The nationwide desire for more fuel efficient vehicles has led to an explosion in popularity for hybrid cars, including those that use a combination of gasoline and electricity. Many of the people who own these vehicles also turn to solar energy to help defray the higher electric bills that come with them.
A new study by a nonprofit called the California Center for Sustainable Energy recently found that 40 percent of consumers who own the all-electric Nissan Leaf also have solar panels on their homes, according to a report from the North County Times. These vehicles take a significant amount of time and energy to charge between trips, so the cost of doing so can potentially be as high as normal gas bills.
"We wanted to go electric because it's green and all that," said Rosa Enriquez, a teacher with the Vista Unified School District. "But we went solar also because our electric bills were so high – hundreds and hundreds of dollars."
Solar power can help many consumers shave a significant portion of their energy bills, and potentially allow them to sell some electricity back to their provider for a profit.