Written by Lauren DeWitt, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
DUBUQUE (KWWL) -
Many businesses across eastern Iowa are following a growing trend which allows them to go green and save some green. Tim Mueller is the president of Solar Planet in Dubuque. Solar Planet is a company which installs solar power panels to homes and businesses. Those panels create independent, self-reliant, and Eco-friendly renewable energy. He said the demand for solar power has grown in the past couple of years.
"We've noticed a sharp increase in the last 2 years." Mueller said Friday.
He said he believes that increase is because people want to help save the environment. He also thinks people are realizing the panels can save money, despite up-front installation costs.
"They can save the equivalent of their electric bill. We can completely eliminate there electric bill entirely." Mueller said.
Mueller said currently there are several programs available to both businesses and homeowners looking to convert to solar energy. He said a program in the state of Iowa called alternative energy revolving loan program which provides 50% funding for the project at 0% interest for 20 years.
Drew Siegert is the president of Betty Jane Candies in Dubuque. In April, the companies Asbury Road location in Dubuque converted to solar energy. Siegert said it takes a lot of energy to store chocolate.
"Chocolate needs to be stored at between 55 and 65 degrees year round. We have quite a big facility so that's a lot of energy we are using." Siegert said.
Siegert said the panels have already allowed the store to cute its C02 emissions.
"We were able to activate them on April 2nd and since then we've been able to bank enough energy to cut our C02 emissions the equivalent of planting 39 trees." Siegert said.
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