Parker County Today April 2016 - Page 59

Have the Warmth of the Sun By Richard A. Florey Marketing Director, EcoVantage Energy, Inc. “I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that. I wish I had more years left.”  — Thomas Edison Thankfully, we are far from running out of oil or coal anytime soon; but it’s great that today going solar is an option we have available to us to power our homes. Of all the current ways to produce electricity nothing is as cost efficient or as environmentally clean as solar power — in this case, rooftop or residential PV (photo-voltaic) solar panels with battery backup. Mr. Edison would be proud. Right off the bat, let’s get into some of the basic questions people have about solar.  Q: Is solar for everyone?  A: Unfortunately, solar ownership does have its limitations. For instance, you need to be a homeowner with proper orientation (a southfacing roof) and low shade.  Q: What if my Home Owners Association says no?  A: In the State of Texas an HOA cannot deny a homeowner the right to install solar on their home. You may have to come to terms on ascetics, but you cannot legally be denied.  Q: What’s the return on investment?  A: On average, it takes between five to eight years to see a monetary return on your investment in solar. There is however an instant ROI once you put solar on your home, the value of which went up by the amount of solar you just put on it. The good news about that is it cannot be taxed according to that increase in the State of Texas. Another good reason why Texas is a great state to own solar in. Q: How long will they last?   A: Solar panels have a life span of roughly fifty years. So, if you figure that the return on investment is eight years, then that leaves you many more years in the black when it comes to your energy expenses. (Our customers have said the first time they experienced going through a power outage without missing a beat to be a complete moment of Zen. The cost of which was totally worth the price of admission.) APRIL 2016 PA R K E R C O U N T Y T O D AY Remember, tax credits and government grants are available to offset initial costs when it comes to adding solar, if you are eligible. There are more lending options available today as well; so opting for a change in the way you get electricity is easier than ever.  In the upcoming months I will address many more questions people have about solar power and share with you the latest news in solar technology and other alternative forms of energy as it becomes available.  57