D & R Energy Services installs the first residential Solar Photovoltaic system in the Village of Milford, Michigan.

For Jerol DeMars of Milford, "going green is good" -- but saving money while doing it is even better.
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Milford, MI (prHWY.com) December 22, 2010 - That's why Mr DeMars recently decided to put up some $25,000 to have a solar-power system installed at his home, banking on incentives from the federal government and DTE to recoup his costs within five years. "I'm all for going green, I like that, but that's not why I'm doing it," said DeMars, who lives with his wife and toddler in a 980-square-foot ranch in the village of Milford. "I just want to save money."

DeMars said rising energy costs had him thinking about solar power for the last couple of years, but like plenty of other people questioned whether spending the money to outfit his home with the system would be a wise move. "But once I heard about the DTE program and the federal credit, I did the math and found it was definitely worth it," he said.

Through 2016, a federal tax credit will cover 30 percent of the installation costs for solar-energy systems. For a 5 kilowatt-hour system -- like the one going on DeMars' roof -- DTE rebates $12,000 after installation and will continue for the next 20 years to trade energy credits for electricity produced.

A crew from D & R Energy Services -- based in Milford and Brighton -- was at DeMars' house a few days ago, installing an 18-panel photovoltaic system to harness solar energy and convert it to electricity. Robert Craig, senior engineer and owner of D & R Energy Services, said DeMars' home is the first in the Village of Milford to have the system installed by his company -- but said there is a growing number of people who are recognizing the financial benefits that solar energy provides. Trouble is, the up-front costs are out of reach for many, particularly when the economy is struggling.

"A lot of people just don't have the money to put down initially. It kind of scares them," Craig said.

Still, he said, with the rebates and renewable energy credits available, installing a system is a healthy long-term investment.

"Right now, the cost of the systems are at an all-time low. And electricity costs are only going to go up," Craig said

Another reason more people aren't rushing to add solar-energy systems to their home or business is lack of information, he said.

"They don't understand how the system can work. They hear about people talking about solar energy, hear it on the news, know it's cool -- and then put it in the back of their minds. That's as far as it goes.

"But we are trying to change all that," he said. "A big part of what we do is educating the consumer."

For example, sunny days aren't necessary to capture solar energy since the panels absorb ultraviolet rays -- even when it's cloudy or overcast, he said. Energy absorbed by the panels is converted on-site, and then sent to the DTE grid, where it can be stored or used by all customers. People with solar-energy systems can expect to have greatly-reduced or no electricity bills during much of the year, he explained, and during the darker winter months can tap into the energy units stored from other times throughout the year. And back-up battery systems are an additional component available in case of a grid power failure.

D & R Energy Systems does both residential and commercial work. A site survey to determine the feasibility of a solar-energy system, as well as an estimate of costs to install a system, is provided free of charge.

Technology for solar power and other renewable energy systems has come a long way in the past few decades, and continues to evolve, Craig added.

"Compared to what we had in the '70s and '80s, technology has quadrupled. And the costs, in essence, are much lower.

"Utility rates are only going to rise. But if you get a solar-powered system, you will lock in these costs for at least 20 years. You get the incentives and rebates. And you are using a technology to make electricity from something that is already being produced," Craig said. "It's really a win-win-win for the consumer."

To learn more about D & R Energy Systems, or to set up an appointment, visit www.drenergyservices.com or call (877) 766-0664.


Tag Words: electricity, renewable energy system, solar energy system, solar energy, energy costs, photovoltaic system, solar
Categories: Energy

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