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Combat Gas Prices with a Solar PV Installation (Really!)

save on gas by charging your electric car with your home's solar panelsSo there’s actually some good news from the non-renewable energy sector. Recent reports say gas prices are lower than they were at this time last year … and they are dropping in time for Memorial Day. That’s definitely atypical of seasonal trends. Maybe I shouldn’t complain, but an average price of $3.50 per gallon still stings, in my opinion.

Confusion often exists that you can combat high oil prices with clean, free renewable energy like solar or wind power. Since most parts of the country do not use electric for heat, and a solar PV installation provides electricity, not gas or oil, this isn’t exactly true. But there is one smart way you can combat high oil prices with your solar PV array.

It’s easy.

Lease an electric-powered car like the Chevy Volt or Nissan Leaf, or a hybrid like the Toyota Prius, and then use solar power in your home to charge the car. Drivers can lease a Leaf for under $300 — equivalent to conventional gas-powered cars of about the same size. And if you decide to purchase the car, instead, you can earn up to $7,500 in tax credits off the $27,000 car.

Electric Cars by the Numbers
The best estimates we found for the costs of charging an electric car had it at about $2.75 per “tank” or a full charge when the battery cell is empty. The blogger at “Life and My Finances” breaks it down in this post about electric cars. In short, you’d probably spend about $25 per month on electric to power the car, or about one-quarter of what you might pay at the pump for a 16-gallon tank filled up weekly.

Even a small PV array can produce $25 worth of electricity per month … usually much more than that. Electric cars are not just something for staunch environmentalists looking to show off their “green” toys. They are a smart move for anyone looking to save money. And one of the best ways you can combat high oil prices with solar energy.

Post Written by
A full-time freelance writer, Dawn frequently covers energy efficiency, green living, and topics like LED lighting and whole home control systems for a number of blogs and technology trade magazines. Dawn is proud to live in New York as the state vies to beat out New Jersey as the East coast top dog of solar energy and is waiting for the Solar Renewable Energy Certificate legislation to pass before installing solar panels on her Long Island home.

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