East Texans soaking up clean energy

By Courtney Lane - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

LINDALE, TX (KLTV) - Most solar panels are placed on roofs, but Howard Beggs' home is a little different. It sits in too much shade. So professionals are mounting solar panels on the ground. Electricity will simply flow through wires from the panels to his home, generating not just power, but savings, too.

"As soon as it goes in, your utility bills will start going down," said Dale Beggs with GreenLife Technologies, Inc.

"At least 60% of my power is going to be supplied by these," said Howard.

Dale said systems like the one in Howard's home cost around $7 to $10 per watt of installed power.

"This system is a 5,000 watt system so that's around 35,000 dollars," said Dale.

It is a pretty big cost up front, but there are plenty of incentives to help. The Texas Senate just approved a rebate program. Plus, the federal government offers grants as well.

"The pay out time is not that long especially after you get the incentives and of course you get a federal tax credit also," explained Howard who is also looking forward to being free from future energy rate hikes. "Once this is installed it's essentially all the cost because the maintenance is practically nothing and they can't raise your rates on what you're generating yourself."

Dale said he is already seeing a lot of interest, and hopes it is the wave of the future in East Texas. Howard's home should be using solar power by next week. He feels good knowing he's doing his part to protect the East Texas environment.

"[I'm] as excited as I can get," laughed Howard.

Another benefit, Dale said, is that the system can create excess energy, so you could actually get credits on your electric bills.

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