I first heard of Amory Lovins in the 1980s, when he created the concept of “Negawatts,” which recognized that saving energy was more cost-effective than creating new energy supplies, and aimed to give utilities an incentive to invest in energy efficiency. Before then utilities lost money whenever they saved energy. With “Negawatt Demand Side Management” programs, utilities were given incentives to save energy. For instance, instead of building another $4 billion power plant, utilities would spend $2 billion on energy efficiency measures that would save the same amount of energy. Society would gain from the environmental benefits; more jobs would be created than from building new power plants; ratepayers would save money; and the utilities could earn a profit from saving energy (instead of just making money on selling energy supply). This article introduces some of Lovins’s latest thinking on the evolution of energy in today’s New York Times…
I just read this interesting article in the New York Times: Modern Updates to Old-School Building Materials. While it mostly discusses new construction options, the solar electric that Mr. Torcasso uses for his almost zero electric bill in his multi-million dollar home is something that almost any homeowner with sunlight on their roof or in their yard can take advantage of.
If you have sun between the hours of 10am and 4 pm, you can install a solar electric system that “runs the meter backwards” when the sun is shining and the solar system is producing more electricity than you are using. This excess energy goes into the electric grid and you are credited (via “net metering”) for the extra energy you generated.
During the night and on cloudy days, you use utility grid-supplied electricity just like normal – but, because you generated more solar electric in the past, you have a zero (or close to zero) electric bill.
In addition to qualifying for state cash grants and federal and state tax credits – you can now SAVE MONEY IMMEDIATELY WITH NO CASH OUTLAY. With current lease programs, you can install a solar electric system with ZERO cash when financing entities put up the money. They take the cash incentives and tax credits – and you just pay them for the electricity the solar system generates over 20 years. They own and maintain the system, and you can either buy them out or transfer the payments to new owners if you sell your home.
Pretty great plan — with no cash and no risk you just start saving 10% or more compared to your electric utility prices. If you contact me I can gladly help you make an assessment of your solar options and help you get started. Phone consultation free.