Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Solar man to the rescue

J.D. has decided that solar is the only way to go in our ongoing battle to reduce our PG & E bill. We have fluorescent lights, gas appliances and have pretty much returned our spa to it’s dormant state. When you have a couple refrigerators, plus a hot tub, you can expect to pay, with or without the A/C running. Since we like to live in a refrigerator all summer (we are true psychrophiles), we pay dearly every year and yet we have little to show for it, except empty pockets and long bills with kilowatts coming out our ears as well as the meter which runs incessantly into the hundreds of dollars each month for our family. Solar panels on your house will convert energy from the sun into electricity for your home. Why didn’t we think of this before? For example, a family of five living in a 3,200 square foot home with 3 refrigerators, 3 computers, a 220V well and lots of landscape irrigation just received a PG&E bill for only $4.61. Wow! Those kinds of statistics grab you by the shirt and say, “Wake up!”

With the advent of pending legislation, both at the state and federal levels, consumers will get tax incentives and rebates for their commitment to solar energy, both commerical and residential. We are now turning to the power of the sun to sell our energy back in addition to turning our meter in reverse. Solar energy has been around a long time and after having lived in sunny California all these years, we seem destined to explore this new technology. Many people who went solar haven’t seen electric bills that curl their toes for years. There is a limited amount of time to take advantage of the tax incentives, so if you want to know more about it, I would suggest you contact my husband for more information and contact your legislators encouraging them to pass these bills that will protect your pocketbook, plus conserve our natural resources. JD is being schooled in the technology of solar energy and while I am interested in the subject, I am distracted by the staggering number of people who are interested in jumping on the solar band wagon. Perhaps it’s the combination of staggering gasoline prices in conjunction with the heftiness of our energy bills. Nothing comes cheap, some things are predictable, like sunshine on a cloudy day, when solar panels are still loving you. Why didn’t we consider doing this sooner?

We are turning greener as our money is flying into the pockets of energy monopolies and their fat portfolios. Consider several salient points. In 20-25 years you will save over $250,000.00 in energy costs using solar energy, plus getting rebates for being environmentally conscious. Commercial businesses stand to retrieve 30% of their costs up front with the government saying yes to solar technology.

I told my husband that he needs to start blogging his adventure and results of converting to solar so that we share with others the evidence we see in dollar and cents savings. We hope this will represent true economic return on an investment that will pay for itself over and over again. Renewable energy is the wave of the future. Here comes the sun…yahoo!

Tammy Maher is a resident of El Dorado Hills and biweekly columnist for the Mountain Democrat. You can reach her by email at


Anonymous said...

What is Air Conditioning? :) That is what got me to come to San Francisco! Whenever there is a heatwave in the Sacramento area, I call my sister to tell her how hot it is in Pacifica. I'll tell her, "OMG it was so hot today... It had to be 72 degrees!" Then she tells me to 'shut up!'

Anonymous said...

Hey you guys, please reconsider the solar panels. If you do it, then others will do it as well. What will I tell my family when my company loses so much income that I'm out of a job?

How about I send you a nice double insulated PG and E oven mitt? Huh? That would be nice, now wouldn't it? C'mon on! Keep me employed. You are already used to paying your monthly bill anyway. It's not like a surprise to you, now is it? NO!

Think of the expense to purchase and have those things installed! Talk about a shock!

How long have you been part of the PG and E family? Forever, right?!? I bet even your parents are part of the PG and E family. Why break a lifelong tradition. What did we ever do to deserve this? We have always been there for you.

I beg you, please stick with us, please, oh please, oh please. I am down on my knees (even shedding a tear).

OK! I'll throw in a fly swatter/back scratcher also. Boy you guys sure drive a hard bargain!

Then that's it, you agree to stay with us! THANK YOU THANK YOU ... THANK YOU!

Anonymous said...

At P G and E, we had an emergency closed door session about solar energy cells. Since there will be more people like you, using these thing-a-ma-jiggers, we decided to simply raise rates as customers drop off.

So because of YOU, the elderly on limited income will suffer the most. When we raise the rates, poor old Aunt Matilda won't be able to turn her heat on during the winter, hell she won't even be able to turn on a fan during the summer! All because of YOU and the people you are inspiring to go solar. Don't be selfish. Stick with us and help your fellow human beings.

Yours Truly,
Peter Darbee
Chairman, CEO
PGE Corporation

Anonymous said...

Ok,Ok, OK!!! We'll throw in an apron AND...AND a shoe horn.