Solar is freedom


To the Editor:

I believe there is an error in a news brief published Jan. 22 (“How Boston area pricing compares with the Island”) that compared Boston pricing with Island pricing. It reported, “On the Vineyard the [electricity] rate for Cape Light Compact customers is 15.371 per kWh.”  That is only the supply portion of our bill. NSTAR’s delivery charges add significantly. The total cost for Island electricity is $0.23 to $0.265 per kWh, nearly double the national average.

We now pay more than at any time in our history — about 30 percent more than we paid just a month ago. In a story published Jan 15, “Hike in Martha’s Vineyard utility bills give customers a shock,” Steve Myrick reported, “State regulators are no longer mostly responsible for setting the price [of electricity] and choosing a supplier. That responsibility now falls on the consumer, and it can be an extremely complicated decision.”

About the price, he reported, “No one can predict with certainty the market conditions that will determine that price.”

What has been missing from these discussions is how simple it is to free ourselves from these market fluctuations (which mostly fluctuate up!).

But clearly some are aware. Since these rate hikes were announced, South Mountain Co. has been flooded with calls from homeowners and businesses interested in solar electric systems.

Usually people install solar to save money and/or satisfy environmental concerns. But another compelling reason, less widely understood, is risk avoidance. Installing a solar electric system large enough to satisfy current and future electrical needs allows each of us to hop off the treadmill by guaranteeing costs for the next quarter-century or more. We no longer need to make this complicated decision. We are no longer subject to market fluctuations.

We’re lucky to have this option.

John Abrams

West Tisbury

President, South Mountain Co.