Monday, November 20, 2006

Checking in With "Going Green"

Going Green is a blog by a commodity analyst and trader from Connecticut who is trying to reduce his use of oil and natural gas. Recently, he installed a 2.5 KW photovoltaic array on his house.

For more on the story, and how things are turning out, follow the posts in this order:

What I Wanted from the Solar Panels

Solar Panels: What We Got


How Much Oil Did the Solar Panels Save?

I'm a sucker for folks who have the gumption to experiment on their own. Be sure to stop by and offer some comments on his project. And check back, as he's promising more analysis.

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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I went through this same drill back in the late '70s, when Carter was pushing his solar ideas and you got up to a 50% tax credit for putting one of these things in. Plus, in my state, you got another 10% on your state income taxes. I looked at them all, PV, hot water heating, space heating, the whole smash. The answer was always the same: I'd be dead before I saw any kind of real savings.

The numbers always turned out that I could buy a lot more kwhrs and BTUs from the local utility than I could ever save using these things. I just couldn't afford the economic penalty. I know a lot of people get warm and fuzzy feelings from doing these kind of things but in my case it just didn't make sense. I had college tuition to save for and young children to clothe and feed.

One thing people often overlook in the cost analysis is the time value of money. Would I be better tying up capital and interest charges on financing purchase of a solar heating system, or would I be better off buying CDs and other investment instruments that would earn me interest on my money? Kind of a no-brainer.

Stewart Peterson said...

>>I'm a sucker for folks who have the gumption to experiment on their own.

Did you see this?