Learn about the benefits of solar power

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor,

     Many folks in Iowa are aware of the benefits of renewable energy, and the cost-savings and self-sufficiency it can offer. I’d like to put a face to some of the benefits we can see from solar energy here in Jones County, and tell you a bit about Camp Courageous, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides year-round recreational and respite care opportunities for individuals with special needs.

     For Camp Courageous, the generous donation of solar panels for the camp has allowed us to put donations to work doing what we do best – serving individuals with special needs and their families. As you’d expect from a year-round recreational facility, the utility bills at Camp Courageous can get pretty large. At one point, we were spending nearly $14,000 per month in electric bills. With the addition of solar panels on almost all of the south-facing buildings, our electric bills dropped dramatically, down to nearly $1,000 per month. That is a savings of over $100,000 a year!

     These solar panels have freed up room in the camp’s budget for other important programs and created a unique educational opportunity for the campers to learn about solar power and the science of electricity. Our hope is to add more solar panels as well as solar battery storage to the facility, expanding our opportunities for teaching as well as our self-sufficiency.

     Camp Courageous has significantly benefitted through the use of solar – I hope that, through increased investment and support, communities across our state can reap these benefits also.

Charlie Becker

Monticello, Iowa


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