Solar panel companies deceive homeowners

"Free" solar may end up costing thousands

gosarLast December Rep. Paul Gosar (R, AZ), a member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, along with 11 other House members, sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission warning that the new solar-leasing market industry has engaged in “deceptive marketing strategies” to sucker unsuspecting homeowners into misleading zero-money-down teaser loan deals.

Some of these purchasers who are now struggling to sell their homes were not “fully aware of the terms of their 20- to 30-year leases” which will exceed the life of the roof the panels are mounted to.

Such practices have prompted the U.S. Treasury Department to investigate SolarCity, the biggest player in the solar installation subsidy industry for possible misrepresentations about the “fair market value” of its systems and services.

Yet, as the company is expected to lose more than $1 billion through 2016, it still seeks to score more taxpayer subsidies out of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which has already kept the industry going for far too long.

Class action lawsuits filed by California and Louisiana homeowners against solar panel leasing companies likewise allege fraudulent marketing campaigns. Here, unscrupulous promoters often seek legitimacy through referral fees paid to local real estate brokers, architects, and contractors.

solarsalesWriting in Newsmax, Bradley Blakeman explained how the scam works, one where non-utility third-party contractors/installers approach homeowners and small businesses promising significant energy savings from rooftop solar systems with the enticement of a 20-year lease and little or no upfront installation and operation costs. The purported savings are based upon too-good-to-be-true inflated and unsupportable estimates of future utility rates.

Nor are homeowners typically aware that since the equipment must be insured, their solar installations may increase their property insurance premiums. In some cases the customer who doesn’t own that equipment is also responsible to pay for its maintenance. And while each purchasing homeowner typically gets a $1,000 subsidy from other taxpayers and grid users, the actual savings from electricity generated usually doesn’t even come close to covering the cost of materials, installation, and upkeep.

Sometimes worst of all, homeowners aren’t told that upon entering into the solar lease, the solar company will secure the contractual obligations of the customer by placing a lien or other encumbrance on the entire real property . . . not just on the solar installation.

These liens can be sold to other creditors at a deep discount, offering no remedy to the solar customer if the profiteer goes out of business or simply walks away. When this happens, any refusal to pay — even for legitimate reasons — creates risks of potential foreclosure or other legal action by the new lease holder.

Homeowners may learn about the lien transfers for the first time after attempting to sell their property to a prospective buyer.

Many also experience other problems in selling their property. In some cases the solar installations are defective or become inoperable due to lack of maintenance. Removal can cause expensive roof damage. Improperly maintained fixed panels can cause roof leaks, and even fire hazards.

On top of all of this, solar panel leasers along with other electricity ratepayers also get hit to compensate utility companies for losses netmeteringincurred under a “net metering” scheme which forces customers to purchase solar power at inflated, money-losing costs.

This happens through a shell game whereby credits subtracted from customer utility bills for electricity not used from the electric grid are simply incorporated back into overall rate increases.

Under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, all public utilities are required to offer customers net metering upon request. Currently, 43 states, the District of Columbia, and four U.S. territories have such policies in place. In addition, about half of all states have “renewable energy standards” which require utilities to purchase a set percentage of their electrical power from higher-than-market solar and wind sources.

It’s time to recognize the decidedly shady side of the solar panel leasing industry, one whose “success” depends upon subsidies which enable homeowners to effectively have solar leasing firms install then for free, only to be gouged later along with generous — read as gullible — taxpayers. Let’s finally put a lock on that cookie jar.

NOTE: This article first appeared at: http://www.newsmax.com/LarryBell/solar-bailout-gosar/2015/03/30/id/635202/#ixzz3VyQqssxR

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About the Author: Larry Bell

Larry Bell

CFACT Advisor Larry Bell heads the graduate program in space architecture at the University of Houston. He founded and directs the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture. He is also the author of "Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax."

  • momsaid

    A business that depends on subsidies for itself and its customers, reveals a marketing strategy that has no sustainability. Remind you of any other *cough* schemes in the country?

    • John Christy 1st law of sustainability : If it’s not economically sustainable , it’s not sustainable .

      • DavidAppell

        They said that about the Clean Air Act. Yet it’s saved $22 trillion in health care costs, while costing only $0.5 trillion. Quite a deal.

        • jreb57

          When they first installed catalytic converters on gasoline engines, the levels of atmospheric sulfur dioxide went up and fuel economy went down. This did not get fixed until they took sulfur out of the fuel, retuned the engine for maximum efficiency and used the resulting NOX to get rid of the unburned hydrocarbons. While I support the aims of the clean air act (to reduce HARMFUL atmospheric gasses) CO2 is not harmful it is necessary. If it indeed saved $22 trillion in health care costs, why did the government find it “necessary” to pass the ACA? The ACA doubled my daughter’s health care costs. Remember who is paying for all of this.

          • DavidAppell

            *Some* CO2 is necessary, and the pre-Industrial value of 280 ppm was just fine. It’s the values beyond that are heating the planet and acidifying the ocean.

            • jreb57

              Apparently, 12 times that amount (280 ppm) was also OK since life managed to survive and prosper under those conditions. As to whether CO2 really warms the earth, that has yet to be proved scientifically

              • DavidAppell

                Are you aware the sun was much dimmer in the past? So it took more CO2 and its greenhouse effect to keep the planet hospitable.

                • jreb57

                  The sun goes through cycles as it burns off the helium ash at the core. The result is a slight variation in the solar output which results in slight temperature changes (based on degrees kelvin) on earth. All of this “radiative forcing” you speak of is based on a THEORY (unproven and unsupported by ice core samples) that increases in CO2 levels would cause the planet to warm. As you have pointed out, the sun has gone through cycles (supported by carbon 14 data) and these cycles seem to coincide with temperature variations. Not surprising since it is well known that the sun supplies all of the heat that the planet receives. Have you not noticed that temperatures fall at night?

                  • DavidAppell

                    No, I’m not talking about cycles, I’m talking about luminosity. The Sun’s luminosity is increasing with time, at a rate of 1% per 110 million years.

                    So in the deep past it was several percent cooler, which means more CO2 was needed to keep the surface at a habitable temperature.

                    • jreb57

                      “No, I’m not talking about cycles, I’m talking about luminosity”

                      No, you are talking about energy. The sun goes through cycles of energy output (only part of the suns energy is visible light). We recently went through a period of solar minimums which lasted from about 1300 AD to about 1850 AD known as the little ice age. CO2 had nothing to do with this and no one has claimed that it did. The period prior to that was known as the medieval warm period. You can go on believing this myth if you want to, but I need scientific that CO2 makes the earth hotter in the face of the known fact that it produces no energy. Like the rest of the atmospheric gasses, it merely distributes the energy the earth receives from the sun.

                    • DavidAppell

                      Again, I am not talking about solar cycles, whose average does not change the luminosity of the Sun.

                      I’m talking about long-term changers, over millions of years.

                      Then, the luminosity increases 1% per 110 Myrs. So the sun was dimmer in the past, which explains why more CO2 was needed to maintain a habitable temperature.

                    • DavidAppell

                      There is an enormous amount of evidence that CO2 is a warming gas, but here’s direct proof:

                      “First Direct Observation of Carbon Dioxide’s Increasing Greenhouse Effect at the Earth’s Surface,” Berkeley Lab, 2/25/15
                      http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2015/02/25/co2-greenhouse-effect-increase/

                      “Observational determination of surface radiative forcing by CO2 from 2000 to 2010,” D. R. Feldman et al, Nature 519, 339–343 (19 March 2015)
                      http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v519/n7543/full/nature14240.html

                    • DavidAppell

                      CO2 doens’t *produce* energy — it absorbs upwelling radiation, and then reemits it in a random direction, some of which will go downward. That’s global warming.

                    • jreb57

                      The specific heat (the amount of energy absorbed per unit weight) of CO2 is approximately one eighth that of H2O. So CO2 does not have the energy storing capacity of water and it does not produce energy, it does not add to the temperature. It moderates the temperature just as al the atmospheric gasses do.

                    • DavidAppell

                      Have you ever heard of the Clausius-Claperyon equation? Do you know what it means to say water vapor is a feedback, not a forcing?

                    • jreb57

                      Of course CO2 does not produce energy. If it did, it would cause the temperature to increase. It only absorbs the energy produced by the sun just like everything else. The amount of heat it contains per unit of mass can be determined by measuring the temperature and knowing the specific heat. In any case, the atmosphere only serves to moderate temperature extremes.

                    • DavidAppell

                      Wrong — CO2 does *NOT* “absorb energy produced by the sun.”

                      It absorbs energy produced by the Earth. Huge difference. Fundamental. If you don’t understand that, you don’t understand anything.

