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Information available for homeowners interested in solar energy

Money doesn’t grow on trees, but going green could save homeowners a few bucks. The group PUSH Green is holding an educational event Thursday night to inform residents about the cost efficiency of solar energy.Delaware District Council Member Joel Feroleto said helping the environment and saving money can go hand-in-hand.

“I think with SolarCity moving to Buffalo there’s been a lot more interest and people are asking how do we get solar panels on our house?,” said Feroleto. “What can we do to be more environmentally friendly? I think with that addition more people want to take part and have solar panels.”

New York State is investing $750 million dollars to build North America’s biggest solar panel factory for at the SolarCity plant in South Buffalo. A recent study showed solar panels have the ability to power two-thirds of the region’s electricity demand, with Buffalo ranking fourth among U.S. cities in terms of its potential.

“The great thing is, PUSH has the program so you have no commitments and you get a free energy assessment at your house,” said Feroleto. “There’s some grants available to people based on their income level. People may be eligible for specific grants and there’s other financing opportunities also.”

With gas and electric prices on the rise, Buffalo residents are buying into solar energy.

“It’s different, whether you’re doing solar panels or if you’re updating some windows in your house that get some cold air that comes inside in the winter,” said Feroleto. “For solar panels, right now it’s approximately four years and then you start to see a return on your investment.”

The PUSH Green event starts at 6 p.m. at the North Buffalo Community Center on Sanders Road.

Nick Lippa leads our Arts & Culture Coverage, and is also the lead reporter for the station's Mental Health Initiative, profiling the struggles and triumphs of those who battle mental health issues and the related stigma that can come from it.