Community looks to solar power in the Eastern Panhandle

West Virginia

As solar energy grows in affordability in the Mountain State, many home and business owners alike are looking at the alternate source in a new light.

“The cost of solar has decreased astronomically,” said Autumn Long, program director for Solar United Neighbors West Virginia. “Even in the past ten years or so, costs gone down 75 to 80 percent.”

Debby Kay is a dog breeder in Harpers Ferry, and after changing her home to solar, she decided to make her business solar as well.

“I said you know I have too much invested in these puppies and I don’t wanna chance it to a power outage,” said Kay.

However, the transition to solar isn’t convenient for everyone as panels won’t prove ideal if they’re obstructed by trees or mountains and would create complications if one needed to move away. 

“That’s something I had to take into account,” said Jeff Wessel. “Would the value added to my home for putting solar on make it so I wasn’t going to take a huge loss?”

But for people like Kay and Wessel, who don’t plan on moving away, the change into solar was worth the investment.

“Because in the long run, that electric bill of mine, I know that twenty years we’ve been at this house with this electric company. That electric bill has more than quadrupled,” said Kay.

Since 2015, West Virginia allows for net metering so customers can sell excess energy back to utility companies.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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