                  • DavidAppell

                    CO2’s radiative forcing has been *measured*:

                    “First Direct Observation of Carbon Dioxide’s Increasing Greenhouse Effect at the Earth’s Surface,” Berkeley Lab, 2/25/15

                    http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2015/02/25/co2-greenhouse-effect-increase/

                    “Observational determination of surface radiative forcing by CO2 from 2000 to 2010,” D. R. Feldman et al, Nature 519, 339–343 (19 March 2015)
                    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v519/n7543/full/nature14240.htm

                    • jreb57

                      “CO2’s radiative forcing has been *measured*”
                      Jim Hansen entered these “observed” forcings into a computer model designed to predict temperatures based on CO2. Three time they failed after some tweaking. (there was an article about this in the May 2005 issue of Science) They predicted much higher temperatures than were actually measured. The result was instead of admitting failure, they went back and tweaked the raw data. You need to google Prof Richard Lindzen. Perhaps he can explain better than I.

                    • DavidAppell

                      Jim Hansen *calculated* these values, based on the laws of physics. And now we see he was right.

                    • DavidAppell

                      Link to claimed article in Science?

                    • jreb57

                      I can email you the paper.It is six years old and written by believers in GW. If you google “something new under the sun” you might find it, but I don’t have a link.

                    • DavidAppell

                      My email address is here:

                      http://www.davidappell.com

                    • jreb57

                      That is a web site, not an email address.

                    • DavidAppell

                      My email address is clearly indicated on my home page.

                    • DavidAppell

                      I know all about Richard Lindzen. Not many scientists thing he is right, and many think he is wrong.

                    • jreb57

                      “Not many scientists thing he is right, and many think he is wrong.”

                      He used to be an IPCC member. I expect he did not agree with the IPCC position which is not surprising since most of the scientists not tied to the IPCC do not agree with their stated position.

                    • DavidAppell

                      Thousands of scientists have worked on IPCC reports. The problem with Lindzen is that his claims have been wrong (about climate sensitivity, about the Iris effect, about second-hand smoke….)

                    • DavidAppell

                      “They predicted much higher temperatures than were actually measured. ”

                      So what?? Do you expect science to be perfectly accurate right out the blocks? No science ever is. Hansen did the proper thing — make models, compare them to observations, and then make changes to the model.

                      That is the point of building a model. This is how science has been done for 400 years — and look at all its great successes.

                    • jreb57

                      “So what?? Do you expect science to be perfectly accurate right out the blocks? No science ever is. Hansen did the proper thing — make models, compare them to observations, and then make changes to the model”

                      Science tests theories and when they don’t work they are discarded. This has happened many times in the past. It is not proper science to go back and change the DATA (Hansen did not do this, he changed his algorithms 3 times)

                    • DavidAppell

                      False – scientific theories are rarely “discarded.” They are usually modified to account for observations. In any case, AGW has in no way been falsified — the forcing from CO2 is know, accurately.

                    • jreb57

                      The theory about phlogiston was discarded when oxidation was proved. If AGW is so well known, why are their temperature findings being massaged?

                    • DavidAppell

                      That’s one theory, which doens’t contradict what I said.

                      How about the displacement current in Maxwell’s equations? Einstein’s incorporation of Newton’s laws at low speeds? Dark energy and Einstein’s cosmological constant?

                    • jreb57

                      “False – scientific theories are rarely “discarded.”
                      Horse crap. You discard what is worthless. Or maybe you don’t and that is why you are still pursuing this.

                    • DavidAppell

                      Climate science certainly isn’t “worthless” — it’s based on our best understanding of physics.

                      I know people like you are desparate to discredit AGW by any means necessary. But the fact is it is firmly set in basic laws of physics that aren’t in doubt in any way whatsoever.

                    • jreb57

                      “I know people like you are desparate to discredit AGW by any means necessary”
                      I just have yet to see any credible evidence that the AGW THEORY is correct. It flies in the face of logic.

                    • DavidAppell

                      Where have you looked for evidence?

                      It has been published now in a great many places.

                  • DavidAppell

                    “Have you not noticed that temperatures fall at night?”

                    Have you noticed they don’t fall nearly as much as they do on the dark side of the Moon? Explain.

                    • jreb57

                      “Have you noticed they don’t fall nearly as much as they do on the dark side of the Moon? Explain”
                      They also do not rise as high as they do on the sunny side of the moon. The moon has no atmosphere. The atmosphere acts as a working fluid to cool hotter areas and warm colder areas. It distributes heat, it does not generate heat. In other words, it moderates temperature extremes.

                    • DavidAppell

                      Right. And what keeps the atmosphere warm at night? Infrared energy radiated from the Earth — the same IR that’s trapped by CO2.

                    • jreb57

                      “Right. And what keeps the atmosphere warm at night?”
                      Water vapor. The specific heat of water is 1. That means that it takes 1 calorie of heat to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water 1 degree centigrade. The heat of vaporization is 540 calories/gram. That means for every gram of dew you find on your lawn in the morning, 540 calories of heat energy were released. Water accounts for over 95% of the temperature moderation on the planet. It is why temp variations in Arizona (dry) are more extreme than they are in Georgia (humid). CO2 is a gas and it is not confined. It is free to move about the planet and carry any trapped heat with it. Heat energy seeks its own level, it flows from the hotter to the cooler until an equilibrium is reached. CO2 is a working fluid which distributes, not increases energy

                    • DavidAppell

                      Water vapor is a greenhouse gas — you didn’t seem to realize that.

                      And water vapor is not water, so the amount of heat to heat water is irrelevant.

                      Water vapor in no way accounts for 95% of the greenhouse effect. As they say, water vapor is a feedback, not a forcing. Do you know what that means?

                    • jreb57

                      The specific heat of water is 1 (1 cal/gram) whether or not it is in liquid or gas form. It takes 54o calories of heat energy to turn 1 gram of liquid water into 1b gram of water vapor. If the education system of our nation were doing a better job, I would not have to do so much typing.. Go back to school. This time, pay attention.

                    • DavidAppell

                      “The specific heat of water is 1 (1 cal/gram) whether or not it is in liquid or gas form….”

                      Wrong — they differ by a factor of over two:

                      http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/water-thermal-properties-d_162.html

                      Also, the units are cal/gram*K, not cal/gram.

                    • jreb57

                      “Water vapor in no way accounts for 95% of the greenhouse effect”
                      Professor Richard Lindzen disagrees with you. Needless to say, so do I.

                    • DavidAppell

                      Wrong. Water vapor accounts for about 50% of the greenhouse effect.

                      Here’s an actual calculation of that (you didn’t cite one from Lindzen):

                      “Atmospheric CO2: Principal Control Knob Governing Earth’s Temperature,” Lacis et al, Science (15 October 2010) Vol. 330 no. 6002 pp. 356-359
                      http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abs/la09300d.html

                    • jreb57

                      Also you might take into account the moons day is 28 times as long as an earth day.

                    • DavidAppell

                      Irrelevant to the calculation.

                • jreb57

                  Not so. The earth at one time had a molten surface. The sun has gradually burned its supply of hydrogen and one day will run out of fuel. Better save your CO2 bubba.

                  • DavidAppell

                    Of course the sun was dimmer in the past. And it will be stronger in the future — its luminosity changes about +1% every +115 million years. Well known.

              • DavidAppell

                There is no doubt whatsoever that CO2 warms planets. It’s been known for at least 120 years…. the latest proof is here:

                “First Direct Observation of Carbon Dioxide’s Increasing Greenhouse Effect at the Earth’s Surface,” Berkeley Lab, 2/25/15
                http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2015/02/25/co2-greenhouse-effect-increase/

                “Observational determination of surface radiative forcing by CO2 from 2000 to 2010,” D. R. Feldman et al, Nature 519, 339–343 (19 March 2015)
                http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v519/n7543/full/nature14240.html

                • jreb57

                  “There is no doubt whatsoever that CO2 warms planets”
                  Oh really? Then why don’t you try warming your house with it.

                  • DavidAppell

                    1) Because the density of CO2 is far too small to warm a house.
                    2) Because you can’t run a heat engine from a cooler object (the atmosphere) to a warmer object (a house, the surface). Basic thermodynamics.

          • DavidAppell

            Not sure if your ACA question is serious….. There are obviously many more health issues than are caused by dirty air. In 2013 the US spent $2.92 trillion on health care, just in one year.

            • jreb57

              “Not sure if your ACA question is serious”

              It was not a question. It was a statement. The US did spend one hell of a lot of money on health care and the ACA made it worse, not better.

              • DavidAppell

                How did the ACA make it worse?

                • jreb57

                  By increasing costs and government mandates. As a result, hiring has gone down. I don’t know how you feel, but I prefer to make the decisions myself about how I will spend the fruits of my labors.

                  • DavidAppell

                    Hiring is way UP, not down. Here’s the data:

                    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/fredgraph.png?g=17aB

                    • jreb57

                      Yeah, up from when people were being laid off. The participation rate is still lower than it was before 2008

                    • DavidAppell

                      A lower participation rate is a GOOD thing — more baby boomers retiring, more mother or fathers staying home with their kids, more people retiring early because they can.

