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Austin church installs solar panels

An intern brigade (Adrien, Melissa, and I) traveled out to South Austin earlier this month to show Public Citizen support at the San Francisco de Asis Episcopal Church’s ribbon cutting ceremony for their solar panel installation. On top of the good work of this church’s affiliated mission, El Buen Samaritano, which provides health care and education for the church community, San Francisco de Asis is now doing good for the wider community as a producer of clean energy. And Reverend Jose Palma says the solar panels will save the church $10,000 a year (!!) in electric bills.

The church has also made this installation their own—the solar panels on the roof form the shape of a cross.

Adrien and I with Reverend Jose Palma--if you look closely you can see the solar panels forming a cross on the roof of the church building behind us

Adrien and I with Reverend Jose Palma--if you look closely you can see the solar panels forming a cross on the roof of the church building behind us

Laura from Austin Energy told us that the City of Austin’s funding of solar rebates is what makes these kind of installations possible. Although Austin Energy and CPS Energy in San Antonio offer good rebate programs and all Texas residents are eligible for a small federal rebate, the state of Texas has yet to establish a comprehensive rebate program so that all Texans can take advantage of the abundant sun here.

The More You Know:

CBS News recently aired this report on the future of solar energy:

If you are interested in installing your own solar panels you can check out the websites for the Texas Solar Power Company (who installed San Francisco de Asis’ panels) or Mehr Solar’s Texas page.

Related links:

- Natalie Messer