When: Saturday, October 6, 2012 from 3pm – 5pm
Where: 15 Cedar Lane in New Baltimore, NY
Come join us for an informative, catered “solar party!” With nothing to buy and no seminars to sit through, this event is simply a chance to check out a working Greene County, NY home solar installation with food, drinks, and happy solar homeowners.
Real Goods Solar installed a 32-panel home solar array at Sharon and Ronald Locke’s house back in the summer of 2010. With thousands in electricity bill savings under their belt since that time, the Lockes are hosting a solar open house to give Greene County area residents a chance to see a home solar system in action first-hand. Bring your most recent electric bill and you’ll be eligible to win a $25 movie theater gift certificate.
RSVP by September 30 to Kathleen Maier of Real Goods Solar (Kathleen.Maier@RealGoods.com or 845-548-4673).
Solar Myth #33: The Cost Savings of Solar Aren’t Worth the Hassle. Enter Bob Hughes, who lives with his wife (and a few weekenders) in a 2,200 square foot colonial in Albany, NY.
Although Bob and his wife are empty nesters, the kids didn’t go far. They’re back every Saturday with massive loads of laundry – so the washer and dryer are running all weekend. Then there are the other high-consumption electric appliances: refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, heaters. And the rest: high-def televisions, electronic gadgets charging all day every day it seems, lights, hair dryers – the list goes on.
Myth #33 is from the Real Goods Solar eBook 87 Solar Myths, which confirms or busts many of the myths about solar energy, from short term financial gains/losses to where the most installations are completed.
Given the rising electricity costs and history of kilowatt usage at their home, it was time for the Hughes family to look at ways to save money. One might think the upfront investment in solar would be too high and that it could take years to realize savings. Mr. Hughes sees it differently. “I contracted with Real Goods Solar for 6.27kW in September 2011 and I have not paid a single dime to my electricity provider since (other than the standard monthly utility connection fee). Before we converted to solar energy, $250 per month was going right out the door. Now it’s being invested.”
Myth: BUSTED! How did it happen for the Hughes family? They’ve long been proponents of alternative energy, but the opportunity never feasibly presented itself. After conducting some research, they found out about New York’s best solar financing options and a variety of NYSERDA and federal incentives they qualified for. As a matter of fact, they saved over $7,000 upfront on the solar panel installation with cash incentives alone.
“Real Goods Solar helped us find cash incentives and great finance rates. They also provided expert installation and customer service throughout the entire process,” Bob added.
Not only are the cost savings immediately realized, between 5 and 8 years from now, the Hughes Family will have their system paid off and will be getting 100% of their electricity for free – something Bob is looking forward to. “For years, we’ve been sucking up energy and paying out tons of money. It’s great to have a feasible alternative, and one that is also safer for the environment.”
Not only will solar give New Yorkers clean, reliable energy for generations, it will create thousands of jobs under New York’s Solar Jobs Act currently in legislation. Governor Cuomo’s NY-Sun initiative brings together existing programs administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to ensure consistency, and it will bring New York to the forefront of solar research and development.
There’s plenty of sunshine in the Northeast! On average, the Northeast receives approximately 4.5 hours of direct sunlight a day. One factor that makes solar power a more sensible choice there than in many other places in the U.S. is that power costs are significantly higher and state incentives are strong, so the potential savings are huge.
Source: U.S. Department of Energy
Solar panels can easily be installed on flat roofs. In fact, because this allows for the panels to be tilted and oriented in the optimal direction, many flat roof systems produce more electricity than those installed on pitched roofs. Solar panels themselves are entirely modular and there are many different mounting options available, so there is a lot of flexibility.
Source: One Block Off the Grid
Your solar provider will conduct a thorough inspection of your roof prior to design and installation. If you have a shake roof, chances are it was installed years ago and may be in need of repair. Both materials are more difficult to work with than composite shingles and must be treated with the utmost care and expertise, but can still be installed on in many cases.
Source: One Block Off the Grid
Guest blogger Jo Lee of Green Machine PR is talking with Vermont residents who have gone solar and have proof that the myths in our free 87 Solar Myths ebook are accurate.
Williston resident and University of Vermont professor Alice Fothergill knew that powering her home with solar energy would be good for the environment. She didn’t realize that it would also be good for her neighborhood, including her local school.
As a result, Alice became a proud “buster” of Myth #82 – “My neighbors will hate looking at ‘ugly’ panels.” Myth #82 appears in the recently launched Real Goods Solar eBook 87 Solar Myths.
Rather then receiving complaints about her panels or irate letters from her homeowner association, Alice has been pleasantly surprised by all the positive attention that’s come her way since going solar. “I’ve had a number of neighbors stop by and be amazed by how much solar pricing has fallen. They can’t believe we can afford it,” said Alice.
Not only have neighbors had their curiosity piqued by Alice’s panels, but her next-door neighbor, Williston Central science teacher Amy Durant, incorporated Alice’s solar panels into her students’ environmental studies curriculum. Amy was planning a field trip to a renewable site but realized she could avoid the expense and hassle of a bus by simply heading over to Alice’s house.
“It just so happened that it was a beautiful sunny day (75 degrees Fahrenheit) in March and we walked all of our students to Alice’s house where Real Goods Solar showed them the panels and how they were installed, and answered a lot of great questions from the kids.” The students were so inspired by Real Goods Solar’s presentation that they launched a student-led initiative to get Williston Central to go solar. “These kids are wired for a new energy future,” said Alice. “It was a real thrill to have our solar panels be part of their educational experience.”