LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3.com) -- Southern Nevada residents and businesses have until Nov. 9 to apply for a rebate on solar panels that will reduce the cost to heat and power their structures.
Operated under the SolarGenerations program, the rebates are available for about 250 residences, businesses, schools and churches. The state allows five megawatts of solar power for such rebates. If there is heavy demand for the rebates, they will be awarded on a lottery system. The rebates are offered at various times of the year and are paid for by a surcharge every customers pays each month.
Jim Hargrove, the program manager, said he expects heavy demand for the rebates.
Although there is an upfront cost for a solar system, most projects can be paid for within five to six years with the savings in power and heat costs. Getting a rebate on the coast of the solar panels can shorten the payback time. The cost of solar panels has also dropped up to 70 percent in recent years.
"One of the easy ways to think about this is that you're paying your electric bill for the next 25 years all up front," Hargrove said. "You're doing the right thing in terms of the environment. It's cool to make electricity out of the sun. Whether there's politics in it or not, it's cool technology."
The Obama administration has been criticized for spending billions to expand renewable energy use and systems, but the Mitt Romney campaign also supports the use of renewable energy.
NV Energy officials urge energy users to get educated before they purchase a solar panel system. The company's website -- nv.eneregy.com -- offers information and a list of reputable contractors, as well as a link to apply for the rebate.