Saving Money on Solar Panels

By Jeff Saperstone
|  Monday, Apr 18, 2011  |  Updated 9:21 AM EDT
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A <a title=Connecticut man is leasing solar panels at a fraction of the cost to buy them, and it's saving him hundreds in electric bills per month." />

A Connecticut man is leasing solar panels at a fraction of the cost to buy them, and it's saving him hundreds in electric bills per month.

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You can go green without spending too much of it.

Homeowners that want to install solar panel systems but just can't afford the sky-high installation costs, are now finding a more affordable option, right here in Connecticut.

It's one of the first things you notice when you pull up to Frank Chisholm's East Lyme home - 44 solar panels - blanketing his roof. But the only thing Chisholm seems to notice is his shrinking electric bill.

“Last month my electric bill was, are you ready? $20,” said Chisholm.

The $21.25 basically amounts to just the service charge.

Asked if his neighbors are jealous? Chisholm responded, yes.

Frank says he winds up selling electricity back to the power company.

He's wanted to go solar for a long time with the goals of saving money and saving the environment. But because the initial installation was so expensive, he couldn't afford it until he heard about the option to lease.

“I was interested ever since I heard about it on TV,” said Chisholm. “I went right online, investigated it and applied immediately.”

The system installed at Chisholm’s house is actually an average size for this program. And here's the remarkable fact, if he had purchased this solar panel system it would have cost him $50,000. Instead Chisholm says his lease amounts to $175 per month.

“My electric bill used to be $300/$325 a month,” said Chisholm.

Connecticut Solar Lease along with the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund makes it possible - offering customers 15-year leases with zero down.

“Allows them to come in with no money down to a system they might not have been able to afford otherwise,” said John Hayes of Connecticut Solar Lease.

Frank loves to look at how much he saves and how much power he generates.

“I'm proud to look at that,” said Chisholm.

But he knows he didn't have to break the bank to make it happen.

“I thought I could really save money on my electric bill and I have,” said Chisholm.

“It's absolutely a win-win,” said Hayes.

Connecticut Solar Lease is accepting new applicants here. There are about 30 slots left.
 

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