By TRUDI FISHER/Montana State News

If you have ever wondered how to live more sustainably or come completely off the grid, come join the Greater Yellowstone Coalition hosting a solar community event with materials from Independent Power Systems Thursday, April 19, at 6:30 p.m. at 215 South Wallace St.

While the Bozeman area is certainly very environmentally conscious, there are many ways to be involved and be reimbursed by the government from individual efforts to reduce your personal carbon footprint. People willing to make small, or even large, changes in their electrical energy consumption can be compensated with government grants, loans and even some tax exemptions.

The company addresses the fears that Montana residents may have about the switch to solar energy in the very harsh winters Bozeman is known for by assuring: “The solar array is typically attached to a south-facing roof. Where shading or architectural details make roof mounting impractical, a pole mount can be used instead.

IPS uses a weather and corrosion resistant Gillette Solar mounting structure designed to withstand winds up to 120 mph and 50-year Rocky Mountain snow loading. Rafter anchor points are triple sealed. All wiring runs are protected in conduit, and clearly marked disconnects protect both the array and inverter outputs. ..  Every aspect of the installation is designed to match the solar panel’s 50-year life expectancy.”

Independent Power Systems is ready to answer any and all questions you may have in order to get you started on your own home improvement and carbon-footprint-reducing solar energy options. IPS offers services that can encompass the smallest and largest sized projects that you envision for your life, even if it means going totally off the grid.

While these options may seem to be a very expensive switch for a house, building or business, IPS would like to show you many financially viable options for all residents in the Gallatin Valley. IPS works in several states across the nation including Colorado, Massachusetts and Montana and the costumers they have worked with rave about the company and staff.

If you are interested in switching to solar panels for your home, business or any building, school or non-profit you own or are involved with, IPS makes the process and switch over as seamless as possible for you and their customers love the timely fashion in which IPS performs the tasks.

One customer discussed the practicality of his choice to switch to only solar power and he commented that, “100 percent of my company’s power usage will be offset by switching over.”

For more information about solar energy in Bozeman, please come to the free event that is open to the public. If you cannot attend, feel free to contact and sign up for a free consultation from IPS at http://www.solarips.com/elite

Edited by Matt Rule.

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