But it seemed likely that I was, for him, a new Mark because he wanted to ask me a few questions to establish if I/we were a suitable candidate for the Solar Panel Miracle that his company hoped to install on our roof.
My response: "Nope! sorry, but I have a question for you . . .
. . . what is the payback time for your product?" [You can see I've been schooled in the importance of this parameter].
Poor Killian wasn't able to answer this, because there were, in his head, too many variables, which would need to be thrashed out during a site visit by one of their consulants. "Yes, yes", I replied, "but you can give me some ball-park figures for the cost of installation; then I can get an average annual electricity consumption from our bill and from those two figures, I can calculate if your proposal is ever likely to fly.". Suddenly he caved in and told me that
- After a government grant of €1,400 - €3,800 . . .
- and an Activ8 Energy Ireland discount of €1,200 . . .
- there were two products that might suit our "average home"
- Solar Thermal System would cost between €5K and €8K
- Solar PV Electric System would cost €7K [PV for photovoltaic]
- Activ8 claims that their systems are able to shave 40% - 60% off the electricity bill
But here's the point. We live in a world where the value of things is wildly disconnected from their cost. [for example: We could surely manage with fewer paper-pushing, meeting-attending, middle managers in the Health Service and really need more nurses on the wards - but a "manager" is pulling in 4x the salary of a nurse. And is incapable both of dealing with a bed pan OR dealing with a crisis requiring some managerial skills]. Maybe, in deference to the planetary abyss into which we are carefully not staring [far too frightening after all] we should do anything soonest that will save electricity because that will impact our carbon footprint the most. Because Carbon Footprint will trample us all to death.