Few phrases get my blood boiling like “homeowners association.” Perhaps it’s because I’ve never lived in a neighborhood with one of these organizations, but I have this image of a handful of people snooping around the community looking for any deviation from the norm (like, say, solar panels), and hiding their lack of imagination under the guise of property values. I’ve told my wife many times that if we ever move into one of those neighborhoods, I’m going shopping for a flock of plastic pink flamingos.
The current oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico has further cemented Louisiana’s image as an “oil state” in the public mind… and as someone who grew up there, I can attest this isn’t a myth. Yet while arguments continue over the role offshore oil drilling should play in the state’s economy, Louisiana has also moved quietly, but decisively, into the solar age. The state features generous tax incentives for home solar installation, and, in 2009, became one of the first to establish a statewide property-assessed clean energy financing (PACE) program.