000 remaining for residential solar projects, down from roughly $3 million, which was released in May through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

But even without government help, going “green” often makes economic sense, Shipley said.

By substantially cutting electricity bills, the systems gradually pay for themselves, typically over about a decade.

Fallis estimates that it will take him seven years to make his money back, while USU marketing professor Ed Stafford is looking at about 11 years.

An expert in pitching renewable energy, Stafford set out to make his Logan home a model of sustainability, installing one of the most extensive solar projects in the valley — 24 panels — in addition to a geothermal heating system. Stafford said he expects his panels to lower his electricity bill from between 35 and 40 percent.

At $19,000 after subsidies ($36,000 before), Stafford admits that the solar panels are “not an inexpensive investment,” adding that he put off landscaping his yard to pay for them. Still, he has no regrets.

“I think about someone who might spend that much on a boat or some other toy and use it 10 times a year if they are lucky,” he explained. “This is something that, rain or shine, we will use every day.”

The stationary pole-mounted system was put up about a week ago behind Stafford’s garage, a spot where it is a bit out of the way.

Neighbors haven’t had a problem with the project, Stafford said, and in fact it has attracted some inquiries.

Like most trends, solar power is being spread by word of mouth, with friends talking up its benefits.

For instance, since putting up 10 panels in 2009, Paula and Dirk Davis have inspired several neighbors to follow suit, including Todd and Liz Fallis.

“There seems to be interest,” Paula said. “I think the Gulf spill is making people more aware that we need to do something different than rely on this fossil fuel.”

As the years go on, Shipley and the other “green” energy enthusiasts hope that dependence will gradually disappear.

“We have to raise the bar on how we use our power,” he said. “Conservation is going to be a big thing. You won’t see homes without some sort of renewable energy built in. It is going to be integrated, rather than an afterthought.”

———

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43 comments:

  • Stuff posted at 7:35 am on Thu, Jul 29, 2010.

    Stuff Posts: 310

    Advoc8, I agree 100% with you 4x more than it is worth is a joke.

     
  • advoc8 posted at 9:44 pm on Wed, Jul 28, 2010.

    advoc8 Posts: 3407

    Stuff, I too hope solar works out someday.

    I hope our govt can be reigned in though, and not invest in something that costs 4X more than it's worth. We need more improvement and to wait until it's been developed to be worth the investment.

    Yes, govt investing into further development, BUT ONLY within REASON - not like the GM 1.3 million per job mentality...

    For the rest of you libs,

    Today isn't the day for solar electric power yet, neither is producing corn ethanol which is less efficient than the cost and energy of making it (terrible mistake going into it this large with the dire consequences of going big scale). It starves third world countries - oh, so nice of use to use our racist liberal "compassion" to save the planet and starving people to their detriment and ours too.

     
  • Cliquer posted at 8:12 pm on Wed, Jul 28, 2010.

    Cliquer Posts: 184

    See ya avosider!
    Avo's website "Watertowndaily" reported: Since exiting bankruptcy last year with the help of taxpayers who have a 60 percent share in the company, GM has invested $1.5 billion in U.S. and Canadian factories and created 7,500 jobs (Nice to see ya finaly found it!). Cool! Thats 1.3 million per job! I sure hope the Govt. don't invest in solar panels like they did in GM! The panels have already been farmed out to China. How many more1.3 million dollar jobs can we afford to send to China?

     
  • avosider posted at 7:12 pm on Wed, Jul 28, 2010.

    avosider Posts: 94

    Clique, As I said you can't read. "Yes they still owe over 40 billion" is what I said. You don't read things before you start arguing. "You made a comment about GM paying back all the money it owed the taxpayers." Where did I say that? You and others on here make it impossible to have a "normal" discussion. I am no lib just because I like the solar panels. I wish and hope they get better and cheap in the years to come. Technology gets better with time usually. It is not true in every case. But I am not wasting my time with this site anymore so all of you have fun talking to yourselves. BYE BYE I won't let the door hit my butt on the way out.

     
  • Alfred posted at 5:24 pm on Wed, Jul 28, 2010.

