Weighing the short-term cost vs. the long-term benefits of solar energy

One Wytheville family is the proud owner of a new solar panel system, thanks to Baseline Solar Solutions

WYTHEVILLE, Va. – It’s Earth Day and we’re highlighting how folks in our own backyard are helping take care of the planet we call home.

Robert and Kim Mulgrew have been looking into solar energy for a few years now and they have finally pulled the trigger!

Critics of solar energy point at the short-term price tag, but it’s the long-term benefits to your wallet and the environment that make them worth it.

“We wanted to try to keep our bills down. In the long run, this is the best option,” Kim Mulgrew said.

Robert Mulgrew added, “We thought it was a way to be a good steward to the planet.”

The Mulgrews and Baseline Solar Solutions were a match made in heaven. The Blacksburg company installed the panels this week.

While the Wytheville family is taking a short-term hit on the cost, the future looks bright for their wallets and the environment.

“Solar dramatically reduces the number of fossil fuels needed to power homes and use electricity,” Tori Zimbardi, one of Baseline Solar Solutions’ panel installers, said.

The company has been in business since 2008, installing more than a thousand solar panel systems across Southwest Virginia.

The employees are mainly Blacksburg natives and Virginia Tech graduates and they say the community has been very welcoming to this relatively new way to power homes.

“It’s a really friendly environment for solar,” Zimbardi said. “A lot of the professors are a big market for us. Just people around colleges, in general, I think are a little bit more open to having solar installed.”

While it took a few years for the Mulgrews to jump fully on board with the solar movement, they hope they can inspire others to take the same journey.

“If we help a few people look into solar and see it would help them and also help us take care of this gift we have, then that would be a good thing,” Robert Mulgrew said.

In addition to the panels on homes and businesses, Baseline Solar Solutions has the ability to install electric vehicle chargers. When used in tandem with the solar panel system, the need for gasoline to power a car is virtually eliminated.