Melbourne, FL – October 27, 2013 – Last week, we recounted our progress toward out dream at LifeStyle Homes: offering affordable homes that make enough electricity from roof-mounted photovoltaic panels to supply the complete electrical needs of a family of five plus generate enough of a surplus of power that can be sold to the utility company to pay for recharging two electric automobiles overnight in the garage. We figure when we can do that, everything we know about American life will change.
We are so used to paying hefty monthly electric bills and only people over 50 remember when gasoline sold for less than a dollar per gallon. Think what your life would be like with no electric bill and no gasoline purchases!
For one thing, right off the bat, owning electric automobiles would become cost and use feasible. With more folks buying them, prices would go down and the R & D needed to develop better ones would accelerate.
But even more fundamental, we would demonstrate the truth that the nation’s rooftops can solve our energy problems. We would not need to think about clean coal, whatever that is, fracking (Isn’t it named well?), seducing the bad guys to let our critically-needed oil pass through natural choke points on the world’s seaways or whether or not we should “Drill Baby, Drill”.
So much of what has fueled our thinking, our politics and our foreign policy would simply become irrelevant – not overnight, but within a decade, or so, for sure. That being the case, why do you suppose that most of what you hear and read about solar energy makes it sound ridiculous? Even the President has been ridiculed for investing public funds into solar ventures that don’t work out.
Well, it should come as no surprise that there are many vested interests, vested themselves with hoards of cash accumulated from years of unbelievable profit-taking, that are determined to preserve their places in the gravy train. The more they advocate for themselves in reasonable-sounding TV and newspaper advertisements, the more they make it seem there is no choice for us other than let them do whatever they want because we can’t get along without them.
Take heart, folks. That’s all about to change. In the last five years, the price of solar panels has been cut in half and their output of free electricity from the sun has doubled. In the process, building scientists, like our friends at the Florida Solar Energy Center, have brought us to the point where the cost of solar-generated electricity is about to become less expensive than the price lots of people pay the utility company for the power they buy.
When the lines cross, we will be at the tipping point – as a nation and as a home building company. It is close at hand.