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Monday, June 13, 2016

Solar in rental units

"85% savings with energy storage" said the headline.

Another quote:
“The addition of storage technologies has the potential to nearly double stand-alone solar electricity bill savings at about a third of the cost of solar. For example, the addition of a $112,100 battery storage system to a $385,000 solar installation increased savings from $15,000 per year to $27,900, an 85 percent increase in savings for only a 29 percent increase in cost.”
So, to pay for the $385k solar installation, with a savings of $27,900 per year, means it would take 385,000/27900, or 13 years to break even. $385k is capital that most mom and pop, and even many corporate rental companies do not have. We really need more cost-effective ways for the little individual family to go with solar or storage technologies, and even that won't benefit some people. Only in some areas is the cost of energy going up much too fast.

Using insulating technologies to save energy could help. Living underground  is one idea but you just can't push dirt against a building and make it work. First the building has to be engineered enough to withstand the pressure of the dirt from all the sides. Second, even if it's legal according to zoning laws (which prevent many many people from using wind power), most people do not have the cash to do such a thing. An underground house, in most cases, must be built from scratch.

The other issue working against people installing alternative energy solutions is spelled out here:
“Median rents in California increased by over 20 percent from 2000 to 2012, while the median income dropped by 8 percent, significantly driving up the percentage of income that California households must spend on rent.”
Incomes keep going up, or stay the same and lost to increases costs. The inflation rate only tracks the AVERAGE cost of goods in the US or at the state level. It has nothing to do with people not getting a raise in 10 years, increase out-of-pocket medical expenses, higher taxes from Obamacare and other sources, and other factors.

Clean Technica.

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