                      There is more to life than work.

                  • DavidAppell

                    What data show increased costs?

                    In the data I see, from the Altarum Institute, Jan 2015 had national health expenditures of 17.8% of GDP. That’s the same level as January 2010.

              • DavidAppell

                The uninsured rate has dropped from 18.0% to 11.9%. How is that worse?

                Graph:
                http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/04/23/aca-airbrushing/

                • jreb57

                  The costs per individual has gone up. That is worse, since the ACA was supposed to bring costs down. It was also supposed to provide universal coverage (whether you want it or not). The big difference is that responsible people now pay more for their health care so that people who would not or could not pay for their health care are insured. That is also not good. The economy works better when people get what they pay for.

                  • DavidAppell

                    Costs per individual have been going up for decades. Did you just notice.

                    National health expenditures were 17.8% of GDP in Jan 2015, the exact same level as in January 2010. (Altarum Institute)

                  • DavidAppell

                    Universal coverage? I can’t believe you would say that, since it’s couldn’t-care-less Republican governors and legislatures who refuse to let it into their state.

                    • jreb57

                      Universal coverage is what was promised. Along with lower costs. Neither was delivered. I did not write the law nor did I vote for those who did. I am not a supporter of socialism or its more extreme cousin communism. You should have figured that out by now. Even if the Repub govs would let it in, you wouldn’t have universal coverage. Some would prefer to pay the penalty for not buying something they don’t want.

                    • DavidAppell

                      How can there be universal coverage when so many Republican governors have decided not to accept the program and instead let their poor citizens suffer without health care??

                    • jreb57

                      Their “poor” citizens did a lot better before the ACA.

                    • DavidAppell

                      What an ignorant statement. Prove it.

                      Have you ever had to go without health insurance?

                    • DavidAppell

                      I think you like socialism just fine when it helps you (mortgage payments, employer health care, retirement savings, college savings) and resent it when you think someone else is getting a dollar that you can’t get your hands on.

                    • jreb57

                      “(mortgage payments, employer health care, retirement savings, college savings)”
                      All of those things paid for with money that I earned in my employment. The government only printed the money. It is called coin of the realm. If you don’t earn it or didn’t save it, it is welfare, better known as socialism.

                    • jreb57

                      “I think you like socialism just fine when it helps you”
                      No David, I would never accuse you of thinking. That would require too much effort. Let the government think for you.

                    • DavidAppell

                      Is this all you have, personal insults?

                      Stick to science and rational discourse, if you can.

                    • DavidAppell

                      Obviously, if people choose not to pay for health insurance, there can’t be universal coverage. Duh. Instead, they will give the bill to you, which you seem happy to pay.

                    • jreb57

                      Greedy people don’t pay other people’s bill. Remember, you called me greedy. I believe people should pay their own bills.

                  • DavidAppell

                    Responsible pay for their health care? Those people get a HUGE tax credit for getting their insurane through an employer — it costs the government $250 B/yr:

                    – “The huge health-care subsidy everyone is ignoring,” Edward Kleinbard, Washington Post, October 15, 2013
                    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/10/15/the-huge-health-care-subsidy-everyone-is-ignoring/

                    • jreb57

                      Taxes not paid are not subsidies. Taxes that you did not pay but are refunded as if they were are subsidies. That is why you have a job bubba; to pay for what you want and need.

                    • DavidAppell

                      Of course taxes not paid are subsidies.

                      If you doubt that, I’m sure you willing to give that subsidy back, right? (Sure.)

                    • jreb57

                      “If you doubt that, I’m sure you willing to give that subsidy back, right? (Sure.)”

                      I earned the money in the first place. Don’t talk about subsidies when talking about money that I have earned. If I did not earn it the government would not get that portion.

                    • DavidAppell

                      So you’re not willing to give that money back?? Right? Just as I suspected — you like your own subsidies, but resent when they are given to anyone else. Typical conservative — driven purely by greed.

                    • jreb57

                      Conservatives want only what they earn. Communists want everything so that they can dole it out as they see fit. I don’t intend to “give back” what I never recieved in the first place. Subsidies were the idea of you socialists and now you want to blame conservatives because they are not working as you would like.

                    • jreb57

                      “driven purely by greed”
                      If I was driven purely by greed, I would be a Democrat….with a solar panel on my roof. .

                    • DavidAppell

                      A solar panel is good economics for those who can afford it. If you’re too stubborn to take advantage of that, that’s your poor choice.

                    • jreb57

                      I am too stubborn to cut my trees down so I can pay more per KWhr than I do to the power company.

                    • jreb57

                      Not good economics. I ran the math. It would cost more per KWhr than the power company charges

                    • DavidAppell

                      Not if people can sell their excess power back to the grid.

                    • jreb57

                      “Typical conservative”
                      Thought you said I was a socialist.

                    • DavidAppell

                      Most conservatives *are* socialists, when the socialism benefits them personally. It’s only the socialism for everyone else they complain about.

                    • DavidAppell

                      You should not get a subsidy for housing that all people don’t get.

                    • jreb57

                      I don’t get a subsidy for housing.

                    • DavidAppell

                      Have a mortgage?

                    • jreb57

                      No. I paid cash.

                    • DavidAppell

                      Others who earn exactly the same income must pay more taxes than you. You’re priviledged. You get a subsidy that others don’t.

                      At least you could be appreciative.

                    • jreb57

                      I am appreciative that I don’t get all of the government that I pay for.

                    • jreb57

                      You have no idea how much tax I pay nor do you have a right to know.

                    • DavidAppell

                      You (not surprisingly) missed the point. Deliberately, I suspect.

                    • jreb57

                      “At least you could be appreciative”
                      I don’t appreciate thieves.

                    • DavidAppell

                      Of course you like YOUR OWN subsidies and favorable treatment…..

                    • jreb57

                      You have no concept of what I earn, what my obligations are or economics in general. If you worked for Texas Instruments, I would bet you invented “fuzzy logic”

                    • DavidAppell

                      “Fuzzy logic” was a great advance. Sorry you can’t understand that.

                      Do you benefit from any government subsidies? From its copious socialism — military, police forces, fire protection, post office, judicial courts, etc?

                    • jreb57

                      “Of course taxes not paid are subsidies”
                      According to your logic then everything was subsidized before 1913 (when the 16th amendment was passed).

                    • DavidAppell

                      Not at all. In fact, the opposite, since there were no tax breaks before the 16thA.

                    • jreb57

                      That is why it needs to be repealed and replaced with a flat tax.

                    • DavidAppell

                      Not paying taxes on your health care is a benefit given to you, but not those who receive cash in lieu of health care, or who work for themselves, or who do not get health insurance but some other benefit.

                      You probably also get a healthy tax break from a mortgage, right? More government dependency….

                    • jreb57

                      “You probably also get a healthy tax break from a mortgage, right?”
                      It was my money in the first place

                    • DavidAppell

                      I rent, and get no tax break on my housing payments. You get big breaks on your housing expenses.

                      You love socialism when it benefits you — just admit it. Socialist.

                    • jreb57

                      Your landlord pays taxes. If his taxes go up, he will have to charge you more rent

                    • DavidAppell

                      And if his taxes are reduced or partly subsidized, he doesn’t have to share that at all.

                    • jreb57

                      I don’t have a mortgage. Sorry to disappoint you. But your problem seems to believe that all benefits come from the government and that you are entitled to them. You have also lost track of the subject of this blog. Are you a troll?

                    • jreb57

                      “You probably also get a healthy tax break from a mortgage, right? More government dependency”
                      If there wasn’t a government, there would be no taxes and I I would not get a tax break. So it looks like the government (and you) are more dependent on people like me. Be careful; we may desert you…

                    • DavidAppell

                      If there wasn’t a government, North America would be Somalia.

                      Is Somalia your personal wet dream?

                    • jreb57

                      If there had not been a communist government in Russia, they might not have gone bust. Is communism your personal wet dream?

                    • jreb57

                      I paid cash for the house. I still pay taxes on the property. If you want to know why medical costs have gone up faster than the cost of living, it is because of increasing government involvement in healthcare.

                    • DavidAppell

                      Government involvement in health care? They why does every country on Earth who has single payer have lower health costs than we do?

                      Hmm????

                    • jreb57

                      They pay 70% of their income to the government. Then the government decides how much of it they will get back. You should try living in one of those countries David. You would probably like it.

                    • DavidAppell

                      They pay 1/2 for health care what Americans pay. So in the end those taxpayers are saving money — lots of it. And they aren’t threated by bankruptcy by the cost of medical care.

                      From every comment I’ve even seen, Canadians and Europeans are thankful for having single payer and think Americans are stupid for not doing likewise.

                    • DavidAppell

                      I think you’re someone who likes socialism just fine when it benefits you. But who greedily complains when it benefits anyone else.

                    • jreb57

                      I would like to see all of the socialism reformed or done away with. I paid my dues and then some. You think greed is wanting to keep what you have earned. Greed is wanting what you have earned and what someone else has earned.

