Category Archives: tax relief

Savings From Middletown Solar Project Questioned

By guest blogger Linda Baum

Anyone who attended the Middletown Town Committee meeting on June 20th got to see Birdsall Engineering’s presentation of its solar feasibility study. A pdf version of that presentation is now on the town’s website. The Birdsall representative, Jessica Vogel, repeatedly emphasized the 9 cent solar electric rate assumed in Birdsall’s savings analysis, and the Town Committee joined her in repeating the $6.6 million savings achieved over 15 years.

Interestingly, the analysis doesn’t list what assumptions were made in arriving at that savings figure (labeled “cost avoidance” in the study). To know what you’d save, you have to know what you’d otherwise pay, right? So Birdsall would have to have known what the town pays its supplier for the electricity.

I brought up this issue at the town workshop meeting on July 6th. I learned that currently the town pays around 11 cents per kilowatt hour. I played with the Birdsall numbers — they assume a utility rate of more than 17.5 cents, and rising. I asked about the other assumptions used in the study. Committeeman Settembrino said that the panels are expected to produce 0.5% less electricity each year, but the Birdsall numbers assume that production will drop by only 0.25% each year.

The effect of those inaccuracies is to make it appear that the town will achieve much bigger savings than they actually will. Per Birdsall, a 9 cent per kilowatt hour rate for solar electricity (escalating by 3% each year) will produce savings over 15 years of $6.6 million. Had they used accurate inputs, the savings figure would be closer to $1 million. But if the town is able to get a utility rate closer to the county’s current rate of around 9 or 9.5 cents, there will be no savings at all.

The Town Committee said that they hadn’t checked the numbers in the study and pointed out that Birdsall is a reputable firm. So who am I to question them, right?? They asked what I was getting at. They said, “If the savings are lower, should we not do this? Are you saying we shouldn’t provide tax relief to residents?”

Whoa!!! No, that is not what I’m saying at all. I’m all for solar. Always have been. But I’m also for truth and accuracy. If the assumptions underlying Birdsall’s analysis are inaccurate, then the study does a poor job of assessing feasibility. And wasn‘t that the point? Does that mean we shouldn’t pursue solar? No. It means we should be looking for a much better deal than 9 cents per kwh.

I have to wonder why no one on the Town Committee seemed more concerned that Birdsall’s numbers are wrong. If the town is using the study as a guide to assess offers from developers, then they will be ill-equipped to do so.

Leave a comment

Filed under Birdsall Service Group, cost analysis, kilowatt hour, Middletown Township Committee, solar energy, solar panels, solar project, tax relief, utility rates

>President Obama’s Weekly Address 10/30/10: Working Together on the Economy

>Ahead of the elections, the President says no matter what happens both parties must work together to boost the economy, and expresses concern about statements to the contrary from Republican Leaders.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/all/modules/swftools/shared/flash_media_player/player5x2.swf

Leave a comment

Filed under economic growth, economic recovery, election day, President Obama, tax credits, tax relief, weekly address

Status Of State Economies: Gov Corzine on Face the Nation

Bob Schieffer spoke with New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland about the economic situations in their respected states.

Some interesting New Jersey budget numbers thrown out by Bob Schieffer while questioning Gov. Corzine about the impact of the current economic crisis was as follows; Expected sales tax revenue $ 8.5 billion (a shortfall of $653 million), State income tax shortfall of $1.45 billion, with a total drop of budget revenues of $2.8 billion expected.

Gov. Corzine said that revenues have dropped off by 8%-9% and he expects to take the economic stimulus money when made available from the federal government. He mentioned that he would use the money to help education, healthcare and infrastructure throughout the State. The Governor also mentioned that by taking the stimulus money offered by the President Obama, 100,000 jobs will be created or saved throughtout New Jersey.

Interestingly, Indiana (R) Gov. Mitch Daniels said that he will also take the stimulus money being offered by the Obama administration to invest it for later uses.

2 Comments

Filed under Bob Schieffer, Economic Stimulus Package, Face the Nation, Gov. Mitch Daniels, Gov. Ted Strickland, Gov.Jon Corzine, Indiana, New Jersey, Ohio, tax relief

Status Of State Economies: Gov Corzine on Face the Nation

Bob Schieffer spoke with New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland about the economic situations in their respected states.

