Gainesville homeowners talk about benefits of switching to solar energy

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"I'm saving money. Each month when that utility bill comes in I look and say hey I’ve saved this much money.”

Local homeowners Wes Wheeler said the switch to solar is not only energy efficient, but it's also saving him money.

"I’m estimating we're saving at least a $100 a month. $1200 a year. My system will pay for itself in eight years -- that's a better rate of return than anything I had invested in the stock market,” Wheeler said.

Homeowners like Wheeler want other Gainesville homeowners to take advantage of the benefits of solar energy.

He's a part of a solar co-op program that organizes group solar installations and educates residents on the benefits.

"A solar cooperative is a group of local citizens getting together and saying we would like to have solar panels on our individual roofs,” Wheeler said.

But wheeler said its not just about saving money --

"We are saving the planet, we're saving the local community and we're creating jobs.”

With global warming on the rise Wheeler said solar energy gives homeowners a chance to play a role in combating climate change

"A lot of people say well what can I do about it. It’s too big of an issue. Well no its not because each of us can do something now by saving energy and using solar and this is a great way to do it."

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