WEAU | Eau Claire, Wisconsin | News, Weather, & Sports

Solar Power

By: Erica Dao
By: Erica Dao

A little bit of heavy lifting today, plus some light tomorrow, equals a weight off the Komoto's energy bills.
"The sun is basically free so if we can take advantage of it, that's great,” said Cary Komoto, a homeowner.
The panel is part of a solar water heating system that will supplement Komoto's current hot water system.
"What happens is the sun comes out and heats up some fluid in the panel on our garage roof. It goes through the heat exchanger and heats up our hot water tank downstairs
CEC's goal is to provide Wisconsinites with the opportunity to produce and use clean energy. By having the system installed, the Komoto's are becoming part of a renewable energy cooperative, something CEC is trying to expand across the state.
"People are concerned with oil prices and all that. This is one way that we can become more energy independent from other countries in the world."
According to CEC, the solar system will contribute 35 to 75 percent of the energy consumed by the present hot water system. For Komoto, the system is about $8,000, but half of it is funded by a Focus on Energy grant and federal deductions on income taxes.
"I'm really excited. I think this is a great system for us, especially the four to five years after we pay it off, after that the energy is free."
People like the Komoto's who have a system installed become members of the co-op and the membership goes toward funding the construction of large scale renewable energy systems.


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