TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Mitzi Rusk has dreamed of putting solar panels on her Tyler home.
“Ever since President Carter put solar panels on the White House, that’s when I became intrigued with this idea,” said Tyler resident Mitzi Rusk.
So, four years ago she took the leap and got them installed on her roof with added benefits.
“I chose to get the computer convertor, and I do sometimes sell electricity back to the grid,” said Rusk.
Rusk said she did her research before she bought the panels, and SWEPCO advises customers to do the same.
“They need to do their homework. It’s very important,” said Tara Muck with SWEPCO.
You have to be careful when door to door salesmen come around and knock on your door, because their information may not be correct.
“I’ve experienced people coming to my door both at another home in Tyler and in this home even having solar panels on my house,” said Rusk.
That’s why SWEPCO has come out with a list to help answer your questions.
“A lot of our customers are asking, ‘What is this really about? Is it true that I will completely reduce my electric bill?’ And a lot of times customers ask after the fact or coming back to us, upset because they still have a bill,” said Muck.
People are being told you can get your panels for free, you won’t have a electric bill, and every home can get them, but that’s not exactly true.
“We’re talking systems that can be over $20,000, depending on what you get, and so the solar company are basically pushing these fixed interest rate loans that can be upwards to 20 years,” said Muck.
SWEPCO said most East Texas homes with solar connections have what they call interconnection where they have both solar and electricity. So, you would still get a bill every month, but it would be reduced. Rusk said her electric bill was once as low as $18.
SWEPCO has roughly 188,000 customers in the East Texas area, but only 300 of those are connected to a solar system.
Mitzi Rusk and SWEPCO advise everyone to know exactly what they are getting into before spending thousands of dollars.