Sun power needs help, panel told
By PAUL GLASSER
State Journal Staff Writer
Andy McDonald, of the Kentucky Solar Partnership, asked state lawmakers on Friday to support tax credits or low-interest loans for families who want to install solar-power systems.
“It’s wise for the state to help spur development in this industry,” McDonald told members of the special subcommittee on energy।
He said although Congress had previously approved a two-year tax credit for solar energy, more should be done to encourage long term market growth. A strong market for solar power will create new jobs, reduce emissions and improve financial security, McDonald said.
Homeowners can install a variety of solar-energy systems, including photovoltaic generators and solar water heaters। It costs about $4,000 to install a solar water heater but McDonald said energy cost-savings would pay for the system in about eight years.
“A solar water heater adds value to the home and saves about 3।6 tons of carbon emissions per year,” he said. “That’s equal to taking one car off the road.”
McDonald also said engineers and architects can incorporate elements when designing a home that will reduce the amount of energy required to heat it in the winter and cool it during the summer।
In 2006, the Department of Energy provided funding for a pilot program offering rebates for solar water heaters। McDonald said the program was very popular and all the money was spent in only one year.