                    • DavidAppell

                      You are greedy, and like your own socialism just fine. Don’t try to deny it. The only way you can prove you don’t is if you give all those thousands of dollars a year in tax breaks back to the government. Which, of course, you will not do.

                      Another greedy socialist. The country is littered with them.

                    • jreb57

                      Socialism is a liberal disease (along with mental disorders)

                    • jreb57

                      “Another greedy socialist. The country is littered with them”
                      Don’t worry. It wont last. Pretty soon you will run out of other people’s money. But I do agree that socialists are greedy. They want what others have earned.

                    • DavidAppell

                      A thoughtless cliche.

                      The US has a great deal of socialism — government pays for part of people’s mortgages, part of their employer-sponsored health insurance, part of their retirement plans, part of their college savings plans…….

                      Do you benefit from any of these government subsidies?

                    • jreb57

                      “I think you’re someone who likes socialism just fine when it benefits you.”

                      I don’t like socialism at all.

                    • DavidAppell

                      And so you refuse all the socialism available to the middle class? Right?

                    • jreb57

                      I paid for everything I got. They still owe me money. Perhaps I will live long enough to get it. Perhaps not.

                  • DavidAppell

                    By the way, where can people with pre-existing conditions buy health insurance?

                    • jreb57

                      Before the ACA, my wife had (still has) a pre-existing condition (still does) we found insurance and we paid for it. My complaint is paying for someone elses.

                    • DavidAppell

                      Many people can’t buy insurance at any price, due to pre-existing conditions. Such as me. What, then, am I supposed to do?

                    • jreb57

                      I don’t believe in telling other people what to do. I see people in the emergency room who get attention whether or not they have insurance. Before the ACA, there was a law regarding people who did not have insurance due to pre-existing conditions which allowed them guaranteed coverage. I did not follow this path. I bought insurance for my wife through my former employer when I retired. It was expensive, but it sufficed until she was old enough to go on medicare. She was able to be covered because it was a group plan.

                    • DavidAppell

                      Who do you think pays for the care of the uninsured?? You do, via higher insurance premiums.

                      Are you happy doing that?

                    • jreb57

                      “Who do you think pays for the care of the uninsured?? You do, via higher insurance premiums.”
                      No kidding! And subsidies for the people who do not pay their full costs.

                    • DavidAppell

                      You aren’t paying your full costs either, if you get your health insurance through an employer:

                      From “The huge health-care subsidy everyone is ignoring,” Edward Kleinbard, Washington Post, October 15, 2013:

                      “Government’s hand has long shaped and subsidized health-care markets, for example, in Medicare and Medicaid (which dominate how medical care is organized and delivered in America, even for care that falls outside their reach), or the requirement that hospitals treat urgent care needs of indigents.

                      “But perhaps the most consequential subsidy is rarely mentioned or even noticed: Government for decades has directly subsidized individuals’ costs of employer-based health care, to the tune of roughly $250 billion every year – sums far greater than the annual costs of the subsidized insurance coverage provisions of the Affordable Care Act.”

                      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/10/15/the-huge-health-care-subsidy-everyone-is-ignoring/

                    • DavidAppell

                      “Before the ACA, there was a law regarding people who did not have insurance due to pre-existing conditions which allowed them guaranteed coverage. ”

                      Really? Prove it. What was the name of that law??

                    • DavidAppell

                      “…but it sufficed until she was old enough to go on medicare”

                      So you’re just another socialist, sponging off government and the taxpayers. I knew it….

                    • jreb57

                      No, I pay for that too. There is no such thing as a free lunch. By your own admission, it is you who are sponging off the taxpayers.

                    • DavidAppell

                      Do you know who signed the law requiring hospitals to treat people regardless of their ability to pay?

                      Republican saint Ronald Reagan.

                    • DavidAppell

                      If you bought health insurance from your former employee, you benefited from a nice tax break.

                      And how little you appreciate it, and how much others getting their own breaks on health insurance.

                    • jreb57

                      COBRA

                    • DavidAppell

                      COBRA only lasts 2 years, last time I looked. That’s when I could no longer use it.

                • jreb57

                  “The uninsured rate has dropped from 18.0% to 11.9%. How is that worse?”
                  Worse because most of these pay little or nothing for their insurance while the previously insured pay more

                  • DavidAppell

                    They get subsidies; you get subsidies. Ready to give all your subsidies back to the government — for a home mortgage, for 2nd homes, for employer-sponsored health insurance, for retirement accounts, for college savings accounts?

          • DavidAppell

            Sorry to hear about your daughter’s higher costs. (Are you sure she’s taking full advantage of subsidies available to her?) But the US gives $250 billion per year in subsidies to workers who get their health insurance through an employer (that income isn’t taxed). That’s far more than is being spent on the ACA….

            • jreb57

              “But the US gives $250 billion per year in subsidies to workers who get their health insurance through an employer (that income isn’t taxed). That’s far more than is being spent on the ACA.”
              The ACA takes taxpayer money and distributes it as it sees fit. Taxes are monies that are paid for the purpose of running the government, not for the purpose of subsidizing health care. Unpaid taxes do not subsidize anything, it is just proof of how badly the tax code and our federal government is in need of reform.

              • DavidAppell

                Taxes subsidize a lot of things — like health care for those who get their health insurance from their employer. ($250 B/yr.) That money comes from other taxpayers — you just don’t like to admit your own dependence on subsidies.

                • jreb57

                  I don’t depend on subsidies. If I did, I would be economically better off the higher the tax rate went. Since that is not the case, in fact the opposite is true, I must conclude that I do not benefit when the government takes my money in taxes and then gives me back what it thinks I need.

                  • DavidAppell

                    Do you get very nice tax deductions for your home mortgate interest? For the health insurance your employer sponsors? For a retirement account? For a college savings account?

                    • jreb57

                      It’s my money in the first place. I do not get a check from the government and never have. You talk like a communist as if every thing belonged to the government and the taxpayer is just allowed to keep some of it. That is why people like me do not trust people like you. If I need to earn more money, I work harder and more efficiently. If you want to depend on the government, go to a socialist country or better yet a communist one. That seems to be more in line with your idea of who owns what.

                    • DavidAppell

                      Face it — the government gives you some very nice tax breaks, that it does not give to everyone.

                      You could at least be appreciative.

                    • jreb57

                      I appreciate that I do not get all the government I pay for.

                    • DavidAppell

                      If you’re a member of the middle class, you probably get more than you pay for.

                      Has it ever occurred to you that you yourself might one day be in need of the ACA? Or someone you care about might be?

        • wally12

          @David Appell: Do you really believe that number of $0.5 trillion dollars? I don’t believe anything that the government states in terms of economic figures. Figures lie and lairs figure. That is the truth about government figures. Remember? ACA would save $2500 per family. You can keep your doctor, You can keep your insurance. Ask the Veterans how well government run health care has been for them. Probably the biggest was that you need to pass legislation without reading it and then discover how great it is. Tell that same story now tho those who signed up for the government portion of health insurance and ask them how they like the rate hick they must now pay. The value saved by the clean air act is a number pulled out of thin air. There is no proof. Show us the figures.

          • DavidAppell

            If you don’t believe the results of academic and government studies, we don’t have anything to talk about.

            Good luck.

          • DavidAppell

            Yes, I believe the study saying the Clean Air Act cost $0.5 trillion.

            What evidence do you have to the contrary? E-V-I-D-E-N-C-E.

            • wally12

              @DavidAppell: I asked you first to provide figures. So get with it or forever be still. Good day.

              • DavidAppell

                The EPA estimated that the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 provide far more benefits than costs: $2 trillion in annual benefits by 2020, though with a large uncertainty. They estimate that the Amendments prevented 160,000 deaths in 2010, and this will rise to 230,000 by 2020. By then they will have prevented 200,000 cases of heart disease per year, 2.4 million asthma flare-ups per year, and 22.4 million missed school and work days per year.

                http://www.eenews.net/assets/2011/03/01/document_gw_03.pdf

                By the way, these Amendments were signed into law by GHW Bush. The Clinton administration estimated the benefits to be $170 B/yr.

                http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/03/coming-clean-on-regulatory-costs-and-benefits

                • wally12

                  @DavidA[[ell: Sorry but I had meant to say and ask you to provide proof that those claimed savings are anywhere near real. I don’t care if Bush or Obama signed any of these fictitious numbers. These figures are simply numbers pulled out of thin air and can not be verified. Tell me has a autopsy

                  ever been performed and verified by a number of physicians that the cause of death was due to air pollution as has been done when the pollution was asbestos caused cancer? Dig up real proof.

                  • DavidAppell

                    The numbers are calcuated, and reported in the report I cited. Read it.

