The idea of using solar energy in our own homes continues to gain popularity in the country. 

Those interested in solar energy gathered to learn more from a Co-Op that helps inform people on the process.

People go solar for a variety of reasons. Many want to reduce their carbon footprints, but volunteers with Solar United said most people are interested in seeing their electricity bills shrink.

“Let’s say you have an electric bill of say 250 dollars. you can put solar panels on your roof to bring your bill down to like 30 or 40 dollars,” Alvin Peters, a volunteer, said.

Thursday evening, locals who haven’t quite made the jump gathered to find out more.

“They’ve been thinking about it for a very long time, however, it’s still an intimidating process,” Angela Demonbreun, the Co-Op’s regional director, said.

Solar United teams up with local organizations like the Bay County League of Women Voters to educate and then sign people up to go solar.

“In this area, I believe there’s 60 maybe 70 homeowners that have signed up,” Demonbreun said.

The cost for solar panels depends on factors like the size of your roof, and how much sun your roof gets, for example. 

If you sign up with the co-op, an installer will come out to evaluate your roof and give you a price estimate for free.

Peters is going through the process right now.

“They found it to be a nice sunny roof, suitable for solar panels,” he said.

He’s expecting to save a lot of money after his panels are installed.

“Essentially, what happens is over seven or eight years, the panels pay for themselves. After that, you’re basically getting electricity at little or no cost,” he said.

Solar panel installments usually start around $8,000 but there’s a 30 percent federal tax credit for those who make the jump to solar energy.

The sign up period to go solar with this co-op ends on July 10.

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