YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Youngstown may be one of the cloudiest areas in America, but that hasn't stopped some local energy-conscious people from investing in new forms of energy systems.
Rick Carano, the owner of Family Drug in New Middletown, installed solar panels that cover the roof of the pharmacy and said they will soon pay for themselves.
"These things have a life of about 40 years. I get free electricity," Carano said. "So not only am I doing something for the health of the planet, the health of the people of this community, but it's economically viable as well."
Technology has improved to get more energy out of the panels than ever before. And there are government grants and tax incentives to get people to buy them.
A local Salem based company called Valley Energy Solutions sells the units.
"The actual cost of the solar panels has dropped better than 100% in the last five years, so panels that may have been $3.00 a watt last year are $1.20 a watt this year," said owner Dan Quinlan.
Carano said with his business he uses a lot of electricity and his investment in the sun could provide for about 30% of his electric usage.
The sun sets on those government incentives in six months, most of which are for business use.