Saving Energy, Saving Money

By: Ben Stanfield Email
By: Ben Stanfield Email

Going green can save some green. Some Elba natives have figured out a smart way to do it too.

Utility bills can be extraordinary this time of year.

A father and son in Elba though are working to put that money to a better use.

$22.29, Not a misprint. That's the utility bill total this month for Elba resident David Fuller.

"Putting more money in our pockets, and being able to invest and take more control is the big reason behind this,” David Fuller said. “We put more money in places that we need it elsewhere."

The idea to invest in solar energy was a plan in the fuller family for more than 40 years.

Now they are both producing more energy than they even need.

"It was really out of reach for anybody like me,” Billy Fuller said. “As time goes on though these things have really come down."

Now he is reaping the benefits come billing time, but the benefits could be better. The excess power the Fuller's manufacture has to be sold to their power provider. If not, the power they make in the daytime could be stored to provide electricity at night. That's a process called net metering.

"Excess power is sold, where the provider will turn and re-sell it at retail rates for their company,” David Fuller said. “With net metering, it goes into the grid and i could re-pull it at night."

Solar panels have plenty of benefits. The first obvious, the power bill goes down. The second, property value goes up.

"The power company is not going to tell this stuff,” Billy Fuller said. “People have to learn it on their own."

Georgia and Florida currently use net metering. The Fuller's plan to schedule a meeting with Governor Bentley to discuss the benefits of the program for everyone in Alabama. The Federal Government also offers tax incentives to citizens who invest in renewable energy sources such as solar power.

The net metering program is available in 43 states including Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico.


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