A group of Fort Bend County residents who live in Lake Olympia decided to power their homes with solar power. The group says solar power helps with the elimination of harmful air and water emissions. After doing some research, they formed a co-op of more than 30 residents and selected an installer to equip each home with the solar panels at a discounted rate. This co-op is operated through Solar United Neighbors, a national organization whose mission is to create a new energy system through rooftop solar sources. Similar co-ops have been established in College Station, Dallas, Houston and The Woodlands. One of the Lake Olympia residents in the co-op has said that his home still imports about 50 percent of its energy needs from the electrical grid during the night and at peak times. All of these homes also continue to use natural gas to heat water and the home itself. They believe their investment in the panels will be recouped within four to eight years. This group hopes to encourage other residents within the county to form similar co-ops of their own.