    Alfred Posts: 60


    At around $36,000 for only 40-45% with 10 solar panels I can't understand the math they use to show affordability. That means I need to spend around $50,000 to completely get off the grid. Even if my electricity bill was $125.00, it would take 30 years to make $45,000 back. The only way this works is by redistribution of your money to my pocket.

     
  • Stuff posted at 3:26 pm on Wed, Jul 28, 2010.

    Stuff Posts: 310

    Advoc8, Solar power is a good thing, I think as demand increases competition will rise and hopefully price goes down.

     
  • Cliquer posted at 1:34 pm on Wed, Jul 28, 2010.

    Cliquer Posts: 184

    Avosider,
    Hold on before you get your stained undies in a bunch! You made a comment about GM paying back all the money it owed the taxpayers. I countered your statement with a $45.3 billion oversight in your part, not mine. Either you are spoon-fed liberal news to keep you in the dark, or you are uneducated on the issues. (Or both) I feel that a $45.3 billion dollar oversight was worth commenting about. Please don't run off with your undies in a snuggie or you'll continue to be a miserable person!

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/04/21/business/main6417161.shtml

     
  • advoc8 posted at 10:49 am on Wed, Jul 28, 2010.

    advoc8 Posts: 3407

    Just make solar power a good thing, and not political, by developing it into a competitive industry without sucking the people dry along the way.

     
  • Alfred posted at 8:39 am on Wed, Jul 28, 2010.

    Alfred Posts: 60

    One thing that irks the help out of me is this notion by green junkies that corn based ethanol for vehicles is a far better alternative. It is a fact that this lowers horsepower, efficiency and raises pollution in the end. Secondly the fermentation process produces HUGE amounts of CO2 and uses huge amounts of coal and petroleum products in its production. Thirdly, it takes food out of children’s mouths and raises the price of food because of corn shortages. I'm amazed at how gullible some people are.

     
  • Alfred posted at 8:26 am on Wed, Jul 28, 2010.

    Alfred Posts: 60

    Stuff,
    Why does this need to be political? I agree!
    UMMM I think its because our ultra-liberal progressives on capital hill and president Obama made it that way! Can you remember Obama's speech about cap and trade? He said he will tax our present energy companies out of existence. That sorta makes it political!

     
  • avosider posted at 8:19 am on Wed, Jul 28, 2010.

    avosider Posts: 94

    The same dull witted people have ruined the HJ site. I for one see that it is pointless to argue with the same people whose ideas are in the minority. This site is full of the same boring senseless people. Clique, I am no liberal. If you actually met one your head would spin. Does a lib believe that every American should own and carry a gun. I do. It sure would deter some crime. But anyone to takes the same side on every issue is the problem with politics in this country. Then shoot names when its apparent they don't even have the slightest clue of what reality is. Have fun people your comments get you no where.

     
  • Stuff posted at 7:21 am on Wed, Jul 28, 2010.

    Stuff Posts: 310

    I get the feeling some of you think solar power is a bad thing. Over all solar power is a great thing, just way to expensive right now. Why does this need to be political?

     
  • advoc8 posted at 12:27 am on Wed, Jul 28, 2010.

    advoc8 Posts: 3407

    Clique,

    What were you expecting from lib rulers - truth, equality, love and liberty - love of country and people? People are to be used only for their pleasure and gain.

     
  • Clique posted at 8:47 pm on Tue, Jul 27, 2010.

    Clique Posts: 182

    I seen tonight that Presidential candidate and senator John Kerry (the Vietnam traitor and Veteran hater) is now on the long, long list of lib's that have found themselves under the watchful eye of the IRS for not paying taxes. When Obamadolt said "YOU WON'T PAY ONE MORE THIN DIME IN FEDERAL TAXES" What he really meant was Democrats in Washington DC. The rest of us will pay extra taxes on Cap and Trade, food, sugar, tobacco, and pay more through banking regulations, Healthcare, and higher taxes on industry. Remember: Businesses don't pay taxes. They collect them through our purchases. To think any differently is idiotic!

     
  • advoc8 posted at 7:39 pm on Tue, Jul 27, 2010.

    advoc8 Posts: 3407

    9th,

    That's why all hard core libs should move away - to "better themselves" and relieve decent folks here of their smog...

