Rooftop turbines put Camden house among the greenest is the lead headline this morning at the News Journal online. Nice picture to go along with it, too.
But, as they say, "the devil is in the details." And it's not until page two that we read the following:
To offset the cost of installation, [Delaware Dept. of Natural Resources' Jessica] Quinn's office is awarding the Wygants a $10,000 grant from the state's Green Energy Fund -- money that comes from a fee tacked onto Delawareans' monthly electric bills.
In other words, WE'RE paying for this guy's turbines. But will that even cover the total cost? It's not until the third page that we get a hint -- and that hint says "no":
Though he declined to reveal the final price tag for the whole system, Wygant said he installed two turbines for less than a specialist contractor wanted to charge for a single unit.
"There's a company in New Jersey that gave me a quote to put one of these up on a pole in my backyard, and they quoted me $57,000," he said.
Gee, less than $57K? But how much less? Let's grant, say, $10K less. Coupled with the $10K grant that we're paying for, that still makes it $37K. Can YOU afford $37,000 right now?
Then, there's this:
The turbines will function in winds of just 8 mph, but they require a steady 22 mph to power the whole house.
22 miles per hour? How often does that wind speed actually materialize down there in Camden, pray tell? A subsequent paragraph states that the average wind speed at turbine height is around 12-13 mph, or just a tad over half the power needed. And then there's the predictable conditional clause fave term "if, if, if":
Wygant said the system is expected to reach the break-even mark in three or four years, depending on electricity prices and the strength of the breeze in Camden.
Yeah, that's what I want -- hoping there's sufficient power if the winds in Camden decide to pull a Sargasso Sea act. Great.
Look, to each his own. I actually wish this guy's plans pan out. But the ridiculously politically correct News Journal really isn't doing anyone a public service (really no surprise there, eh?) by highlighting this anecdote because your basic, average joe can't even begin to afford the cost of this; 2) the reliability of the whole deal is suspect, and 3) you and I help to pay for people to do this, whether we want to or not.Posted by Hube at December 28, 2011 09:42 AM | TrackBack