Cedar Rapids says they're seeing more residents go solar in Linn County

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- A new initiative to go solar throughout Linn County is starting to shine by offering homeowners some positive incentives for signing up.

The program is called Solarize Cedar Rapids and Linn County.

It's a bulk solar power installation program the city and county offer along with the Midwest Renewable Energy Association.

The program offers homeowner’s savings on their energy bills if they install solar panels on their home.

“It's become more appealing as time has gone on, lower energy bills through a reliable source of power, some people want to lower their carbon admissions, they want to have clean air, those are a few reasons why solar become more and more appealing as time has gone on,” says Eric Holthaus, the Cedar Rapids Sustainability Coordinator.

The Solarize Cedar Rapids and Linn County Purchasing Program give buyers who sign up early the opportunity to receive a tax incentive and a discounted rate of installing solar panels.

It’s generated a lot of interest and about 44 homes have signed up for the program.

One couple who signed up last month says they are starting to see the benefits of going solar.

Michael Banks and his wife Patricia have lived in their Cedar Rapids home for seven years.

Back in June, they attended the solar power hour, a free information session teaching people about the basics of solar.

After hearing about how solar energy can help environmental and lower energy bills, the Banks decided to go ahead and have some solar panels installed.

“It's been great, I mean I’ve enjoyed it, says Michael Banks.

“He’s been very enthusiastic yes," says Patricia Banks.

“She likes the low maintenance, put it up there and forget about it,” says Michael.

He joined the program and installed solar panels on his house last month.

And within five years Banks says installing solar panels on his house should save him around 8 thousand dollars.

The Solarize Cedar Rapids and Linn County Purchasing Program is going on until September 30.

For more information on the program, you can click HERE