Whole Life Magazine

April/May 2013

Issue link: https://digital.copcomm.com/i/118686

Contents of this Issue


Page 24 of 43

of revenue. That is why banking is so interwoven. Today you have this massive power grid that evolved over 120 years with large-scale ixed-output power plants that are capital intensive and have to be kept running. We curtail wind and solar to run coal and nuclear, two toxic industries. It is an obsolete model." Schoechle went on to explain how federal and state policies should instead encourage municipalizing local power and incentivizing local generation, such as rooftop solar, residential wind turbines and community projects near high demand areas, as has proven successful in Germany and in U.S. cities such as Boulder, Colo. "Solar and wind are distributed resources, there is no beneit to clustering them in huge farms and paying for transmission," Schoechle continued. "You have rooftops throughout Los Angeles. If you had solar panels on every rooftop, you wouldn't need a Mojave Desert." rooftop solar Between federal and local incentives, inancing options and the dramatically reduced cost of solar panels, this is an exceptional time to invest in solar for your home and escape dependence on the power company. According to Chris Bullard, a solar consultant for Mimeos Sustainability Consultants in Redondo Beach, Calif., homeowners ultimately decide to go with solar not just for the eco brownie points, but for the free power once their system is paid off if they buy, or the reduced monthly cost compared to traditional electricity if they lease. Buyer incentives currently fund about 55 percent of the total purchase cost, which averages around $30,000 for a typical L.A. family. Leases include all maintenance for 20 years. Bullard explained how he guides families through the transition to rooftop solar. First, he determines if solar is a viable option for the home. Using Google Maps, he notes which direction the house faces (south-facing is best, followed by east and west, while north-facing is dificult), whether there are too many roof obstructions to accommodate panels, and whether trees shade the roof. If the house is a candidate for solar, he then requests an electric bill showing one year of electricity usage to determine how much power the family uses. Most families need at least 25 240-watt solar panels installed. political power Sall and Schoechle both advise pressuring elected representatives at the local, state and federal levels to empower communities and break the hold of investor-owned and large municipal power companies. "The money machine does not want local communities to have power," Schoechle said. "They've had the power and the money for 120 years, and they are not going to give them up without a ight. It's not a technical problem, it's not an economic problem—it's a political problem." n mAkinG enerGy personAl Conserve Energy at Home U.S. Department of Energy Home Energy Saver online tool www.hes.lbl.gov/consumer Explore Your Home's Solar Potential L.A. County Solar Map solarmap.lacounty.gov Buy or lease Rooftop Solar Mimeos Sustainability Consultants (323) 669-8414 www.mimeos.net Buy Residential Wind Power Prevailing Wind Power (310) 529-5217 www.prevailingwindpower.com (contact for city zoning laws) Solar.indd 25 April/May201325 3/27/13 9:38 AM

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Whole Life Magazine - April/May 2013