A Hatfield Township Woman is the 1,000th Pennsylvania homeowner to receive a check under the PA Sunshine Solar Rebate Program for making her home sun-powered. Mercury Solar Systems installed a photovoltaic electric system in Sally Kauffman’s home. The General Manager of the company’s Philadelphia office, Andrew Kleeman, says a solar power system typically provides about 1/4 to 3/4 of a home’s electric needs.
“The solar power system doesn’t replace the electrical connection with the utility company. It supplants a lot of the power that would otherwise come through that system, so right now Sally’s meter is literally spinning backwards because she’s not using much power and the solar arrays are producing a great deal of power on this solar perfect day.”
The noontime sun was shining brightly as he spoke. He says any excess a solar system generates goes into the grid where electric companies pool their power, and the homeowner gets a credit on the next bill. Kauffman, the homeowner, says it made a big difference in her latest electric bill.
“When the electric prices went up in January my bill was quite high. I have a house that’s all electric. It was over $600 dollars and the last bill, for a whole month with the system being put up, was $198 so it really has made a big difference.”
Pennsylvania Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger says the Gulf of Mexico oil spill underscores the need for clean energy.
“There’s no sun spill from this system. There’s no wind spill. When you’re investing in solar, wind, geothermal, energy efficiency, you’re investing in absolutely zero-pollution technology.”
Hanger says the state rebates go down as the cost of solar energy equipment and installation goes down, and the cost keeps dropping as more people get it.