The Press Herald argues eloquently in favor of a legislative bill providing incentives for consumers to install solar power systems for their homes (“Our View: Maine lawmakers should pass solar power rebate bill,” March 4).

The advantages are obvious, but the economic benefits to the state and its residents are not as simple or as generous as your editorial claims.

In addition to the money spent locally, you must recognize that quite a few dollars for this installation will leave Maine, going to the manufacturers of the solar panels. In addition, while there will be dollars directed to local electricians and installers, it also will mean that money is redirected from other businesses where it might be spent. Also, because the cost of solar installations is quite expensive, it will raise the level of consumer debt, the service of which also represents a drain on the local economy.

While “going green” is indeed attractive, there is a cost, and to ignore these costs offers only false promises to your readers. And in this case, the cost is far more than a mere 60 cents per year per household.

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