Friday, July 18, 2008

Solar Scamming

The village of Wind Point has recently installed solar panels, at a cost of $54,000. As a result, the village has saved $160 on last months electric bill. At that rate of savings, we will break even after 28 years, assuming zero inflation. And this "savings" is only possible because We Energies is buying the electricity and then selling it back to the village at half price. Note to would-be entrepreneurs: buying high and selling low is a risky business strategy.

Village Trustee Ann Brodek noted that the village received a grant from Focus on Energy, an organization that "helps install cost-effective energy efficient projects."

Install solar panels to save the world or to feel good about yourself or whatever, but please don't tell me that it is cost-effective.

9 comments:

Compassionate Badger said...

looks like the village forgot to do their cost/benefit analysis

Denis Navratil said...

I am not so sure about that combad. The joy of moral superiority and being "part of the solution" are the benefits for the politicians while the cost is paid by others.

smallgovsam said...

It has always amazed me how intellectuals can ignore even the simplest of calculations. I’m still teaching Algebra 101 to the Green Scholars.

johnrw52 said...

That is one way of looking at it.
But if this was my home, and I refinance my mortgage at a fixed rate adding $54,000; and electricity goes up at 6% a year (given recent trends), then after about 9 years I am getting income, and after 16 years it is a net gain. It depends on the increased cost of electricity. Consider Texas. I think the numbers are getting close and could be quite good for a DYIer.

25mph by the lighthouse said...

No worries. The Wind Point police department writes about $54,000 worth of tickets per week. LOL.

Anonymous said...

"after about 9 years I am getting income, and after 16 years it is a net gain. It depends on the increased cost of electricity."

It also depends on the cost of Maintenance. If batteries are involved, look to spend some money in 5 years. Controls have been known to break circuit. Who will fix? Panels must be cleaned of dirt, dust, bird droppings, branches... multiple times a year. How is access? Will panels be mounted on a roof? Then panels must be removed to repair or replace roof. They are not plug n' play forever, far from it.

Urban Pioneer said...

Hey Dennis and all Here's a REAL solution for the GREEN School. Let's cut the school week to 4 days!!!! Maybe extend the school day by one hour and we wouldn't need to extend the school year. I have heard of this idea before, I think the time has come!!!!

http://www.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUSN2439039120080724?feedType=RSS&feedName=lifestyleMolt&rpc=22&sp=true

Urban Pioneer said...

We wouldn't need to buy those silly Solar panels and furthermore, the science room teachers window we could afford to fix!! I wouldn't object to close the city and county buildings one day a week as well. Again extending the day by an hour so we can still serve the residents. Come on Mayor Becker, and Executive Mac' !

Anonymous said...

Funny...Jeffrey Sachs, whom reorganized Poland's economy a few years back has cost analysis for supporting oil in the Middle East for the past 50 years or so...100's of billions in aid and military costs.

Delusions...