Clean Solar Energy Saves Bucks!

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Ever thought about installing a solar panel for the roof? Or getting a hybrid or electric car to cut down on fuel? If you’re like me, you’re always looking for ways to lower your electric bill, and reduce fuel expenses for your car.

Ford Motor Company™ and SunPower™  have partnered to help you do both. The new program, Drive Green for Life™ combines the two and cuts down on electric and gas consumption. There are other hybrid and electric cars on the market, but at this time, only Ford’s Plug-in Hybrid vehicles Focus, Fusion and Energi qualify for the program, which allows you to charge your battery-electric or Plug-in Hybrid vehicle at home using the your clean-energy solar panel.

As part of the program, first-time Ford electric vehicle owners receive a $750 mail-in rebate with the purchase or lease of the solar system. For each solar system installed through the Drive Green for Life™ program, SunPower donates $500 to the Sierra Club to help support programs advocating clean energy, stronger carbon standards, and increased protection of public lands. An additional incentive: For every friend or family member you refer who purchases a solar panel from SunPower, you’ll receive a $500 gift card. But that’s not all! (Why am I feeling like a late night TV commercial?) Purchase of the solar panel qualifies for a 30% federal income tax credit.

I did install a solar panel on the roof when I lived in South Florida. Time to think about putting one on the current homestead. There is a considerable initial investment, but savings would definitely recoup the investment over time. And realtors tell me it would add to the resale value of my home. It would be nice to lower electric bills, reduce fuel expenses, drive nearly carbon-free and decrease my carbon footprint.

8 responses to “Clean Solar Energy Saves Bucks!

  1. Christopher Brooks

    Picked up a plug in hybrid car on July 25th. I charge it overnight and drive to work and back on electricity alone. I have yet to visit the gas station with it. I live in a condo. so I can’t have a solar panel on the roof but it would be great if the car had its own solar panel to charge during the day when it is sitting out in the parking lot.

  2. That’s very cool (about the car). I wonder how much it has affected his electric bill.

    • Christopher Brooks

      Very good question. For me it is a great deal as the electricity supplied to my garage is covered by my monthly association dues. So it doesn’t cost anymore to charge the car but, if I calculate correctly, it costs about 50 cents to fully charge the battery. I charge it 5 to 7 times/week.

  3. Thanks for this information. It comes at just the right time for me. My 15-year-old truck is needing more and more frequent and expensive repairs. And every time my air conditioner turns on or I walk out my front door into the blazing sun I think about converting those rays into cooling power.

  4. I drive a small hybrid that I bought in 2006, before plug-ins came out. I put about $10 worth of gas in it every month. I get about 54 mpg if I leave the AC and radio off. I’d love to get an electric-only car, but in doing that would I really be making a positive change for the environment? Wouldn’t I just be switching from dependence on oil to dependence on wherever our electricity comes from — be that coal, or nuclear power, or what have you? It’s something I think about, and I don’t have a good answer for it. Having zero emissions would definitely be a plus, though. I really like the idea of a solar panel on top of the car to generate the energy. Or maybe car manufacturers could put a bunch of tiny windmills up there, so that when you drive, the car converts the wind to energy. I am not kidding, as comical as that sounds.

  5. Christopher Brooks

    I agree. Seems it would make sense to at least put pinwheel-type driven generators behind the front grill of the car. That way you would be capturing energy using wind resistance the car has to push through anyway without creating more resistance as you would with them on the top of the car for instance. At freeway speeds I think it would produce a significant amount of energy. Combine that with a roof top solar panel and you could really extend the range of an electric vehicle without using any additional fossil fuel.

  6. In fact, we’re tripling our solar capacity in 2016. It’s all part of our ongoing strategy of advancing clean energy, while keeping energy affordable for you.

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