Vail Daily letter: Solar works for me |

Vail Daily letter: Solar works for me

Vail Daily
Vail, CO Colorado

We installed a photovoltaic/thermal system in January and have had great suc-cess. We have eliminated our electricity bills and have cut our heating bills by 30 percent. We are saving more than $3,000 per year in electricity and heating bills, and the system will pay for itself inside of 10 years at today’s rates. At today’s rates, our return on investment is 10.6 percent. Gas and electricity rates are going to go up, so our payback will be even greater. Solar prices are coming down, so the pay-back could be even greater for you.

We installed the system because it saves money and is a great investment. I’m passion-ate about the environment and alternative energy, but that was not the decision- maker here. It just came down to the ROI.

No one should assume that solar installations are a slam dunk, however. You have to have the right location for it. You have to brush the snow off of the panels in the winter. Some pan-els are higher performing than others. The technology is rapid-ly advancing, so you have to do your homework to figure out what’s best for you. But if you do your homework and then get with someone who knows, you’ll get the benefits we have.

Those who have spoken out against 1A are making straw-man arguments. Not one of them that I know of has solar installed, so there’s no way they can speak from experience vis-a- vis solar. For example, they claim there’s yearly mainte-nance costs of solar – they’re wrong. Our system does not require yearly maintenance. They claim there’s no payback of solar – they’re wrong. Our system will pay for itself in less than 10 years and is providing a 10.6 percent ROI at today’s gas and electricity rates – which will go up. I don’t know where else I can get 10.6 percent on my money – we’re getting a great payback. They claim that this will increase “our taxes,” which is also wrong. 1A does not increase taxes. It’s purely a financing option. All it does is give homeowners a low- cost means to finance their energy-efficient improvements.

Those who speak out against 1A do so because of their politi-cal beliefs and ideals – not because of their experience or the facts. If you’re curious about the benefits of solar, don’t listen to people who don’t have solar systems. Instead, contact some-one who’s installed it on their home. I’ll be happy to share our experience with you and talk to you about the pros and cons – gratis.

Vote yes on 1A.

–Paul Kulas, Eagle

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