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Solar Energy Installations Rising Slowly in Three Village

The past three years saw more solar electrical systems being installed in Three Village than in 2009.

Residents of Three Village are slowly becoming aware of the benefits of having a solar energy electrical system.

Data requested from LIPA by Three Village Patch show the number of solar energy installations in the community rose quickly in 2010 and 2011, and in 2012 still showed an increase over 2009. According to LIPA:

  • 2009: 3 solar electrical systems installed
  • 2010: 21 solar electrical systems installed
  • 2011: 24 solar electrical systems installed
  • 2012: 8 solar electrical systems installed

Joe Milillo, vice president of Islandia-based solar installation company Long Island Power Solutions Inc., which has performed 60 installations in 2012 alone, said from an investment standpoint, a solar electrical system is a great investment.

"Panel prices have come down over the years. There are government and LIPA incentives which will pay about two-thirds of your system’s cost," he said. "The balance could be in a finance deal. People don’t really have to take any money out of their pocket to make this thing happen."

According to Milillo, the actual installation only takes a couple of days and there isn’t much for the homeowner to actually do. "It just kind of sits up there and produces energy," he said.

However, he said, there's at least one myth people believe about solar energy electrical systems.

"They think that they’ll get power in case of a blackout," he said. "Most solar panel systems will not produce any power in a blackout unless you have a power backup system."

Solar energy systems are only one part of the growing renewable energy market.  According to the Department of Energy’s Energy Savers website, renewable energy “is derived from sources that are regenerative or for all practical purposes can not be depleted.” Some of these energy resources include wind, moving water, geothermal heat, and sunlight. Three Village even has its own energy technology research engine – the AERTC at Stony Brook University – exploring those areas. Renewable energy has many benefits, chief among them a lighter impact on our environment and reduced dependence on foreign oil.

No one knows that better than Bruce Raupp, a 37-year resident of Stony Brook, who recently had a solar electrical system installed in his home.

"I’m 100 percent trying to be self sufficient without having me line the utility companies' pockets," said Raupp, who also has a solar hot water heater and a fireplace insert to heat his house with firewood. "For the energy you save, it’s incredible. Other people with their utilities are paying through the nose. My electric bill is as low as $42 for two months."

Not only that, he said, but he'll actually get a rebate check from LIPA whenever his solar electrical system produces surplus energy. 

While the solar electrical system for his home cost $44,000, he only paid $11,000 after receiving financial incentives from LIPA and the federal government.

"I would recommend solar panels highly. For the money you outlay, it is well worth it," he said. "It pays you back. You improve the value of your house, you wind up with energy, your electric bill is down, and you come out ahead."

Joe Sneider April 16, 2013 at 11:49 AM
Why does it cost $44,000 for a "bunch of panels" on the roof? Is it the materials that expensive still? To replace a large's home roof down to the rafter is only about $8k typically using a certified roof company with a crew of 15 people in 1-2 days.
Old Stony Brook April 16, 2013 at 12:30 PM
Yes they are very expensive. Part of the problem is you thinking of them as "just panels." These require highly sophisticated manufacturing processes. Usually made of a micro-crystalline silicon, made into ingots and then sliced wafer thin to a few hundred microns in thickness. I mean your shingles are made of petroleum byproduct and keep out rain, these things change sunlight into usable power... A little more impressive no? Wikipedia has a well cited entry on photovoltaic cells.
Old Stony Brook April 16, 2013 at 12:33 PM
I believe they also have to contain trace amounts of Rare Earth Elements, which are primarily sourced from China and are very expensive.
Truffuls April 16, 2013 at 02:41 PM
I had SuNation (http://sunationsolarsystems.com/) install 40 panels on my roof in October 2010. Best thing I ever did! Since November of 2010 to March 2013 I have only paid LIPA a grand total of $263.03. Just in 2010 alone, I paid LIPA $2,026.30! The total job cost about $56K, LIPA paid 23K and my tax credits equaled about $10K. I laid out the rest. It increased my home's value by about $50K. LIPA holds a credit balance of excess power I put out on the grid. Once a year they apply it to my account and it trickles down until it is used up.
ProSysCon April 18, 2013 at 10:08 AM
We are in the golden age of solar, where you're only paying a fraction of the actual cost. Joe from Long Island Power Solutions (www.longislandpowersolutions.com) installed my system and I only had to pay about $5K out of $35K (after all savings & tax incentives). It produces an average of $100 per month (over the course of the year), so in less than 5 years that's pure profit. I got my own financing, but they have $0 out of pocket options now. My advice is to get them before the subsidies go down or disappear.
Joe Milillo April 18, 2013 at 10:20 AM
The new financing deal we have is the best I have seen. It features no money down, a no interest, same as cash loan to cover the tax credits and a fixed 12 year 2.99% loan for the actual investment. When all is said and done your payment is about half of your savings. This puts the other half in your pocket from month one. For example, if your solar system will save you $200 per month, your payment is around $100. In 12 years, the system is paid off and there is no prepayment penalty. How that for a “no-brainer”?
Joe Milillo April 18, 2013 at 10:31 AM
Cal LI Power Solutions for information on this 631 348-0001. or www.LongIslandPowerSolutions.com

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