Letters to the Editor, March 19-21, 2016
March 18, 2016
Now is the Time for Solar
For many homeowners, the decision to install photovoltaic solar panels is not so much if to install, but when. Most folks know that rooftop solar can dramatically reduce or in some cases virtually eliminate your power bill. We also know that solar systems are virtually maintenance free and come with 25 year warranties. While solar does require an up-front investment, there are federal and state tax credits that can dramatically reduce the net cost of solar for homeowners. We also know that 85% of electricity produced in Utah is generated from coal, so generating electricity from the sun can help us preserve our environment.
With all we know, why do so many of us wait? In speaking to community members I hear two main reasons: Folks say solar prices are dropping and the process of selecting a vendor is complicated. The good news is a group of community experts have come together to make the process easy and affordable through the Mountain Town Community Solar Program.
The national average cost for rooftop solar has settled at about $3.50 per watt. That is about 25% less than it was only two years ago. Mountain Town Community Solar has partnered with Alpenglow to create a bulk purchase program that brings the cost of installed rooftop solar to less than $2.90 per watt for most homeowners.
Mountain Town Community Solar has also taken care of the complexity. Many companies are in the solar installation business these days, so it becomes hard to find a reputable, licensed vendor with a proven track record of success. Members of the citizen-led MTCS Volunteer Steering Committee carefully vetted a group of vendors through a rigorous RFP process and selected local contractor Alpenglow Solar to participate in the bulk purchase program.
Additionally, Summit County is participating in the Georgetown Energy Challenge, so reducing the amount of energy we use from public utilities can go a long way toward winning the five million dollars prize for our community.
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If you have been waiting for the right time to install rooftop solar at your home, now is the time. Simply go to http://www.mountaintowncommunitysolar.org to get more information. Even better, RSVP to attend the program launch event at the Jim Santy Auditorium on March 27 at 6 p.m..
Aristides (Ari) Ioannides
Mountain Town Community Solar
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GOP field more representative of democracy
Some, such as a fellow attorneys like me, would classify the presidential election as democracy at its finest: unruly but better than any alternative. First a clarification of a recent column in The Park Record: during the first two years of this administration the super majority of the president’s party in congress led to Obamacare and Dodd-Frank. After they were voted out the best that the "other" party could do was prevent any more similar laws.
The Republican candidates included sitting senators of Texas and Florida and a former one of PA.; governors of Wisconsin, Ohio, New Jersey, Louisiana and formerly Florida and Arkansas; successful business leader of HP, one who created his own business and a retired honored surgeon.
The "other" party offered a former governor of the tiny state of Maryland who previously was mayor of Baltimore which had 300 homicides in 2015; a senator from that giant state of Vermont who only joined their party just before running; and a woman whose claims to fame was being first lady (but if that is a qualification then every previous first lady is qualified), being a one-term senator from N.Y. (accomplishments?) and was appointed as secretary of state. Any person with political connections can be appointed to anything: the key is what they accomplished once in office: so what were her achievements?
I, along with many others, wish the speeches were less offensive than the pattern created by the president when, for example, he even criticized the Republicans in speeches in Kenya, Turkey and Manilla: shame that he wasted the opportunity, at our expense, to inspire those folks.
Which party do you think more clearly represents the principles of a democracy?
Just to help with perspective, since a previous writer mentioned a finger on the nuclear button, while my security clearance prohibits my supplying details, I can say that in my previous employment I briefly had responsibility for a "black box" that was to only be opened in the event of a nuclear attack.
It is my intent to provide a factual representation to the folks of this town in which I spend so much time.
Santa Barbara, Calif. and Park City