Kentucky homeowners turning to solar for lower energy bills

Published: Feb. 20, 2019 at 6:32 PM EST
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Janet Eaton, a Jessamine County farmer on a fixed income, has 22 solar panels installed on the roof of her barn. That energy runs her home, and has reduced her heating bills by hundreds of dollars.

She says one month last year her bill was $500, but after the solar installation her bill has been as low as $13.

Now, Eaton did pay $20,000 for her system, but she received a $5,000 credit as well.

"The system will pay for itself in 7 or 8 years and for 20 to 25 years," said Eaton. "We will have free electricity best way to say it . . . We went whole hog, but you can put four or five panels, one or two panels to just assist you with those heating bills."

Solar Energy Solutions, a solar energy company in Lexington, says the panels will not eliminate the bill altogether for most users. However, the energy savers generally cut people's bills in half.

In 12 years, the company has had more than 1,000 installations.

A bill introduced during this legislative session would limit credits for people using solar energy.

Senate Bill 100 would let the Public Service Commission decide how much utility companies would pay for solar power.

In the first vote, the Senate passed it 23-12.

The bill cleared the House last week with a few amendments. It now goes back to the Senate for a second vote.