Solar power system for homes not that costly with rebates

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Craig Riggs, who is installing a solar power system at his home tells 3TV, "I want to see some of my bills shrink, instead of getting bigger."

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9 p.m. Extra: Solar Panel Systems - A lot of people would like to take advantage of the abundance of sun here in Arizona by using solar energy, but they think installing the equipment will break the bank. Not so fast....one company says that with government rebates, it's not as bad you think.

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Riggs decided it was time to make the move to solar. He says, "I'm trying to have money set aside that was a long-term value. Something's that's going to be worth something next year, 5 years, 10 years, regardless of what the economy is doing, I'm adding value to my home and I'm having less monthly payments."

Gray Johnson, the owner of American Solar Solutions explains, "It's renewable energy. All you're using is the sun. The sun is doing every bit of this, we're not using any power from any other source."

Gary says he is giving Craig's home in Mesa a brand new solar power system. "If we know what you're looking to save and what your normal utility bills are, then we go to your roof and we see what we can do, how many panels we can put up to make you save the amount of money you want to."

Gary's crew installed a system with 60 panels. He explains, "We are doing a 10.5 kilo watt system. 10,500 watts and that is a big job." He adds, "We are going to end up saving 40 to 50% in his utilities bills with this system here."

Now while saving money is the goal with solar, some people are not excited about shelling out a lot cash to install the system.

Gary says, "I think the important thing for people to know is just how little it will cost them to get into a system minus the rebate that they're going to get from the three different entities."

The rebates consumers can take advantage of come from the federal and state government, along with your local utility company.

Gary explains, "The first is from the federal government. They're going to give you 30% back on the total cost of the job. Ok, so huge savings. The utility companies will give you anywhere from $2.77 to $3 a watt on your system." Gary also says, "The state kicks in another $1,000.

Gary explains, "Manufacturing guarantees these panels as most do for 30 years. They're not going to lose any more than 5% of their output in a 30-year period.

As for Craig, he says going solar was not just about cutting his utility bills in half, it's also about doing what you can to make a difference in the environment.

Craig says, "I had a little bit of money set aside and I couldn't think of a better way to invest, help the planet and it helps my pocket book."