A couple of mobile home owners in Boulder (who actually live in a super-retrofitted 1958 trailer that doesn’t look anything like a trailer at all) have gotten shut down by Xcel Energy in their quest to power their mini-house with solar.
Apparently, solar can only be put on permanent structures, and mobile homes, by definition, aren’t permanent. On the surface, that doesn’t sound unreasonable, but for Maria Downing and Nick Tamm, the issue is that their mobile home is their permanent home. And they don’t plan on moving.
(Also, their neighborhood is zoned only for mobile homes, and they have a 99-year lease on their land, so there’s no reason to think they’ll be forced to leave anytime soon to make way for some other, glitzier development.)
Downing and Tamm are frustrated about their own situation — but they’re also frustrated about the larger implications. Is solar only for the rich, who may be the people who are least at risk for rising utility bills? What about lower-income folks in Boulder who’s money is going, in part, to subsidize the solar panels put on wealthier people’s homes?
Read more about the solar mobile home shutout at DailyCamera.com.