LETTERS 9-9-21

The Economics of Solar Energy 

The price for installing a photovoltaic (PV) solar system on your home has come down a lot over the past 10+ years.  This is largely because the cost of solar panels has come down considerably. When I purchased a 10 kilowatt solar PV system fourteen years ago it cost over $75,000, installed.  But at that time there were significant utility rebates and a small Federal tax credit that made the final cost closer to $30,000. Today, you can purchase the same system for around $15,000 to $20,000 and get a 26 percent Federal tax credit. So today’s cost is around $10,000 to $15,000 for what cost me $30,000 in 2007, or around half of what I paid. On my home the 10 kilowatt solar PV system produces about 15,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year.  In many cases that is enough power to supply a larger home with its annual electricity needs. My cost for electricity is around $0.13 per kilowatt hour today.  So, my solar PV system saves me around $2000 per year in electricity costs.  I should note that this is a solar system that has been operating for over a decade and efficiency declines over time, about 0.5 percent per year.  

Assuming you pay $15000 to install a 10 kilowatt PV solar system on your roof, based on my experience you can save around $2000 per year on your electrical bill and the system will pay off in 7.5 years just doing simple math (no cost of money consideration). On average the payback period across the USA ranges from 5 to 10 years, and my source indicated an average of 9 years in Colorado.  My payback calculation does not account for increases in electricity rates, which were around $0.08 per kilowatt hour in 2007 and today are around $0.13, or a 62 percent increase over 14 years (average of 4 percent per year).  Of course the system won’t last forever and estimates are a useful life of 25 to 30 years.

So with a solar PV system you can reduce your energy bills, produce free energy for your home in less than a decade, lessen the impact of future increases in electricity rates, increase your home value and help save the planet.   So, besides the important benefits to our planet of using renewable energy, a home solar PV system often provides meaningful economic benefits to the home owner.  Check it out. 

Bob Doyle
Greenwood Village


No such thing as non-partisan

First, let me state that I live in Aurora, and unfortunately, I am represented by Rep. Jason Crow. That being said, the 6th District  has been trending blue for quite some time, so since I reside here,  I live with it.. I am a partisan, and have a political interest, but no vote in any of the  Districts mentioned in this letter.

The fact that the Denver Post continues to use the words Non-Partisan Commission on redistricting is absolutely ridiculous. There is no such thing as non-partisan, everyone is partisan, and just because you change your registration to Unaffiliated, and like to say Independent, it is farcical.  The criterias for redistricting set forth by The Constitution and Federal Statute says;

Besides the universal principles, legislative map- makers often have additional criteria to meet, as established in the constitution, by statute or as adopted by chambers or committees. Courts have identified six “traditional districting principles” that are common to many states. These include two that are based on geography:

  • Compactness (a measure of a district’s geometric shape)
  • Contiguity (all parts of the district must be connected)
  • The other traditional districting principles are:
  • Adhering to pre-existing political subdivisions (such as city and county lines)
  • Preserving communities of interest (such as neighborhoods or regions where the residents have common political interests)
  • Preserving the cores of prior districts (to provide continuity of representation)
  • Protecting incumbents (by avoiding contests between incumbents that could result if a new district included residences of two or more sitting  representatives).

It is clear by the new map just released that the “Non Partisan Commission” is in violation of 2 & 4 above, Communities of Interest, and Protecting Incumbents.  

How and what are the similar interests of the Western Slope, Boulder and Larimer Counties. (common political interests). It is clear that the underlying objective in violation of #4 is to protect Rep. Joe Neguse, 2nd District.  

The other District in question would be the one with Pueblo, Grand Junction, and Durango, which I would like to have the Commission explain both their Communities of Interest and Common Political Interest?  

Faith and trust in our government, and its numerous agencies is at its lowest ebb in generations.  These types of shenanigans will do nothing to alleviate the negativity and divisiveness, and actually bolster it.

Myron Spanier
Aurora