Some interesting New Jersey budget numbers thrown out by Bob Schieffer while questioning Gov. Corzine about the impact of the current economic crisis was as follows; Expected sales tax revenue $ 8.5 billion (a shortfall of $653 million), State income tax shortfall of $1.45 billion, with a total drop of budget revenues of $2.8 billion expected.

Gov. Corzine said that revenues have dropped off by 8%-9% and he expects to take the economic stimulus money when made available from the federal government. He mentioned that he would use the money to help education, healthcare and infrastructure throughout the State. The Governor also mentioned that by taking the stimulus money offered by the President Obama, 100,000 jobs will be created or saved throughtout New Jersey.

Interestingly, Indiana (R) Gov. Mitch Daniels said that he will also take the stimulus money being offered by the Obama administration to invest it for later uses.

2 Comments

Filed under Bob Schieffer, Economic Stimulus Package, Face the Nation, Gov. Mitch Daniels, Gov. Ted Strickland, Gov.Jon Corzine, Indiana, New Jersey, Ohio, tax relief

>Obama Calls For Middle Class Rescue Plan

>The Hill – Leading the News

President-elect Barack Obama on Saturday laid out his plan for dealing with the snowballing economic crisis, calling for a “rescue plan for the middle class” amid reports of the highest national unemployment rate in more than a decade.

The Illinois senator, in his party’s weekly radio address, noted that President Bush remains in office for two more months, but emphasized his intention to hit the ground running.

“First, we need a rescue plan for the middle class that invests in immediate efforts to create jobs and provides relief to families that are watching their paychecks shrink and their life savings disappear,” Obama said.
“Then, we’ll address the spreading impact of the financial crisis on other sectors of our economy, and ensure that the rescue plan that passed Congress is working to stabilize financial markets while protecting taxpayers, helping homeowners, and not unduly rewarding the management of financial firms that are receiving government assistance.”

The Labor Department on Friday released a report showing that the unemployment rate had shot up to 6.5 percent in October and that the economy shed 240,000 jobs last month.

Obama also called for renewed emphases on clean energy, healthcare, education and middle-class tax relief.

In his weekly radio address, Bush said his administration is also focused on a smooth transition and the continuing economic strife.

“Yesterday, we learned that America’s economy lost jobs in the month of October, and I will continue working hard to return our Nation to the path of prosperity and growth,” Bush said. “To help address the global financial crisis, my administration will host an historic international summit in Washington on November 15. We will also keep urging Congress to approve America’s free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama and South Korea.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Barack Obama, George Bush, Health Care, leading the news, Middle Class, President-Elect, Rescue Plan, tax relief, The Hill

Obama Calls For Middle Class Rescue Plan

The Hill – Leading the News

President-elect Barack Obama on Saturday laid out his plan for dealing with the snowballing economic crisis, calling for a “rescue plan for the middle class” amid reports of the highest national unemployment rate in more than a decade.

The Illinois senator, in his party’s weekly radio address, noted that President Bush remains in office for two more months, but emphasized his intention to hit the ground running.

“First, we need a rescue plan for the middle class that invests in immediate efforts to create jobs and provides relief to families that are watching their paychecks shrink and their life savings disappear,” Obama said.
“Then, we’ll address the spreading impact of the financial crisis on other sectors of our economy, and ensure that the rescue plan that passed Congress is working to stabilize financial markets while protecting taxpayers, helping homeowners, and not unduly rewarding the management of financial firms that are receiving government assistance.”

The Labor Department on Friday released a report showing that the unemployment rate had shot up to 6.5 percent in October and that the economy shed 240,000 jobs last month.

Obama also called for renewed emphases on clean energy, healthcare, education and middle-class tax relief.

In his weekly radio address, Bush said his administration is also focused on a smooth transition and the continuing economic strife.

“Yesterday, we learned that America’s economy lost jobs in the month of October, and I will continue working hard to return our Nation to the path of prosperity and growth,” Bush said. “To help address the global financial crisis, my administration will host an historic international summit in Washington on November 15. We will also keep urging Congress to approve America’s free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama and South Korea.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Barack Obama, George Bush, Health Care, leading the news, Middle Class, President-Elect, Rescue Plan, tax relief, The Hill