WHY WE WENT SOLAR by Denny Kubal

About a year ago my wife Donna and I decided it was time we did something about the  environment. We decided we wanted to try to concentrate on improving air quality.  We did some research and found that Indiana remains the state that leads the nation in  toxic pollution emitted per square mile. Upon further investigation we found that Duke Energy remains a super polluter and their Gibson Indiana plant is one of the dirtiest plants in terms of carbon dioxide emissions.  We are getting our power from Duke.  There are many options to choose from to help reduce CO2, but we chose to install solar panels.    

So for less than the price of an electric vehicle, we installed 43 Panasonic 325 watt solar panels on our roof last fall.  We are so glad we did.  

First, when I filed my taxes this year, I received a 26% tax credit back from the feds.  Meaning the government paid 26% of my system.   

Second, according to a recent study by Zillow, solar panels can increase the value of my home by up to 4.1%.  This is a plus, and something to consider financially, but not my primary reason for us to install the system. 

Third, I get the joy of not supporting Duke and having them send me greatly reduced bills, like this month’s $17.35 bill.  If we stay in our house long enough, the system will pay for itself in savings.    

Fourth, we get the daily satisfaction of watching what a difference we are making in the environment.  As I write this, we are generating 8,000 watts of power.  In the time since installation, we have generated 12,000,000 watts of power!  We’ve saved 18,500 pounds of CO2 and the equivalent of 141 trees planted!  GREAT!

Fourth, the system operates during daylight hours all year and is guaranteed for 25 years by Panasonic.  We value that we are creating a system that will continue to provide savings for the planet long after we move on.  Who knows how many new residents will live here and enjoy the savings and the value of helping to save the planet?  We very much like passing on something permanent to others!

So if you are serious about making a difference in our air quality here in Indiana, consider solar. 

Note: Earth Rising will offer a free solar tour of some of Brown County’s solar homes, Saturday, August 21. Watch for further details!

Solar Energy in Brown County

Update 4/26/2020:
Hope this finds everyone well and steering clear of the virus. 
I have gotten some numbers together that may give some guidance to those of you that want to move forward as soon as is reasonable according the current situation.
If you look at your energy bill it will tell you how many kilowatts that you have used over the last year.  Probably around 6 to12 Kwh.  We have narrowed our panel selection down to a Solaria 355.  This panel has a built in inverter and therefore is a great panel for partial shade conditions.  Reve has been able to get a quote for buying a volume of 25 or 50 panels.  The breakdown is as follows:

Solaria 355 panel ($410)
Cabling for each panel ($17)
Caps ($20)
Shipping (per panel) ($7)

This comes out to about $450 to $500 per panel.  This is for a roof mount system if you want a ground mount I would add about $100 to $200 per panel.
Labor is not included since we are trying to do this as a group installation team. “You help me with mine and I help you with yours.”

This gives you some idea of the cost.  So if you wanted a 10 panel array (ca. 4Kwh system) then it would be around $5,000 – $6,000.  20 panels would be double that for an 8Kwh system.
These are obviously estimates and subject to a custom fit for your application.  The nice thing about this is that if you had  a dollar amount in mind to spend then you have an idea of how many panels you can request.  I am asking that you let me know what you are thinking money wise and we can move forward with the order.
I would like to begin the planning of the jobs as soon as possible.  Since we primarily are working outside I believe the risk of infection is lower.
There have been some really nice sunny days lately and more to come. Let’s make Brown County green with this effort!

Solar Energy in Brown County
Sunday, January 26, 2020, 2-3:30pm
Brown County Public Library, Room B, Nashville, IN