Save with solar even during winter

Expert explains how to slash electric bills on Talk To Tom

Summer may be prime time for solar energy production, but Eric Larson, a Senior Research Engineer at Princeton University says, “you’re still generating electricity even in the wintertime.”

“(Solar energy production) peaks in sort of July timeframe and then it will bottom out in December, but you are still making electricity all the time when the sun is shining,” Larson said.

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You can store the solar energy you get from your panels, but may be cost-prohibitive for some.

“It’s pretty expensive to put a big battery in and you would need a pretty big battery,” Larson said.

However, with time Larson said he believes in-home storage options will improve.

Worth your time

Larson said even a few panels could be worth your time.

“Especially because there is now a federal law that gives you a big rebate on any solar panel that you purchase,” he said. “It’s something like a 30% tax credit that you get.”

“The cost for these things are coming down which is why people are starting to really use them a lot,” Larson added.

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Saving the planet

The engineer said there is still a long way to go when it comes to replacing traditional electricity with solar.

He said right now “it might be 5%” of the total electric usage in America.

Larson also worked on Net Zero America.

“(The project looks at) how much solar and other energy forms that we would need for the country as a whole to get to net zero greenhouse emissions by 2050,” he said. “As far as solar and wind, the bottom line was we would likely need to expand our wind and solar by 10 to 15-fold from what it is today, and we have the ability to do that cost-effectively.”

To learn more about solar energy and how it could save you money check out News 6 Chief Meteorologist Tom Sorrells’ full conversation with Eric Larson.

You can watch Talk To Tom every Thursday at 5:30 p.m. on News 6 or anytime on News 6+.

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About the Author

Tiffany produces the News 6+ Takeover at 3:30 p.m., Florida's Fourth Estate and Talk to Tom.

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