Sobering studies have recently been published by organizations like the International Energy Association and the National Petroleum Council suggesting that the planet's supply of traditional energy sources may not meet demand by as soon as 2015. That alone is alarming enough—but add the fact that utility rates are continuing their rapid ascent to record levels, and it would seem an emergency is on the way.
Members of co-op and condo associations have seen their maintenance fees rise as a result of continuous utility increases. Builders are also realizing that utility and associated maintenance costs can greatly impact the salability of the apartments and condos they're producing.
Alternative energies such as solar power are being increasingly recognized as viable energy sources. Recently, Wal-Mart announced plans to install solar energy systems at 22 of their store locations. Solar has gone mainstream.
When viewed over a seven-to-10-year term, solar economics are compelling. A solar electric system will produce electricity at a fraction of today's rates for in excess of 30 years, resulting in considerable energy savings as well environmental benefits.
State and Federal Incentives
In the past, the cost of installing solar cells and switching to solar power was prohibitive. But both New York and New Jersey residents enjoy programs that, coupled with a federal credit, substantially reduce the cost of installing solar electric systems.