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Homeowners Say Solar Is A Better Investment Than Buying A Car April 2, 2013 Kathleen Zipp

Business  (tags: americans, business, consumers, corporate, economy, energy, Entrepreneurs, environment, ethics, farming, GoodNews, greenbuilding, investing, investments, investors, labor, money, news, society, SustainableDevelopment, technology, usa, world )

- 1878 days ago -
"Seven out of 10 Massachusetts solar-owners believe solar energy is a better investment than a major property renovation or buying a car,.. a recent survey by New England Clean Energy..70 percent said solar, 29 renovation."PLEASE SHARE!

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Jane H (139)
Wednesday April 3, 2013, 7:15 am
good news and as a solar panel owneri I agree.

Alice C (1797)
Wednesday April 3, 2013, 10:03 am
Orlando Shared Solar Program Sells Out in 6 Days

April 1st, 2013 § 0

Do customers still want solar even if they can’t put it on their own house? From Orlando, the answer is a resounding Yes! Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC), the municipally owned utility serving one of Florida’s largest cities, launched its Community Solar Program in March. Within six days, all 400kW were fully subscribed, and OUC had received another 300kW+ worth of applications.

The 400kW shared solar project sits atop a parking lot at OUC headquarters

OUC Renewables Manager Jennifer Szaro is scrambling to line up more solar projects to bring into the program to meet customer demand. “We never dreamed it would sell out in six days,” she said. Within hours of the press coverage announcing the project’s success, Ms. Szaro’s phone started ringing – other major Florida utilities wanted to know how OUC had pulled it off.

The initial shared solar project is a 1632 panel canopy structure atop an OUC parking lot – a can’t-miss sight from busy Interstate 4. Customers sign up for kw-blocks of energy from the shared solar project. Initially, they’ll pay a slight premium (1-3 cents/kWh above their normal rate) for the solar power, but the value comes in the ability to lock in that rate for up to 25 years, which presumably will result in savings as the cost of standard grid electricity rises.

OUC President Dan Kirby was the first customer to sign up. Altogether, 38 customers will participate in the initial 400kW project. OUC staff were surprised to see 44% of the applicants request 15kW, the maximum allowed. Ms. Szaro said the energy produced by 15kW would cover the needs of a typical high-usage residential customer. Several small commercial customers will also participate in this first round. The program stats as of March 28 were:

In a city where 55% of the housing units are in multifamily buildings, creating the opportunity for customers to participate in offsite shared solar projects opens up a huge new market for clean energy. Large commercial customers like Universal Studios have expressed interest as well, though they were not able to participate in this initial offering because OUC will have to figure out how to account for their demand-based rates.

Utilities across the country are embracing shared renewables as a way to meet customer demand for clean energy and avoid “departing load customers” – those who choose to get their energy from a home solar system or, where they’re allowed, a competitive supplier. OUC is already analyzing opportunities for growing the program. Participation in the next shared solar project would likely be offered at the same 13 cents/kWh, because, as Ms. Szaro noted, “There’s clearly a market at that price.”

For more info on shared renewables across the U.S., Vote Solar is tracking all the action at


Alice C (1797)
Wednesday April 3, 2013, 10:05 am
Shared ~ Thank you Ruth : )

Angelika R (143)
Wednesday April 3, 2013, 11:06 am
Thx Ruth. while I absolutely agree that solar IS a necessary and paying off investment, I also think this survey is not very appropriately designed and done as these are NO comparatives or alternatives. Your solar panels won't take you from A to B if you have no other transportation nor will they fix your home if it needs fixing /renovation.

Carol H (229)
Thursday April 4, 2013, 5:22 am
noted, thanks Ruth

Phillip W (210)
Thursday April 4, 2013, 5:48 am
There are some cost sharing options for wind and solar where you get the equipment and, for a few years, agree to sell back your surplus to the company. I don't know much about these programs do any of you? Colorado was one state mentioned.

Gloria p (304)
Thursday April 4, 2013, 5:50 am
Anyone can get a car. Finding solar power for our homes is much more difficult. It has to be available and it has to be done right.

Alice C (1797)
Thursday April 4, 2013, 12:18 pm
Yes, Phil. I have purchased solar power both ways and had a battery back up installed as well. The batteries are closed cell and last 8 years and the panels last 25+ years. Passive solar heat lasts the lifetime of the home.

Birgit W (160)
Thursday April 4, 2013, 4:34 pm
Since when is buying a car an investment? I am all for solar energy.

Charlene Rush (79)
Thursday April 4, 2013, 10:04 pm
Now, this sounds like a plan, we should all envision.

GREEN ENERGY, is the future.
Anyone who doesn't get the connection, is 'backing the wrong horse'.

Past Member (0)
Friday April 5, 2013, 6:33 am
"Seven out of 10 Massachusetts solar-owners believe solar energy is a better investment than a major property renovation or buying a car," ould you find a more biased group?

Sergio Padilla (65)
Wednesday April 17, 2013, 10:02 am

Ruth R (246)
Tuesday May 28, 2013, 8:38 pm
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