Harrisburg man's green home helps environment, saves money

By Laura Wibbenmeyer - bio | email

HARRISBURG, IL (KFVS) - Thanks to his solar power system, Charles Will not only powers his home, but on sunny days it even helps to power other homes in his community.

The price tag of a home solar system can be daunting, as it runs well into the thousands, but according to Will who just completed his system in October, there is no better time for this investment.

In fact, he says it will pay for itself in about 7 to 12 years depending on the size of the system and how much sunlight an area receives.

"Now is the opportune time," said Will. "Most renewable energy systems right now are qualified for a 30 percent tax credit."

Will says with that federal help, and a 30 percent rebate from the state of Illinois, his $25,000 investment is already cut by 60 percent.

He says he will have no problem making up for the other 40 percent.

"The net effect of it is to substantially reduce my overall energy cost over an annual period and I am already seeing that happen," said Will.

On sunny days, Will says he actually makes money.

"The meter is showing we are actually sending electricity back to the grid so I'm producing more than I'm using right now," he said. "This is a grid connected system, which means any power that it produces that is more than I am using at the time goes right back and is sold directly to the Ameren CIPS which is our utility provider."

And vice versa on a cloudy day, meaning Will uses power from the grid.

"So we're able to produce and sell it back and forth."

Charles Will is the CFO of Bright Idea Energy Solutions and he says more systems like his will create a positive environmental chain reaction.

"We're going to see gradual improvements in the overall environment and not to mention the affect of being able to reduce our dependence on foreign sources of fossil fuels, oil especially," he said.

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