It’s Not Easy being Green

The HOA is looking at installing solar panels to heat up the water for the large pool next to the clubhouse. According to the panel installation contractor, the most logical place to install such panels is on top of some of the adjacent carports. Some residents are unhappy with the project. Some who will park in such carports are concerned about water dripping on their cars while others expressed concerns that the panels will unsightly and detract from the views they currently enjoy. The HOA claims the installation would save $4,700 per year in energy costs.

As Kermit the Frog said it’s not easy being green.


  • Stephanie, I can only assume it made fiscal sense to add the solar panels to heat up an otherwise large pool. I think most people would agree that the HOA Board has been pretty responsible with their spending decisions, so the math must have favored the panels over conventional gas heaters. As for leaks, while a concern, these carports are out in the rain too, if it ever rains again in California, so we have to assume the exposure would be the same.

    The project here is just for heating water for the pool, these are not electrical panels, so they will save gas but not electricity. I also don’t know what committee is looking into it. I am not allowed to attend meetings so I can only scrap together bits and pieces of what’s going on. If you learn anything you would like to add to this ongoing project, I always welcome more information.

  • Stephanie Bloom

    Thank you, Mark, for this nice website!

    Regarding this solar project, here are my questions:

    Can we quantitate the costs and benefits behind this idea?

    What are the costs in terms of money? of aesthetics? what is the probability of water leakage mentioned above?

    What is the longer term financial benefit of this? Is there a way to scale this project so we might even be able to sell some electricity back to PG&E and save money that way?

    What committee is researching this?

    Best regards,
    Stephanie Bloom

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