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Solar power boosts business, saves Tucsonans money on energy bills

Sen. Mark Kelly visited the Tucson-based solar power company, Solar Gain, as government incentives are helping people switch to renewable energy.
Posted at 3:11 PM, May 31, 2024

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — In Tucson, U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly (D) visited a local business leading the renewable energy charge.

“It’s just an exciting time in the industry," Tim Graunke, Vice President of Solar Gain, said.

Solar Gain is a local solar energy company that has seen its employee numbers grow from just around 25 in 2015 to over 100 today.

The growth is partly thanks to state and federal tax incentives given to people and businesses that switch to renewable energy.

The incentives include a 30% tax credit on the total cost of installing renewable energy into homes or businesses. The credit was set to expire but was extended when congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act.

In a press conference following his tour, Sen. Kelly said business success stories like Solar Gain are why he supported the act.

Kelly in TUC

“Arizona isn’t just on the front lines of the challenges of climate change. We’re on the front lines of the solutions," Kelly said.

Many Tucsonans have already installed solar in their own homes, like Craig Storlie, who says it has led to huge savings on his energy bill.

“They’ve gone from $150 a month for a year-round average to about $20-$30 a month, which is incredible," Storlie said.

There is an up-front cost with installing the system, but Solar Gain says the average customer can expect to see their initial expense turn into savings after about five years.