Last month, South Miami city commissioners passed an alternative energy legislation 4-1, requiring solar panels be installed in new homes and to certain renovation projects. The ordinance, going into effect September 18th, would be following in the footsteps of San Francisco and two other cities in California that have adopted similar laws.

The Struggle with Solar

Some homeowners oppose the initial cost that would accompany the move towards a more environmentally conscious solution for our homes. The complete installation of solar panels is approximately $25,000. However, this introductory price is offset once tax incentives, credits, and rebates the homeowner may qualify for have been applied.

Others against the measure posit they are not outright opposed to solar, but rather in support of “freedom of choice,” seeing the mandate as a directive that impose upon the rights of the citizens. Meanwhile, many view it as another addition to the building code, setting a higher standard for the progress of their city.

Here Comes the Sun

While some disagree with it, the legislation has garnered passionate support throughout the city and neighboring municipalities who foresee the statute being introduced in their area in the near future. South Miami’s adoption of this law would make it Florida’s first city to take significant steps towards environmental conservation through the use of renewable energy.

Given that a large percentage of electricity produced in the United States is generated by the burning of fossil fuels, there are large quantities of carbon continually polluting our air. The use of solar panels has been posited as a method of reducing carbon emissions, thus combating global warming and rising sea levels, explained Dr. Philip Stoddard, South Miami mayor and biology professor.

Possibly even more attractive to South Miami’s residents is the promise of decreased electricity costs. Once installed, the solar panels obtain their energy from the sun, require little to no maintenance, and dramatically diminish utility expenses. Additionally, some have suggested that installing solar panels makes a positive impact in the value of the house, deeming it a more enticing offer on the real estate market.

This legislation and others similar to it will remain open to discussion like other innovative technologies that have come before it. Still, others are zealous advocates of the measure, considering its immediate cons to be outweighed by a generally positive outcome on all fronts. Ultimately, there are both long and short term benefits the law will afford all parties.

Acoustic Architects is all about a smooth progression into the future, and very excited about this news.

We fully encourage the transition towards more environmentally conscious, energy efficient, and cost effective solutions like solar panels, and welcome any inquiries you may have regarding their installation in your home and their seamless integration to your lifestyle.