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June 03, 2023 2:25pm
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Palmdale Has Solar Panels Everywhere

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Green is the new black. With the surge of interest in sustainability and environmentally-friendly living in this country, the newest status symbols in Palmdale are solar panels. The old days of unsightly glass-topped arrays are over; the new solar cells are blue-black shingles sturdy enough to be used as your main roofing material. Instead of looking out-of-place, solar shingles are an attractive and durable addition to a home, and although their color is distinctive to the trained eye, the resemblance to traditional roofing materials is remarkable, and new colors and textures are being introduced constantly. In a green-conscious town like Palmdale, solar panels are a subtle way to show that you care about the environment.

The Evolution Of Cool

This development follows a trend of environmental status symbols: while decades ago the muscle car, and later the sport-utility vehicle, were the car to drive, now high-powered executives and hipsters alike show their colors by driving hybrids or electric cars, and people interested in food are careful to minimize their carbon footprint by "eating locally," being careful to buy food that hasn't been shipped long-distance, or even keeping their own vegetable gardens in their yards. Nationwide department store chains now carry high-quality sustainable fabrics like bamboo fiber, and coffee shops use recycled paper and soy-based inks on their carryout cups.

The problem with many of these green efforts is how labor-intensive they are; it takes constant vigilance to eat locally, and gardening takes you out into the yard nearly every day. While the government has put incentives in place to help would-be owners of hybrid and electric cars, it's still a significant investment changing vehicles and finding a shop that will cater to your car's special maintenance requirements, and electrics require you to install an at-home charging station.

An Easier Way To Stay Green

Many incentives are available for residents of Palmdale for solar panels and installation: the recently-passed Stimulus Bill has provisions which can pay for up to thirty percent of a new solar panel system, including installation costs. Additionally, the state of California has a special tax break for users of solar panels: homeowners do not have to pay additional property taxes for the increased value of a home with newly installed solar power, making solar panel installation an easy and effective way to boost property values and social prestige.

As the “green movement” continues, the roofs of Palmdale’s most fashionable homes are slipping on their little black photovoltaic cells. Social and environmental responsibility is always in fashion.


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Photos copyright by Jay Graham Photographer
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