Renewable energy customers in Hastings are showing interest in solar panel shares
The Community Solar Farm in West Hastings is seeing customers gravitate to solar panel shares.
The community solar farm has 6,000 solar panels and more than a thousand have already been bought.
This form of renewable energy reduces air pollution, makes us less dependent on imported fuels and can create more jobs in our hometown.
"With the solar panel you are paying for that upfront and then we are paying you for the power it generates," said Derek Zeisler, Director of Marketing and Energy Supply, Hastings Utilities.
You can buy a solar panel for just under $400 dollars and you get a fuel cost rebate for fuel that was not purchased.
"When we finally got a chance to evaluate, the price point of solar has come down so much, it has come in at a very good price point. The cost of where solar energy is right now is very comparable to what we are doing with more traditional units," continued Zeisler.
If you are not ready to make that commitment to own a solar panel you can purchase a solar panel share each month. It's popular because it has has no upfront cost, you pay a monthly fee of just under $5, you can opt out of it at any time and you still get the fuel cost rebate for fuel that was not purchased.
"You don't get solar but for a short period of time but the time that you do get it is when you are using it the most, so it hits at a peak point." adds Zeisler.
If you do purchase a solar panel, the contract lasts 30 years and for the life of the contract you are guaranteed your contract rate.
Other benefits of buying the solar panel or the solar panel share option are that the panels are kept out at the farm and not on your property. Hastings utilities takes care of maintenance and insurance and you can participate as a business or individual, even if you live in an apartment.
For more information you can call (402)463-1371.