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Across Baltimore County, more homeowners are looking at alternative energy sources like solar and geothermal, spurred on by a new generation of more efficient, cheaper systems, tax credits, rebates and incentives and an altruistic desire to reduce the use of fossil fuels.

While tax credits, rebates and other incentives can lower costs for the systems, prices can be steep: An average geothermal system in Maryland runs around $25,000 and purchasing a solar system can be about $30,000.

Savings on utility costs over a five- to 10-year payback period can offset the higher upfront costs, according to industry analysts.

Since 2008, more than 21,000 of Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.’s 938,000 residential electric customers have added solar systems, about 18 percent of them in Baltimore County, the utility said.

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MEDA Marylanders for Energy Democracy and Affordability

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