Austin sees record number of solar installations
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From turning on the fan to playing a video game—it’s a beaming sun and the right equipment that powers the Darlington household in East Austin.
Madge Darlington says it just made sense to switch to renewable energy after hearing about rebates.
"We have lived in this house for three years and we've had solar for a little over a year," she said. "Both through the City of Austin, the Pecan Street Project, and then there was a federal rebate that you could get on your taxes afterwards."
Taking advantage of the deals has saved her thousands.
"We got almost a $30,000 system with rebates and everything for about $4,000," she said.
Beyond the rebates, Madge says she hasn't felt the savings of going solar because of a billing hiccup.
"They didn't bill us for several months and so right now we're kind of paying for our electricity for those months," she said.
However, once caught up, she's confident the system will pay for itself and her 12-year-old son Maxwell knows mom knows best.
"My mom said that it will also pay for itself, so after it pays for itself then we could just keep saving because it's not going anywhere," Maxwell said.
Max predicts by the time he's his mother's age, solar power won't be so unique.
"It's going to be like a car, just like driving a car, so normal," he said.
The trend certainly seems to be headed in that direction as the price of solar continues to drop and the process gets easier. Madge says the solar company she hired took care of everything.
"They came out and did measurements and sized the system for us. What size system made the most sense,” she said.
Austin Energy is currently offering a two dollar per watt rebate--its lowest ever, but they continue to sell out of the program. Click here to see if you qualify.