|MARK JOHNSTON/Daily Herald A Photovoltaics solar array stands tall in the back yard |
of the Preuss residence in Springville Saturday, March 8, 2008.
On Friday representatives from various solar power businesses, advocates and energy production companies spoke in favor of the alternative energy saying now was the time to ditch your local power company and invest in solar power.
"We believe we are at the infancy of the solar revolution," said Bernell Stone, Executive Director of Global Energy Management, an organization devoted to research education in areas of energy, environment and sustainability.
Stone compared solar technology to technology in flat screen televisions. He noted that flat screen TV's were once priced in the thousands in the 1990's but now are available for a few hundred dollars. He said the same pricing action is happening with solar power technology that prices were once high but now are dropping as demand for solar power increases in the market.
"It is all a front end investment," said Stone. "There's virtually no operating or maintenance costs."
Stone explained the panels made today are more efficient than panels made 20 or 30 years ago and that panels made today will more than likely outlive their 25 year warranty.
James Johnston, founder of the NRG Bureau, pointed out that a study in California had found that homes with solar power options are selling for more money than comparable homes without solar power.
He said he would expect that same trend to takeover in Utah though he admitted at this point in time bankers and appraisers are not giving additional value to homes with solar power. He hopes that will change in the future.
Norm Harrison, CEO of Progressive Power Solutions in Orem, told the Daily Herald that any home owner or business owner owes it to themselves to look at the option of solar power.
Harrison explained if a property owner is able to pay the up front costs to install a solar power system then they will be able to avoid having to pay a pricey electric bill for years to come.
"The power companies can raise their rates but that doesn't hurt me because I've already paid my rate for 25 years," said Harrison.
Multiple tax credits are available for those who choose to install solar in their home. Harrison said interested property owners could contact any solar panel distributor to learn more about how to take advantage of those tax options.