Dunn business goes solar

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Small businesses are always looking for ways to save money and one area children’s activity center is no different. The business owners have recently entered into an agreement with their electrical provider to generate solar energy that is sold back.

The owners of the Elite Gym, Chris and Jenny West, now have solar panels on top of their Fayetteville Street facility in Dunn. The panels generate electricity which is then sold back to Duke Energy. The company then credits the business’ power bill for the electricity that was sold.

The Wests used a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to purchase the solar panels. In addition, they receive significant tax benefits relating to their federal taxes.

They said an interest in solar energy prompted them.

“We have always been interested in solar and this was a chance for us to use it at the business,” Mr. West said.

The couple already have solar panels on their home. Mrs. West also drives a 100-percent electric car to work in Cary every day.

They say they hope others will take advantage of the solar program.

“There are a lot of opportunities out there, particularly if you are in a rural area,” Mr. West said.

The Elite Gym is a busy center of activities for children. That includes summer programs that last five days a week. Activities include tumbling, trampoline activities, cheerleading and other things. There are also field trips during the summer months.

“We do a lot to help children in this area,” Mr. West said.

The business started 15 years ago with the assistance of the small business incubator at Dunn’s Triangle South Enterprise Center on nearby Magnolia Avenue.

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