a growing interest in solar energy
At Harry kubez and Gary Burton\'s home in North Harbor, solar panels are ideal for converting light into electricity.
\"Today is the peak day of electricity . \"
Burton looked up at a roof with 80 solar panels and said.
\"We may be producing enough electricity to meet our needs for the day.
\"In fact, according to the digital meter on the side of the House, the panels are more charged than the house needs.
A small black arrow points to the left, indicating that excess power is being sent back to the Long Island Power Authority.
North Harbor House is one of 67 stops on Long Island solar tour.
Free tours launched by alternative energy advocacy group renewable energy Long Island are self-help
Guide, homes and businesses covering solar systems in Nassau and Suffolk counties.
The reduction in the price of solar equipment, the improvement in efficiency, and tax and rebate incentives for government and utilities have led more islanders to want to use solar energy to reduce their energy costs.
Demand for these systems has \"skyrocketed\" over the past year, says Jonathan Lane, who owns Quad State Solar, who has installed the system for him. Kubetz and Mr. Burton.
\"In the past three months, the number of inquiries and sales has increased significantly,\" he said . \".
Lower rebates offered by the power authorities are another sign of falling prices and increased demand. Mr. Kubetz and Mr.
Burton\'s 10 KW system earns $5 per watt-or $50,000.
Their system installation cost $81,000.
Among them, after a tax refund and a national tax credit of $27,250, they had a total of $3,750 in their pockets, and the ceiling would rise to $5,000 in September 2006.
The solar system costs 30% and the federal tax credit for housing up to $2,000 will also apply after January. 1.
But today, with 560 households and businesses on Long Island using solar power, Lippa rebates have fallen to $4 per watt, and utilities are expected to reduce further to $3. 75 in mid-
Daniel Zaweski, director of energy efficiency and distributed power generation projects at the Power Authority, said that by the end of 2006, if the price of solar systems continues to fall.
According to Gordian Raacke, Long Island\'s director of renewable energy, the average purchase and installation cost of 5 KW residential solar systems is nearly $40,000.
Homeowners will pay about $15,000 after a $20,000 Lippa rebate and a state and federal tax credit.
According to Sharon Laudisi of Long Island Electric Power Authority, such a system can reduce the electricity bill by 20 to 100%, depending on the number and duration of solar panels exposed to sunlight and the electricity usage of the family.
The solar system, also known as \"photovoltaic\", short for photovoltaic cells, converts sunlight into electricity without burning, creating electricity without pollution.
There is also a solar system for heating water and swimming pools.
Solar panels do not store energy, and they will only supply power if the sun shines.
Since most homes have solar systems connected to the LIPA grid, they take back their energy from the authority at night or on cloudy days, using the points earned when powering during the day. Mr. Kubetz and Mr.
Burton offers drinks to a steady stream of visitors who come to inquire about their system and check a panel on the terrace for display, A dog at the Domenica Tantillo home with four state Solar
A couple, Larry and Kathy Moran, already have electric lights and electric stoves at home.
\"We are now renovating the house . \"Moran said.
Now may be a good time to install a solar system.
Some visitors to the solar project in Westbury, Michael and Regina Deere
Powered home lamented the rising utility bills.
Long Island has the highest cost of electricity in the country.
\"The cost of energy is too high, and now there is a LIPA surcharge,\" says Albertson\'s Peter desitis . \" He is referring to the last 5.
The Electric Power Authority announced an additional 5% surcharge to cover higher fuel costs.
\"We have natural gas heating, and this number will grow by 70% this year. \"His father-in-
John Webb, a licensed electrician, accompanied him to visit the installation of Diles.
\"We are looking for solar hot water heating and photovoltaic power generation to minimum limit to rely on in purchasing power and natural gas . \"
From the number of electricians visiting Deere\'s house, solar energy-
Power generation of take off.
\"I want to install of people\" verrelli months Electrical of flower garden he said he Main is residential.
\"People always ask I \'You on solar have what know? \'\"\'Mr.
Verrelli want to into enterprise as soon as possible.
\"It will be more efficient and it will be cheaper,\" he said . \".
He visited Westbury\'s home.
Deere was an electrician who installed the solar system itself.
His utility bill is zero.
Deere said he even may in this year the end from power institutions there get a check. Mr.
Long Island renewable energy company Raacke wants to increase solar production
Electric homes in Long Island grow at a rate of 700 per yearend.
The organization\'s website, Long Island, renewable energy.
Org has a cost calculator and a list of contractors with licenses and insurance.
But not everyone who wants the solar system can benefit from it.
Since the panels need sunlight to generate electricity, they don\'t help the family much if they are in the shade.
William Zage stopped by the House in North Harbor to have a look.
He has been thinking about installing solar systems at his Dix Hills home.
\"I have a swimming pool. I like to live in luxury . \"
Zajic is a computer modeler for hedge fund traders, \"but I care about the environment as much as everyone else.
\"The biggest obstacle in his family is the aesthetic barrier: his wife doesn\'t like what they look like,\" he said.
To make matters worse, the only part of his roof that was not covered by trees was facing the street, he said.
The spacing of the roof is less than the best 35 to 40 degrees, so his panel needs a frame to lift them up from the roof to make them stand out more.
There are some options, madam.
Tantillo told him to include panels that look like slate roof tiles.
They are 30% more efficient than standard panels, but are more expensive to install.
But when it comes to trees, \"shade is the killer of PV \". Lane said. Mr. Kubetz and Mr.
Burton likes the modern look that the stylish reflective solar panels add to the back of the suburban ranch.
In addition to saving about $2,000 a year on utilities, there is a question of conscience.
\"I can personally afford to pay a bigger bill . \"
But I think Americans consume too much energy.