July 14, 2024
How Solar Energy Can You Save Money


BOSTON TWP, Mich — You probably have seen more of them recently. Solar energy is rising in Michigan, and one couple in Ionia County, swears by it.

“They came out and it was like… No way, would we pass up this opportunity. It was just too good to be true,” explained Julie Longway. For more than 4 years, Julie and her family have been saving money, by having solar panels.

Jack Caron/FOX 17

The Longway family’s solar panels

As Julie explained, the energy generated by her solar panels is sent directly to Consumers Energy. “They’d buy a certain amount, and we get a small portion, which last year, we ended up having a negative,” explained Julie.

A negative balance doesn’t sound as bad as it rings the ear. It simply means that Longway’s solar panels are producing more energy than what her house, needs.

“The negative carries over to my next month where I would have credit,” said Julie.

Julie Longway's Electric Bill

Jack Caron/FOX 17

Julie’s bill from Consumer’s Energy

It’s known as a buyback program. It all depends on where you live. Owner and founder of Educated Energy, Grahm Gardner, makes sure all customers know, what their singing up for.

“All the power companies have one, it’s just a different calculation on how much they’re willing to give you for that excess electricity,” explained Gardner.

While companies can pay for your excess electricity, you can also store it. Coming in handy, during those wicked summer storms. “We call it protected, loads, priority loads. So, we’re looking at refrigerators, Wi-Fi, well pumps is a big one,” emphasized Gardner.

Even when your battery is fully charged, those negative bills from an electric provider will still roll. Especially, when you’re on vacation.

“The house is hardly using any electricity when you’re away from home but your solar panels are still producing it,” said Gardner. Bringing more credit, that you can save, during those less-sunny months.

“It can be stored up for those winter months where your system might not be producing as much as what your house is using,” added Gardner.

While installation of solar panels can be a costly endeavor. Grants and various tax incentives can make it a short-term payment, for a long-term investment. “Solar is a way that you can add value to your home, you can lessen the cost of your electricity,’ emphasized Gardner.

To learn more about solar in your area, click here.

‘It was just too good to be true’: How Solar Energy Can You Save Money

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