Katy residents invited to go solar together
77彩票网appA group of people that included those who drive electric cars and pay miniscule electric bills if any at all gathered recently in Katy to advocate for solar energy.
77彩票网appHanna Mitchell, program director, Solar United Neighbors of Texas, said, membership in the West Houston Solar Co-op is open to anyone in west Houston or Katy. “It’s cost- and commitment-free to join,” she added.
77彩票网appAlso represented at the Jan. 30 meeting at Katy City Hall were Environment Texas and Houston Renewable Energy Group, a non-profit partner for the initiative.
Those who are interested in having solar energy, want to know more about the technology or the economics of solar energy are invited to attend upcoming workshops, she said, and then can make decisions for their home.
Free workshops are planned for 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 6 at the Cinco Ranch Branch Library, 2620 Commercial Center Blvd.; and at 6:30 p.m. Feb.10 at the George Memorial Library, 1001 Golfview Drive in Richmond.
77彩票网appOnce the group builds to about 30 people, competitive bids will be sought and people will make decisions based on what’s best for them, Mitchell said. Solar installation will follow.
“My husband and I have been interested in lowering our energy bill and we thought that solar is the way to go after looking into it,” said Silva Sherman of Katy. “Starting a co-op is going to help us just to bring more empowerment to the community. More voices to come together, learn together and make educated business decisions. In going solar, we decided with the co-op that everyone can get their own customized bids and make a decision based on the bids that they get.”
She said her husband contacted Solar United Neighbors of Texas to see how the process works.
Dori Wolfe, Solar United Neighbors-West Houston, had solar energy for 20 years at her former home. Here in Texas, she added solar energy about three years ago and said she pays no utility bill.
Want to go solar?
Solar United Neighbors and the West Houston Solar Co-Op will offer two free information sessions
?6:30 p.m. on Feb. 6 at the Cinco Ranch Branch Library, 2620 Commercial Center Blvd. and
?77彩票网app6:30 p.m. on Feb. 10 at the George Memorial Library, 1001 Golfview Drive in Richmond.
77彩票网appSolar energy has been part of Norm Whitton’s life for two years. They Katy resident who owns electric cars, talked of $20 monthly power bill.
“It (solar energy) is really, really a great deal for us,” he added.
77彩票网appThe last few years more than 500 homeowners in the Katy area went solar, said David Rosa, of Houston Renewable Energy Group. Katy represents a large potential audience for solar use and Rosa noted that energy rates are increasing. They had been 10 to 12 cents average and now are to 14 to 16 cents average.
“It’s officially cheaper for homeowners to make the switch going solar then it is to continue renting electricity,”he said. “His home formerly had a monthly utility bill of $210 with prior owners.
77彩票网appHe pays $195 financing per month for his 36-panel solar system and has received credit for overproduction from CenterPoint.
Federal tax credits for homeowners who install energy-efficient systems are available but they going away. The credit this tax year is 26 percent and next year it drops to 22 percent before disappearing completely, he said.
Schmerlin said, “Not only do solar panels combat climate change, in their own small way, but they also preserve our clean air and they reduce our use of water. Normal power plants take a lot of water,” she said. “They do also contribute to a more resilient future. Solar panels will reduce load congestion and traffic on the grid and increase the longevity of our system overall.”