Friday, July 30, 2010

It ain't easy being green

Figuring that the water heater is about at the end of its expected life, it was time to consider some options. One was to go solar. Steve Nash, one of the ball chucking chimps playing for the Suns is always on about going solar so maybe that is the way to go. Hell if a real live sports hero says it’s a good thing, it must be true.
One quick call and the solar salesman was on his way to spread the joy and savings of going solar. He was pleasant enough and went over all the facts, even had a PowerPoint with our very own Mr. Nash in it. Then he showed off his package (not that package, but the solar one) and unveiled the $35,000 price tag. Now our good sporto Nash undoubtedly could dig around the couch cushions in his crib and come up with 35K in a heartbeat, me not so much. However Salesman Sam (name changed to protect the innocent) said with gov’t subsidies, tax credits, yadya, yada, yada -- we only had to fess up 13K. And don’t forget the free case of LED light bulbs.

For this 13K we’d get, besides the case of bulbs, one water heater, the plastic panel on the roof, one attic fan and household voltage capacitor (which would cost 3K alone). Maybe not a bad deal in the long run, especially with the installation and all, but it is still a lot of money at this point. With the gov’t involved there was hope the price would be fairly negligible, but with no job in sight and limited savings solar is still beyond reach.

The other small problem revolved around permits. Any time anyone plans on doing anything to a house and says there are no permits needed he is either lying or ignorant. Always, always, check with your local municipality and find out what building permits are necessary. In this case not only was a permit necessary, but the contractor doing the work had to have his or her license on file with the City of El Mirage as well. This is for the homeowner’s protection. With solar installation, the contractor has to lay pipe, so to speak, and drill holes in the roof and this could easily spell disaster if that contractor is less than on the up and up or his “skilled workers” were the vagrants he picked up on the corner that morning.

So as the well known frog once crooned or croaked, as the case may be, it ain’t easy being green. It’ll cost more than one would imagine, involve some pitfalls and a few “got yas.” It is important to research the subject thoroughly to avoid being buffaloed by Salesman Sam or wind up with a half-ass job by some fly-by-night contractor who thinks E-Verify is a SPAM filter for e-mail. The power barons and resource pirates that control the oil, coal, and gas aren’t going to drop prices and with Mr. Obama’s “cap and trade” program the consumer is really going to get bent over, so solar is a good option and does deserve serious consideration, but as always, buyer beware.


At 10:48 PM, Blogger dianne said...

Gosh that is expensive Phossy dear, there is no way that I could afford that.
Was that just for the hot water or to power the entire house?
My hot water heater died about 3years ago, I did get a quote for solar then but though I cannot remember the amount now it was out of my price range then.
I did however get an electric water heater which is 'off peak', it only heats up during the night when power is less expensive, there is a booster if I ever run out of hot water but I have never had to use can also be converted to use with solar panels.
I was fortunate to know a reputable, licensed plumber and electrician (very important)so the installation all went smoothly.
Good luck. xoxo ♡

At 12:29 AM, Blogger ANNA-LYS said...

Going green is expensive if the state doesn't help as over here in Sweden.
Check out if You get a huge tax reduction due to that You help cleaning the planet. Or if You get 50% of the cost from the government climate program. I think even USA has this benefit for green thinking people.

Good luck!

IF USA doesn't have it - work for it!
Because, it is important that it is cheaper than stuff that destroy the environment and by that generate huge costs for the government and our health!

(( hug ))

At 12:47 AM, Blogger ANNA-LYS said...

Search on for example:

Federal Tax Credits for Consumer Energy Efficiency

At 4:48 AM, Blogger Little Lamb said...

You offer good advice.

At 2:40 PM, Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

There are tax credits, but since I am unemployed they won't do me any good...

At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


up here
we do it a
bit differently

dismayed by the high cost of
going green, but not to be put off
doing the right thing, we have elected to gather ubercheap made in china plastic items from the Dollar Giant and WalMart stores in the hope that once said items are gathered together in sufficient quantities, inherent contamination levels will achieve critical mass and provide us with virtually unlimited free power


At 3:07 PM, Blogger foam said...

it is expensive. luckily we haven't had to deal with that yet.

At 6:54 PM, Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

Some of the Chinese toys may actually be radio active, so nuclear toy power isn't too much of a stretch. At nay rate there's enough lead in the paint one could use them as cells in a very large car battery....

At 7:20 AM, Blogger Ruela said...

It is expensive here too...

I wish on day photograph the Tonto National Forest of Arizona, beautiful rocky canyons and cactus colonies and maybe find out some guys with mohawks at the Mohawk Valley ;)

At 10:47 PM, Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

Come on down. Haven't seen any mohawks in these parts, but could hook you up with some dreadlocks...


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