    Clique,

    Look at all the open bigots and self tittled control freak communists and socialists in the Emperor's cabinet. The Emperor is going to have to keep on His toes to keep His own and His reverend's bigotry competitive. (Kinda Star Wars-ish, isn't it...)

     
  • Alfred posted at 7:04 pm on Tue, Jul 27, 2010.

    Alfred Posts: 60

    I love the catchy title of this article!

    "Solar power catching on among Cache residents."

    A Woods Cross-based company has installed eight solar systems in cache valley since 2009 ! WOW! thats really catching on! Especially with the 3 million dollars available from the taxpayers money under the scam " American Recovery and Reinvestment Act."
    Socialist Communism is catching on much faster with our youngsters than solar energy is!

    9thAmendment,
    Im sorry! That is not winter smog as much as it is fog! It was here 150 years ago, long before cars. (Those darn pioneers and their pot bellied stoves!)

     
  • 9thAmendment posted at 5:38 pm on Tue, Jul 27, 2010.

    9thAmendment Posts: 6

    What about the winter smog? Will the Solar cells pick up enough sun then?

     
  • Clique posted at 3:04 pm on Tue, Jul 27, 2010.

    Clique Posts: 182

    What a disgusting thought of a Cap and Trade system. A tax on the energy we presently use to help us think solar and wind energy is a great deal. Is it just me, or does anyone else feel a little cheated by Obama and his famous tax cheat cabinet?
    Senator and ethics commity member Charlie Wrangle, Governor Bill Richardson, Timothy Geithner, Nancy Killefer, Tom Daschle, Mark Patterson, Hilda Solis, and William Lynn to name a few are all cabinet appointees who have tax evasion problems. "Please pay these new taxes so we don't have to, OK?"
    Change is Coming folks, meet the new boss-same as the old boss, we have been fooled again.

     
  • advoc8 posted at 1:01 am on Tue, Jul 27, 2010.

    advoc8 Posts: 3407

    US patriot,

    Whew! that was a close one, I thought you were going to say the very most prohibited word there for a minute - Nazi, er, I mean, the unspeakable "N" word. The gestapo will be looking for you tonight. Sleep with one eye open! And, never, NEVER, say the "N" word, as in "the thought Nazis," the utilities Nazis, the health-care Nazis, the Capn' Trade Nazis, the re-education Nazis, the media Nazis, the race Nazis, the Nazis who will assure you do everything the right way or else Nazis...

     
  • US Patriot posted at 11:41 pm on Mon, Jul 26, 2010.

    US Patriot Posts: 1079

    The uber left wing has never been worried about the cost of anything. They regulated Fannie, Freddie, Lehman Brothers, AIG, etc so they had to lend to uber left wingers who were never worried about where the next house payment came from, Then they threw our tax dollars at them because they failed and blamed GWB. (Housing and Community Development Act of 1977 or CRA was Carter and Clinton’s baby!) Now they are going to tie our hands with Cap and Trade by using the EPA to regulate us into green technology that is almost double the cost, under rated, and needs replaced every 10 years! Its no wonder Germans were frightened to death of Hitler!

     
  • Clique posted at 8:54 pm on Mon, Jul 26, 2010.

    Clique Posts: 182

    Competition is good for prices.

    I wonder how long a US based solar MGF Co. would last paying union wages -vs- $.27 cents per hour. Somebody needs to go back to 4th grade math class!
    The more Obamadolt taxes business, the more jobs will move over seas! Common sense is a brutal thing!

     
  • advoc8 posted at 8:52 pm on Mon, Jul 26, 2010.

    advoc8 Posts: 3407

    I'm sure thankful for liberals volunteering their all to save us ALL, IF we will just agree to be their slaves...

     
  • Clique posted at 7:42 pm on Mon, Jul 26, 2010.

    Clique Posts: 182

    avo,
    Where is the other $45.3 billion GM owes us? GM CEO Whitacre and Dictator Obamadolt would want us to think all the money had been paid back and we made a HUGE profit! Whitacre even did a multi-million dollar commercial to help us believe they had. Darn if Lib's can remember past the last billion they threw to the wind!
    You don't get out much do you? Do you just filter what you want to hear? Do you really believe the propaganda machine of the Obamadolt administration or is MSNBC just filtering your news so you don't have to?

