Thursday, April 26, 2007

It's Not Easy Being Green

It ought to be easier. So far, we've tried unsuccessfully to explore wind, solar, and geothermal alternatives to the four-tank oil-burning system we currently have. We've had lots of people out to the house to draw plans and crunch numbers. One local geothermal place has bilked us of $500 by firing the guy who did our plans, losing our paperwork, and then refusing to take our calls. (This is actually the second company to lose our paperwork, giving new meaning to the ecologically-friendly "paperless office.") Next step, civil court.

Local, state, and federal ordinances do not provide meaningful incentives for individual homeowners to avoid fossil fuels. The default is always "no," and the minimal give-backs mean that it can take 15 to 25 years to break even or start to see a savings after putting in a system.

Meanwhile, I am told to reduce my carbon footprint by buying $9 cloth bags for my groceries at participating Wegmans stores. What a load of methane.

LATER: Paul points out that a key issue is the lack of reputable installers in Ithaca, that so-called "green city."

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