The NG

    Solarize East Central Indiana will host an informational session about the benefits of solar energy and how to proceed if you’re interested. The volunteer-sponsored session is Nov. 1 at 6 p.m. in the county economic development board room at 123 W. Franklin St., downtown Winchester.

    Solarize ECI Co-director John Vann his goal is to get as many solar panels as possible on homes, businesses, and farm structures in East Central Indiana.

    “Our motivations are primarily to fight climate change by reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The state of Indiana gets about 70 percent of its electricity by burning coal. I presented at Henry County last week and learned that the Henry County REMC is investing heavily into solar power because it’s so much cheaper.”

    Vann and his wife Carolyn in April put 30 solar panels on their barn which will cover an estimated 63 percent of their utility costs.

    “It will take about nine years to pay for the system,” he said. “But after that, the electricity that is generated will be free. The system is guaranteed for 25 years, but it has a life expectancy of 35 to 40 years. It also increases the value of your home when you sell it because the buyer knows they will have reduced utility costs.

    “Also, there’s a 30 percent federal tax credit - so we will get a big tax reduction when we file next April.”

    Vann said businesses who install solar arrays get the 30 percent income tax reduction as well as being able to depreciate the entire cost as a deduction in their first year taxes after installment.

    “They get a double benefit,” he said so anyone interested should come to our presentation. “Hog farming businesses are especially interested in solar because they have high utility costs from constantly running their exhaust fans.

    “At the presentation, we’ll explain briefly how a solar panel system operates, we’ll explain what the process is, including approximate costs and financing as well as tax and depreciation benefits. We’ll talk about why solar is important and how it saves money - that’s a prime consideration, it enhances the value of your home but does not affect your property taxes. It reduces carbon dioxide emissions, that’s the big thing for me and my wife. It improves your quality of place and makes the community seem more progressive.”

    Anyone interested in solar power can be connected immediately with the installer after the upcoming informational session.

    Vann said Solarize Indiana has about 12 satellite groups such as his across the state.

    “We’re just volunteers,” he said. “We just want more solar panels. We really don’t get any money for it.”