Solar a growing option in Indiana

Thursday, September 29, 2011 @ 08:09 AM
posted by rene5432

A growing number of Indiana residents are seeing solar power and other sources of renewable electricity as a viable approach to lower electric bills, according to the Journal & Courier.

Electricity rates have risen substantially in Indiana in recent years and experts predict they could go up even further in coming years. One of the options available to help combat this trend is to allow competition between electricity providers, but solar power has also offered potential independence from the utilities that have driven electricity rates higher.

Bernie Smith, the owner of a camp ground in Tippecanoe County, has saved hundreds each month since the installation of his 48-panel solar system.

Solar installations have been slow to catch on because of the high up-front costs and the general lack of more flexible financing options like solar leasing in the area. Others, though, have voiced opposition because of poor experiences with earlier generation solar installations, such as Bob Hannemann, who had the solar heaters on the house he bought removed after one winter.

Despite Hannemann's protestations to the contrary, however, many in Indiana have begun to see substantial returns and could see even larger savings if electricity rates rise. Bloomberg Businessweek notes one panel predicts those prices could rise as much as 20 percent in the next six years.

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