Saving money with solar

Saving money with solar

Colorado Springs, COLO - If you live in Colorado Springs, the price that you pay for power will be going up in the next few months.

The hike is to pay for the power that Colorado Springs Utilities is buying to replace the power that it isn't producing since the Drake Power Plant went off line.

But there is a way to cut down on those costs, as Colorado Springs Health Partners is doing at its Briargate clinic.

It looks like any other medical office, but there's more to the building than meets the eye.  The awning of the building is covered in solar panels.

Scotty Cass is the building manager for the Briargate clinic.  He said, "it blends in with the building perfectly."

Using solar power helps CSHP cut down on its costs, but putting solar panels on your house can cost several thousand dollars.  But it doesn't have to.

"Colorado Springs Utilities offers a renewable energy rebate program," said Deborah Mathis, who runs the renewable energy program for Colorado Springs Utilities.

The program pays about a third of the cost of a solar water heater.  Colorado Springs Utilities has already turned to renewables to help power some of its own buildings.

"We actually have solar panels on this building so that offsets some of the electric usage," said Mathis.

But that begs the question, why would a company that sells power want its customers to use less electricity?

"That's less power that we need to supply to everyone.  So that can mean - as it builds up over time - one less power plant that we need to build," said Mathis.

Which will leave a cleaner planet for the next generation.

Colorado Springs Utilities offers two different types of rebates for solar customers.  The incentive for whole house solar power is sold out for the year, but will return in January 2015.  They also offer an incentive for customers who want to use wind power.

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