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Solar energy and pecan shells help a Nevada business save money - KOAM TV 7

Solar energy and pecan shells help a Nevada business save money

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A Nevada, Missouri pecan business is seeing big savings on their energy bill thanks to solar energy and a furnace that allows them to eliminate their waste product.

"Keep your eyes and ears open, and like I say, we've cut our energy bill in half," says Drew Kimmel of Missouri Northern Pecan Growers.  "In 2010 we applied for a DNR grant - Department of Natural Resources - for some of Obama's stimulus money and they paid part of our pecan shell furnace."

The furnace burns the pecan shells to heat the facility and is also routed through a heat exchanger to dry the pecans so nothing goes to waste.

The company is also using solar panel energy, thanks in part to a rebate from Kansas City Power and Light.

In a statement released by Kansas City Power and Light, they say they are pleased to offer northern Missouri customers a $2 per watt rebate program for those investing in solar technology.  The payments of the rebates cannot exceed 1% retail rate that the company spends on renewable energy.

"We were spending about $1,000 a month on propane and natural gas and that's down to maybe $100 dollars a month," says Kimmel.

Kansas City Power and Light covers a small area in Vernon County through Nevada but for those who use their electric system, it could pay off.

With a 10,000 watt solar panel system installed Missouri Northern Pecan Growers received a $50,000 rebate that will save them anywhere from $300 to $500 a month on their energy bill.

Kansas City Power and Light say solar rebate payments have increased significantly since the program began back in 2010.

The cap for this year is expected to be approximately $20 million.

But Kimmel's best advice to businesses looking to save a little extra this winter is simply to pay attention.

"There are grants and rebates and such that you can take advantage of," Kimmel says.

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