Indiana & Yoga Magazine Summer 2016 Issue 1 - Page 29

CONSCIENTIOUS LIFE Going Solar Are Solar Panels Right for Your Home? By Ryan Baggett Reducing your home’s energy usage “is a better bang for your buck” than buying solar panels, according to Alexander Jarvis, President of Solar Systems of Indiana, Inc. There are many simple ways to save money on your home’s energy use, such as installing programmable thermostats, improving your insulation, and turning off lights and power stips in your home. Jarvis says “it’s easy to save 5-10% on your electric bill,” especially if you can change wasteful habits. Now that you’ve achieved all that, you might consider adding solar panels to your home—and vicariously, to the lo- INDIANA & YOGA MAGAZINE ISSUE I cal electric grid. Skeptics argue that only the large-scale solar energy plants are environmentally sound and economically viable, such as the giant solar farm of the Indianapolis Airport, which sells enough power for 1,700 homes to Indianapolis Power and Light, according to Indianapolis Airport Authority. Residential dollars spent on solar don’t measure up when compared per Kilowatt-Hour (kWh) to such large-scale operations, but are sometimes made financially feasible thanks to our Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) which covers 30% of the equipment and installation costs. But the cost of solar panels has been rapidly shrinking over the last decade, and like death and taxes, increasing costs of electricity are inevitable. For homeowners that have the financial wherewithal, the initial investment in solar will currently pay for itself in roughly 15 years, with a net positive b ^[ۙ] ܈[Y\\[ I œXXL LL HHH[XX[ Y[\X]\H[\YH\[˜[[ܙX\H\H[YH[[HXYH[ݙHX\K]\[]][ۜ\H[ۙ]\K[\ۛY[[܈ \H\HX[B‚