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Think Solar’s Gonna Cost You? Think Again

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Think Solar’s Gonna Cost You? Think Again

OK, you really want to do right by the environment and stop using all that coal fired electricity. The problem is you don’t have an extra ten to twenty thousand lying around the house to buy a photovoltaic (PV) system, or if you do, you’ve had your eye on that new diamond encrusted turnip twaddler that the Johnsons just bought. Sound familiar? Sure it does, and who among us doesn’t want a diamond encrusted turnip twaddler? (The ruby ones can be so frustrating right?)

Well let me tell you about my friend Phu. Phu is the way cool principal of a local high school and is married to a way awesome woman named Melanie who’s an English teacher at the same school. They’re wicked smart! Now we all know that teachers are among the highest paid professionals on the planet (aren’t they?) so Phu and his missus should be able to buy a photovoltaic system, pop it on their roof, and cut out the coal without having to even think about it. Well, maybe in the world I’ve created in my mind, but in the real world, Phu is in the same boat as most of us and can’t throw down the benjamins for a full system (plus they have a baby on the way, so its not exactly squander time if you know what I mean).

So Phu and Mel sat down, crunched some numbers, and did some research. One option was to pay a lot to put a system on the house and kick their coal habit, and another option was to pay nothing to put a system on the house and kick their coal habit. Guess which one way they chose (remember, I said they were wicked smart).

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Read more: Conscious Consumer, Conservation, Home, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse, Sustainable Dave

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Dave Chameides

Dave Chameides is a filmmaker and environmental educator. His website and newsletter are designed to inspire thought and dialogue on environmental solutions and revolve around the idea that no one can do everything, but everyone can do something. "Give people the facts, and they'll choose to do the right thing."

112 comments

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4:22PM PDT on Aug 20, 2013

Sounds cool and good for Phu & Mel. Thanks Dave. ▩

11:01PM PDT on May 6, 2012

Thank you so much, I will look into this now.

8:55PM PDT on Jul 10, 2011

That's very worth looking into. Thank you!

1:11PM PDT on Apr 17, 2011

It doesn't matter what solar energy costs, and whether or not it costs anything in terms of human currency, the opportunity costs and external costs on the environment and our future of producing and using unsustainable energy will always outweigh monetary costs to our bank accounts.

Hopefully that made sense. I didn't want to make an essay ^^;

4:30AM PDT on Mar 27, 2011

Is this available in Wyoming yet?

6:01AM PST on Feb 13, 2011

I've tried. I called a company 2 years ago when I first heard of this. Not a word in return.

5:06PM PDT on Jul 27, 2010

Don't have it in my area. Called. No go. They gave me the website www.findsolar.com put in zip and nothing in my area--oh well.

3:43PM PDT on Jul 8, 2010

Just amazing! Why isn't our govt. promoting this in every city in the country??

Saves $$ and puts people to work!

12:31PM PDT on Jun 28, 2010

thank you for posting this article! I have been looking into solar power for our house for a while. I will be calling around and looking into options such as this. Thanks again!

9:32AM PDT on Jun 3, 2010

Good information.

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Go ahead, blame it on the Brain. See if I care. Right, Pinky?

Thanks for sharing these tips with all of us.

They should make this into a yogurt commercial. I'd want to try what they're fighting over.

Fun tips for using an easy to get food...TY

Good advice. Limp vegetables looks like a viagra add.

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