    Posted: Apr 22, 2010 09:54 a.m. ABC News reports: “General Motors today repaid $8.1 billion in government loans, five years ahead of schedule and nine months after the troubled auto giant declared bankruptcy, signaling that the auto maker may be on the path to profitability.” Announcing the payment to a plant full of GM workers, Chairman Ed Whitacre (who, we should note, was a retired phone company man last June) announced, “As of today, GM has repaid in full and interest the loans made last July by the U.S. Treasury and Export Development in Canada.”

    The development does not mean that taxpayers have gotten back every dime put into America’s largest automaker. The AP notes, “The U.S. government still owns 61 percent of GM,” with the Canadian government retaining a much smaller share. The government gave GM $8.1 billion in loans, and spent about $45.3 billion buying majority ownership of the new company as it emerged from bankruptcy. The government will get that money back only if it can sell the stock at a profit when GM finally goes public, at a date that has a yet to be determined.

    Read this from: http://usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/cars-trucks/daily-news/100422-GM-Pays-Back-Government-Loans-5-Years-Early/


     
  • Stuff posted at 3:00 pm on Mon, Jul 26, 2010.

    Stuff Posts: 310

    I hope they keep getting better and cheaper. maybe it will follow the tech industry and keep getting smaller, better and cheaper.

     
  • Clique posted at 2:41 pm on Mon, Jul 26, 2010.

    Clique Posts: 182


    avosider,
    "It is obvious you people don't read the article?" OMG lib’s are smart!!

    It's obvious YOU didn't read the article!! Jeez! The company who INSTALLS the solar panels is from Woods-cross.
    ("a Woods Cross-based company that has "installed" eight residential solar systems in Cache Valley since 2009 and has more in the works.")
    No……… solar panels are NOT an "infant industry" either. They are not and have not been economically or productively sound from the early 90's through 2010. I wouldn’t call nearly 20 years infantile!

     
  • avosider posted at 2:28 pm on Mon, Jul 26, 2010.

    avosider Posts: 94

    Clique, Suppose we should have just let them fail? GM paid 8 Billion back 5 years early. Yes they still owe over 40 billion which they are selling stock to private investors to pay it back. The Government only own 10% of Chrysler. So I would word it as the government invested into the auto industry. With an investment comes a return. Unless they pay it back early, then it was just a cheap loan to keep some jobs going.

    http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20100423/OPINION01/304239979/

     
  • avosider posted at 1:32 pm on Mon, Jul 26, 2010.

    avosider Posts: 94

    I am talking supply and demand here. It is obvious you people don't read the article. The company in the article is out of woods cross. Sounds like a solar business in Utah not China. It is a simple business concept no matter what country manufactures them. Competition is good for prices. Incentive's help grow an infant industry. Yes solar panel is an infant industry due to the fact that humans know more about physics today than 30 years ago. Clique is one-sided and biased. China is starting to ease up a tiny bit on their markets though no where close to ours. The infant industry incentive is plausible.

    http://eh.net/encyclopedia/article/patton.carpet

     
  • Little Al posted at 12:59 pm on Mon, Jul 26, 2010.

    Little Al Posts: 3089

    If its so good why the need for incentive's ?

     
  • Clique posted at 12:25 pm on Mon, Jul 26, 2010.

    Clique Posts: 182

    ??????? HUH?? Solar technology will get better as long as there are private businesses that compete on creating a better panel?"
    The communists in China are making our solar panels! They are paying around $.27 cents per hour-VS- USA Labor Union wages. Our Marxist President and Dictator Obamadolt will be introducing Card Check into congress soon and the cost to U.S. Manufacturing will be financially devastating! The only way the private sector can now compete is under a hostile take-over by the Federal Govt. and we finish turning communist and operate under the guise of helping us! Under socialist communism, there are very few private businesses! Remember...........2 of the 3 big Auto Mfg.'s are now owned by the Govt. Freddie, Fannie and hundreds of banks are now owned by the Govt. The banks are not lending. Businesses are failing as fast as the Govt. can buy them up! We are on a sprint to the Communism finish line boys and girls!

