SOLAR HALOS FAQ
THE VALUE ADDED BY THE SOLAR PROJECT
Why should you consider making a donation towards the peace Solar Project?
The answer is two-fold and simple – it is a great way to do something for the environment i.e. help reduce carbon emissions, and it makes economic sense. This is a fantastic opportunity to leverage your dollars to get maximum return on investment. Your $787 will in effect provide the congregation with $252 in savings year after year. That is a 32% return! A very rare opportunity indeed.
How do the economics work?
The Peace community plans to invest $90,000 to purchase a system of 80 panels that will deliver savings of +- $10,000 per year. Thus each panel will cost $1125 and will save the congregation $126 per year. If you donate a panel at $1125 it will count as a tax-deductible donation i.e. it will only cost you $787 (assuming a 30% marginal tax rate). But, through the generosity of the Reed family, we only have to find half the money in donations i.e. your contribution is matched by the Reeds. Hence your $787 buys two panels and yields $252 in savings every year. That equates to a 32% return for the church on your $787 investment.
OTHER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why now? Why not wait for solar panels to become cheaper?
- PG&E is currently still obliged to buy back electricity i.e. act as a giant battery to allow us to generate electricity in the day, yet use it day and night. This is likely to change in 2017.
- Right now we have an incredibly generous gift offer from one of our members. If we procrastinate too long this offer may fall away.
How long will the panels last?
- The panels are expected to last up to 40 years. They are guaranteed to provide full power output for 25 years. Thereafter their performance will slowly degrade.
Do we get any warranties?
- The panels carry a 25-year warranty. If they need to be replaced, the provider will change them free of charge, including labor.
What about our tiled roof; what if it gets damaged and it starts to let rain in?
- The plans for the installation have to be verified and permitted by the city of Danville. The provider has extensive experience with similar installations and warrants that any damage to the roof will be repaired at their expense.
What is the pay back period?
- If one puts aside any environmental consideration, and assumes that PG&E rates don’t go up at all, then the payback period would be between 8 and 9 years.
Why would we want to buy a system rather than lease it?
- To avoid risk. With leasing a 3rd party retains ownership over the system and gets the bulk of the savings. Peace is effectively prevented from buying a system and accessing the full savings over the whole contract period (25 years).
Why don’t we put the solar panels over the parking area, like the schools do?
- This would be much more expensive because the support structures have to be built. Also, the panels are more susceptible to vandalism or theft
Could the panels be made to match the color of the roof?
- No, this is like a model T; comes in any color as long as it is black. The color black is the most efficient for light absorption.
What about insurance. Wont’ this push up our insurance premium?
- Diane checked with our insurance company. The cost of the premium would go up by $200 per year.
Should you have further questions, please contact one of the Solar Committee members: Arlene Reed, Boris Erlank, Ken Budesa, and Pastor Steve