USA Today Finds Home Solar Panels Not Cost-Effective
Are solar panels are the way to a bright future of clean energy â€“ or the way to an empty bank account?
On Aug. 14, USA Today profiled a man who built solar panels in his backyard to demonstrate the inefficiency and high costs of solar energy as well as the taxpayer-funded government subsidies he got in the process.
According to the article, Rochester, N.Y. resident Jeffrey Punton installed the solar panels in the backyard of his home for a combined personal and government subsidized price of $42,480. This price doesnâ€™t include maintenance. Punton received $29,500 in government subsidies to install them, which he calls as a â€śfoolish investment.â€ť
In fact, the whole reason he set up this solar panel contraption was as a testament to government waste. â€śI don't think it's a smart investment to pay someone three times what they're putting in,â€ť Punton said in the article.
He has saved money on his energy bills, but no where near enough to make back the costs to himself and taxpayers. He saves only â€śseveral hundred dollars a yearâ€ť on his energy bills.
USA Todayâ€™s willingness to tell Puntonâ€™s story is a rarity, among media often hyping solar power. The media have pushed carbon taxes in order to promote green energy solutions. CBS â€śEvening Newsâ€ť on March 6, 2007, pushed a similar concept to the one Punton tried: a solar power initiative in California. The initiative would end up costing environmentally conscience homeowners who installed the panels about $18,000 â€“ and thatâ€™s after factoring in a $5,000 state rebate check.