updated 2/3/2011 12:47:15 PM ET 2011-02-03T17:47:15

STAMFORD, Conn., Feb. 3, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Although solar heating can dramatically slash home utility bills and has tremendous environmental benefits, converting to solar is often too cost-prohibitive for many home owners. A group of homeowners in Mt. Pleasant, a suburb outside of Washington D.C., have realized though that there is strength, and more importantly, savings, in numbers.

Seventy-five homeowners in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood have banded together in order to help save money as they convert their homes to solar energy. This cooperative represents a growing trend across the United States to encourage residents to use solar rather than fossil fuel to power their homes. Unfortunately, the cost to convert to solar can be quite expensive with the cost of panels ranging from $15,000 to $30,000 depending on the size of the system. By working together the cooperative has managed to get group discounts from solar panel installers and helped each other understand how to utilize government rebate programs.

According to Anya Schoolman, one of the Mount Pleasant Cooperative Founders, working together and making the most of the government programs has allowed for dramatic results, "There is a 30 percent federal tax credit for going solar for residential and that makes a huge difference in the cost and then there are a number of state level incentives."  Schoolman goes on to say that cooperative homeowners have seen their electrical bills go down by as much as two-thirds and the local electric company grants homeowners credit when their solar system generates more energy than they use.

"It is exactly this type of initiative that we would love to see from all of our customers," says Jeffrey Mayer, President and CEO of MXenergy, one of the nation's leading independent energy suppliers. "By working together these residents have found a way to overcome one of the major hurdles of solar energy conversion. If more communities where able to replicate this effort it could have a tremendous impact on our energy future and our environment."

Some people might find it hard to understand why an energy provider would be so supportive of solar conversion for its customers, but Mayer says the support fits perfectly with MXenergy's overall philosophy and mission.

"We say that we are an energy company that wants to put itself out of business and we mean that,"says Mayer. "We are members of this planet first and members of an energy company second. There can be no doubt that the conversion to more sustainable energy represents huge benefits for our world. It is our goal at MXenergy to help our customers be as energy efficient as possible and to continually be searching for new energy saving technologies for the future."

About MXenergy

MXenergy is one of the fastest growing retail natural gas and electricity suppliers in North America, serving approximately 500,000 customers in 41 utility territories in the United States and Canada. For over 11 years, the company has provided millions of customers with a choice in how they purchase energy to run their homes and businesses.  Founded in 1999 to provide natural gas and electricity to consumers in deregulated energy markets. MXenergy helps residential customers and small business owners control their energy bills by providing both fixed and variable rate plans. MXenergy is committed to best practices in environmental conservation, supporting local communities through various outreach programs and is a member of the Chicago Climate Exchange.  For more information about MXenergy please visit www.mxenergy.com .

CONTACT: Marjorie Kass (203) 356-1318 ext. 7801
         Managing Director
         mkass@mxenergy.com
         
         Laurel O'Connor (209) 782-7212
         NorthStar Media Management LLC
         laurel@northstarmediamanagement.com

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