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    Local church in process of installing solar panels; hopes others follow in footsteps

    CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) – The Unitarian Universalist Church of Chattanooga is now the first in the city to have solar panels on its roof generating energy to be sold back to TVA.

    They’re doing it in an effort to help the environment and hope other churches, businesses and homeowners will take after their example to make the earth a little greener.

    The mission of the Unitarian Universal Church of Chattanooga is simple.

    “We will respect the dignity of all living things in existence so we see maintaining the earth as a part of our stewardship,” said Buck O’Rear.

    They’re doing so by adding solar panels.

    “They’re getting twelve 250 watt panels so at maximum the system will produce about 3000 watts, which equals 3 kilowatts,” said Miles McCrickard.

    Your average home uses nearly 1,500 kilowatts a month.

    Twelve 250 watt panels will generate about a third of that.

    A unit like this one would cost around $20,000 so for the average homeowner, a cost like that could be out of the question.

    McCrickard says there are other options.

    “You can purchase smaller systems online,” said McCrickard.

    He tells us getting energy star efficient units is what they also advise to customers before getting solar power.

    “More bang for your buck with efficiency,” said McCrickard.

    Buck O’Rear says they’re one step ahead.

    “Energy efficient, using resources naturally has always been a forefront in a part of our programs here at the church,” said O’Rear. “Adding the solar panels was just taking another step in taking care of our environment.”

    The church hopes to add more solar panels in the future.

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