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New Solar Options for Homeowners

Home and business owners thinking about going solar can learn more about a cost-cutting and helpful option at several meetings in the Valley this week. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

VA SUN Program Director Aaron Sutch says that in Augusta, Highland, Rockbridge, and Rockingham Counties, joining the voluntary buying group Mountain and Valley Solar Co-op can reduce the cost of a solar energy system by 10-20 percent. With current tax incentives, that can bring the cost of a smaller system to under $8,000.

AARON SUTCH: It really just depends upon how much energy they use, how much they want to produce, and what kind of system they actually want.

Sutch says that these systems are not just for the environmentally minded.

SUTCH: We work with a lot of folks that we would consider kind of nontraditional solar folks, meaning that they aren't really motivated by the environment, but really see the value in producing their own electricity, being self sufficient.

The Solar Investment Tax Credit will likely stick around for this and a few more years, Sutch expects. He calls it a “key incentive.”

SUTCH: These systems last 25-30 years, and once they pay for themselves, usually within about maybe 10 or 12 years, it's free electricity after that. Solar is kind of like a source of fuel. You can use it to do a lot of things. You know, run a computer, lights, cook, cool your home. And so now people are being able to harness their own fuel.

Informational meetings this week are at 6:30 tonight -- March 6th -- in Lexington, Tuesday (March 7) in Verona, and Wednesday (March 8) in Harrisonburg.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz was a freelance journalist for WMRA from 2015 - 2019.