A teacher at North Greene High School is putting his money where his mouth is when it comes to protecting the environment.
David McGraw has been a proponent of recycling and environmental causes in the Greene County area for several years, including laying much of the ground work to bring recycling programs to Roodhouse and later White Hall.
McGraw has now turned his attention to energy savings, and hopes to bring solar energy to the area, starting with his own home.
Crews have been working on his house in Roodhouse this week installing a solar grid system, that he says does not take as long as one might think to see a return on the investment.
“Well the incentives for going solar are very good right now. The whole unit is a $20,000 unit, but you can expect a $9,500 return credit from the state, and then at income tax time, another $5,400 back.
So it leaves the homeowner with roughly a $6,200 out of pocket cost. However, in the city of Roodhouse, they have an agreement that if we make an excess amount of power, it gets sold back to the grid.
So on days you have a lot of sun, there will be a credit to the account, energy credits, essentially so it wipes out the electric bill.”
McGraw says he hopes to be a bit of a trailblazer in his area and that his solar system will inspire others to utilize alternative energy systems. He hopes to have the system up and running by Wednesday or Thursday of this week. He says a special meter is required to be installed by the city for use with the system.
McGraw says that not only will the system save on his electric bills, but it will also be a benefit to the power grid.
“One of the reasons there are government incentives on this is, they want more people to get this so that it aids in the aging electrical grids. So a good example of this is, summer time when it’s 103 degrees outside and most people have their air conditioners working really hard, and that’s on top of the other electrical needs that they have.
So in my situation, I’m helping the grid supply more power and give less of a change of a blackout. So I learned that some of those incentives are to aid the aging electrical grids. Which I thought was interesting.”
McGraw says municipalities and utility companies alike are starting to encourage the use of solar as they are finding it less expensive to have customers properties work as a sort of adjunct grid within the system, than it is to update and replace costly portions of the power existing grid.