Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Solar Power Rocks

My day started early this morning as our family headed out into the Atlantic for deep-sea fishing. While going through the no-wake zone, I noticed some decent new construction activity along the coast, primarily concrete homes. Surprisingly, these homes were near Arnold Schwarzenegger's old home in South Florida. So, we are talking BIG homes.

Big homes indeed, yet little or minimal green features. Kinda embarrassing living in the great Sunshine State! So I decided to check the city ordinances and state regulations when I got to land.

The Florida Energy Act in 2006 helped to aside money for grants and rebates. As part of the 2006 Florida Energy Act, the Solar Energy Systems Incentives Program offers rebates for individuals or businesses to purchase solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, and solar thermal pool heating systems. Solar photovoltaic systems are eligible for a $4/watt rebate, capped at $20,000 for homes and $100,000 for businesses. So what is the hold up? Why do I still see the same old wasted technology on rooftops? In Ohio (where I live), awards can be up to $3.50 per watt with a maximum grant award of $25,000 per residence.

I believe the primary incentive for residential conversion to renewable energy sources will be the individual state’s Energy Loan Fund (ELF) grants, which can provide a significant benefit to homeowners planning solar installations –usually up to $25,000. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if owners of solar-powered or other alternative energy sources (wind or geothermal) residences were rewarded with property tax relief? I encourage you to check your city, county, state and federal regulations. You'll be pleasantly surprised about possible tax credits that are within your reach!

Source: Solar Power Rocks 2009


CelticSolar said...

You mentioned Big homes with little or no green features. A friend of mine sells solar PV systems. He has talked about the "sweet spot" for selling PV and it is not in the big houses. Other than a few activist/actors, most people with serious money are not concerned with personally being green, even if they generally concerned with the environment. There is a "green gap" between how most people say they feel about the environment and how they act.

Sustaino - said...

Very good point. I wonder if that gap is generational? While some green activists are indeed Boomers and Gen Xers, I just don't understand that if you have the money to invest in green technology for your home, then why not implement it? There are tax rebates, loans, credits, and more incentives. Being efficient just makes sense for so many reasons!