Solar Panels Energize Community

4 years 5 months 2 days ago September 24, 2012 Sep 24, 2012 Monday, September 24 2012 Monday, September 24, 2012 8:01:00 PM CDT in News
By: Karl Roskamp
loading

COLUMBIA - How would you like to pay next to nothing on your electricity bills? That's the case for a group of people in Columbia.

"The expectation is that the number of (solar) panels we have will cover our year's use of electricity," Terra Nova member Claire Garden.

Terra Nova is an intentional community formed in 1995. They have 38 solar panels on two houses that help pay the respective bills. The panels are customized to meet the electrical needs of the two houses. Therefore, if someone moved into the homes after them, the new owners may pay more than the self-proclaimed "frugal" spenders.

But microscopic bills aren't the only reason for having solar panels. "They don't have moving parts, they don't wear out," Garden said. "They don't make any noise, they're not doing anything that is a problem and it's great to have our power for our heat pumps."

Solar panels also mean rebates. Garden and the others in Terra Nova received $4,795 in federal and city rebates for the 28 Sanyo panels they installed in 2008 and 2011. The rebates for the ten Trina panels installed last month have not been recognized yet.

There are tax credits too.

"That's a good one....The tax credit means you whatever you owe at the end, you can take one-third of your cost directly off of that," Garden said. "It's not just reducing the amount that you owe a percentage on. It's that amount of money of your tax bill."

As technology improves, solar panels become cheaper and more efficient. Now is as good a time as ever to buy. The first ten panels Terra Nova bought cost $19,838 after rebates while the last ten cost $12,433.44 before rebates.

And as Terra Nova member Hoyt DeVane explained, the newer ones have micro-inverters that "convert DC to AC and make the energy useable." The inverters also help to maximize output, even if some of the panels are shaded.

Solar panels do have drawbacks though.

"The problem is we use more electricity in the winter than in the summer and we generate more electricity in the summer than we do in the winter," Garden said. "So we need to get pretty far ahead in the summer to carry us through the winter."

In June 2011, one of the two Terra Nova houses produced 701 kilowatts. In December, the panels only managed to produce 148 kilowatts. But right now, Terra Nova is ahead of the game.

"The city has delivered to us 4346 (kilowatts) and what they have received from us is 5210 (kilowatts,) so we are ahead," DeVane said. "In fact the last bill that we got, we've got $100 dollar credit."

For Garden, minimizing pollution and the use of fossil fuels is great, but it's all about return on investment.

"If you put (money) into reducing your electric bill, you get a far better return on investment than you do if you put it in a savings account," she said. "That was my thinking in investing my life long saving into the solar panels."

 

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA- Local dog boarding facilities are amping up their luxury of care for your pet. Several big city boarding... More >>
3 hours ago February 26, 2017 Feb 26, 2017 Sunday, February 26 2017 Sunday, February 26, 2017 11:23:11 AM CST in News
HOUSE SPRINGS, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say they've arrested a suspect in connection with a weekend shooting death south of... More >>
5 hours ago February 26, 2017 Feb 26, 2017 Sunday, February 26 2017 Sunday, February 26, 2017 9:37:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Residents of older homes in Columbia could be eligible for free water testing for lead. The My... More >>
6 hours ago February 26, 2017 Feb 26, 2017 Sunday, February 26 2017 Sunday, February 26, 2017 8:58:00 AM CST in News
LACLEDE COUNTY — A man accused of assaulting and sexually abusing his 5-month-old daughter nearly eight years ago finally has... More >>
16 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 11:02:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — United Airlines flight schedules posted to its website Saturday night showed two new flights out of Columbia Regional... More >>
17 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 9:48:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., announced Saturday that his local office space will be relocated from its current... More >>
18 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 9:11:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — This weekend Missourians came together to give the Loos family a home makeover. Rhyan Loos, 7, was... More >>
20 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 7:21:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — There is a significant "values gap" between employers and the millennials who work for them, according to a... More >>
20 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 7:05:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — Boone County experienced at least a dozen fires Feb. 18, a number that did not surprise fire officials.... More >>
22 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 5:00:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY — People from all over mid-Missouri gathered at the Miller Performing Arts Center Saturday to listen to local... More >>
23 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 4:00:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY — A crash involving an anhydrous ammonia trailer killed one person in Jefferson City Saturday morning. According... More >>
23 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 3:44:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — Representatives from two East Campus housing associations spoke at the Unified Development Code public forum Saturday and found... More >>
1 day ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 1:36:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — Hundreds of mid-Missourians attended the 6th Annual Fitness for a Cure event Saturday, an event that benefitted the... More >>
1 day ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 12:01:00 PM CST in News
ST. CHARLES (AP) — A woman has been accused of stabbing a worker at a General Motors plant near St.... More >>
1 day ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 10:27:08 AM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — It could soon be legal for travelers to take their booze from the bar to their... More >>
1 day ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 10:04:05 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA — It all started with a Madden tournament. Columbia College's new president at the time, Scott Dalrymple, challenged students... More >>
1 day ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 8:39:00 AM CST in News
CAMDEN COUNTY — The Camden County Sheriff's Department has issued a Missing Endangered Person Report for Chad Hawk. Hawk was... More >>
1 day ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 4:41:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA — The Boone County Sheriff's Department has noticed a decrease in the number of concealed carry permit applications and... More >>
1 day ago February 24, 2017 Feb 24, 2017 Friday, February 24 2017 Friday, February 24, 2017 10:03:00 PM CST in Top Stories
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 48°
4pm 47°
5pm 46°
6pm 44°
7pm 41°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

2:00p
PGA Tour Golf
5:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 5
5:30p
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
2:00p
The Bad News Bears
4:00p
My Girl
6:00p
Alfie

Tonight's Schedule

6:00p
Dateline NBC
8:00p
Neighbors
6:00p
Alfie
8:00p
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld