New stats show solar panel use on the rise

    New stats show solar panel use on the rise

    Electrician Nick Hatch and his wife Amanda just installed solar panels in their backyard.

    "How can we shrink everything down to make life as affordable as possible, solar panels was one of the first things that popped into my mind,” said Nick Hatch.

    The Hatch’s, who live in Council Bluffs, are now part of a growing group that’s using solar power in the mid-west.

    They still pay the power company, but they also send energy back to the power grid.

    Across the river, the Nebraska Energy Office says 13-times more power is now being generated from solar panels within state borders compared to the numbers from last year.

    The Hatch’s are already seeing the savings. They say their bill has been cut in half.

    Graham Christensen of GC ReVOLT designed the Hatch's solar setup.

    "Some people say they want to tighten the belt and find ways to save money,” said Christensen, “and probably more of the folks I work with are saying that we want to do our little part for the next generation, we want to be part of the solution in helping do our role to drop greenhouse gases."

    He says the equipment is now cheaper than it’s ever been, but still costs between $15,000 and $20,000, which is before the available tax credits and future energy savings.

    "It's a good way to invest in your future instead of investing in stocks, or should I invest in another house or this or that,” said Amanda Hatch. “Just setting up to have lower bills in the future."

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