Venice neighborhood slowly but surely goes solar

10% Of Neighborhood Goes Solar

SARASOTA (WWSB) - Have you ever considered using solar energy to power your home? One Venice neighborhood is raving about the amount of money they’ve saved since switching.

The sun was shining at 71 degrees on this beautiful Sunday in Venice, but Rich Blair and his neighbors were thinking about more than just their tan.

“Right now I’m making, a wholleeee bunch more electricity," said Blair. "This is a great solar day, I’m making a ton more electricity than what I’m consuming.”

Blair went solar and never looked back.

“It’s 75% of what I was paying," he explained. "It’s awesome, and nothing down. I just can’t get over it. I don’t know why everybody doesn’t do this.”

His entire home and Telsa electric vehicle now run on the electricity from the sun, and he showed the Florida Power and Light bills to prove it.

“It gives ya an indication of what I was paying before," Blair showed a statement with $400 per month. “And this is what I’m paying now.” That bill dropped to about $8 per month.

Of course, the solar panels aren’t free, so there’s the cost of that.

In his research, Blair found that most companies charge about $1,000 each panel. He went with Tesla and for his family’s energy consumption, their designers recommended 61 panels.

“I financed that over 20 years,” Blair said. "But even financing it, like I said, I’m paying 75% for the system compared to what I was paying to FP&L.”

For the Venice homeowner, it was such a good deal, he told all of his neighbors, including Paul Gans across the street.

“I’ve been looking at solar for a number of years, but Rich had discovered that Tesla was in the business and soon as I heard that, I’ve always respected Tesla, so I called them," Gans said. "They came out and they did a survey of the house and said ‘bing, bang, boom,’ this is what we’ll get you.”

Gans was sold, more on the fact that he’d be leaving less of a footprint on the environment, but on hot days like Sunday, he said it’s a plus that he’s saving money too.

“It’s generating three times more than what I’m actually using today and that surplus would be able to go to pay for months that I don’t generate as much," Gans said.

Blair also added that he has been given a 30 percent investment tax credit because he switched to solar. This refund is also known as a federal solar tax credit, which is an incentive the government offers for anyone who installs a solar energy system.

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