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Old 04-09-2009, 01:00 PM   #61
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Show me where a federal credit or deduction program brought about a clear and measurable reduction in energy use at a national level.
This can't be done until everyone (or nearly so) changes/updates/replaces.

Now, if you look at individuals, they're saving money and fuel. Numbers don't lie.
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:10 PM   #62
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A friend spent all of last year building his dream home; complete with geothermal heat and solar panels. Late in the year he caught wind of the coming tax credits ... sooo he told his geothermal and solar contractors not to bill him until 2009.
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He may want to check on that with his tax person, if he has one, very quickly. I was looking into just that as I installed some solar panels last year. What I have been told (from multiple sources) is that the billing date doesn't matter, it is the date the system is started.
Yup. Hopefully he didn't do more than "test" it in 2008. Or he could operate part of it in 2008 (for one year's batch of tax credits) and put another part of it in operation in 2009 (for another year's batch of tax deductions).

But it's like arguing about tax-loss swap selling or wash sales. Enforcement is nearly negligible. I doubt the IRS goes looking for this, and even if they did a random audit they might not check it.

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I wonder how much of the price increase is driven by the increased tax credit?
Good question. In 2006, Germany & Japan enacted huge subsidies on their citizen's home power systems. Worldwide demand for PV panels spiked so quickly that retail prices doubled. The stocks of many solar manufacturers tripled, for a limited time.

So it'd be hard to tease out the price vs the credit, and I'm not sure that there is any effect. Hawaii has enough solar water installers that if one or two of them tried to sneak in a price hike, the rest would immediately undercut them. All of the profits are in the speed & simplicity of installation-- special training for the crews, pre-assembled components, custom tools, and pre-approved construction permits.

The technology isn't so difficult to commoditize, whether it's photovoltaic or soldered copper. The biggest challenge is the raw materials like polysilicon.
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:21 PM   #63
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ERD I agree with you, the energy/gas tax would work best.
However, I am also pro credit, simply because while it doesn't work as well as a general power tax would, it is better than nothing.
While I don't have numbers, I recently saw a show about a Texas energy utility that claimed wonderful results with their efficiency rebates. They mentioned that the use of these rebates has actually allowed them to not build an additional coal plant that would have raised rates (and resulted in all the other damage caused by said plant).
So my position is:
Both work.
A general energy tax works best IF IT IS IMPLIMENTED.
A general energy tax currently won't be implimented because of short sighted politicians and public.
Thus get the option we can.
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:24 PM   #64
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But it's like arguing about tax-loss swap selling or wash sales. Enforcement is nearly negligible. I doubt the IRS goes looking for this, and even if they did a random audit they might not check it.
Agreed, the odds aren't high. But neither are the odds of losing at russian roulette on a single pull. I just don't feel it prudent to take the chance
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Old 04-09-2009, 03:32 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
True, but overall the numbers do not lie.

Gasoline consumption went down.

Isn't that what people are asking for?

-ERD50
No, people want decreased fuel consumption, cheaper gas, and bigger cars. Without costing anyone anything extra.

And people want fairies to be real.
Yes, that does seem to be true of many. I was referring to the people on *this* thread who were asking for energy consumption to go down.



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This can't be done until everyone (or nearly so) changes/updates/replaces.

Now, if you look at individuals, they're saving money and fuel. Numbers don't lie.
You keep making my points for me

When gas went to $4, enough people made changes to reduce consumption almost immediately. Because there are thousands of ways to conserve, not just the govt "blessed" ones.

Of course $4 as a sudden spike was painful. That's why I'm in favor of gradual, publicized, increases (again, *if* we are to do anything at all) to give people time to react.

-ERD50
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Old 04-09-2009, 03:58 PM   #66
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Yes, that does seem to be true of many. I was referring to the people on *this* thread who were asking for energy consumption to go down.
Hey, I'm in 100% agreement with your position on this. People in general don't _REALLY_ care about energy conservation for the most part. Sure, some folks in the general public and perhaps many on this board do actually take steps to conserve energy and other natural resources. But most people don't really care. They may say they care. They may even go buy a hybrid SUV and eat organic. They may even install PV arrays and solar water heaters on their 4000 sf mcmansions. But most people won't really care unless it hits them in the pocketbook.

People in general care about avoiding huge expenses like $4 gas and $0.30 kWh electricity or high nat gas rates. People don't know how to "behave properly" (according to the government definition: conserve energy) unless it hits them in the pocketbook. Tax credits for installing more energy efficient equipment and fixtures doesn't increase the marginal cost of energy such that it will encourage conservation. It may just slightly reduce the energy consumed to perform a specific task. Or it may not. Maybe the owner of that new high efficiency furnace/ac will keep it a degree or two warmer/colder since they are saving so much on energy costs.
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