     
  • Udink posted at 11:43 am on Mon, Jul 26, 2010.

    Udink Posts: 1119

    I think fossel fuels are great sources of energy. I'll continue to use those as long as they are the best sources, which will be a long time, much longer than I'll live.

     
  • avosider posted at 11:18 am on Mon, Jul 26, 2010.

    avosider Posts: 94

    More solar panels, less ugly power lines. Solar technology will get better as long as there are private businesses that compete on creating a better panel. Look at all the farmers. With those nice pivots that the government helps pay for they have more time to produce and they save water increasing productivity. ie Farmers would not be able to afford them on their own just like the these solar panels. More Entrepreneurs will join this market and drive prices down while making a better panel. In the long term, demand for coal energy will drop lowering everyone's electric bill.

     
  • Stuff posted at 7:55 am on Mon, Jul 26, 2010.

    Stuff Posts: 310

    I think anything we can do to cut our dependence on foreign energy and make America more energy independent is a plus. Now if someone could think up a way to make solar energy more affordable.

     
  • advoc8 posted at 12:01 am on Mon, Jul 26, 2010.

    advoc8 Posts: 3407

    US Patriot (and DTTP),

    Liberal Domestic Violence laws represent the largest roll-back in
    Americans’ Constitutionally-protected Civil Rights since the JIM CROW ERA:

    http://www.mediaradar.org/docs/RADARflyer-DVAM2009-issues.pdf

    "Progressive" Libs: STILL the party of bigotry, hate, lies, violence, hysteria and projection.

     
  • PeterBrunson posted at 10:57 pm on Sun, Jul 25, 2010.

    PeterBrunson Posts: 5550

    What would a substantial cut for the average residence in Logan be?
    Let us guess the average at $50 a month. 40% savings is then $20 bucks per month.
    Payback on one panel (200 watt) is 20 months for the cheap ones and 60 months for the high quality ones. Dirt cheap power. Right?

    Now you must consider the "grid tied thing" because cities get no credits for off the grid panels.

    There is also the installation costs that double the cost of the panel. Adding panels together adds to the cost of the panels. Life guarantees vary from 3 to 25 years.

    When you get done you can run lights, fans, a fridge and some handyman tools. Real work still requires more panels than is practical for homeowners or storage than can be charged up and then applied. 10 amps DC input for each 100 watts of an alternating current load. Yep, you guessed it a good system can run a hair dryer pretty well.

    The fans work well when the panel looks directly at the sun. A cloud, mist, smoke, or low angle reduces the power quickly.

     
  • US Patriot posted at 10:18 pm on Sun, Jul 25, 2010.

    US Patriot Posts: 1079

    Lib’s make everything a race thing because they are the ones who have held on to racism for 150 years. Look at the Jim Crow laws lib’s implemented and dearly held on to until the 1960's when MLK decided to unite rather than divide America said enough was enough! Take Senator Robert (KKK) Byrd (D), President Wilson (D), President Franklin D. Roosevelt (D) and Senator Theodore Bilbo (D) for example (four of the worst). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzfK7AWx6_s

    During the early years of the Wilson (D) administration (1913-1917), the Democratic Representatives submitted more racist legislation than had been introduced to any previous Congress. Disfranchised and demoralized Black Americans. FDR (D) submitted even more over the16 years he dictated over Americans.
    Racism and reverse racism has become a nasty little habit for Lib’s. If they don’t get their way, they brand you as racist. If they can, they use it in politics to create a advantage for themselves and a disadvantage for those who want to unite Americans. This all used to be in the White House website until Senator Howard Dean had it scrubbed. Now it is white washed in history books.

     
  • advoc8 posted at 3:20 pm on Sun, Jul 25, 2010.

    advoc8 Posts: 3407

    Clique,

    Great analysis (oh, oops, people will now know that I am you, now the Great Editor Charles has outed only the right while further giving free passes to the left who are actually guilty..)

