Why people are switching over to solar energy

What incentives are in place to help people with the costs

DAVENPORT, Iowa - "We're into energy conservation, but it was an economic decision," says Dan Portes.  

Dan Portes is helping the environment by investing in solar panels for his human resources firm. 

Davenport-based Moxie Solar is installing 100 solar panels on Portes' building. 

Moxie Solar Co-President Jarret Todd says those 100 panels will help cut carbon dioxide levels from the atmosphere over their 25-year life span. 

In addition to the environmental benefits, Portes says the panels will save him $4,500 dollars in utilities every year. 

"Because of where they're positioned on our roof and the way our building is, it's going to cover 99% of our bill," says Portes. 

Installing solar panels for a commercial building can run anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000 dollars, but there are tax credits that can help cut those costs. 

Credits Portes fears may go away under the current administration. 

"We did speed up our process just to make sure that some of these tax credits don't go away," says Portes.  

Todd says when installing solar panels for your home or business, businesses can qualify for tax credits which could defray about 75% of the costs.

Homeowners often qualify for a 50% tax break on installing solar. 

"A regular home will be fifteen to $20,000 dollars gross and then once you get your tax credits back it will be $7,500 to $10,000 dollars," says Todd.  

Todd says solar glass panels are weather resistant and warranted for 25 years. 

He says their costs have gone way down in the last decade and the technology keeps improving every year. 

"Each panel has it's own individual computer, that computer allows us to monitor each panel. Say there's a little bit of shade on one we need to route some electricity, it does that automatically and it allows us to monitor it remotely. It's really a next step into the future of solar," says Todd.


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