• Oct 20th 2008 at 3:29PM
  • 15
When I head just how (comparatively) cheaply you can get solar panels installed in Austin, Texas, I was pretty jealous. The real short version is that a $20,000+, 3 kWh system can be yours for around $6,000 thanks to local and federal tax breaks. And considering the amount of sunshine that Austin gets, this is a real deal.

I head these numbers while hovering around the Lighthouse Solar booth at the Austin Alt Car expo this weekend. The company can add the aforementioned solar panels to your roof or build an entire carport out of the way cool panels. To give you an idea, the carport in this picture is a 1.7 kW size. Depending on the location, it might even make sense to use the special double-sided solar panels. Light-colored concrete and pools, for example, reflect a lot of light upwards and the collectors on the bottom of the glass can suck up the energy just as well as the ones on top.

There are about a half-dozen companies in the Austin area that can install solar panels, and the tax credits would apply no matter who you choose. Even with this many companies offering solar services, Lighthouse has done around 50-60 this year, which I think speaks volumes to the potential of solar energy if it's made affordable.




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  • 15 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      china xinxiang solar panels Manufacturer co., ltd.

      http://www.solar-ch.com

      Xinxiang china ceramic mugs Manufacturer , mainly deal with ceramic mugs, musical cups,magic cups,solid color glazed mugs, tableware, couple mugs, plates, bowls ect,Materials:Porcelain mugs,Stoneware mugs .

      http://www.ceramic-mug.cn
      • 6 Years Ago
      $6000 is about £3000 here in the UK. Not a bad deal, I wish we had the same rebates over here.
      http://www.totalsolarenergy.co.uk
      • 4 Years Ago
      Located in Jinan high and new tech development zone, XinXiang solar panel Co., Ltd enjoys superior geographical environment and convenient transportation access. Company mainly engage in the design, R&D, production, sales and installation of monocrystalline solar panel,polycrystalline solar panel,solar modules,
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think if we get solar panel directly from china ,the price will be lower.i know some company are selling solar panels at good price: http://www.shinesolar.net and http://www.suntech-power.com ?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Huh!
      Give that $14K to me and I'll make some simple lifestyle changes and spend several thousand in insulation, etc. I'll bet I can save more electricity 24/7/52 for the rest of my life than those panels will ever produce.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Doesn't it seem strange that someone has to give you $14,000 to get you to spend an additional $6,000? I understand a small short term subsidy to get a new technology over the hump (perhaps from economy of scale), but this technology is obviously not remotely ready.

      If you really want to screw your friends and neighbors why not just quit your job and live on welfare?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Huh? You're all for handing out $14,000 of your tax dollars to anyone with a big enough yard eh Mike? I've got a big yard, how about sending 10 grand my way and I'll plant a couple trees.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Huh?
        - Reducing your carbon output while getting a check from your electric utility for 50 years? Sounds like a sweet deal. Austin sounds like the place to be.
      • 6 Years Ago
      If you factor in our enourmous foreign energy trade deficit, the cost of new domestic energy plants, whether nuclear,coal, gas or oil, the footprint, the pollution and throw in the military costs for protecting our so-called "oil friends", it makes all the sense in the world. By the way, solar will continue to get more efficient and less expensive all the time because I SAY SO !
      • 4 Years Ago
      As Chief Engineer of the largest Platinum LEED office building in NYC (Bank of America Tower-1111 6th Ave) and editor of Home Solar Power Guide
      , I'd like to chime in and say that any progress in the solar industry is welcome. I envision bikes and cars like these eventually being plugged into home outlets that are solar powered. This will help to make our planet even greener
      • 5 Years Ago
      What an awesome product.  I definitely think it's the wave of future.  One question: after we lessen our dependency on oil, how will we lessen our dependency on energy and electricity to charge these things?  Solar energy is the answer, and companies like ENVISION SOLAR are going to revolutionize the way people think and charge their life, starting with automobile.  Envision is committed to provide solar power charging stations in PARKING LOTS that are most convenient. See some plans in these short videos..... http://envisionsolar.com/video/
      • 6 Years Ago
      Austin is leading the country with massive rebates on top of the 30% federal tax credit.
      Solar hot water heaters are the most cost-effective energy savers for homeowners right now as prices for PV material and systems are still two high. www.sunbelt-solar.com is giving families the tools to harness the sun's energy!
        • 6 Years Ago
        A solar water heater is a great investment. The ROI is very favorable compared to solar electric PV panels.

        Austin solar water heater

      • 4 Years Ago
      As Chief Engineer of the largest Platinum LEED office building in NYC (Bank of America Tower-1111 6th Ave) and editor of Home Solar Power Guide , I'd like to chime in and say that any progress in the solar industry is welcome. I envision bikes and cars like these eventually being plugged into home outlets that are solar powered. This will help to make our planet even greener.
      • 6 Years Ago
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