Monday, January 26, 2015 - 7:29:39 AM

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Moving Off The Grid, And Toward Solar Energy

Frank and Meredith Bocek used to pay an average of $120 a month for their electricity bill. But after workers finish installing solar panels on their house, that cost will decrease drastically.
 
"They're really not going to be paying for their electricity. And once they pay the system off--they're really not going to be paying anything for their electricity at all," said Adam Flint, Program Director of Southern Tier Solar Works.

The system that's being installed on the Bocek's house is one of nearly 35 in Broome and Tioga Counties. An average set of panels costs between $8,000 and $10,000. They took out a home equity loan that they expect to pay back within the next decade.
 
"Over a ten year period, we're going to be the winners in this situation," said Frank Bocek.

The 24 solar panels that Frank and Meredith are having installed this week will produce 96% of their electricity per year.

"Totally excited. We're really excited. And we hope people see this and they'll get excited too," said Meredith Bocek.
 
Harnessing your own energy with solar panels does have it's perks--including federal and state tax credits, and partial refunds from New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. But for the Bocek's, it's about more than that.
 
"We are the first generation to really feel the full effects of climate change...We are the last generation that can actually do anything about it," said Frank Bocek.

"For everybody's children. For all the generations coming. We want to be able to have done something positive," said Meredith Bocek.
 
The Bocek's hope that in the future they can move completely off the grid by powering an electric car with their solar energy, and even moving away from heating their house with natural gas.


****Ayla Ferrone, Fox 40 HD News****

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