Local businesses take advantage of eco-friendly energy options

Solar energy has been around for a while, but most people cringe when they think about the cost of actually installing it.

But, what if there was a way to save the environment without letting your wallet waste away?

For some, that idea is now a reality and it’s impacting their businesses.

Forrest Daves makes a modest living at his frame shop, Howard Gallery.

“We’re a small business and money is of course tight so any type of savings that we can get is much appreciated,” said Daves.

One absolutely vital element of Daves’ shop is a computerized mat cutter, which uses electricity.

Whether you’re paying for a mat cutter, lights, or computers, electricity is something most small business owners have to pay for. That’s why Daves said he decided to give solar a try.

“According to what East Coast tells me, they say my bill’s going to be down to around $40 a month. Over a thousand dollars a year sounds pretty good,” said Daves.

The first thought for most people is that solar is too expensive to set up but, according to Ken Nelipowitz, the co-owner of East Coast Solar Pro, thanks to new tax credits that’s not necessarily true.

Nelipowiz says the federal government picks up 30 percent of the costs, and the state picks up another 25 percent.

“Which is dollar for dollar against your tax liability for the end of the year. As a business owner, any write off you can get helps,” he said.

The other advantage is you own the energy and some utility companies will actually pay you back for the energy you don’t use.

“By producing your own energy, you’re going to avoid utility rate increases,” said Nelipowitz.

He says, on average, utility companies charges go up 4 percent a year.

East Coast Solar Pro panels are insured for 25 years, and he says they could save businesses between $25,000 and $85,000 each year.

To learn more about East Coast Solar Pro, click here.

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