Our world is getting hotter—a lot hotter! Record–breaking heat plagued Southwest Florida throughout October and November, increasing our energy needs at a time when we strive to decrease our use of fossil fuels. Be it coal, petroleum or natural gas, the prevailing sources of energy production, they all accelerate the warming of our earth. Solar energy is our antidote. It is clean, inexpensive and readily available in the sunshine state of Florida.
The League of Women Voters of Lee and Collier counties have partnered with a nonprofit solar organization—Solar United Neighbors (SUN)—to form a solar co-op and you can join from January – April 2020. This co-op harnesses the power of group purchasing and the expertise and experience of SUN to make your transition to solar power simple and affordable. SUN will guide you through each step of the process to ensure you get the right equipment for your home, quality installation and a strong warranty at a reasonable price. The co-op is open to residents and small businesses of Collier and Lee counties. More detailed information may be found on the SUN website www.solarunitedneighbors.org/florida/.
In addition to the financial benefits of buying through a co-op, there is a 26% federal tax credit available for solar roofs installed in 2020. This tax credit decreases to 21% in 2021, then expires completely. That is a significant incentive. Installation of a $25,000 solar roof results in a $6500 tax credit—a substantial saving!
The 2020 co-op builds on the success of Collier County’s 2019 solar co-op. Those accomplishments were impressive:
- 28 Collier County homes are now powered by solar
- 8 new solar jobs in Florida were created
- 1,173 kWh of electricity are produced daily
- That solar power saves 30,414 gallons of water—every day
- 1,210 lbs of carbon are avoided from the atmosphere—every day.
That is the equivalent of planting 24 trees every day!
There will be free info sessions in Fort Myers, Sanibel Island, Estero, Naples, Marco Island and an online webinar for those who can’t make the evening sessions! Our first session is on Tuesday, February 4 from 6-8 PM at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Greater Naples, 6340 Napa Woods Way, Naples. Visit coops.solarunitedneighbors.org/coops/southwest-fl-solar-co-op/ for further information.