The world is getting hotter â€” a lot hotter. Record-breaking heat plagued Southwest Florida throughout October and November, increasing energy needs at a time when we strive to decrease our use of fossil fuels. Be it coal, petroleum or natural gas, the prevailing sources of energy production, they all accelerate the warming of our Earth. Solar energy is a possible antidote. It is clean, inexpensive and readily available in the Sunshine State.
The League of Women Voters of Lee and Collier counties have partnered with a nonprofit solar organization â€” Solar United Neighbors â€” to form a solar co-op people can join from January â€“ April 2020. This co-op harnesses the power of group purchasing and expertise to make the transition to solar power simple and affordable. SUN provides guidance of the process related to equipment for the home, installation, warranty and cost. The co-op is open to residents and small businesses of Collier and Lee counties. More detailed information may be found on the SUN website, www.solarunitedneighbors.org/florida/.
In addition to certain financial benefits of buying through a co-op, there is a 26% federal tax credit available for solar roofs installed in 2020. This tax credit decreases to 21% in 2021, and then expires. Installation of a $25,000 solar roof can result in a $6,500 tax credit. The 2020 co-op builds on the success of Collier Countyâ€™s 2019 solar co-op. According to SUN, those accomplishments include:
Â¦ 28 Collier County homes are now powered by solar
Â¦ 8 new solar jobs in Florida were created
Â¦ 1,173 kWh of electricity are produced daily
Â¦ That solar power saves gallons of water each day
Â¦ 1,210 pounds of carbon are avoided from the atmosphere each day
There will be free informative sessions in Fort Myers, Sanibel Island, Estero, Naples, Marco Island and an online webinar for those who canâ€™t make the evening sessions. The first session is from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb 4, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Greater Naples, 6340 Napa Woods Way. For information, visit coops.solarunitedneighbors.org/ coops/southwest-fl-solar-co-op/. Â¦