Hot and humid days like Valley residents have experienced lately are when electric bills go through the roof because of things such as air conditioning. But Salem resident Twila Frantz can run her air, lights and ceiling fans without having to pay a dime. It’s all because of solar power and her loving husband.
“He was not going to be around much longer, and he wanted something that I would have that would help me out in my life,” said Frantz.
Frantz’s husband Allen died in March, but his memory lives on every time she turns something on inside the house and when she looks in the backyard at the two large solar panels.
“The day we signed the contract he took me aside when Twila stepped out and said the reason he was doing solar is to make sure his wife is taken care of because he does not have much time left on the earth,” said Solar consultant Sheldon Stutzman.
Stutzman said there is an initial investment for the solar panels but said the money is recouped in savings on energy over time. At an average cost of 12 cents per kilowatt-hour, over 30 years with a three percent rate increase, energy costs will rise to 18 or 19 cents. With solar power, the average cost is about seven or eight cents after averaging in tax credits.
Even though solar is not practical at night and energy production slows in the winter, sunny days allow for the storing of energy credits customers can use when the panels are not producing.
“It was such an honor when he told Sheldon and Sheldon told me,” said Frantz. “I just did not know how much he really cared.”