Publisher’s Message May 2017

Things don’t just improve on their own. Whether growth is within ourselves, in our loved ones, in our homes, our cities, our region, our state, our country, or our planet, it takes some effort to end up with something better than it was before. We remember 1990 when voters had the courage to impose an additional penny on our sales tax. In this May 2017 issue of Paradise NEWS we have the perspective to look back almost 30 years to see what that penny has meant in our own communities. The perspective helps.

Sometimes things look entirely different if you look at them from a different angle. Solar power is big news today. As experienced solar powerproducers ourselves, we must agree with St. Petersburg Commission Chair Darden Rice that a solar array on the roof of the city’s new police department should proceed, even if takes 32 years for payback. St. Petersburg mayor Rick Kriseman claims St. Petersburg will be a “green city”. To forgo a major green amenity that essentially costs nothing makes no sense. In fact, at this stage, if even the police department’s solar array will pay for itself, with all the protections and back-ups I’m sure they require, solar power has surely gotten to a self-supporting level for the rest of us without additional subsidy.

Our 4-year old system covers 650 square feet of roof, and produces more power than we need to run our home and our office. The excess is used charging up the 2015 Chevy Volt we use to deliver magazines. In the past four years the cost of our 10 killowatt system has gone down about a third, from $36,000 to below $24,000, due to efficiency improvements. In the meantime, we’ve prevented 100,000 lbs. of CO2 from being emitted into the environment. Driving on solar power is an incredible thrill. Even if you plan to sell and move, a solar investment is generally recovered in the selling price.

Our power bill is usually $10.53, and averages under $25 per month. Solar installations can now be financed at payments below the amount of power bill they replace. Even if your credit is not great, new legislation allows cities and counties to offer financing for rooftop solar to be paid back through your tax bill. This essentially makes the taxing authority your electric utility, lowers your overall payments now and forever and makes you part of the solution.  If not available yet in your area, it should be soon.

Our state continues to grow. If enough of us who own south facing roofs take care of our own power production, others will get the same idea. If each new building has its own power production, we may never need Duke Energy to build another nuclear plant.

If you are interested in  “going solar” we’d love to help. Email and let us know you are interested in solar power for your home or business.  We’ll do our best to hook you up with the most reliable installers and the best deal around. Together we can make things improve and make a difference on this planet.

Renee & Peter Roos & All the talented people that help create your Paradise NEWS.

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