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Solarize Meridian: Solar energy education event in Okemos

Posted at 11:27 PM, Apr 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-01 23:27:44-04
  • Video shows Solarize Energy, a meeting held in Meridian Township to help educate residents on solar energy to power homes.
  • The meeting was organized by the Meridian Energy Team.
  • I spoke with a member of the team, who has used solar power on his own home for years.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

On Monday, Meridian Township residents gathered for Solarize Meridian, an educational event to help residents learn more about solar electric systems to power their homes.

A resident in East Lansing since the 1970s, John Sarver, has powered his home using solar energy for nearly 15 years….

"I might be out here working in the yard and somebody comes by and says, "Oh how does that work,"" Sarver said. "You get immediate savings on your electric bill of course, and the systems typically pay for themselves in about ten years, it can vary of course."

And John wants to educate others about using solar energy. He's a part of the Meridian Energy Team, who organized a meeting on Monday.

"Why would I go solar? Reasons are very personal, and I think it can fall into many buckets," said Fred Hingst, a representative from Absolute Solar.

There are some significant upfront costs to note. According to Nerd Wallet, the average 6 kilowatt system cost in Michigan is more than 19-thousand dollars ($19,440), but that's before any government-related tax incentives.

And, with the average solar payback period being nine and 12 years, and a lifespan of up to 30 years, advocates at Monday's meeting hope more will consider the option in the future.

"We get neighbors talking to neighbors, you have a solar homeowner, you have an installer, and you have the public coming together to ask questions," said Meridian Township Environmental Programs Coordinator LeRoy Harvey. "It's less of a sales spiel than a typical contractor visit to your home."

I'm told if you missed this meeting, Meridian Township plans on bringing these events to the greater Lansing area in the near future.

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