                    • wally12

                      @DavidAppell:disqus went to the site you provided. The EPA analysis states that their figures are estimated costs and benefits that reflect expected or likely future measures. In other words the figures are estimates. To get a idea if their estimates are valid, I looked up the death rates of people for heart disease and cancer plus those with allergies and lug problem. The cancer deaths were 97 per 100000 in 1900 and continued to 200 per 100000 in 1990. From 1990 to 2010 the rate fell to 180 per 100000. There was no evidence of a decline in the rates on the graph from 1970 to 1990 due to the CAA. The rate reduction of deaths from 1990 to 1010 does not differentiate between the improvements of air pollution versus the improvements in medical technology, medicine and surgery. A similar graph appears for cancer deaths where there is no differentiation for the benefits of the CAA. Therefore, I believe the EPA when they readily admit their numbers are estimates. Anyone who wants to convince people of their importance can use estimates. If you want to believe estimates, be my guest. I need harder fac6ts than estimates based on nothing.

                    • DavidAppell

                      ALL figures are estimates. From models. Did you really just discover this?

                      Cancer rates are higher now because people aren’t dying young of the things they were in 1900, like infectious diseases and accidents. People are now living LONG ENOUGH to die of cancer.

                      So your comparions is meaningless without context.

                    • wally12

                      @DavidAppell: You apparently didn’t read my last sentence of my above comments. Of course,I know that models are used to estimate costs and savings. That doesn’t cut any ice. Garbage in,garbage out.. It is the same for the climate scientists. They use models which have not been able to predict any of the rising temperature of earth. For graphs to be believable, they must show a change in the rate due to pollution control. The rates of cancer or any other parameter have been coming down for many reasons throughout the years. If the decline is a straight line and a pollution control is begun, then the rate of change must show either a faster decline if the pollution control is to be viable as some proof of success. I don’t see any such change in the rate of an already declining parameter. Therefore, you have no grounds to stand on for believing EPA estimates.

                    • DavidAppell

                      You easily dismiss all models because you refuse to actually tackle any of them. Instead you make vague and general criticisms, all unsupported, and try to get away with it.

                      Doesn’t work with me. Start citing specifics.

                    • wally12

                      @DavidAppell:disqus You first. Start citing specifics and not estimates. You are accusing me while you do nothing . Get a life!

                    • DavidAppell

                      Yes, I’m accusing you. You don’t get to make vague statements and dismiss all the good work people are doing.

                      If you have specific problems with data and methodology, state them in detail. Trying to dismiss everything with a few vague phrases doesn’t wash.

                    • wally12

                      @DavidAppell: I enjoy the remarks by leftist like you and the believers in AGW. You accuse others of no details while you use no details in your statements. Like I said, Get a life. Your have demonstrated that you can not discuss facts. All you do is regurgitate propaganda from your favorite sites. That OK but I find you are not worth holding an intelligent discussion with. Of course, you will respond but I will not waste my time with you.

                    • DavidAppell

                      I didn’t think, when I asked, that you could provide any details.

                      But I thought I would give you a chance.

                      But I was right. All you can do is grumble.

                      I rest my case.

          • DavidAppell

            “Figures lie and lairs figure.”

            See! All you need is a simple dumb aphorism, and you can deny all the data you want!

      • DavidAppell

        John Christy doesn’t consider negative eternalities, which are a part of the economy.

        • jreb57

          “John Christy doesn’t consider negative eternalities, which are a part of the economy.”

          By negative externalities do you mean he doesn’t consider the effects of the Democrats tax and spend policies?

          • DavidAppell

            No, I mean he doesn’t consider the damage done by pollutants. (Most of those damages are socialized, while profits are privatized.)

  • Susan M. VerHalen

    I appreciate this article greatly, because my husband was considering trying to get this, and I have a lot of concerns that while it is subsidized, it looks like it will help you save money, but in reality, any savings will be swallowed by debt, and increased costs down the road. No way! I would love to be able to print this article to share with my husband, so he can read it himself.

    • Edward Lewis

      Miss Susan: Often, if not always, if the government must subsidize a product to get you to buy it, it is not worth buying at it’s true market value. That should be plainly clear to most people. Ethanol in gasoline, health care, the Chevy Volt (reported to have as much as a $250,000 subsidy PER CAR), Solyndra’s solar power scam,and many others too numerous to list here.The sad truth is, we all wastefully pay for these useless subsidies up front with our tax dollars when they could be better spent lowering the deficit, and therefore possibly lowering our future tax requirement.

      • wally12

        Are you sure that the subsidy of $250,000 per car is accurate? Sounds like a misprint to me. Who gets this subsidy or is it divided to some other entity?

        • jreb57

          It sounds a little high to me too. The way these subsidies usually work is in the form of a tax credit to the manufacturer.. One of my co-workers had to replace the battery on his Prius and it reduced the cost from an estimated $7000 to $1500. He did not get the credit; Toyota did.

          • CB

            “One of my co-workers had to replace the battery on his Prius and it reduced the cost from an estimated $7000 to $1500.”

            How old was it!?

            From what I understand, they’re only warrantied for a few years, and if they don’t fail in the first month, they usually last 200k miles…

            • jreb57

              “How old was it!?”

              About 5 years old which is a good life expectancy for most batteries. It is not a matter of miles, it is a matter of charge/discharge cycles. Some type of batteries do not tolerate deep or long periods of discharge. Some will explode if charged or discharged too fast.

        • Edward Lewis
          • CB

            CFACT is paid by ExxonMobil to lie about climate science:

            “CFACT has received over $4.1 million in funds from Donor’s Trust and Donor’s Capital Fund between 2002-2011, plus an additional $582,000 from ExxonMobil between 1998-2012”

            http://www.desmogblog.com/committee-constructive-tomorrow

            If the people here were true skeptics, why wouldn’t they be skeptical of companies that have a short-term financial interest in misleading them?

            • Janet Williams

              So you can’t actually point out any inaccuracies. But you don’t like their backers. Just checking.

              • BG Davis

                I can point out inaccuracies; see my comments above on the invalid method used to arrive at the $250,000 per vehicle.

                • Janet Williams

                  So what’s your figure? $249,999 per vehicle?

              • BG Davis

                CB is also considering the fact that liars don’t just tell one lie; if CFACT has lied about climate science for money, the odds are that CFACT will lie about other things for money. It’s not about like or not like; it’s the way the world works.

                • jreb57

                  If one group will lie to promote their agenda it is likely that another group will lie to support their agenda. The instructive thing is that the government already makes more profit from the energy industry (in taxes) than the energy industry does. So who has the most to gain?

            • wally12

              @CB: You seem to neglecting all the funding by the government to those who advocate for green energies. Why wouldn’t you be skeptical of the government for the same reason?

              • CB

                There’s no “government conspiracy”.

                That’s paranoid-delusional nonsense.

                This thread is long dead.

                Try me on a fresher one to continue your therapy.

                “The theoretical potential of solar power… represents more energy striking the earth’s surface in one and a half hours (480 EJ) than worldwide energy consumption in the year 2001 from all sources combined (430 EJ).”

                http://www.sandia.gov/~jytsao/Solar%20FAQs.pdf

                • wally12

                  @CB: So you admit that the sun is the major driver of warming the earth. I thought that all “believers” stated that CO2 is the driver? Also, why is stating that the government funds research that for CO2 as the cause of warming and is simply a conspiracy? Because it is common knowledge that liberals want to tax fossil fuels and to redistribute wealth and are in bed with picking green energies. The green energy coalition is very rich and powerful. It has most democrats in their pocket.

                  • CB

                    “the sun is the major driver of warming the earth.”

                    I said thread’s dead, derp-face.

                    Buy a clue.

                    “Even in the event of the Sun entering a new Maunder Minimum like activity state the climate response is very small compared to the projected warming due to anthropogenic influences”

                    http://www.leif.org/EOS/2011JD017013.pdf

                    • wally12

                      @CB: You poor poor individual. All you have is some sites where you attend to reinforce the opinions that you already believe hook, line and sinker. I feel sorry for you. You haven’t even examined the skeptical web sites. Are you afraid that your opinion could change? Of course the earth has been warming. It has for years since the ice age. There is nothing new in that statement. However, there has not been any proven evidence that the increase in CO2 is the driver of that warming. The models used by the climate scientists are flawed. They have proven time and time again that the temperatures do not equate to the values that are predicted. The last 18 years is proof that while the models predicted the temperatures would increase as CO2 levels kept rising, it didn’t happen. The climate scientists have no credible explanation for this discrepancy. Do you?

                    • Edward Lewis

                      Now, now, Mr. Wally. CB is not a climate denier by his own admission.
                      I guess that makes him a fact-denier. The world continues to misunderstand that CO2 is not a toxin, it is actually part of the food producing process for plants. The more CO2, the more photosynthesis & more carbon is sequestered.
                      But you can’t force feed facts to those on a fact-based diet.

                    • wally12

                      @Edward Lewis: I agree. Your last statement is even more interesting. My only change to your statement is that I would change the “fact-based diet” to a “fallacious based diet”. Have a great day and don’t let CB into your subconscious. It is not good for clear thinkers.