    DTTP, the problem is with liberal hypocrisy and contradiction, which I was poking fun at in those comments. I'm just quoting your own lib leaders who propose painting everything white to protect us from the sure destruction of AGW. Who's going to protect us from the actual AGW scam, and a thousand other liberal scams from their propaganda and hysteria? Why do you libs make everything a race thing - maybe libs are actually racist by always falsely accusing "RACE!"??? Wake up and become a real American (of many colors) with the rest of us (of many colors) and stop dividing the nation by constantly crying Race!" when the only racists around are yourselves. We can't be the melting pot if we listen to those like you wanting no official language and no flag or other commonalities to unite us as ONE PEOPLE. Get lost, racist projecting lib!

    Care to contradict and expose yourself some more?

    Now, back to this topic at hand - Make solar and other electric competitive (without ME paying for YOUR system) and make it actually environmentally friendly and you may have a bunch of converts.

    Your Prius is very environmentally unfriendly (more than a coal burning plant) while being PC and politically popular, but only due to lies and lib propaganda...

    Liberal isn't bad when it isn't using lies and contradictions. I'm just allergic to the lies, hysteria and abuse stemming from it so often.

    DTTP, BTW, don't you have about three other idnetities on this site, all opperating under the guise of one ignorant hostile teen?

     
  • Clique posted at 2:33 pm on Sun, Jul 25, 2010.

    Clique Posts: 182

    Meanoman,
    You should not worry about the cost of said solar panels. Worry more about being cool, in style, in fashion and peer pressure. Charles Ashurst and his Idol and mentor Van Jones would want you to do your part in the Red Patriotism they subscribe to! Hang those solar panels baby!

     
  • meanoman posted at 11:39 am on Sun, Jul 25, 2010.

    meanoman Posts: 2

    I strongly agree with ChAsh that we need to reach an affordabilty tipping point. The problem I see is this article saying that the investement will pay back in a decade or less. Spend now and have free electricity in ten years. From my research, a person who does not have "CASH" laying about to spend on what I see at present as a status symbol should be very cautions at spending their hard earned and vital resources on solar panels.
    I am sorry to say that at present I feel that personal solar power is in the same class as the early Prius. They are nice to have and show your environmental commitment, but they are far more costly and less environmentally friendly than face value (carbon footprint of battery production pushes carbon payback out several years).
    For those of us who are limited in our finances there are less costly and quicker payback options for our limited resources. Dig up some lawn and plant a garden. Even a patch of potatoes and carrots pays you back more than grass.
    Plant a tree and sit outside in the shade instead of running the AC. Turn off the TV and read a book, especially if you have a child to listen, or an elderly neighbor who would like the company.

     
  • CharlesAshurst posted at 10:59 am on Sun, Jul 25, 2010.

    CharlesAshurst Posts: 3999

    The idea behind the government incentives is not to recruit people to become dependents upon the state, thereby furthering a clandestine goal of advancing socialism. The idea is get solar over the barrier that has been holding it back since the Carter Administration. That seems about to happen. As soon as solar energy hits about $1 per watt, it will take off on on its power.

    If, in ten years from now, this isn't seen as among the best uses ever of public funds, I personally will pay back ever dime of what I received from federal, state, and local incentives to put up our solar power systems.

    I am not a Marxist. I'm more of the Tom Rand school of thought at the moment. He's author of "Kick the Fossil Fuel Habit". See http://www.celsias.com/article/kicking-fossil-fuel-habit/

    "We've hit the bottom of the global oil barrel. Rigs far out at sea stick giant straws through more than a mile of sea-water to pierce pockets of oil so small they couldn't keep the economy running for a day. Accidents aside, it's impressive expertise, but peak oil and climate change dictate that it's a losing game. The larger tragedy revealed by the BP spill is that we lack the imagination to re-direct that expertise and capital to safer, cleaner sources of energy.

    "It's a myth we need fossil fuels. We just haven't decided to kick the habit. Instead of drilling for oil at sea, we could be drilling for heat here on land. Drill a few miles down pretty much anywhere, and you reach hot, dry rock. Enhanced geothermal (EGS) is the art of fracturing that rock, and tapping the heat for energy. It works 24/7. EGS isn't just theoretical; in fact, there are operating EGS plants in France and Germany, and lots of drilling has started in Australia. But EGS is just one of many clean and renewable sources of energy that can reliably power our civilization.

