Penticton Western News letters to the editor.

Letter: Going solar not so crazy

There is a pretty sweet incentive to “go solar.”

In answer to Mr. Thorsteinson’s letter (Penticton Western News, Jan. 12, Alternative energy), and his thoughts on alternative energy, we can relay some of our experiences with solar power.

He states that wind turbines and solar energy are years away from being realistic in Canada, and that solar panels on every house would be hard for the government to promote to the public.

If you ask us, having a total energy bill for the years 2016-2017 amounting to $46.52 is a pretty sweet incentive to “go solar.” That’s right; we paid $46.52 to power our entire 2,600 square foot home for two years. We cut our natural gas ties with Fortis in 2015 to go all-electric.

Our experience with solar panels has been nothing short of excellent. In 2014, we began adding solar panels to our home, completing the installations in 2016. In 2013 (our last year before solar), our gas and electric bills totalled $3,140.11. Add in yearly increases and our energy costs for gas and electric now would likely be around $4,000.

When we first purchased solar panels in 2014, they were a lot more expensive than they are today. We paid over $40,000 for our 40-panel solar system, but today you can buy the same 40 panels for under $30,000. Panels are even more efficient today, and a homeowner might only need 20 panels.

From March to October, we produce more power than we need. We send the excess power back to Fortis and any credit we accumulate through those months goes toward our winter bills.

Coal, oil and natural gas; the government wants us to conserve these fuels and so they slap a carbon tax on them. Why not promote electric cars and rooftop solar in a big way? Isn’t that conservation? No carbon. Need another reason to consider solar? The sun hasn’t raised it energy rates in over 4.5 billion years.

One of the main reasons government doesn’t promote solar is that they simply can’t make any money on solar consumers. Don’t expect any government grants for solar anytime soon. Yes, there is still room for carbon fuels as people slowly transition to greener energy sources, but to say that solar and other alternatives are not viable is simply not true.

Julie Turner and Paul McCavour


Just Posted

Okanagan’s smoke filled skies toxic to pets

Pet owners should take extra precautions with pets until smoke dissipates

Powwow honours children

Between the Lakes powwow devotes Sunday to children

Air support grounded as fires fill the skies with smoke

Update Aug. 19 1:25 p.m. A majority of air support is still… Continue reading

Canada Special Olympics experience ‘awesome’ – Penticton coach

Two weeks after returning from his duties at the Special Olympics Canada… Continue reading

Smoky skies means stay inside, according to Interior Health

The air quality in the Okanagan is considered a high risk

Smoke cancels Super League Penticton, organizers give pros a gift

Super League Penticton organizers decide to send all pro competitors to championship

Ex-BCTF president ‘undeterred’ after early release from pipeline protest jail term

Susan Lambert and Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson released early

Crews continue extinguish Snowy Mountain Wildfire

The 13,359 hectare wildfire is classified as held

Flights from Kelowna International Airport affected by wildfire smoke

Passengers are being asked to check their flight’s status before arriving

Work continues on Monashee Complex wildfires

Crews will be assisted by helicopters if flying conditions improve

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

Seven per cent of Canadians consider themselves vegetarians and 2.3 per cent identify as vegans

Gottfriedsen Mountain wildfire continues to be held

Firefighters are working alongside the military to extinguish the wildfire near West Kelowna

B.C. swimmer halts journey across Strait of Juan de Fuca after hypothermia sets in

Victoria MS athlete Susan Simmons swam for eight-and-a-half hours in 9 C choppy waters

Most Read