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Former US Ambassador Andrew Young pushes for more solar energy in Georgia

Young plans on turning sunlight into energy at his Fulton County home.

ATLANTA — The United States has enough solar energy to power 18 million homes, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The agency reports the average cost of solar panels is 70% lower than in 2014.

This comes as energy prices, including gasoline, continue to soar to record highs

Former U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young plans to turn sunlight into energy at his Fulton County home. He said Sunday at a press event, that this is all in an effort to have reliable power during storms, save money on his energy bill, and help reduce climate change.

“I'm 90, and so us old folks have to be very careful about the money we spend," Young said. 

Young wants to save some green while keeping the planet green and healthy.

“I grew up in the South, and I like the heat, but not everybody can deal with it, especially heat and humidity, which means more air conditioning, which means more electricity, which means higher bills," Young said. 

Young hopes to save on those bills by having solar panels installed at his home. He said he loses about $1,000 in food, each time he has a significant power outage.

“We’ve got so many trees that every so often whenever a tree falls, we might be out of electricity for a couple of days," Young said. 

Solar power only provided 3% of Georgia's energy in 2020, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. 

“Unfortunately, most of that is a utility-scale. When it comes to rooftops and homes or small businesses, we are pretty low. There's a lot of room to grow. We have about 4 million homes in Georgia," Kaveh Kamooneh said, CEO of Better Tomorrow Solar.

“I think we will have to pull together to save the environment of the earth," Young said. 

The cost varies, but Kamooneh said the average cost of solar panels is around $20,000 for the average home. Taxpayers get a 26% federal tax credit for solar panels installed this year. 

Young said he plans to get an electric car after the solar panels.

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