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News » London Solar News » November 2010

November 2010

Volume I, Issue 5

In this issue

- Welcome

- Our environment

- PACE: clean energy for everyone

- Social networking

Welcome to the November 2010 edition of London Solar News, brought to you by SunTap Technologies. This issue introduces a new feature on our Web site, and we highlight an important article that spells out how we can all benefit from clean energy.

Thank you for reading, and feel free to shoot us an e-mail with any comments or questions at solar@suntaptechnologies.com. If you enjoyed this newsletter, forward it to your friends!

We wish you all the best in the upcoming holiday season. Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy new year.

Cheers,

Mike and Tim
Co-founders of SunTap Technologies Inc.


Our environment

As we are all aware, our environment is changing. "Climate change" and "global warming" are common phrases now used to explain the theory behind the sudden and drastic change to weather patterns. We have "smog alerts" in the summertime when the air quality is too poor for some people to venture outdoors. Our lakes and rivers are occasionally closed off for swimming for fear of "bacterial infection".

SunTap has launched a new feature on our Web site called Our environment. You can find links to articles and resources, everything from recycling to composting to local organizations, to help you keep informed on how we can all protect the environment.


PACE: clean energy for everyone

PACE: A solution for London’s economy, jobs, environment, and children.

As Ontario strives to become the solar capital of North America, London should set the goal of being the solar capital of Ontario.

What is PACE? It is one of the hottest ideas at the municipal level in the United States. It started about five years ago in Berkeley, California and has grown ever since. Basically, it’s a way to finance solar systems or energy efficiency retrofits, where the city pays for the installation and you pay it back through your property tax bills over 15 to 20 years.

P. Property
A. Assessment for
C. Clean
E. Energy

The biggest obstacle to the installation of solar power on homes is the upfront expense to the home owner. A 2 kW solar installation typically runs between $14 000 and $20 000. Although costs are continually decreasing it is still a large purchase usually requiring financing from a bank. PACE removes all upfront costs and the need for any financing. To put it simply: the city pays for the installation of the solar panels and assesses your property tax over 20 years to recoup the cost. The best part is there is no cost to the city either.

Ontario is in a unique and exciting situation to take advantage of PACE.

What if you were told you could put a 2 kW solar system on your house for no money and it would pay you better than $700 a year? Thanks to Ontario’s Feed-In Tariff (FIT) program, solar panels are now one of the best investments you can find. Here is an example using a typical 2 kW solar installation (conservative values used):

Installation costs
-$18 000 Cost of a 2 kW solar panel installation (above-average cost)
$18 000 Paid for up front by City of London
$0.00 Cost to home owner
 
Yearly payments
$1828 Household income from microFIT program at 80.2 ¢/kWh
-$1050 Property tax assessment for 20 years
$778 MONEY IN YOUR POCKET AFTER PAYING THE TAX ASSESMENT

 

Why does this work so well? The FIT program from Ontario Power Authority guarantees a payment of 80.2 ¢/kWh for all the electricity you generate. In the United States, PACE is nowhere near as profitable for the home owner and it has taken off: California now has a state-wide program.

 

What does this mean to you and to London?
Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!
Solar panels, racks, wiring, etc. all have to be manufactured
Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!
People have to install them
Economic stimulus
From the newly employed and the money earned from the FIT program by homeowners
Environment
More clean power from solar energy
Environment
Cleaner air and less dependence on fossil fuels and nuclear energy
Energy security
The more sources of electricity the less we’re affected when a single source fails
Help for all
Rather than continue to give handouts to pay for rising energy costs, PACE has the potential to make everyone an energy entrepreneur and not reliant government handouts
Pride
Imagine the look on your child’s face when they come home to see the solar panels for the first time
Pride
Pride in living in London - the solar capital of North America

 

Installing solar will make you feel great and give you control over you energy costs.

A 2 kW system will offset roughly 1.4 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually, equivalent to:

  • 229 litres of gasoline
  • 1,943 kilometres of driving
  • 163 acres of forest carbon capture

What is needed to get PACE off and running in London?

  • City council approval and endorsement of the program
  • A finance mechanism:

  • Cities cannot float municipal bonds in Ontario. Two potential sources of money to get started with PACE:
      1. Ontario floats a bond for London to get the ball rolling. The bond is no risk as property tax is assessed to the home and is continued even in the event of sale. (Should not be too hard to sell with a $700+ income as a bonus to the new owner)
      2. London could use a portion of the Federal GST rebate. (The rebate was meant for sustainable infrastructure and solar panels fit the bill)
  • Citizens tired of rising energy costs and wanting to become energy
    entrepreneurs!

Article written by Gary Brown. Gary is the natural-resource issue advocate and candidate for London West for the Green Party of Ontario.


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