Batesville, In. — Thirteen homeowners and two businesses went “solar” with help from The Batesville/Oldenburg Solarizing Team in 2017. The locations are in the Batesville, Oldenburg and Greensburg areas.The group changed their name to Solarizing Indiana/Southeast because they want to widen their outreach in the three counties of Franklin, Ripley and Decatur. The group has offered solar home tours during March of this year.Solar information sessions are scheduled for March 26, 2018, 6:30-7:3 30 pm at Greensburg Public Library, April 5, 2018 from 6:30 to 7:30 p. m. at Batesville Memorial Public Library and May 8, 2018 from 6:00 to 7:00 p. m. at Brookville Public Library. RSVP to Claire Whalen, OSF, at 812-933-6514 or email [email protected] local team is part of a statewide network of volunteers who believe renewable energy is a wonderful way for citizens, businesses and faith communities to reduce their energy use and their carbon footprints and lower their electric bills at the same time. The group seeks to help neighbors as well as city government leaders to take advantage of the opportunities and incentives currently available.Homeowners and businesses will ask, why go solar now? What’s the hurry? The information sessions will answer those questions and more. A local installer, Micah Lohrum from Greensburg, will be on hand for each info session to explain how solar systems work and to address specific questions. Our team selected his company for the second year for his 2018 competitive bid and his record of satisfied customers.On one of the March 4th home tours visits, participants learned that a home solar system installed in 2014 cost about $1,000 per solar panel. In 2018 a similar system would cost about $700 per panel and generally be more powerful than four years ago. Signing up for this program with installations and interconnections to the grid completed before December 31, 2018, owners of these systems who are customers of public utility companies would get 15 years of net-metering and qualify for a federal tax credit of 30% of the full cost of the installation. Both of these incentives will be disappearing over the next three to four years.So what would it cost for a typical home in Indiana that uses 10,000 kWh of electrical energy per year and installs solar panels to generate about 50% of their power? The installed cost for this 4 kW solar array with standard solar panels would be about $9,840 upfront, but after the 30% investment tax credit, the system’s actual net cost would be about $6,888. This could generate almost $600 in energy savings each year. Today’s solar panels last for 25+ years with the utility-bill savings having paid for the system after 10-12 years. After this time, your energy costs would continue to be half of today’s. You can also add solar panels to charge an electric vehicle and a home battery system both covered in the 30% tax credit.