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Question of the Day: Ready to Plug Solar into Your House?

We want you opinion.

Tonight, the will be holding a presentation by several private firms who are hoping to place solar panels on residential homes in Belmont, in some incidents at no cost to the homeowner.

The 7:30 p.m. meeting on the second floor of in the auditorium is the result of changes made this year by the allowing firms to come into town to set up systems which homeowners can reduce their dependency of the electrical power grid.

Meeting attendees will learn about inverters, tilt angles and net metering from solar power firms who are willing to trade tax credits for the insallation of solar PV panels for residential homeowners lucky enough to have 2,500 square feet of an unshaded rooftop that has a southern exposure.

So, are you interested in installing a solar PV panels on the roof of your house? 

Belmont_Conservative September 20, 2011 at 08:22 PM
Isn't it a bit remiss to talk about this topic and not even touch upon the numerous solar panel firms in the USA going belly-up, even despite receiving half a billion dollars in taxpayer loans (Solyndra)? Not to mention, the huge investigation that's now underway for the purpose of looking into whether or not these taxpayer loans were made regardless of the existence of financial evidence showing the company was in serious financial distress with ultimate insolvency as its only likely outcome. Seems to me that these loans were rushed through because they served an agenda. That being, the fraud that is green energy. Don't get me wrong, I have no doubt that green energy will one day, in about 60 years, be what's used to power this country and the world. My only point (and recommendation) is that we urge our elected leaders to stop throwing and wasting good money at it - but rather let the free market decide whether or not it's viable at this moment in time. Back to the point of this article, I believe these types of things shouldn't be subsidized. If someone wants to do it, let them do it - but why do they have to get a break on it. It's like the average income of a Prius owner. It's about three times the average income of a US adult. Why should someone who's in that kind of economic situation get a massive tax break on something they are choosing to purchase under their own free will? When you couple the federal and state rebates, the cost of the car is cut by 25%.
David Chase September 21, 2011 at 12:32 AM
@BC - I half agree with you, but PV solar panels are different from hybrid car subsidies in an interesting way, which is that the price of electricity varies wildly, and places like Belmont are near their peak supply constraints. On a hot sunny summer day, the power from a PV panel located in town is far more valuable than it is in the spring or fall when power is cheap and we are not near our limits. I wish I knew the dollar numbers for subsidy-per-peak kilowatt so I could make sense of this, but at least right now, I don't. (The car subsidies didn't look good to me, something like spending $2 to save a gallon of gasoline. I think they are being phased out.) I think you're pretty far off base with your Solyndra conspiracy theories. Some companies borrow money from the government, some go bust, some do both. We loan money to lots of companies, and some of them turn out to be losers. There's nothing special about this being a green-tech company, except that the Chinese PV industry (who knows what subsidies they get from China?) ate their lunch.
Deborah Theodore September 21, 2011 at 03:56 PM
Sheesh. I guess living in Belmont (as I have since 1983 when it was merely convenient and not a luxury to live here) neither of you seems to be in tune with people who may not be able to afford either a Prius or solar panels with or without subsidies. We would certainly love to reduce our carbon footprint as well as our utility bill (which we can afford; thank you BMLD!). This is a great idea and I only hope my South-facing roof is big enough to qualify.

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