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Montana school saves money using solar panels

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BILLINGS, Mont. -

by Melissa Scavelli, KULR-8

If you own or rent a home, you know how expensive your energy bill can get - Think about paying for an entire school.

Elder Grove School decided it wanted to spend that money elsewhere and installed solar panels in October 2016.

We checked in with the administration at the school to see how much they've saved.

In the year and a half since the panels were installed, their Technology Director said the savings they've made even on a cloudy day makes a huge difference.

As of March 29, Elder Grove School has saved $4,800 since October 2016.

Those savings have paid off over 75 percent of the total cost of the solar panels.

That is money Elder Grove Technology Director, Carol Phillips, said the school can use elsewhere.

She said the solar panels aren't only saving them money but adding "real world" homework problems to student's math and science education.

Since installing the solar panels, Phillips said many of the parents and teachers have asked about installing them on their own homes.

She suggests more schools and homes take advantage of alternative energy.

"The way solar prices have come down, with photovoltaic panels being less expensive than they originally were, I think it would behoove any school to actually look into putting solar on any project that they have that's new," Phillips said, "and also look into installing it on places that they already have a school. Even if it offsets a certain portion of the bill, that's money they can put to something else."

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