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Solar power letter gets heat

April 10, 2005

I just had to write in response to the [March 20] letter on solar roof panels "being an assault on the eye." It is unbelievably sad that someone would compare architecture "as significant as the responsible use of energy and our natural resources."

Very rarely do you see homes with solar power on the front of the home. There are so many alternatives and supplemental ways to make solar power work for your home. Our solar power unit generates all of our electricity and most importantly is environmentally responsible.

I quote: "There is nothing worse than an otherwise lovely home with ugly photovoltaic cell panels." Actually there is something: People who won't take action.

M. Kay Krause

Newbury Park

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The March 20 letter writer apparently is not especially diligent in his search for an aesthetically acceptable solar electrical system. He must not read magazines devoted to home improvement or even The Times' Real Estate section very carefully. If he had, he'd know that roofing shingles made of photovoltaic materials have been available for some time. By entering the words "solar roof shingles" into Google, in .28 second I had retrieved over 134,000 possible responses.

The top two sites showed a shingle product measuring roughly 12-inches by 86 inches that replaces the standard shingle, lies flat on the roof and blends most acceptably with surrounding conventional shingles. Although the cost per unit was about equal to a full square of shingles, the cost did not seem to be out of line with that of panels. Look a little harder.

Susan Kennedy

Sun Valley

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