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. 


Mayor reveals new tech hub Digital.NYC

Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed Digital.NYC on Wednesday, a new online platform aimed at connecting all things tech in New York City. The public-private partnership…


Falling debris hits two men in Times Square

Two men were taken to the hospital Wednesday morning after being hit by falling debris from 110 feet above Times Square. Nancy Greco from the…


Queens Assemblyman William Scarborough accused of misusing campaign…

Queens Assemblyman William Scarborough has been indicted on state and federal charges for allegedly withdrawing campaign funds as cash for personal use. Scarborough, a Democrat…


U.S. Secret Service director Pierson resigns under fire

U.S. Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned under fire on Wednesday after a series of security lapses came to light.


TV watch list, Wednesday, Oct. 1: 'Criminal Minds,'…

The "Criminal Minds" team adds some supernatural assistance, as the "Ghost Whisperer" herself, Jennifer Love Hewitt, joins the show. She's playing an FBI agent, but you never know when someone…


See the most popular Pandora station in your…

Who knew Bachata music was so popular?

The Word

The Word: Twilight just won't die

You thought our "Twilight" days were behind us, didn't you? Well think again. Series creator Stephenie Meyer (who would rather you not ask about "Twilight"…

Going Out

Which NYC restaurant lost its three-star Michelin rating?

A record 73 restaurants in New York City collected coveted Michelin stars on Tuesday as a mix of trendy spots and fine-dining stalwarts underscored the…


Rex Ryan fields more questions about Geno Smith,…

The idea Geno Smith will be replaced by backup Michael Vick appears to be all smoke, as the Jets are intent to ride with their second-round draft pick.


Will Beatty playing like franchise left tackle again…

Left tackle Will Beatty, who is the elder-statesman of Giants’ line, has turned around his season and become a consistent force on Manning’s blindside.


John Conner back with Jets for second stint

He'll be back. It's "Terminator 2" for the Jets, who brought back John Conner to the team on Tuesday after placing fullback Tommy Bohanon on…


Fantasy football: Ben Tate to break out, Larry…

Fantasy football: Ben Tate to break out, Larry Donnell will stay solid


Creating a support system for minority women in…

When Kathryn Finney founded digitalundivided — an organization devoted to engaging minority communities with the tech world — she didn’t know quite what to expect.…


We can learn a lot from animals about…

There’s a lot we can learn about love from the birds and the bees — and the chickens, monkeys and squirrels that we share the…


Saint Laurent

Our review of the Saint Laurent Spring '15 show at Paris Fashion Week.


Céline: Paris Fashion Week Spring 2015

Our review of the Celine Spring '15 show during Paris Fashion Week.