Via NPR’s Planet Money blog, a savvy reader puts together his own personal stimulus package by becoming part of the microgrid:
Clay from Maryland writes:
I think did everything right. (and I’m pretty lucky) I livewithin my means and put 20% down when I bought my home in 1999. I havea 14-year old truck, a steady job and a 1 mile commute. After thislatest meltdown and the interest rates dropped, I took advantage of thesituation and enacted my very own stimulus program.
Even with the recent drop in home prices, my home is stillworth double what I paid for it. So I got a re-fi (30 yr fixed) andpulled out some cash. I am now taking advantage of every tax credit andincentive I can get my hands on — new Energy Star appliances, newenergy efficient heating and a/c units. And to top it off, I’m evenputting on solar panels.
I’ve calculated thatthe spending I’m doing now will have a pay-off of about 10 years. Afterthat the utilities savings are free money. And since all my stuff wasabout 20 years old it was time to replace anyway.
I feel that the government is finally putting enoughincentives out there that folks like me with money in the (FDICinsured) bank and a bit of fiscal savvy are going to get the economygoing again.
I’m even thinking about using my 14-year old truck in thecash-for-clunkers program to get a Hybrid. Taking yet another fewthousand bucks from Uncle Obama.
Bottom line. There are opportunities out there that I don’t think will be coming our way again anytime soon.