By policy design, consumers are supposed to save money when they invest in solar energy. This paper presents a case study of what happens when a church goes solar and the finances go wrong. Following the installation of solar-photovoltaic panels, the Arizona church—in the Valley of the Sun, among the sunniest places in the country—decreased its energy consumption, but its electric bills went up. Through oral-history interviews of key stakeholders, the author investigates what happened, and what could be done to prevent other religious institutions and nonprofits from experiencing the church’s fate.
Solar Sacrifice: How an Arizona Church Lost Money by Going Solar—and Solutions for When Energy Incentives Fail to Serve the Needs of Nonprofits
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David Krantz; Solar Sacrifice: How an Arizona Church Lost Money by Going Solar—and Solutions for When Energy Incentives Fail to Serve the Needs of Nonprofits. Case Studies in the Environment 31 December 2018; 2 (1): 1–8. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/cse.2017.000646
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