Solar Panels Can Save You Big Money

Solar panels aren’t for everyone, but when they’re a good fit for your situation, the energy savings can be remarkable, says Chuck Ault, co-owner and service manager for Collier’s Solar in Warsaw, Ind.

Collier’s has been installing solar panels for 10 years and has seen interest in solar energy grow among local homeowners, schools and commercial businesses.

“Solar panels have been around long enough now that people are feeling more comfortable and curious about them,” says Ault. “You need to have clear exposure to the south. And the upfront investment will take some years to pay for itself, so it’s not for homeowners who plan to move anytime soon.”

If you can check those two boxes, however, “The savings down the road can be exponential, especially if you invest the money you’d otherwise be paying to utility companies.”

Depending on how a customer approaches it, a solar panel system pays for itself, on average, in 9 to 12 years.

“Our typical process is to review a full year’s worth of utility bills,” Ault explains. “We can design a system to get you to net zero or to be supplemental to your utility bill. We can also install it in phases according to your budget.”

Solar panels can be mounted on a roof or on the ground and typically require no maintenance.

“Rainfall is usually enough to wash the dust off them,” says Ault. “In extreme situations they can be washed with mild soap and water.”

Virtually anything in a home can be powered by solar panels.
“Each panel has a micrometer on it that converts power from DC voltage to AC voltage that can be fed into your house,” Ault says.

Depending on how your utility company structures it, any extra energy that’s generated can be fed back into the grid and credited to your account.

The federal government is offering a 26 percent tax credit for solar panel installations this year. That figure will change to 22 percent in 2023. There’s currently no state tax credit for solar installation in Indiana.

Whenever possible, Collier’s buys its solar panels from Crossroads Solar Panel in South Bend, Ind., a company that employs second chance citizens, helping them to re-integrate into society. When it needs to buy from other suppliers, Collier’s seeks out American solar panel companies.

The Collier’s family of brands has been serving the greater Warsaw area for 34 years, installing heating and air-conditioning systems, including geothermal installations, for residential and commercial customers. Its Fireplace Shoppe installs and services gas stoves, gas fireplaces, wood stoves and wood fireplaces, and sells a full line of gas, charcoal and pellet grills.

The company also sells and services air purifiers, dehumidifiers, humidifiers and air filtration systems as well as solar-powered attic vent fans. It installs, seals and cleans ductwork and dryer vents, too.

Ault co-owns Collier’s with Kevin Lehman. The men were longtime employees at Collier’s before the chance to purchase the business arose.

“We got the opportunity to buy the company and we didn’t think we should pass it up,” says Ault. “It’s been good to our families over the years, and we look at Collier’s as an opportunity to extend our family to the team that we’ve built, the households we serve, and the communities where we live and work.”

Learn more by calling (574) 203-5882, go to or visit the showroom at 2315 North Shelby Dr., Warsaw, Ind. ❚