Saturday, April 22, 2006

Earth Day Berkeley: Helping people with the Solar Decision

Hello solarDwellers:

Feeling motivated this morning as I head out to take my place behind a solar table at Berkeley, CA's Earth Day celebration with a solar acquaintance of mine, answering people's questions and hopefully making it easier for them to make what I'm calling "The Solar Decision."

It's one of the BEST decisions one can make as a way to reduce your contribution of greenhouse gases to our atmosphere at the local level. Putting a modest 2 kW solar PV system on your house and just letting it quietly do its work over its 20 year life is equivalent to NOT DRIVING for 10 YEARS, without making sacrifices in the comfort of your home. That's about 85,000 lbs of CO2. And as an info-mercial might exclaim: "All for the amazing price of around $12,000! (Based on the following statistics: electricity from natural gas emits 0.52 kg CO2/kWh and from coal emits 0.92 kg CO2/kWh; and according to Terra Pass, an average four-cylinder car emits roughly 7,000 lbs of CO2/year.

I didn't even mention that it's also like a CONSERVATIVE fixed investment, at least guaranteed to pay for itself over the life of the system. And if you spend $75-100 per month on electricity, it pays for itself in half that time AND you get a nice return on investment.

So, on this Earth DAY, I urge those who are able to make "THE SOLAR DECISION" to do so now when rebates/tax credits are favorable. You'll be making a good financial decision and taking action to reduce your annual greenhouse gas emissions.

Go solar!

--the solarDweller
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AltE Sasch said...

I would just add that even more compelling financial investment than a solar electric system would be solar thermal systems (such as solar water heating systems or solar air heating systems) which will give most home owners and ROI of 3-8 (12-33% annual return).

I also recommend checking out our free webinar on what to do before taking the first steps into solar or wind energy for your home. The webinar talks about the many things you can do even before you consider investing in an alternative energy system.

Tommy Tokar said...

Good luck with your meeting today. I know that there is a tremendous interest in solar energy but it still hasn’t quite taken off. Your view on emissions is spot on. I would also like to suggest that these systems once installed aren’t static. They have a long life cycle and if properly installed can be upgraded. With the cost of deployment continuing to decrease being able to upgrade an existing solar/Wind installation to the best route to go. With upgradeability in mind we have promoted a basic install for clients that can’t afford a full installation to replace the entire cost of utilities but hope to replace that electric bill in the near future

Tommy Tokar
SolarMecca Inc.
214-550-9817 Main
214-550-9817 Ext 704