    "... But to give clean energy a fair shake, we need to invest at levels we normally reserve for fossil fuels. We're kidding ourselves if we think we can escape peak oil or move the needle on carbon emissions for anything less than trillions of dollars. "

    A trillion dollar investment is a lot to ask, and this path isn't without its own environmental costs and its own set of risks. Let's face it; there's no energy free lunch.. But weigh with that the sacrifices that are being required of you for business as usual. How much will you be required to sacrifice to keep business as usual going? Perhaps everything.

    Is there a free market approach to accomplishing what Tom Rand suggests, a trillion dollar investment in a renewable energy infrastructure?

    Yes. Carbon cap and trade.

    When George HW Bush applied this market approach to reducing SO2 emissions, it worked precisely because it was a departure from the top down heavy handed government approach that had preceded it. Capital started flowing where it was needed, toward solving a real world problem. This did not destroy the economy. It saved the economy. This did not rob people of their Constitutional liberties. It was how a free people remained free.

     
  • meanoman posted at 10:53 am on Sun, Jul 25, 2010.

    meanoman Posts: 2

    I am a bit puzzled by the payback times listed in this article. 7 years? 11 years?

    Last year I looked at having solar installed at my home. I was advised to calculate at 8 hours full generation per day as a yearly average. With my use at about 20 kwh per day I fugured I would need a system of about 7 kw (1/3 of daily use). The company man agreed and I recieved a quote of a bit over $30,000. After rebates and credits I was still looking at near $20,000.

    My Rocky Mountian Power bills average near $56 per month, $675 per year. This comes out to 29 1/2 years for repaying my investement. Are those in the article paying substantially more?

    If I use a generous annual increase of 5% on electricity costs, it is still 19 years to pay off my investement. The panels were said to be guaranteed to an output 80% listed power after 20 years. That would be 5.6kw barring no other problems with a glass covered panel in my rural environment. A need to invest in another 1.4kw.

    At the time I sought this information I had $10,000 I could spend and would have borrowed the remaining $10,000. At 5% interest this would have been another $450 in the first year. Declining interest but still interest would have driven the payback out again beyond 30 years.

    I would appreciate anyone who could show me the errors in my calculations.

    At the time of my interest the salesperson then stated that I was probably correct, but that it was a choice of environmental friendly lifestyle not financial strength. I elected to spend the cash I had on more immediate savings like fuel efficient transportation, insulation, energy star appliances and more efficient windows.

    I would advise anyone looking to add solar to research it well. I am a strong advocate of renewable energy, but unless you are financially able to move strongly in this way consider other energy saving options as more cost effective.

    And pleaze forgivz my splleing and syntaxx. I has alwers hased trobles wit dees tings.

     
  • mking posted at 10:01 am on Sun, Jul 25, 2010.

    mking Posts: 210

    "... government incentives have also buoyed the trend.

    The rebates can cut the cost of a renewable energy system by 40 to 45 percent, putting them within reach for many who otherwise couldn’t afford them.

    ...

    Thanks to a 30 percent federal tax credit, state rebate of up to $8,750 and state tax credit of up to $2,000, Pitblado got a price that fit her budget, paying about $6,000 for eight 225-watt panels. The incentives saved her about $4,000. Pitblado hopes the eight panels will cover all of her electricity usage."

    I have no problem with people putting up solar panels. But to claim that government incentives reduce the cost of the panels is incorrect. It only displaces the cost to others who are not using the panels. The actual cost is the same regardless of who pays.

     
  • DtotheP posted at 9:37 am on Sun, Jul 25, 2010.

    DtotheP Posts: 32

    What is your problem with solar energy advoc8? Is it not 1950 enough? Or do you want to paint them white because you're more comfortable with that color? I didn't know your racism reached so deep! LOL

    Seriously though. Do you not appreciate the ability to utilize solar energy? If you don't think it's a good idea...you need to reevaluate your ancient ways of thinking.

     
  • advoc8 posted at 12:32 am on Sun, Jul 25, 2010.

    advoc8 Posts: 3407

    Uh oh, that dark solar panel is going to warm up the earth - better paint it white along with your roof and the road...

     

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