Going solar, shrinking electric bills

By Jillian Marshall

June 12, 2014 Updated Jun 12, 2014 at 5:58 PM EDT

Apalachin, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A Tioga County family will be free of their electric bill, thanks to two dozen solar panels.

Meredith and Frank Bocek now have 24 solar panels on their home.

Getting solar panels was always a dream for the couple and after their former home in Owego was flooded, they decided to take the plunge.

"We've thought about this for years and so to finally be part of this solar revolution, and it is a revolution," said Meredith, "[in] New York State there is so much solar activity going on, it's amazing, and we're just totally glad to be part of that and to have less dependency on fossil fuels."

The installation took three days and it's the first home to have panels installed after Southern Tier Solar Works, a community-led initiative, held more than 10 workshops throughout Broome and Tioga counties.

Adam Flint, program manager of Southern Tier Solar Works, said now is the perfect time to go solar because state and national tax credits make solar power more affordable.

In fact, there has been a rapid increase in solar power in the Southern Tier.

"Last year, in Broome and Tioga counties, 22 residences had solar installed. In two months, we have already gotten 35 contracts out there and I wouldn't be surprised if we get to 44 and literally double the number of people who went solar energy in just three months," Flint said.

ETM Solar installed the solar power system at the Bocek's home.

For more information on Southern Tier Solar Works, click here.