Re: solar panels
From: Bonnie Fergusson (
Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2007 15:01:19 -0700 (PDT)
     Swan's Market Cohousing in Oakland has solar
Panels connected to the grid which cost us nothing up
front.  This is because the California Tax rebate on
them (last year) was valuable enough that it made
sense for an investment LLC to front the money to
install the panels (they own them)and agree to sell us
the electricity for 95% of what we had been paying for
the next 20 years and then the panels become ours (we
expect them to be good for 40 years).  We get stable,
lower electricity costs for 20 years, regardless of
how the price fluctuates; and then we own the system
and our electricity should be free for the next 20
years or however long the panels last. We do pay for
maintenance, which is anticipated to be minimal (not
much in the way of moving parts)and is worked into our
budget. The investment consortium gets the value of
the Tax rebate to offset their other business profits
plus what we pay them for electricity and the planet
gets a little relief from the fossil fuel climate
changing pollutants.  A win--win--win from our
   We didn't do a system big enough to also do the hot
water partly because the California rebate was not
high enough at that time to make it work the same way.
 We have heard rumors that that might change in the
future in which case we may relook at that issue, and
consider adding to our system.
               Bonnie Fergusson
               Swan's Market Cohousing
               Oakland, CA

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