Lower Electric Bills with a Solar Power System
For most people, electricity bills are just a fact of life. We need electricity for many of the essential aspects of modern life – everything from air conditioning and kitchen appliances to TVs and cell phones require it. It’s unreasonable to expect someone to go without electricity these days.
There are three primary problems with electric bills currently:
- They’re expensive
- They’re continually getting more expensive
- They’re unpredictable
Solar systems are often the best way of mitigating all three of these problems.
Electric Bills Are Expensive
The cost of electric bills depends primarily on two factors: how much electricity is used, and the rate that the utility company charges for that electricity.
It makes intuitive sense that the more electricity you use, the higher your bill will be. However, sometimes the effect can be more dramatic than one would assume.
For example, many utilities have tiered rate structures that increase the rate per kWh used as the total amount of power used hits higher and higher thresholds. This has a multiplier effect on the bill, where not only is more power being used, but that additional power is being charged at higher rates as well.
By installing a solar system, homeowners can produce their own power and therefore purchase less from the utility. This can have a significant impact on their monthly expenses, since they can avoid the highest rates for their power consumption, if not completely reduce their bill all together.
Electric Rates Continue to Rise
Not only are electric rates high now, but they continue to increase over time. Increases in electric rates far outpace inflation and wage growth, meaning that everyday Americans are spending an increasing share of their income on their electric bills.
Even as utilities add cleaner, cheaper renewable energy into the electric grid, they face enormous costs to maintain and expand the grid. Since the US was one of the first countries to build out an electric grid, it also means that our system is one of the oldest. Utility companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year upgrading their towers, lines, substations, and transformers, and these costs continue to drive up the cost of delivering electricity, even as cheaper generation sources come online.
By installing a solar system, homeowners can protect themselves against these rising costs. Solar systems have almost no ongoing fuel or maintenance costs – since sunshine is free! – and they also produce power right where it’s needed in the home, which avoids costly transmission infrastructure. As grid maintenance costs continue to rise, solar systems will provide increasingly attractive returns.
Electric Bills Are Unpredictable
One of the biggest frustrations we hear from homeowners is the unpredictability of their electric bills. It’s very difficult to know exactly how much energy a home is using in real time, so oftentimes increased usage throughout the month goes unnoticed until the bill arrives the next month, at which point homeowners are forced into tough budgeting decisions to pay their bills.
With solar, energy costs are extremely predictable. Many homeowners are able to cover 100% of their energy needs with their solar system – in that case, they will typically only have a $10-20 minimum service charge from the utility that goes towards grid maintenance fees, charges for net metering, and other associated costs. If the solar system doesn’t cover 100% of their needs, then they will have some level of remaining electric bill that will vary through the year.
With a cash purchase, there’s no recurring cost for the system or power. With financing, there’s a set monthly payment that doesn’t vary based on season or immediate usage. Either way, this stability can be very valuable for homeowners budgeting their monthly expenses.
So, not only does solar save homeowners money on their monthly electric bills, it also protects them against rising utility costs and provides much more predictable billing that avoids nasty unexpected bills. To see your customized solar savings, head over to the solar.com main page and schedule a call with one of our Energy Advisors!