going solar

Is it ironically appropriate that today's post is about solar energy when it's the anniversary of the moon landing? I think it is, so humor me.

While I am still a bit skeptical about the chance of actual implementation, I have been given the task of finding solar panel options for my company. This, of course, is more enticing than my day-to-day work. Now is an excellent time for Louisiana residents and businesses to look into and invest in solar panels because of the availability of both state and federal tax credits. The state reimburses 50% of your purchase up to $25,000 and the federal government reimburses 30% with no cap. Businesses also receive a 30% no cap credit. (And how to actually go about getting those credits is beyond me, but I guess it would make me a better person to learn.)

I found a crop of solar panel companies in southern Louisiana that I will begin contacting to see about quotes. Louisiana Solar Solutions is based in Lafayette, South Coast Solar is located in New Orleans, and Gulf South Solar and Louisiana Solar Works are located in Baton Rouge. I also learned through my excellent Googling skills that there is a Louisiana Solar Energy Society. They should be a great resource for anything I would need while I go about finding a solar panel system for my office.

Another thing I'm looking forward to researching is solar tubes. These tubes simply take in light through a diffuser and spread it around whichever room it's placed in. That way, we would be able to use the abundant sunlight Louisiana has instead of using energy to light the warehouse lamps that are currently just off. I think a combination of solar tubes and solar panels would be a great solution to our energy conservation needs.

I was told today about a woman in Lafayette who outfitted her home with $26,000 worth of solar panels. After all the tax credits, the total was $6,000. And her electricity bill was $4.12. Simply amazing and what I dream for my own home one day. I may take a ride soon to check out the panels with my own eyes (I am a geek like that.) I think the most inspiring part of this story is that the woman is in her 80s. Even at her age, she understands the need to be environmental, especially in the importance for future generations. It's a point I wish I could drive home stronger to people in my own life.

"I believe ... we should make choices that benefit our descendants, our country and our planet," she said.

"And if these choices require sacrifices, then we should be willing to make them."

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