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for November 2, 2005

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Do The Right Thing
by Stiffy Biceptz

Folks, itís been a gas writing this column for the last couple of years. Iíve had lots of fun skewering the music industry, bad bands and bad radio. True to my word, Iíve kept every article musically directed, even if the articles sometime tread dangerously on political or economic subjects.
But today I will cash in my voucher and write about a non-musical subject. The saving grace is that it is an Alternative theme, so actually Iím gonna take that voucher back now. (Sean let go of it...Sean, címon now give it back...)
Letís talk about power. As in energy, as in the stuff that we as Americans use a bag load of everyday. You are all now aware of the precarious state our nation and the world are in with regards to energy supply. The short story is that world energy demand is close to growing faster than energy production, whether it be oil for gasoline or electricity. And with India and China, the two largest nations on earth by population, now fully engaged in becoming world industrial powers, and China moving towards Western levels of personal consumption, the tightness of the energy markets is likely here to stay.
On top of all that of course is the environmental impact of the worldís increased consumption of fossil fuels. The world cannot handle another century of carbon based fuel consumption to the degree we experienced in the 20th century for reasons Iím confident everyone reading this understands. If not you are a moron.
So youíre wondering now, whatís Stiffy trying to say? Yes, I frequently say that to myself at about this point in an article and basically just fake the final paragraph or two. But not this time.
And with that, IĎd like to proudly announce to the Alternative world that the Biceptz family has gone solar. We have recently installed on our barn 39 solar panels that crank out at peak nearly 7 kilowatts of power. Bottom lineóover a year we will produce about 10% more power than we consume annually. And since we are grid tied, the remainder goes into the system to be wasted, uh, used by you.
The advantages of being solar powered are significant, from both a financial and moral standpoint. First, we will now have no electric bill, a savings of $1200 a year. Second, we just increased our property value by $55k, but only paid $17K for it. Thatís an instant 300% return on our investment. Third, we will reduce our annual CO2 emissions by about 2 tons, the amount we would have contributed using coal produced electricity. CO2 is the main contributor to human produced global warming.
And now the icing on the cake. Are you sitting down? Good. Are you ready? Ok. By law, the utility company MUST BUY all the green electricity we produce, even when we consume it ourselves!! That will amount to about 8 megawatt hours of power for a grand total of about $1600 a year! Thatís right, we get paid to produce and consume our own green electricity. Sounds too good to be true? Sorry, itís all legit. On top of all these benefits I realized that if I were still single, this system would be my surefire means of scoring with an endless supply of left-of-center babes, that is if I werenít Stiffy Biceptz, who needed no help in that department back in the day. Mrs. Biceptz however has made it clear that I would be wise to leave this benefit uncollected...
Of course the fact that all of you paid me $38,000 to install this system was a big factor. Whatís that you say? How did we pay you $38K? Look on you next electric bill. On top there is a service charge of a couple of bucks. Those monies go to pay me and other trend setters who are willing to put up the first 30%. Without this incentive, few could afford to install a system. Thank you very much, and thanks to the State of New Jersey for being the most progressive state in the nation with regards to promoting green energy production! We freakiní RULE!
So it is time for all of the rest of you stop talking, stop whining, stop complaining and stop wasting. Being Alternative is not just about liking cool music or living an 'alternative lifestyle', its about thinking and acting smarter and wiser, independent of the herd. Whether you can afford a solar system on your roof or a hybrid car(or at least one that gets good mileage)in your driveway is something all of you must figure out. At the minimum, replace all your old light bulbs with the compact fluorescents, thereís no excuse for not doing that. The future we produce for our kids and ourselves starts now. If you give a damn about your nation and the world and humanity its time to do your part. Two thousand Americans have died in Iraq, and they were there to some degree because of our nationís policy of being reliant on a lot of imported energy. Honor their deaths by helping your nation be a bit more energy independent.
Things change in this nation when the consumer decides to make the change. No laws or lectures by politicos are going to make much difference until all of you get off your asses and make the decisions. And if you have to be prompted by laws or crises, then you ainít alternative.
Any of you who live in New Jersey can have a solar system installed on you roof with the state paying 70% of the total costs. Thatís right, 70%. The system we installed cost 55,000 bucks, but we paid a little over $17,000. You win from every perspective.
For information about installing a solar system and the ďtoo good to be trueĒ benefits, contact Advanced Solar Products. The website is, and the phone is 609-731-1990. Tell them Frank Gibson sent you, and if you get a system installed heíll send a kick back to me. If you are generally curious and want to talk to Stiffy about our system, write me via the Feedback page. I can answer all your questions.
Iíd also like some single guy to install a system and test my hypothesis about the lefty babes, since I am prohibited from doing this experiment myself. Come to think of it, right leaning babes would probably get pretty hot over that instant 300% ROI...


©2005 Stiffy Biceptz

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.


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