                    • Edward Lewis

                      You are too kind, Mr. Wally. Come on down to LA sometime and I will show you some of the great effects of climate change: green forests, great fishing, swimming in cold springs (how can they be cold if global warming is so bad?) and when the climate changes (we call that ‘winter’ down here) some good deer hunting, sir. Ciao!

                    • wally12

                      I believe you. There are many benefits that a rise in CO2 offers the world except the “Warmers” will never believe. They are locked into their own religion. Dr. Freeman Dyson, an astrophysicist compared to Einstein, stated that the benefits to mankind far out weigh any insignificant dangers that rising CO2 may present. I do think I will be visiting LA any time soon. I prefer Wisconsin and the cold weather. Thanks for the invite. Have a nice day.

                    • jreb57

                      CB hasn’t figured out that the United Nations wants to impose a carbon tax on developed nations so that they can transfer wealth to the undeveloped nations. CB also does not know about the specific heats of compounds and elements which tell you how much heat energy exists in a given mass of that element/compound based on the temperature. I am sure he has also forgotten or never known that heat, like water seeks its own level or, in other words in a given sample of atmospheric gasses, they will all be at the same temperature. To put it more simply, he has forgotten his high school physics if he ever took the class which I doubt. The argument is not about whether the earth has warmed since the end of the last ice age, the argument is about the cause of said warming. I nominate that funny yellow globe (called the sun) which shows up every morning and descends in the evening. After all, temperatures do seem to get warmer when the sun is in evidence and grow cooler when it is not. Coincidence? I think not. Of course, CB may also be a troll who supports a global socialist agenda and knows damn well the AGW horse crap is just that.

                    • wally12

                      @jreb57: I agree.

                    • jreb57

                      “Even in the event of the Sun entering a new Maunder Minimum like
                      activity state the climate response is very small compared to the
                      projected warming due to anthropogenic influences”

                      What a ration of horse crap that is.

                  • jreb57

                    If the warming wackos like CB were right, (that CO2 warms the earth) our energy problems would be solved. Simply fill a large container with CO2 and run one of our many heat engines off of the heat that the CO2 produces.

                    • wally12

                      @jreb57: Most informed people know that CB is not one who understands climate science. That is why they search Google to find information that gives them some satisfaction. CB nor any of these type will ever question their religion of AGW. I usually attempt to convince some of the warmers with a variety of facts and logic but after I realize they are trolls or so locked into religion, I go on to other things. Life is too short to waste my time with those who simply argue for the sake of arguing.

                    • jreb57

                      Well I have to admit that I do get some entertainment value from some of their ridiculous posts. Yes, you can find almost anything on the internet. You had better have a good BS filter.

                    • wally12

                      @jreb57: And the AGW BS blogs seem to be the most numerous. It is comical or rather enlightening that when a former climate scientist who changes his/her stance on AGW claims by comments on a blog, these fanatics warmers go ballistic. Ms. Curry, a climate scientist, recently questioned the claims that CO2 had much influence in the heating of earth from 1900 to 1940 and the next period from 1940 to 2000.

                • jreb57

                  The theoretical potential of solar power… represents more energy
                  striking the earth’s surface in one and a half hours (480 EJ) than
                  worldwide energy consumption in the year 2001 from all sources combined
                  (430 EJ).”
                  You would have to cover the entire illuminated surface of the earth with solar cells in order to tap 20% of the visible energy the sun emits. Energy in the ultra violet and the infra red range only serve to damage the cells and must be filtered. Remember that the earth,s surface is 70% water. How would you handle the farmers who depend on sunlight (and CO2) to grow their crops?

                  • CB

                    “You would have to cover the entire illuminated surface of the earth with solar cells in order to tap 20% of the visible energy the sun emits.”

                    That’s insane and false, and even if it were true, you’d only have to do it for an hour and a half to supply all the energy the entire human race consumes for the entire year.

                    This is a dead thread on a fossil-funded propaganda outlet. Try me on a fresher thread to continue your therapy.

                    “Marc Morano is the executive director and chief correspondent of ClimateDepot.com, a project of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT). Morano is also the Communications Director at CFACT, a conservative think-tank in Washington D.C. that has received funding from ExxonMobil, Chevron, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars from foundations associated with Richard Mellon Scaife. According to 2011 IRS Forms, Morano was the highest paid staff member with a salary of $150,000 per year. Morano’s blog Climate Depot regularly publishes articles questioning man-made global warming.”

                    http://www.desmogblog.com/marc-morano

                    • jreb57

                      Today’s commercial solar cells convert only 20% of the energy that strikes them into electricity, so that is accurate. You will have to store the excess either in a battery or some other means in order for it to be available when the sun doesn’t shine. Only 60% of the energy the earth intercepts actually reaches the surface. If you covered the entire roof on your house with solar panels, you might be able to provide enough power to run lighting (If you use LED lighting) and a refrigerator but then you would have to store it in a battery in order to use it at night when the lighting is needed. But obviously Marc Morano is wrong because he is financed by those who produce reliable and on demand energy sources.

          • wally12

            @Edward Lewis: Thanks for the site info. I tend to believe that Obama would be more than happy to stimulate those companies. It remains “the same old, same old”. Give vast subsidies to the green energy efforts in the goal of making existing energies non- competitive.

        • wally12

          Thanks for your input. That subsidy for an auto company was predicated on selling a large number of cars. That is why the cost per car is so high. I guessed that was how the value was obtained rather than the relatively small subsidy given to the buyer. Regardless, I agree that these type of subsidies must stop. I don’t object to the government offering a subsidy to product a product on a very small scale in order to proven out a concept such as to a university to develop a new item. I also approve a subsidy to manufacture a very limited production but not to the extent of mass production as appeared to be the case with the Chevy Volt. That was obscene.

        • BG Davis

          It’s not a misprint, but it is wildly inaccurate. It’s like saying that if you buy a house for $1million, the day you move in that house is costing you a million dollars a day. Even a child can see through that kind of “logic.”

          • wally12

            @ BG Davis: It is accurate if the sales of the Volt do not result in sales that have been predicted. I haven’t researched the sales of the Volt but also haven’t read or heard that the sales have been increasing to any substantial amount that would make the Volt profitable.

      • BG Davis

        More bogus numbers as propaganda. Here’s the reality:
        An analysis in The Street on Dec. 22, 2011, criticized the methodology of dividing $1.5 billion in subsidies by the 6,000 cars sold to reach the $250,000 per vehicle number. The Street pointed out that on the day the first Volt was sold this one car must have cost $1.5 billion, according to the reasoning by the people who wrote the headlines
        around this study.
        By 2014, 58,000 had been sold. This works out to $25,862 per
        vehicle. After another 58,000 have been sold, the amount per vehicle will drop by half again, to under $13,000. And so on.
        But even this is misleading. General Motors said the study compiled “every conceivable” energy battery subsidy over the past several years, whether or not it had anything to do with the Volt.
        BTW. the government is not subsidizing products to get people to buy them; they are subsidizing products to get the manufacturers to make them. This is how the US railway system was built, this is how many of the advances in aviation and other fields were made.

      • Rajeeyah Bilal-Varney

        These are not gov subsidized, it is only a program which allow you you purchase with not hassle. You are still paying full price

        • Edward Lewis

          To quote the article, “Yet, as the company is expected to lose more than $1 billion through 2016, it still seeks to score more taxpayer subsidies out of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which has already kept the industry going for far too long.”
          Did you see the three words “more taxpayer subsidies”? That infers that they have previously been subsidized, and want MORE. You may be paying full price, but the company is subsidized, clearly acknowledged by the article, and citizens are paying (through a government subsidy funded by MY tax dollars) for their inability to produce a product that can be purchased at competitive prices.
          A course in reading comprehension might be in order.

    • denis

      no smart enough to know how to print a page. right wing idiot.

  • Allen Barclay Allen

    FOSSIL FUEL IS SOLAR ENERGY CLIMATARDS

    All Fossil Fuel becomes our Atmosphere. With Burning of fossil Fuel by Human Consumption or Subduction Zones Burning at all Tectonic plates on Earth. Earth has no Atmosphere without this burning into CO2, and NASA know’s this by studying other planets in our Solar system Europa and several others. Dead Planets have no tectonic plate movement to replace dissipation of atmosphere into space!!
    Using Fossil Fuel IS USING SOLAR ENERGY. FOSSIL FUEL WAS MADE BY SOLAR ENERGY IN PLANTS CHLOROPLAST CONVERSION OF SUNLIGHT AND CO2 TO SHUGAR PROTEIN USED BY HUMAN AND ANIMALS WHICH BOTH DECAY AND CONTRIBUTE TO FOSSIL FUEL THAT CREATES OUR ATMOSPHERE !! Don’t listen to MOONBAT CLIMATARDS !!

