UPDATE: I have a dedicated blog for all my green/environment posts: check it out at http://www.hippygreen.com
I think everyone and their grandmother is thinking green. With all this talk of global warming and CO2 emissions, you would expect solar power to be the next hot topic. I previous posted about some solar panel kits that could be used to power your portal electronics, but the upfront cost of solar panels is HUGE. Well the people over at Citizenre would like you to think different.
They are offering a new program called REnU. This program is to have Citizenre come and install solar panels and all the equipment to your house and setup net metering (receives retail credit for the electricity the solar panels generates) There is no cost to you EXCEPT you sign an agreement to pay the current electricity price at or below cost. This means if your solar panels are creating 80% of your electricity usage, then 80% of the electricty bill goes towards Citizenre and the 20% goes towards the electricity company. The REnU program is basically setting up solar panels on your house, taking the upfront cost of free power, and net metering that power with the electricity company. They are then becoming the middle man selling power back to the company and making money through you.
This is a great idea for people who want clean “renewable” power, but can not afford the upfront cost of installing solar panels. The other current benefit of solar panels, is tax credit. In New Jersey you can take about $5 tax credit per watt for solar panels. So if you buy a 250 watt solar panel, you can deduct $1250 from your taxes. (Great model if your in the HIGH tax bracket.) I was also thinking about starting up a business using this model, target states like CT and NJ with “higher income housing” and selling them solar panels to “reduce the cost of their electricity bill” and stick it to the Government! These people are already going to have to pay this money to the Government, why not deduct it and get a gift that can keep on giving, FREE ELECTRICITY!