Wednesday, January 17, 2007

In 1931, Thomas Edison had a conversation with Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone. He said, "I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don't have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that."

We have waited 76 years, but an innovative company may have finally found a solution. The sun supplies enough energy to earth in one hour to supply all of our energy needs for an entire year. But currently solar power produces less than ½ of 1% of our residential energy needs. Why?

In the past, solar power has been too expensive and too complicated. To switch to solar, people had to invest their children's college fund or sell their second car. The average consumer pays $40,000 to convert their home to solar­ plus you are responsible for the installation, maintaining the equipment, getting permits­ ...who has the time (or the money)?

A company called Citizenre has a bold plan to remove all of the traditional barriers to solar power. They offer: No system purchase. No installation cost. No maintenance. No permit hassles. No performance worries. No rate increases. No way!?

Like most innovations, their model is so simple it makes you wonder why no one thought of it before.

You simply pay Citizenre the same rate per kilowatt for power that you used to pay your utility company. But it gets even better: Citizenre will guarantee that your rate per kilowatt will not go up for 25 years. With ever increasing electricity rates, this gives consumers peace of mind and can add up to significant savings. They even have a solar calculator on their website that shows exactly how much you will save over 1, 5, and 25 years. Their results showed I would save over $13,000 and by using clean energy, it was the equivalent of taking 24 cars off the road or planting 400 trees. Nice.

In the past, "going green" usually implied sacrifice. You get to feel good about saving the planet but most "green" products are more expensive than their "dirty" counterparts. With Citizenre, going green can actually save you money.

This is all made possible by net metering laws that require the utility companies to allow renewable energy to flow into the grid and then allow the consumer to pull that same amount of energy off of the grid at no cost to the consumer. Basically the grid becomes a huge battery. The meter spins backwards during the day when the sun is shining and forwards at night when the consumer pulls that power back off the grid. Nine states do not have net metering yet. You check your area on their website.They have a little map on the bottom next to the solar calculator.
Now you can upgrade to solar with no investment.

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