JACKSON – A consumer’s guide has been published by the office of Attorney General Jim Hood to provide assistance for Mississippians who might be considering installing solar panels to power their homes and businesses.
“We try to get all the facts out to consumers,” Hood said Wednesday during a news conference in his office in the Sillers Building in Jackson. “We have found an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Hood said his office produced the guide at least in part because of problems between contractors and consumers in installing the solar panels in neighboring Louisiana. Hood’s office and the state contractors have tried for the past two years to pass legislation requiring people who install solar panels to receive a certification, but those bills have died.
“Renewable energy – including solar power – can be beneficial to the environment while providing a cost savings for the consumer,” Hood said in a statement. ”It is critical to determine whether the investment...in a solar system is the right choice for your home or business.”
The guide discusses the differences between purchasing and leasing a solar panel system. For instance, if leased, the company installing the system would be eligible for the federal tax breaks instead of the homeowner.
The guide talks about the costs of a system, the lifespan of a system and it explains net metering. The state Public Service Commission approved net metering in 2015, allowing utility customers who use renewable energy options to sell excess power to the utility company.
While still responsible for only a small fraction of the energy market, solar power is a growing industry.
For instance, according to GreenTech Media, in 2016 solar was the No. 1 new source of energy in the United States, accounting for 39 percent of new power additions. Still, solar accounts for less than 1 percent of the energy generated in America.
Hood pointed out there are two solar farms in his home county of Chickasaw. In addition, there is another solar farm near New Albany.
A copy of the guide can be found at www.agjimhood.com.
More than 260,000 people in America work in the solar industry.