Melville's Leviton is providing the juice for a Long Island family's Chevy Volt electric car through use of the company's EvrGreen solar-powered charging station.
The Olsen family of Lynbrook, is not only saving money at the pump with the technology; it's also lowering its energy costs through a home solar system, provided by EmPower Solar of Island Park.
“I decided to go solar to avoid the ever-increasing cost of energy, eliminate my electric bill and reduce my carbon footprint,” homeowner Ed Olsen said. “After freeing myself from the monthly LIPA bill, I decided to buy the Chevy Volt to do away with yet another growing expense, the high cost of gasoline. I charge the Volt using the power of the sun and feel good about doing my part to help the environment.”
Olsen estimates that he will save nearly $1,500 a year in gasoline by driving the Volt and $2,600 on his annual LIPA bill by converting his home to solar power. Olsen’s enthusiasm for alternative energy has also led him to pursue a career in the field and has since joined EmPower’s sales team and is helping spread the word about the benefits of solar power.
According to Gordian Raacke, executive director of Renewable Energy Long Island, a leading nonprofit organization promoting clean, sustainable energy, more than 4,000 Long Islanders have installed solar energy systems, with some of them paying as little as $9 a month to the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). Federal tax credits, LIPA rebates and increased competition has made solar an affordable option for many Long Islanders, with a total return on investment realized in as little as six years. Average installation costs for a typical Long Island home are $17,000 after factoring in incentives, tax credits and rebates.
Nationally, the U.S. solar photovoltaic market is one of the fastest growing segments of the energy market, on track to double last year’s installations with an estimated 1,750 megawatts predicted for 2011, enough to power 350,000 homes.