Find out why solar panels are a must

The federal government’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy touts solar and other renewable energy sources as the way of the future.

With incentives beneficial for both the wallet and the environment, solar panels are popping up on rooftops across the country. Allocations in the 2009 stimulus bill allow the federal government to offer homeowners a 30 percent tax break off the cost of solar installation until 2016. Add in tax incentives at the state level, plus rebates from power companies, and solar panels can pay for themselves in as few as seven years. As if that wasn’t motivation enough, there’s the bonus of reducing fossil fuel usage. Mass consumption of fossil fuels has created a dependence for supply from oil-producing foreign countries, and the burning of these fuels are the suspected cause for such environmental problems as air pollution and climate change.

As savings from solar energy become more enticing, power companies in the U.S. are ramping up efforts to make it accessible. Last year, Western Massachusetts Electric Company completed the Silver Lake Solar Project, the largest solar energy facility in New England, which powers 300 homes. Utah used $3 million of stimulus funds to purchase solar panels for every school district in the state.

In Rocky Point, N.Y., homeowner Howard Robinson has had solar panels for four years, generating about seven kilowatts of power per year, about his yearly usage. While he was able to reap tax benefits plus rebates from the Long Island Power Authority, Robinson had a vision bigger than dollar signs. “It seems to me that here in the Northeast, we can greatly reduce the carbon dioxide released from our domestic oil burners by using solar,” he says. 


Train selfie star who got kicked in the…

  A 22-year-old Canadian man who posted a video of himself getting kicked in the head by a train conductor is set to cash in…


Call of Duty hoaxer blamed for $100K SWAT…

A heavilly-armed SWAT team and an army of police officers stormed a Long Island home fearing a grisly double homicide – only to find it…


Minnie Driver tweets naked celebrity snap to 'shut…

Actress Minnie Driver has responded to bitchy critics who sniped about her bikini body by Tweeting a naked picture of herself. The 44-year-old star of…


American middle classes no longer world's richest (guess…

America's middle classes are no longer the richest in the world – having been overtaken in the wealth stakes by their Canadian counterparts. For almost…

The Word

Lupita Nyong'o is People's Most Beautiful

Congratulations to Lupita Nyong'o, officially the most beautiful human on the face of planet Earth (2014 season).


John Turturro tags in for Robert De Niro…

The cast of the courtroom drama miniseries has undergone yet another shift. Following Robert De Niro's exit, the cable network has brought in John Turturro…


"The Shape She Makes", an "extraordinary treat" at…

“The Shape She Makes” is a fascinating melding of theater and dance in a narrative that exposes human vulnerability in its purest form. Initially, the…


TV watch list, Tuesday, April 22: 'Glee,' 'Agents…

'Glee' Rachel makes her Broadway debut in "Funny Girl." Remember when she was just a high school drama nerd? FOX, 8PM 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'…


MLB video highlights: Yankees rout Red Sox, 9-3

Jon Lester allows eight runs in 4 2/3 innings taking loss


MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers,…

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers, Cardinals, Yankees surge. The A's, Braves, Rangers, Giants and Rockies are also in the top 10.


American runners stand tallest in 2014 Boston Marathon

American runners stand tallest in 2014 Boston Marathon


2014 Boston Marathon results: American Meb Keflezighi wins…

2014 Boston Marathon results: American Meb Keflezighi wins men's race


Why you need a facial

What can a facial do for your face that a washcloth and soap can’t?


How to burn off all that Easter candy

Sorry to be a buzzkill, but you can't eat chocolate eggs and Jelly Bellys forever.


Powdered alcohol: 5 things to know about 'Palcohol'

What's the deal with powdered alcohol? Here's what you need to know about Palcohol.


Travel hacks: 6 tips on living out of…

Lynne Martin shares her travel hacks on living out of just two suitcases.