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Friday
Oct082010

One roof at a time

A few months back the government was giving tax rebates for electric golf carts, heat pumps, dishwashers and other energy saving devices.  What if the government and local utilities created a program that would pay for the installation of solar panels, solar hot water and micro turbines for consumers would you participate?  The first thing people will ask is what’s the catch?  The catch is the utilities would own the equipment and would continue to charge you a generation cost to your bill and would have the ability to sell any unused electricity back into the grid.  The utility would have the right to all tax and offset credits you in essence are leasing your roof to the utility.  What this should do is balance electricity supply and demand in a way that utilities should be able to freeze generation rates for the next 10 years.  It would also remove any fuel surcharges to those customers that participated as well.  With federal mandates being discussed today in the neighborhood of 20% fossil fuel reductions it is going to take grass root efforts like this to reach those goals even while Washington remains in gridlock.  We have utility companies today sitting around and waiting for the government to make an $18 billion dollar guarantee for nuclear construction that on average will take between 4 to 5 years to build without any legal challenges.  Just think of how many households we could install solar panels on for that money?  With the price of panels today and factoring in a 40% reduction in costs over the next 3 years (panels have reduced almost 70% in the last 3 years) we are looking at approximately 1 million homes.  Remember the utilities and government are not giving this money away like with Tarp they are investing it and getting a fair rate of return back year over year.  Just think of the jobs this would create over the next 10 years as well mostly to smaller companies where this would matter the most.  I would encourage you to call your local, state and federal representatives and tell them you are willing to help.  As always I am interested in your thoughts to see how we make a difference from the bottom up.



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