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View Diary: Ways & Means chief David Camp wants to return to 1931 tax rate (110 comments)

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  •  Just for the record: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sethtriggs, wsexson

    Solar roofs ARE infrastructure. It means fewer utllity-sized power plants and fewer high voltage transmission lines.

    And they pay back what is invested in them much sooner than 50 years, even without a government tax credit: solar hot-water panels in about 8-10 years; PVs in about 15 (depending on where you live).

    Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 01:16:01 PM PDT

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    •  OK - sounds like you have better facts (0+ / 0-)

      than the made-up example I used.  

      And every tax deduction, expemption and credit made sense to someone at some point in time.

      It still begs the question of why the government should collect taxes from everyone for a limited benefit to the few who install solar roofs (or buy houses, or Priuses, or earn capital gains, or, or, or......)

      As I said, I don't know the answers, but would love to see some serious policy discussions with experts who  might, or who might be able to stumble on the right answers together.

      •  Just one example of why this makes... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...sense. If the nation took Bernie Sanders's proposal for 10 million solar roofs (or mine for 20 million) by 2020, it would not only build infrastructure, it would also reduce the price of solar roofing via economies of scale and innovation. In 10 years, those roofs might cost half as much, or a third, to install. We would all benefit from that (even if we didn't install of solar roof ourselves) because it would mean reduced CO2 in the atmosphere.

        Or, we could stop subsidizing people's gasoline prices via the $200 billion or so of the Defense budget that goes to protecting our access to foreign oil. That would send more people to buy hybrids or electric vehicles.

        Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 02:14:30 PM PDT

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    •  When I was working in PV, (0+ / 0-)

      Payoff times, (including subsidies,) were running about 12 years. That was in 2005, I'd have to re-run the numbers with current panel and power prices to give an updated figure.

      Also, the payoff time didn't vary much with system size. People who needed larger arrays paid more upfront, but they also had higher power bills, and it pretty much balanced out.

      We sized systems at 80% of the customer's average usage over the previous year. This was chosen because of California's odd net-metering law, which only allows residential customers to offset their actual charges (not including connection fees and the like)... any excess power you generate is a free gift to your utility, they don't have to pay you for it. With a system sized at 80% of average usage, our customers were paying an annual bill of between 60 and 100 bucks.

      Add in extras like battery backup and the calculus changes, but for your basic residential system, 12 years was the typical payoff time.


      "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
      "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

      by Leftie Gunner on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 04:23:10 PM PDT

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