May 2024 Newsletter

May 6, 2024

May 2024 Newsletter

Empowering Sustainable Communities

Local News

Lukan’s Goes Solar!

Lukan’s Farm Resort ( has been welcoming visitors to Hawley since 1951 with delicious meals and honey from their on-site farm and apiaries. Very soon they’ll be harvesting even more, with a new 155kW solar array on their roof. Buselli Solutions of Beach Lake just completed the installation which will power 100%+ of the resort’s annual electricity needs, or approximately 163MWh (enough for 16 average PA homes) and avoid more than 77 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

SEEDS helped John and Robert Hochreither (co-owners and sons of the founders) with their USDA Rural Energy for American Program (REAP) grant application, plus a PPL commercial rebate application that together will pay nearly $130,000 (more than 40%) toward cost of the project. After the federal tax incentives, the solar array is expected to pay for itself in less than 4 years.

A ceremony is being planned for later this month to celebrate the start of solar production, pending final inspection and PPL approval to operate it.

John and Robert said, “We are very excited about this project.   We feel very fortunate to be located in an area that is conducive to the production of solar energy and have a suitable building to install it on.  We are proud to be aiding in the effort to produce green energy and look forward to the future cost savings solar energy will provide for us. We can’t thank Jack Barnett of SEEDS enough for all his efforts in helping this project to become a reality for us.  We would also like to thank and compliment Buselli Solutions on their professional and efficient installation of the solar array.  We are very pleased with the work they did on this job.”

The solar array on the motel roof faces east-west, rather than south-facing as is more typical, but is still a great location since the very low-pitch gives additional area for panels to receive sunshine and limits ridgeline self-shading during the very early mornings and evenings.

The SEEDS website ( has many resources to help you learn about solar and is glad to answer questions or assist SEEDS members and local businesses to save energy, save money and save the planet. Visit us there, or on social media, or reach out to us via email at with questions about sustainability in our area.

Action Opportunity

Upcycle Those Eclipse Glasses

Whether you had a picturesque solar eclipse experience on April 8th, or you were tragically disappointed by overcast skies, chances are you may still have your protective eclipse viewing glasses you got special for the occasion.  Unless you plan on saving them for the next total solar eclipse visible in Northeast Pennsylvania, which will be in 2079, perhaps consider upcycling those glasses.  Eclipse Glasses USA collects the eyewear no longer needed to send to school students in Latin America so that they can safely view an annual solar eclipse visible there in October.  This practice not only keeps the glasses out of landfill, as they include materials that are not actually recyclable, but reusing the glasses reduces the production and energy needed for the initial production of the glasses.

Check out SEEDS Development Director Jamie Reeger explaining the glasses collection on WNEP here.  And drop your glasses off at the collection box outside the SEEDS office at 32 Commercial Street in Honesdale.  If you can’t make it there but have a donation, contact us at

Good News

EVs Did You Know…

…That $7,500 tax credit for EV purchases, first offered by the Inflation Reduction Art (IRA) in 2022, has been updated so that buyers can request that discount off the ticket price, instead of waiting for a tax rebate. This Washington Post article explains the change, and how this approach to the discount is especially benefitting more middle and working class people looking to make the change to EVs.

Of course, the maximum of this discount still only applies to EVs manufactured in the United States, which limits the choices of possible vehicles.  However, that doesn’t mean buyers are completely out of luck if they don’t select one of these vehicles, because the IRS is also offering a tax rebate for Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit. If you installed equipment to recharge your EV at your home you could receive 30% of the cost of up to $1,000.  This page from the US Department of Energy offers graphically organized information of the credits as discounts available for EV purchases.

Perhaps you have been caught up in the debate about a possible dark side of EV production and have been left wondering, are EVs really as good for the environment as they are presented to be? A lot of media seems to be sharing stories about the environmental costs of EV production, including metal mining and other material production, as well as transportation of vehicles and parts before market sales.  This article from offers some critical consideration of those points, and how the EV industry has some growing to do to continue to maximize sustainability while balancing market demands.  Before readers write off EVs as another “green-washing” attempt to deplete customers’ bank accounts, check out this write up from the EPA unpacking 6 myths surrounding EVs and their environmental impact, and offering the facts with sources.  Further, this op-ed from Forbes by James Morris, a contributor who frequently writes about EVs, identifies the rising anti-EV rhetoric in the media and uptick in journalism aimed at it, connects this trend to previous, historical tendencies with similar objectives, and  contextualizes the criticism within political and economic considerations.

While there certainly are some areas for improvement in EV production, the bottom line is that the lifetime of EVs are still in the black environmentally compared to their gas counterparts.

Have you read or experience anything interesting to add to this discussion? Share it with us on social media or send it to us at

Action Opportunity

From our Friends at Solar United Neighbors 

Community Solar is when people can subscribe to a portion of power generated from an off-site solar installation, and receive credit on their electric bills. Good Community Solar helps residents save money even if they can’t put solar panels on their own homes. It’s a great way for renters, low-income homeowners, and people with old roofs to be able to benefit from solar.

There are two ways you can help support passing Community Solar in Pennsylvania:

Share your story and help us showcase the many ways folks across the state will benefit from Community Solar. Lawmakers need to see that Community Solar is the key to accessible, affordable solar electricity for many Pennsylvanians.

Sign up to mail postcards to your state Senator and Senate leadership urging them to pass House Bill 1842 enabling Community Solar. We’ll send you three pre-stamped, pre-addressed postcards and script ideas. All you have to do is fill it out and put it in the mail!

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