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From Our Friends in Johnson Valley: Solar Seminar June 18

By   /   June 17, 2014  /   Comments Off

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Talking about installing a solar system for the Community Center and the Fire Station has been going on for years. The discussion is becoming even more timely as the costs of electric power climb and the costs of solar go down.The invitation to several solar companies for a meeting tomorrow afternoon is to educate us and help us make informed choices. This involves not just the JVIA Board, but the membership at large. There will be time for Q&A. Please attend if you can!

Solar at the Hall
Wednesday-June 18, 2014
1:00 pm
Panel Discussion 

Invited are:
David Bardos of Infinity Solar
Andrew Tuffley of AeroSun Electric
John Wilson of Ambassador Energy
Whether a solar system is feasible; how the Association would pay for it; what is involved and how long it would take…all these issues and others have to be researched. A major benefit seems to be the freezing of our monthly energy costs as utility rates continue to climb. Another benefit may be the potential for a solar emergency backup system in the future to support the hall when the power goes out. Worth thinking about.

The County’s recently enacted HERO lending program makes it possible to borrow money for energy upgrades based on the value of the property, and pay it back on the property tax bill. We need help with getting a market valuation. The assessed valuation of the land goes back to the 70’s, and only upgrades such as the well and the kitchen remodel were assessed at values current when they were completed.

Our membership spans a lot of differing fields of expertise. This is a big undertaking for the Association, any information or advice will be welcome. Don’t hesitate. Even if you are not a voting member, any help will be welcome.

Some numbers to think about:


SC Edison bills the Community Center at commercial rates:

In Fiscal Year 2009-10 the monthly average was $211.
In 2013-14 it was $249.
Granted, late in 2011 we were required to plug in a commercial water heater and a freezer, but they were the latest in energy efficiency, maybe even pulling less power than our antique equipment.
The Fire Dept pays the electric bill for the firehouse, which currently gets little use but is gradually being upgraded. The Fire Dept leases it from JVIA for $1 per year, and pays half of the property tax bill.
Another cost is propane heating of the Community Center. It might be worthwhile to raise money in the future to replace it with an electric system if we have solar power. Propane costs from 2009-2014 were $10.593; an average of $2,118 annually, $176 per month.
This is our first discussion but I’m sure it won’t be the last. Please try to be here.
Betty Munson

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