St. James family home one of the first in the city to install solar panels

Sarah Bunich
St. James Plaindealer
David and Carissa Lick are one of the first people to install solar panels for their home in St. James.

Over the years solar power panels have changed a lot and it is not as expensive as people thought they are. One St. James family found that out to be true when they were looking into completing one of their environmentally friendly goals. 

David and Carissa have always cared about the environment and do what they can to help with that. They saw getting solar panels as a good way to do that.

After researching prices, and companies to see who would be the right fit for them and what they wanted. They realized they can do it and it not be as expensive as they though.

 " We realized that prices had gone down so much since we were kids in the 90s," said Carissa. " It was doable for us especially with the stimulus money, we wanted to use it well and we felt like this was a good way."

During their time of researching and preparing to get solar panels they had help from a friend who knew someone that also recently installed panels. Carissa said they gave them tips that were really helpful for them to kind of know where to start.

St. James is the first town where they have their own house. Making this the first time they were able to have the choice of getting solar panels. With this the Licks went forward with installing the panels with the company Zinniel Electric, who have been installing solar panels for a a little over a decade.

Last week the family had 14 panels installed on their roof. The Licks said with the 14 panels they should have the electricity they use during the day covered by the panels. How the panels work with them not have battery storage is the Licks are using net metering through their electric company, this means that all the electricity the panels generate goes to the electric company who then pays the Licks for it.

" They measure how much we produce and they measure how much we use, then each month we either pay in, like in the winter we will pay in a little bit," said Carisa. " But in the summer they will pay us for what ever the difference is."

Not only do the Lick family get some benefits from the electric company and been able complete one of their environmentally friendly projects by getting the solar panels, they also get a tax benefit the year after installing them. David said this tax benefit is to help defray the cost of installing the panels. 

Solar panels pay for themselves after 14 years, past that point everything after that is pure profit for the family.