Archive for February, 2008

 Compounding the Costs

I’ve been writing about the mismanagement of the Hurrican Katrina disaster for over two years now. First, that FEMA had no right to provide trailers to disaster victims, and then the staggering levels of fraud that they have allowed to go on. Now we are being told that FEMA has downright lied to us.

According to the story, FEMA “ignored, hid and manipulated government research on the potential impact of long-term exposure to formaldehyde” on Katrina and Rita victims now living in FEMA trailers. So if the waste and mismanagement hasn’t been enough of a financial burden on the American people, we will now get to pay legal settlements to all of the formaldehyde victims who will undoubtedly sue the government for damages.

Looks like FEMA should have listened to me in the first place and stayed out of the trailer business.

 Net Metering in Missouri

I sent an email to AmerenUE asking for more information about net metering, because I couldn’t find anything on their web site. I also asked about the procedure for installing a residential alternative energy source. I was pleased to receive a prompt response from a Lisa Cosgrove who said:

Thank you for your inquiry regarding setting up a solar system. Attached is the current Net Metering Tariff with buyback rates and interconnection requirements. Based on this tariff, you would receive approximately the retail rate for energy that you supply back to the Ameren system. Please note there is a $121 or $148 (depending on your service type) charge to change out your meter to a bi-directional meter and there may be additional charges related to any Ameren system upgrades required to accommodate the addition of your generation. (Although, typically we’ve found that other upgrades are not normally necessary.)

I’ve also included a website below that might help in locating a few solar developers to get you started in your research process. Please note that Ameren can not advise or recommend any particular solar developer.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions.

I think 2008 is finally the year to pull the trigger on a grid-tied photovoltaic system. Since Missouri’s net metering law went into effect January 1, and the IRS’s tax credit for solar energy systems expires December 31. Stay tuned for updates…

 Snow Day

For the first time in my almost twelve years at Boeing, we were given the day off due to the snowstorm that pummeled St. Louis yesterday evening. By comparison to the snowfall I remember as a kid, this storm wasn’t that bad. But it’s the most snow I’ve seen at one time in recent memory. Noah helped me shovel a path on the driveway. I think he’s still trying to understand what snow is exactly, but he appears to like playing in it.