Going the solar route

Published 7:03 pm Tuesday, December 6, 2016


We had problems with very high electric bills and noticed rates kept going up. We tried heating with wood, but this didn’t help much and, of course, didn’t help at all with the air conditioning.

About a year ago, we got a quotation for a solar system. It’s worked out very well. It uses the electric company as a “battery.” What we produce gets sent directly to the electric company. We have a meter that reads both incoming and outgoing power.

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During the winter, our power bills were often more than $300 and in summer they were often this high. Now they are sometimes as low as $21, which is the charge for “using the line to deliver our power.” When we exceed what we use, they credit us and when we use more than we produce, they subtract from our credits.

Most months we are staying ahead. Our investment should pay off in about 15 years and, if the price of electricity continues to rise, it will be sooner.

The system is warranted for 25 years. We built a solar panel about 25 years ago to run an electric fence around our garden. We still use it every summer, so we aren’t too concerned about this system failing.

There are, of course, months when it’s quite cloudy and we don’t produce too much energy. But we are still ahead for most of the year and have really low electric bills. Solar systems do work and we highly recommend the conversion.

Woodfin and Ann Ligon