    • Allen Barclay Allen

      We have to do Space exploration to look back at earth and other planets and see how precious this science of creation that God set in motion is,or where are DOOMED to wander back into the caves of the stoneage of scientific STUPIDITY !!
      Water in our atmosphere is a Huge part of Burning Fossil fuel from Tectonic plate subduction Zone Burning, without it Earth has no water to fuel this atmosphere’s moisture that grows plants, that make this Solar energy possible making it all work !!
      We have to go back to the Moon build a Colony to get to Mars to build another Colony to test what we have learned. We have to do this with international cooperation to great Peace on this earth that is necessary for the continuation of the advancement of Science. We have to say ” No to you doomsayers you will not take us back kicking and screaming into the Darkness of Stupidity” We have to Explore for so many reason for a better life. God made us that way.
      Our languages were confused at the Tower of Babel for this one purpose to spread men’s Domination on God’s Creation earth he made for us. Don’t listen to these Doomsayers Climatards of Satan trying once again to Steal man’s Dominion given by God over his CREATION !! They contribute Nothing !!

    • dje3

      Allen..
      THe more CO2 in the atmosphere the faster plants grow, which in turn captures the Carbon in the plants…reducing CO2. I would like you to look up the volcanic activity in the last 1000 years. Just krakatoa and a couple minor eruptions put more CO2 in the atmoshpere and did more harm to earth than all the pollution from the industrial revolution to today. Look it up.

      As far as “global WARMING” I HAVE LOOKED UP the oldest records that I can and there are many problems with the entire idea of gloal warming. Not the least of which is the lack of verifiable calibration of any older records…generally thermometers were calibrated at 0C and 100C wether marked in C or F or any of the other 10 systems used in the last hundreds of years. The known variation possibilities exceed the “warming” noted by all the “Warmists”. In other words we have crap for a baseline.

      We also know that the earth goes through warming and cooling cycles for MANY reasons..and that a few hundred years ago we had a “mini ice age”. So much for understanding the basline…we can’t possibly have any idea…baselines are GEOLOGICAL not instantaneaous..we are living in real time not able to see or find the base line to begin with.

      Have fun with that.

      • Allen Barclay Allen

        CO2 is nowhere at dangerous levels from these Volcanoes in the last 1,000 years at 388 PPM. Our planet’s last real ice age 10,000 years ago had a level of 1200 PPM during a Great Ice age. Geological Scientist discovered this Content in Earth Mantle of 10,000 year ago period, proven by Carbon dating !! I got this information from CEFACT’s leading Physicists !! Every Real scientist knows this !! Which is what makes this Global warming Communist power grab of the United Nations SO So So Disturbing. I can Scarcely imagine these idiots even pronouncing the word Scientist much less be one !!
        So it would seem our fight is not so much for real evidence here, which we have, but against STUPIDITY. For this kind of Stupidity you need a psychologist, because these people with their ” Chicken Little Crap” are obviously MENTALLY ILL !! And they fill our major Universities with this Mass Hysteria Global warming, Climate Change CRAP that is as Stupid as telling the Write Brothers they never flew like this last generation of Europeans tried to Float past the world’s eyes !! I made this Parallel in a previous comment for a reason !! Its the same stupidity a generation later. Who knows what mental Phenomena causes it in Europe but rest assure its here again !! Vladimir Putin will not use their Common Core Education pushed by the UN, Because it would strip any Technological advantage from Russia ! Now that should give you a clue of this Mental Delusions cause, Propaganda for a Carbon taxing of the world, the likes of which this world has never seen before !! The Lie of the Century, and the Game is at foot but their losing Credibility by the Day with Craig Ruckers CEFACT and 900 real PHD’s that agree with CEFACT !! When have you ever seen 900 PHD’s agree ?? “Something Stinks in Denmark” !!!

        • jreb57

          The commies believe that a useful lie is better than a harmful truth. Small wonder that they promote the useful lie of global warming.

  • WiSe GuY

    If they can’t guarantee that solar will pay for itself in five (5) years, it’s a rip off.

    • dje3

      depends..I say 7, if they use only today’s cost of electricity.

      • WiSe GuY

        Solar and wind are 0bama’s two major brain farts.

  • DAVID MULBERRY

    What I would like to know….BBC gave a report that 2020 in England the percentage of solar output will be up to 4 percent…..A lot of land taken up for a mere 4 percent if that much…how much energy does a home solar system produce?

  • Marilynn Reeves

    What is the best way to go solar and not get ripped off?

  • Peatro Giorgio

    Solar might be a good source for free Electricity . But in my area not one Firm that I am aware of is selling active solar. Everyone seems to be selling passive solar which is roof fixed. We had a couple of firms come out to do surveys. Their claims were we would recover somewhere around 47% of our electric use. That is not worth the out lays of $7, 000.00 . We asked several times about active solar. Every single firm refused any comment. Apparently there is not the easy profit margin in active solar. So I say to solar power go screw, bunch of thieves.

    • Gerald Katz

      Ever buy a car what was the payback?
      Ever hear of people going into dept over a car, buying a lemon or even being killed by a defective vehicle. Solar works fine for hundreds of thousands of people.
      Active solar is water heating with pumps, passive is actually building design that allow the sun to heat in the winter.

      • Peatro Giorgio

        Hey solar sales idiot more folks are actually dissatisfied with their purchase of solar roof top panels then satisfied. Least wise that is the over all consensus, From my area. Talk about lemon laws. Lemon laws do not cover your lose s when the buyers is either gullible or Naive enough to believe the tactics of out right lies an or manipulation used by the solar sales frauds. Which by the way; occurs all to often. The several sales reps we had come out actually found themselves caught up in their own bullshit , when we ask to see their analysis. Followed by many more probing questions ; we already had the correct answer s to. They soon discovered, their gig was up. One more point The active solar I had been refereeing to was solar panel unit s the follow the position of the sun. That is the active solar I had refereed to an not the horse crap you suggested.

        • Gerald Katz

          Units that move to follow the sun is called tracking solar which is a useless overpriced unreliable technology that is only of value for certain applications and utility scale facilities.
          There are definitely unscrupulous crooks working in this industry as their are in all business sectors. So I encourage strong consumer protections regarding all home improvement companies. I have seen both great and terrible work by air conditioning companies, roofer, insulation companies, high performance windows and solar companies. I urge customers to get many estimates, shop carefully and get information from references and third parties. I ran conservation and solar programs for a utility and many customers had their bills drop so low that they saved significant amounts compared to lease payments.

          • Peatro Giorgio

            What is your regional location.? As for the area in which I reside. Most folks only are able to recover maximum 67 % of their power usage. As for myself it was estimated in the low range of 40% to the highest possible at 47%. To me that is not worth the investment considering the panel s will need replacement after 10 to 15 years. An often more then not there efficiency is reduced so significanly as to need replacement sooner. Same with most others in my area . So for my self ! Solar sucks. As for others in the area who had units installed. Their sentiment is much the same. Theyes felt it not worth the deminished look of their homes or the very small gain as compared to the out lays of money.

  • John OMalia

    Solar tech companies exist to suck up tax dollars not to lower an owners utility payments. It is part of the overall global warming/climate change fraud.

  • jameshrust

    Great article. Buyer Beware!!

    • dje3

      The problem here is FRAUD and scheming..and the US govt is both involved and allowing it.

  • Unions blow

    Funny…Tesla cars are for the rich, yet they are subsidized by the poor in tax dollars. Look how much the founder of Tesla owns in Solar City. He’s a genius if you think about it… make millions from tax payers that will NEVER buy your product – and sell them to the stupid and the rich!

    Sign me up…anyone got a business idea we can get subsidized and sell to Obama followers?

  • Mervyn

    Incredible. There has always got to be a scam!

  • dje3

    There are several considerations.
    1. solar panels are made from RARE EARTH metals. The mining of these metals is extremely harmful to the earth in many ways. THey are rare metals that the mining and use destrays the environment and costs much more than fossil and hydro power currently.

    2. BEFORE you consider solar electric, Install solar water heat. THese panels are made from standard materials, glass, copper, aluminum and plastics. THey last over 20 years and the water heater (really a heat storage tank that actually holds extremely hot water) has electric back up. This system should return on investment in well under 7 years.

    3. After soloar water heat, proper windows, dual to triple glazed is the next best investment. They can save an additional 20% of utility easily. They last longer than 20 years and should return on investment in 7-8 years.

    4. Now that you are relativly efficient and have taken care of the items with most return….
    a. install LED lighting thoughout your home. THis will reduce from say 120 watts for a regular bulb to 2.5 watts for an LED strip. The return is not so pleasant but the life with proper warranty should be well over 20 years per bulb set.
    b. Remove and replace your attic insulation if you can. You may not need to remove just to add more.
    c. If in the south, add thermal reflective insulation under your rafters. and at any stem wall, mansart, or gable end that ever has sun hitting on it.
    d. If in the NORTH lay the thermal reflective barrier on top of your attic insulation.
    e. If in a place that gets COLD and HOT then place an entire envelope of thermal reflective barrier in your attic, on top of insualtion and under the rafters.

