The State of Missouri is one of the top consumers of coal in the entire country – but now, with technology becoming better and cheaper, renewable energy is becoming more common.

It’s an issue that could be a factor in the upcoming elections.

One Northland family told us they knew solar energy was something they couldn’t pass up.

“When we moved here, we were amazed at all the different houses that had it, so we decided to do some investigating,” said Kim Wood.

She and her husband just moved into their Northland home a few months ago.

“And then we got our first electric bill,” she said, “and really decided to do some investigating.”

They chose a newer, greener route. The goal – save some money, and the environment at the same time by using solar panels.

“If a homeowner goes solar and chooses to produce all of their energy from sun, from sunlight, you’re making a huge impact on the climate, and it’s local,” said Keith Murphy – founder of Rising Sun Solar.

Murphy says just one home with solar panels will save 4,000 trees a year, and roughly 400 barrels of oil, not to mention, it will add jobs.

“Solar energy alone – twice as many as coal, oil, and gas combined in the entire United States. Almost twice as many,” said Murphy.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration says 81 percent of Missouri’s electricity comes from coal. More coal is consumed for electricity in Missouri than in all but two states.

“One person, one homeowner, one family can make a huge impact. Not only on their pocketbook, but also on the environment,” Murphy said.

It’s a big monetary investment now, but with future savings already planned for the Wood family.

“Now maybe I can pay for college education,” laughed Wood.

KCP&L said in its Missouri service area, there are around 4,000 homes that currently use solar.



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