    Now that you have INCREASED the value of your home to its maximum by efficiency, if you still want to look at solar photovoltaic power then do so. But follow a few rules about it.
    5. assess your annual power use. Lets say that you have reduced your power needs to 1500Kwh per year. You now know that you need 1500Kwh plus per year to have a ZERO footprint. You make calls to solar contractors and have them BID to install a system that handles your use completely. Then look at the actual cost of power today and the cost of the system. Figure out how long it will take to recover the cost of your system.

    7 years, you know to do it instantly.
    10 years..think long and hard about it.
    15 years….think a lot longer about it.
    20 years…forget it the system you purchase will probably not last any longer than that and you will have no great return on investment.

    The idea for “CAPITAL EQUIPMENT” is to repay it in 7 to 10 years ALWAYS. No company is going to purchase..say a printing press or a sheet metal press unless they can recover its value completely in sales in less than 8 years….that is pretty much the way it is done. Therefore, consider yourself a business and take the ames attitude. If they can prove to you that you will net out the cost against the cost of power at todays prices for power..and guaranty the output..warranty the equipment and service it for the first 7-8 years and you break even then JUMP ON IT..but make sure that it is all in writing and that you are being guaranteed the productivity that you are paying for. If not then the difference in value to you must be refunded.

    Hope this helps everyone look at this from a business perspective. Any time “marketing Gurus” get involved everything they touch turns brown…and you get screwed.

  • jreb57

    Having been a EE major way back when (when science was taught without the politics) I have been aware of this for some time. One of the selling points for solar is that the communication satellites use solar panels. What they don’t tell you is that is the only choice they have. Another thing left out is that 100% of the suns radiant energy is received by the panels in space as opposed to 60% (average) at earth’s surface. Then go price a broad spectrum solar panel like the ones used by satellites.Your money is better spent on energy efficient appliances and good insulation.

  • Barbara Johnson

    It is sad to see how people who have never used solar panels themselves try to convince all others that it is terrible. Moreover, they don’t seem to make any researches. Personally, I know lots of happy families, who enjoy the benefits of solar panels and they are confident that it is the best choice for their kids. Speaking about emissions, I talked to representatives of Solar Panels Company and they explained me the whole process. You, know factories that produce mobile telephones are hundred times more dangerous. So, should we refuse from the usage of cell phones?

  • Benjamin Fetrow

    This article could not be more wrong:

    1.
    We mainly do PPA (power purchase agreements) not a lease. You are just
    protecting your price for power

    2.
    You have the option to buyout the system any year after year 5 so you
    are not stuck in a 20 year deal

    3.
    We do NOT put a lien on the property like every other company does. We
    put a UC1 Fixture filing that just notes there is equipment on the property that
    is not owned by you but there is no debt on the system. This does not impact
    you with selling or moving

    4.
    We show multiple program so customers can pick the discount with 2.9%
    escalator (1/3 of a penny per year) or the higher flat rate pricing plan that
    never changes

    5.
    We won’t install on a roof if the roof is in bad shape and we make it clear
    that there is a $500 reroof fee if you needed to take the panels off and put
    them back on to get your roof done

    6.
    We have a $2 million dollar insurance policy on the roof, system and all
    belongings below the system in your home. There is NO increase in insurance
    premium with Solarcity. Other companies only insure the roof so you are required
    to buy extra insurance. The reason we are the largest and have a A rating with
    the BBB is because we focus on the customer, not a quick sale

    7.
    There is no maintenance since there are no moving parts, motors or oil.
    The system production with the panels we use will be at 90% at 20 years and 80%
    at 30 years.

    8.
    We have had 100% transfer rate with our systems since 2006. All of our
    customers sell faster (typically 30-60 days) and above asking price with our
    solar programs. The rate you locked in at is very attractive to anyone looking
    at homes in your area because you have the cheapest cost of living, your home
    has a “green” factor, roof is cooler by 10-15 degrees from blocking heat, and
    your roof will last longer by not taking the brunt of that weather damage

  • BG Davis

    I have been getting calls (even though I’m on the do-not-call-list) from some outfit with a recording telling me that I’ve “qualified” to get free solar. I’ve reported these calls (from 858-447-5651, according to caller ID) to the FCC, since the violate several regulations.
    The dumb thing about these calls is that we just installed solar panels, bought from a reputable outfit. With the tax rebate and net metering (San Diego) this will pay for itself in about 5 years at our current useage. Under CA law, for 20 years SDG&E must pay us the same price for our solar electricity that they charge us for electricity from their system.
    Bottom line: solar panels are a good deal in CA (although within a few months the utility companies will no longer be required to offer new solar conversions the same price deal that we are getting) if you get a reputable dealer and installer, and pay for it up front. And if you get a call from the number I’ve mentioned, don’t bite!

  • 18th street

    These solar installers need to stop the lies and deception. I recently tried dealing with one and quickly ended it because of the obvious lack of openness. They would NEVER give me the actual cost of the system and how much I would save.
    I want ALL GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES ENDED FOR SOLAR!
    If this is such a great thing, then it should easily be able to compete in the marketplace on its own. I don’t want my electric bill payments going to subsidize solar companies and their customers, most of whom are richer than the average person.

  • jreb57

    You will do better from a return on investment point of view to replace your incandescent lighting with LED lighting. LED lighting uses about one sixth the power per foot candle of incandescent lighting and the heat load on the air conditioner is reduced. An added benefit is that the LED lamps last longer.

  • Kristine Sheehan

    We recently “rented” our roof to solarpanel tenants with the promise of saving $ on electric each month… so far (although its been a sunny winter) UI has still charged us close to what we paid monthly before and as an additional cost I have a solar bill that is $50+ on top of that….so at this point I am hugely disappointed in the system and the promise of saving $ – where is the savings power in paying $15 MORE than I was paying originally for monthly electric… feeling like a stupid consumer…

  • Maricela Carson

    Does anyone have any idea how I can file a lawsuit against a solar panel company. I found out that they signed a lease under my sons name and mine for 25 years. I have been fighting with them for over a year and they have done nothing but ignore me until today when the CEO laughed at me and hung up after telling me that he was going to put a nozzle on me if I did not shut up. I am beyond frustrated and my son’s credit will be ruined. HELP!

  • Fried

    Nice post !! and informative too ! However the solar company will secure the contractual obligations of the customer by placing a lien or other encumbrance on the entire real property.

    Fried

  • william payne
  • mx xx

    Solar is a big rip off. The material and parts are sold by one company and then the person has to hire a separate licensed solar installer for a very high price. Half the cost of solar is the product and the other half the install.

    What they wont tell you is that it costs a lot of money to disconnect the solar if you need repair of the roof or the solar. Only a licensed solar contractor can disconnect and reconnect the system.

    My father in law got a new solar installed 6 years ago and it was put on a roof that needed repair first. Now he wants the roof repaired and has to hire a solar contractor for $2,000 before he can do roof repair.

  • leonard

    The sun produces an endless supply of energy. Why are we not using it? There are other ways besides the scammy leasing schemes described here. What about actually purchasing the panels?

  • Erica Torres

    How can I get help my parents just got scammed by a so called panel company and now there is a lien on their home

  • Dave Carson

    Yeah here’s another point not put into this discussion. They get you into a 1 year interest free same as cash loan to cover the 30% “government rebate” which you’re supposed to be able to cover when you get your government rebate.

    Problem is they don’t tell you that is a NON REFUNDABLE TAX CREDIT not a rebate. So if you have a 0 tax liability (i.e. you already get a refund) then it’s no good and you don’t get squat. Not only that but the interest free loan now becomes a ridiculously high interest rate and they charge back interest for the year they waited for their funds.

    Scam artists avoid them like the plague.

  • cnmngrl

    Thank you so much for writing this very informative article.

  • Rajeeyah Bilal-Varney

    It’s not just the companies that least. It is also the companies that sale you panels, payments for 20 yrs, added to your property tax. They lie about your savings, it does not even come close. Look at your payment schedule, If your panels are 40,000 dollars, over a 20 period with interest, you will have paid over 1000,000$. We have
    been bamboozled. I am looking to sue.

  • Randy Andreww

    I wish I had seen this before I got duped into the scam, I had panels installed, assured by the sales pitch of no cost instillation and no electric bill as well as the ability to remove the panels in the event I needed to replace the roof. I ended up paying $300 per month to the solar company and bills of 150 to 400 to the power company, my system burned out and failed to work for 5 months when the solar company insists it was 2 months. The company claims they will maintain the system but they don’t they also told me they would pay the electric bills incurred during the down time..they did not. It cost me 22,000 for install and 22,000 for the system. I paid it off at $44,600 and I am looking for an Attorney to file a civil suit. I was also told that the system would provide power during a daylight outage and it did not, I was also told that installation would increase the value of the house, I recently learned that bank appraiser do not consider solar systems as a value add…so I got swindled. Thanks